Arsenal refused to release a statement from Granit Xhaka the day after his x-rated blast at fans – because the two parties couldn’t agree on the wording.
Switzerland international Xhaka reacted badly to Gunners fans sarcastically cheering and then booing him after he was substituted during the north London side’s draw with Crystal Palace .
The midfielder gestured to the supporters, cupped his ears and screamed “f*** off” before whipping off his shirt and storming down the tunnel.
Arsenal fans, furious by their captain’s action, were further angered by the lack of immediate apology.
But the Times have explained that Xhaka’s silence was not down to his own making, but instead he and the club could agree on what the statement should say.
Instead it took four days before Xhaka, via Arsenal’s media platforms, released a strongly worded response to the incident.
In which he wrote about sick social media abuse he and his family had received before calling for future unity.
In a statement, Xhaka wrote: “After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.
“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have me deeply.
“People have said things like “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”.
“That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.
“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy.
“That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.
“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place.
“Let’s move forward positively together. Granit.”
Xhaka, who hasn’t played since the incident, has had the Gunners armband taken off him with Unai Emery electing to make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang his new permanent skipper.