Spotify boss says bid for Arsenal rejected

Co-founder Ek says he’s still ‘interested’ if situation to sell club changes

AFP May 16, 2021


Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek said Saturday a formal offer to buy Arsenal had been rejected by the Premier League club's American owners.

In a statement on Twitter, the Swedish tycoon said the club's owners, Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE), had rebuffed his bid.

"This week an offer was made to (KSE co-owner) Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at the board and a golden share for the supporters," Ek said.

"They replied that they don't need the money. I remain interested should that situation ever change."

Lifelong Arsenal fan Ek first expressed an interest in mounting a bid for the club last month in the wake of the aborted European Super League plan.

Arsenal were one of six Premier League teams that signed up for the breakaway league, which collapsed barely 48 hours later after a massive backlash across the football world.

Arsenal fans staged an angry protest outside the Emirates Stadium demanding a change of ownership of the club.

US billionaire Stan Kroenke, through KSE, has been the Gunners' majority shareholder for a decade and took full control of the club by buying out Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov's stake in 2018.

Arsenal's performances on the pitch have declined markedly during the Kroenke reign.

The London club have not won a Premier League title since 2003/04 and this season the team missed out on a top-four finish in the English top flight for a fifth consecutive season.

KSE said in a statement last month the group was uninterested in a sale of the team after Ek went public with his planned bid.

"We remain 100 percent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club," KSE said. "We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer."

Ek however had insisted that he was "very" serious about making a bid for the team, with Arsenal legends such as Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp all reportedly part of an advisory group for the takeover.

"I have secured the funds for it, and I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners and I hope they hear me out," Ek said.

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