After current owners – the Kroenkes – came out openly to say that they have no interest in selling their stake in Arsenal FC, Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek has also openly shared his willingness to buy his favourite team.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek said he wants to bring back the “glory” to Arsenal as he plans to place a “very compelling” takeover bid to the club’s American billionaire owner Stan Kroenke.
Kroenke, through his Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) business, has been the Gunners’ majority shareholder for a decade and took full control of the club by buying out Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov’s stake in 2018.
Arsenal’s performances on the pitch have declined significantly during the Kroenke reign. The London club has not won a Premier League title since 2003/04 and is set to miss out on a top-four finish in the English top-flight for a fifth consecutive season.
Kroenke’s part in the failed European Super League (ESL) project has angered fans significantly. Arsenal were one of the 12 founding clubs of the breakaway competition but, withdrew from the competition within 48 hours after a fierce backlash from fans, players, governing bodies and the British government.
Thousands of supporters protested outside the Emirates Stadium in North London before Friday’s 1-0 defeat against Everton, calling for Kroenke to sell the club.
On Tuesday, KSE said it had no intention of selling, despite reports of Ek’s interest.
“In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club,” read a KSE statement.
“We remain 100 per cent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club. We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.”
However, Ek, who says he has supported the club for 30 years, believes he has the funding to make a serious offer.
“I’m very serious,” the Swedish billionaire told CNBC on Wednesday. “You know, I have secured the funds for it, and I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out.
“I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight years old. Arsenal is my team. I love the history. I love the players. And of course, I love the fans.
“So as I look at that, I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club to bring it back to its glory. And I want to establish trust with fans and I want to engage the fans again.”
According to reports, Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp would be part of an advisory group in the takeover bid.
“All I can do is prepare what I think is a very thoughtful offer, and bring it to them and hope they hear me out,” added Ek.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta defended the commitment of KSE to helping the club improve on the pitch.
“The reality is that we have owners who are really, really committed and want a successful team on the pitch and are going to do everything on the pitch to achieve that,” said the Spaniard.
Arteta’s side are 10th in the Premier League, currently and are on course for their worst league finish since 1995!
Arsenal can still qualify for the UEFA Champions League but they have to win the Europa League for that as they travel to former manager Unai Emery’s Villarreal for the first leg of their semifinal on Thursday.