Following the aftermath of the swift demise of the European Super League, there have been many cries for owners involved to sell their stake in their respective clubs as the relationships with the fans have reached a breaking point. Among those owners that have been put under pressure recently are the Kroenke family at Arsenal.
The Arsenal faithful have voiced their distaste over Kroenke’s decision to betray everything Arsenal have stood for and join the breakaway league. The Kroenke’s have never been popular among the fans since they became majority shareholders in 2011 but it feels like the relationship has been broken beyond repair following the events of last week.
“Daniel Ek is preparing a bid to buy Arsenal with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp all involved. [Guardian].”
— ◽MAPS_WELSHAARAWY◽ (@Maps_Welsh) April 26, 2021
Josh Kroenke – son of owner Stan – was met with hostile requests to sell the club and walk away at a recent fans forum while nearly 3000 supporters participated in an organised protest against the Kroenke ownership before Arsenal’s home game against Everton on Friday night.
As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) April 23, 2021
Amidst all the drama and the protests, a prospective buyer has also emerged as the founder of Spotify Daniel Ek tweeted that he would be interested in buying Arsenal if the Kroenke’s are looking to sell. The 38-year-old Swedish billionaire is believed to be a die-hard supporter of the club and often even delays Spotify board meetings to watch Arsenal games.
The owner of Spotify is believed to be worth £3.5 billion according to Forbes with the majority of his net worth tied up in his 9% share of Spotify which is currently valued at $54 billion. Various reports have emerged in recent days that Ek is serious about his wish to buy the club and is currently preparing a bid within the region of £2 billion. The reports have also stated that Ek is teaming up with three Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp to make the bid. The three of them were part of Arsenal’s 03/04 Invincibles side with Henry and Bergkamp immortalized in bronze outside the stadium. The reports have stated that the pair of them would be involved with the club in an administrative capacity and significantly aid the PR behind this takeover.
Despite all the hype around Daniel Ek, it is highly unlikely any deal would come to fruition. Firstly, If Ek was to buy Arsenal, it would have to be along with a series of other investors as the majority of his wealth is tied up in his Spotify stock which he would have to sell and the club would represent the majority of his net worth.
Nevertheless, the more pressing issue for Arsenal fans is that the Kroenke family has no intention of selling the club. Josh Kroenke went on record at a fan forum last week stating they won’t be selling the club and Kroenke Sports and Entertainment have also released a statement that says they are fully committed to Arsenal and will not entertain any offer.
In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club.
We remain 100% 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.
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) April 27, 2021
Stan Kroenke is an American property developer and sports mogul that owns various American franchisees such as the Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Rapids (MLS), Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and LA Rams (NFL).
He is worth upwards of $8 billion according to Forbes and has been the sole owner of Arsenal since 2018. Kroenke has also married into Walmart family as his wife Ann Walton is the heiress of the Walmart fortune and is believed to be worth $8 billion herself. Simply put, the Kroenke’s are in a different stratosphere of wealth compared to Ek and the American does not need to sell and especially not at the proposed price that Ek is offering (around £2 billion).
Kroenke is an extremely tough businessman and caving into fan pressure and selling the crown jewel of his sports empire doesn’t seem to be in his plans. Arsenal have a global fanbase and is located in a prime spot in London with a state-of-the-art stadium and training ground. They have been under pressure from fan groups before and unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that this time will be any different.
[Image Credit: Arsenal]