Report: Spotify Owner Daniel Ek, Arsenal Legends Planning Bid to Buy Club

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2012, file photo, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek arrives at the Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis honoring Richard Branson, in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Swedish company will make its stock market debut Tuesday, casting a spotlight on its early lead in music streaming. Ek sought to manage expectations, saying he expects a bumpy road. (AP Photo/Vince Bucci, File)
Vince Bucci/Associated Press

Former Arsenal players Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are planning a bid to buy the Premier League club alongside Spotify owner Daniel Ek, according to James Olley of ESPN. 

The consortium is set to place a formal offer to owner Kroenke Sports & Entertainment within the next few weeks, although the American group has not indicated any interest in selling.

Josh Kroenke, son of principal owner Stan Kroenke, told supporters during a meeting Thursday that they don't intend on selling.

"I believe we are fit to carry on in our position as custodians of Arsenal," the younger Kroenke said (via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk).

The current ownership group has come under fire, with fans holding a recent protest trying to force the sale of the club after Arsenal were one of 12 teams slated to join The Super League, a breakaway competition that was widely criticized by fans. All six Premier League clubs involved have since withdrawn from the proposal.

"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," Arsenal legend Henry told Matt Law of the Telegraph. "They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand."

Supporters have also been unhappy with the product on the pitch under KSE, with the Gunners finishing outside the top four in each of the past four seasons. The club sits in 10th place in the Premier League table with five matches remaining.

The former players would like to turn things around as part of a new ownership group, which would also feature lifelong fan Ek:

Daniel Ek @eldsjal

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.

The 38-year-old Swede has a net worth of $4.7 billion, per Forbes. Arsenal was recently valued at $2.8 billion, making the Gunners the eighth-most valuable club in the world, per Forbes.