Spotify founder Daniel Ek is teaming up with Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp in an attempt to take control of the English Premier League club.
The Swedish entrepreneur — worth more than $5 billion — signalled his intentions last week to buy his beloved side amid furious fan protests in the wake of Arsenal’s involvement in the failed Super League breakaway.
Ek is preparing to test the resolve of the current owner, unpopular American Stan Kroenke, by making a takeover offer after forming an alliance with three of the club’s favourite sons.
French duo Henry and Vieira and Dutch legend Bergkamp were part of Arsene Wenger’s 2003/04 Invincibles who went through a season undefeated.
Daniel Ek, chief executive officer and co-founder of Spotify. Picture: Akio Kon/BloombergSource:Supplied
Arsenal legends Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira. (Photo by Matthew Ashton/EMPICS via Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Henry recently said he longer recognises Arsenal as he hit out at Kroenke — the 73-year-old real estate titan who also owns a host of other sporting teams including the NFL’s LA Rams and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.
“This club belongs to the fans, I love the club and I will support the club until I die,” Henry told the Telegraph.
“But I do not recognise my club and what happened just now, with them trying to join a league that would have been closed, makes no sense to me.
“They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand.
“Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. But whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong.”
It is believed that Kroenke could be open to selling the North London giants for around $3.5 billion but reports claim Ek is preparing a $3.2 billion bid.
Should Ek’s offer be accepted by the American, Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp would return to the club as part of the new set-up.
The quartet are looking to capitalise on the supporters’ anger aimed at Kroenke after they were forced to pull out from the hated European Super League.
An effigy of Stan Kroenke is hung from a lamp post during a protest at Arsenal. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Furious supporters gathered en masse at the Emirates prior to their clash against Everton las tweak to call for Kroenke’s departure. Some fans even hung an effigy of Kroenke, the chairman of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment who joined the Arsenal board in 2008 before becoming its majority shareholder three years later, outside the stadium.
Ahead of the Premier League fixture against the Toffees, Ek took to social media where he revealed his plans to take over Arsenal.
“As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember,” he tweeted.
“If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”
Ek, 38, launched Spotify in 2008, with the platform currently worth around $100 billion.
— The Sun
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