Goal takes a look at who is interested in taking over the Premier League giants, how much it would cost and more
The reverberations of the controversial and prematurely abandoned Super League venture are still being felt by a number of clubs, including Premier League giants Arsenal, with fans agitating for change.
Ever since news of a breakaway competition surfaced in April, Gunners fans, like the faithful of some of the other clubs involved, have staged major protests to voice their discontent.
When it comes to the north London club, owner Stan Kroenke has come in for sustained criticism at these protests and the businessman’s stewardship could potentially face a challenge.
So what is the story? Who is interested in buying Arsenal and could it really happen? Goal brings you everything you need to know.
Who wants to buy Arsenal?
Spotify owner Daniel Ek has expressed his interest in buying Arsenal from the Kroenke family.
“As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember,” Ek wrote on Twitter on April 23, as protests against the current club owners raged.
“If KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”
Forbes estimated Ek’s net worth to be in the region of $4.8 billion (£3.4bn) in early 2021, with the Swedish entrepreneur amassing wealth through his popular music streaming service.
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
A cohort of former Gunners stars, including Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, are also reported to be interested in joining Ek’s takeover bid, according to the Telegraph.
It has been reported that any potential takeover bid would be in the region of £1.8 billion ($2.5bn).
Henry, who is reported to be part of a group who could join a Spotify takeover bid, criticised Arsenal’s owners for “running the club like a company, not a football club” in the wake of the Super League plans.
“Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation,” the iconic Frenchman told the Telegraph.
“Whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong.”
Are Arsenal for sale?
Despite clear interest from Ek, Arsenal are not officially for sale. In fact, the Kroenkes have stressed that they have no intention of relinquishing their ownership of the Premier League side.
“In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club,” Stan and Josh Kroenke said in a statement issued in response to the reports.
“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.”
The statement added: “Our ambition for Arsenal remains to compete to win the biggest trophies in the game and our focus remains on improving our competitiveness on the pitch to achieve this.”
Statement from KSE – reaffirming they will not be selling any stake in Arsenal. A clear response to Daniel Ek’s takeover interest. 👇 pic.twitter.com/c2GRSvOHwi
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) April 27, 2021
Mikel Arteta subsequently backed the owners and suggested that the supporters might be “surprised” by the Kroenkes if they got “the opportunity to know them”.
“A lot of talk and a lot of speculation has been surrounding the situation in the last week or so,” said the Arsenal boss.
“Our fans raised their voices during the match against Everton. But now we have a very clear and very committed statement from the ownership.”
Could Arsenal be sold?
While it seems unlikely and would be in contradiction of the Kroenkes’ stated position, there is always a possibility that Arsenal could be sold to new owners.
Interestingly, Ek and the veterans from Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ era are reportedly undeterred by the Kroenkes’ declaration that they will not be selling the club.
The Telegraph reports that the Spotify owner intends to persist with his interest and that he is willing to commit to a process which could last as long as six months.
It has been suggested that a formal bid could be made before the end of April or at the beginning of May.
Who is Stan Kroenke?
Stan Kroenke is an American businessman who heads up Kroenke Sports & Entertainment – a company which manages a number of his business interests in sport, including Arsenal.
He is a billionaire, with Bloomberg reporting his net worth to be $9.7 billion (£7bn), and has been the outright owner of the Premier League club since 2018, when he bought out Alisher Usmanov.
Kroenke, who is sometimes referred to as ‘Silent Stan’, has been involved with the Gunners since 2007, but his influence has increased dramatically in recent years following the 2018 ownership push.
His son, Josh, is also involved in the running of the KSE business and has engaged directly with supporters on issues.
As well as Arsenal, Kroenke owns MLS team Colorado Rapids, NFL team Los Angeles Rams, NHL team Colorado Avalanche and NBA team Denver Nuggets.