24 Apr Spotify owner offers to buy Arsenal amid fan protests
Co-founder and chief executive of Spotify, Daniel Ek, has declared an interest in buying Arsenal after thousands of fans protested against the clubs current ownership.
Fans gathered outside Arsenal’s home ground, the Emirates Stadium, calling for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), owned by American billionaire, Stan Kroenke, to sell up.
Ek said on Twitter: “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.”
According to Forbes, Ek’s estimated net-worth is £3.38bn (€4.7bn) and has previously been listed as the most influential person in the music business by Billboard magazine.
Ek’s proposals have also been supported by Michael Acton Smith, the CEO and co-founder of meditation app, Calm, as well as being the founder and chairman of children’s entertainment company Mind Candy – the creators of Moshi Monsters.
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
Smith replied to Ek’s tweet, commenting: “Count me in too.”
Both tweets received a warm reception from Arsenal fans, however, during a forum between the Arsenal board and supporters earlier this week, Josh Kroenke, a director of the club and son of Stan Kroenke, said KSE has no intention of selling.
Josh Kroenke is quoted as saying: “We have big plans to invest. We have plans, we want to be great again, but a long-term model does not support long-term high investment. No intention of selling.”
The unrest amongst the Arsenal fans comes directly off the back of the European Super League (ESL) announcement, with Arsenal named as one of the founding clubs of the competition.
Despite pulling out of the plans for the ESL in less than 48 hours, the decision to sign up to the breakaway league prompted fans to stage a protest outside the Emirates Stadium before Friday’s game at home to Everton.
Supporters have been frustrated with Kroenke’s leadership for some time now, due to a lack of investment and ambition for the club. Having gained a majority share in the club in 2011, leaked financial reports showed that Kroenke hadn’t invested any money into the club until the 2017/18 season.