Arsenal takeover bid ‘very serious’ – Ek

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April 29, 2021
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    Daniel EkEk says he has been an Arsenal fan since childhood

    Spotify founder Daniel Ek says his proposed Arsenal takeover is "very serious" and that he has secured funds for a deal.

    Amid last week's fallout from the European Super League collapse, Ek said he was interested in buying the club.

    Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira have joined his bid but owners Stan and Josh Kroenke say they do not want to sell.

    Ek wants to bring a compelling offer and hopes the Kroenkes "hear me out".

    "I'm very serious," Ek, who is worth a reported $4.7bnexternal-link (£3.38bn), told CNBC.

    "I have secured the funds for it and I want to bring a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out.

    "I certainly didn't expect this will happen overnight and I am prepared for this to be a long journey."

    Swedish billionaire Ek first signalled his interest in the club following protests by Gunners fans against the Kroenkes for their role in the failed European Super League.

    The Kroenkes responded by saying they were "100% committed" to Arsenal and "are not selling any stake".

    "I've been an Arsenal fan since I was eight years old," Ek said. "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."

    Stan Kroenke, 73, took a 9.9% stake in Arsenal in 2007 and slowly built up his shareholding until it reached 62.89% in April 2011.

    He then assumed full control of the club after Alisher Usmanov accepted his 2018 bid to buy him out for £550m.

    He is the owner of numerous sports franchises, including NFL side the Los Angeles Rams and NBA team the Denver Nuggets.

    Kroenke's son Josh is a director at the club and heavily involved in its day-to-day operations.

    Who is Daniel Ek?

    Ek, 38, co-founded music streaming service Spotify in 2006 and remains the organisation's chief executive officer.

    He was born in Stockholm, Sweden and worked for and founded other businesses before setting up Spotify.

    Spotify has more than 180 million users with 87 million paying subscribers.

    Kroenkes want Arsenal success – Arteta

    Earlier on Wednesday, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said the Kroenkes "are going to do everything" to achieve success at the club.

    "If [the fans] get the opportunity to know them, I think most of them would be surprised," said Arteta.

    "And if that is the case, I think that will benefit everybody at the football club.

    "It will benefit the fans and bring a lot of clarity. If there is a way to do that and it is going to be helpful, let's do it, if that is what is necessary."

    On the speculation around Ek's proposed takeover Arteta said: "A lot of talks and a lot of speculation has been surrounding the situation the last week or so.

    "Our fans raised their voices during the match against Everton, but now we have a clear and committed statement from the ownership, so I think that is gone when they said what they did.

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    "I cannot control the speculation and what is going on. What I like to know and talk about is the reality, and 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 they can to achieve that."

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