Arsenal: Fans protest against owner Kroenke
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Spotify founder Daniel Ek could lodge a formal bid to acquire Arsenal within the next few days, according to reports. The Swedish billionaire has been tipped to act on his interest in buying the Gunners from current owner Stan Kroenke after club legends Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp pledged their involvement in the 38-year-old’s plans on Monday.
Kroenke’s tenure in north London has been characterised by a strong sense of discontent from supporters, who have slammed the American’s lack of investment in the club for a number of years.
His relationship with the Gunners faithful was tested further last week when Arsenal announced their plans to join the breakaway European Super League, a decision that sparked widespread condemnation from across the football world.
The club eventually followed the other five Premier League sides in pulling out of the competition as a result of the intense backlash, but it will be a huge ask for Kroenke to repair the damage caused by his role in brokering Arsenal’s involvement.
A large number of fans protested against the club’s current owner ahead of the narrow defeat to Everton on Friday evening, suggesting that the 73-year-old is unlikely to be forgiven any time soon.
The situation led to Ek throwing his hat in the ring, with the Stockholm native offering to buy Arsenal in the event Kroenke decides to sell up.
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It appears as though he is entirely serious about taking control of the club, and could be set to launch a bid within days, according to ITV News.
It is claimed that Ek would be willing to part ways with around £1.8billion in order to acquire Kroenke’s 100 per cent stake.
The report also suggests that the lifelong Arsenal fan would be open to the possibility of allowing supporters to be represented in the boardroom, but it remains unclear as to whether or not this will be an immediate consideration.
The Swede’s net worth tops out at around £3.4bn, according to Forbes, which is significantly less than Kroenke’s reported fortune of £5.9bn.
However, Ek’s willingness to lead a period of positive change at the Emirates Stadium is likely to capture the hearts of Arsenal fans in a way that the club’s present owner has never managed.
The problems at Arsenal appear to be deep-rooted, with the three-time Premier League champions still aiming to recover from the departure of legendary boss Arsene Wenger in 2018.
The club released a lengthy statement in the wake of last week’s Super League debacle, offering a grovelling apology to supporters for agreeing to join the controversial project and stressing that the decision-makers in north London were simply trying to act in their best interests.
“The last few days have shown us yet again the depth of feeling our supporters around the world have for this great club and the game we love,” the statement began.
“We needed no reminding of this but the response from supporters in recent days has given us time for further reflection and deep thought.
“It was never our intention to cause such distress, however when the invitation to join the Super League came, while knowing there were no guarantees, we did not want to be left behind to ensure we protected Arsenal and its future.
“As a result of listening to you and the wider football community over recent days we are withdrawing from the proposed Super League. We made a mistake, and we apologise for it.
“We know it will take time to restore your faith in what we are trying to achieve here at Arsenal but let us be clear that the decision to be part of the Super League was driven by our desire to protect Arsenal, the club you love, and to support the game you love through greater solidarity and financial stability.”
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