Arsenal takeover: What we know about Daniel Ek talks

Spotify co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek is said to be teaming up with three former Gunners

Alex Pattle
Wednesday 28 April 2021 15:15
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Arsenal fan protests ahead of Everton game

Arsenal could be approaching a shock takeover involving Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek and three former Gunners.

According to The Telegraph, Ek is teaming up with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira in a bid to buy Arsenal from Stan Kroenke in the fallout from the club’s involvement in the collapsed Super League.

The north London side were one of six Premier League teams set to take part in the breakaway competition, which was announced on 18 April but began to fall apart two days later as the English clubs began to withdraw amid pressure from fans, players, coaches and pundits from all corners of the sport.

Despite Arsenal’s exit from that project, supporters have since protested American Kroenke’s ownership of the club, with many of them making their opinions known outside the Emirates Stadium ahead of their side’s 1-0 home defeat by Everton.

Fans’ wishes of new ownership might in fact be granted, with Ek having now said he is “very serious” about a takeover bid and has “secured the funds for it”.

Here’s all we know so far:

Who is Daniel Ek?

Ek is a co-founder of Spotify and the music streaming platform’s CEO.

The Swede, whose net worth is $4.7billion – per Forbes – has said he is a lifelong Arsenal fan.

Last week, Ek tweeted: “As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE [Kroenke Sports & Entertainment] would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”

This Thursday, Ek told CNBC: “I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight. I love the history, the players and the fans. I just see a tremendous opportunity to set a real vision for the club to bring it back to its glory.

“I’m very serious. I have secured the funds for it. I want to put forward a compelling offer for the Kroenkes to hear me out.”

Who else is involved?

According to The Telegraph’s report, Arsenal greats Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira – all part of the ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003/04 – are teaming up with Ek as part of the potential takeover.

Would Stan Kroenke sell?

KSE completed a takeover of Arsenal back in 2011, before taking full control in 2018.

Last week, Kroenke’s son Josh – who is a non-executive director at Arsenal – said the club is not for sale.

KSE this week put out a statement reiterating that fact.

What do the fans think?

As Ek first expressed his interest in buying the club, the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust said they “will support any potential purchaser who will allow fans to own a real equity stake and give fans a meaningful say in how our club is run”.

The trust played a key role in making #KroenkeOut a top trend on Twitter in the fallout of the Super League collapse.

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