The founder of Spotify says he made an offer to buy Arsenal
Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, revealed on Saturday that he had made an offer this week to buy Arsenal, the English Premier League football team, but that the club’s US owners had refused.
Ek, the multimillion-dollar creator of the music reproduction service, made it public a few months later with an interest in buying a club in north London, where resentment has been boiling among fans against the owners for years.
In the image shared on his Twitter account, Ek wrote that Stan Kroenke had made an offer for the club of the millionaire sports tycoon in the US in response to “incorrect reports” he had not made an offer.
E said it was made for Josh Kroenke’s son, the club’s director and vice president of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), and also shared with the owners ’bankers.
“They responded that they don’t need the money,” Ek wrote. “I respect their decision, but I remain interested and helpful if that situation changes.”
Arsenal, who last won the Premier League in 2004, made a statement to the KSE, making it clear that the team was not selling the club or entertaining offers.
Stan Kroenke became a shareholder in Arsenal in 2007 and took control of the majority four years later. In 2018, he bought the remaining 30% from Russian metal tycoon Alisher Usmanov for 550 million euros, ending the high-level struggle for control between the pair.
Arsenal fans have for years accused Kroenkesi of not being committed to developing the club so that he can compete at the highest levels of English and European football.
This anger was rekindled last month when Arsenal were one of 12 European clubs to sign up for a European breakout Super League, the plan collapsed two days after the reaction from fans and politicians.
Arsenal were one of six clubs in England, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, who quickly withdrew from the Super League after receiving criticism from their supporters.
The breakaway competition was critically criticized because it was a closed league with permanent positions for the founders, making it harder for rivals to get into their positions. A few days after the announcement began on April 18, Ek made clear his interest in the club and expressed interest in acquiring him from Kroenkes.
The UK government fled the league and then set up a review of football governance to see if an independent sports regulator was needed. E said his offer includes “fan ownership, management representation and a gold fee for fans.”
Tim Payton, a board member of Arsenal Supporters ’Trust, called Josh Kroenke to explain why the offer was rejected.
“The direction that football in England is taking, with the government having a greater desire for fan participation with fans, is not compatible with the KSE model,” he said. “If they don’t adapt to that, it’s best if they leave English football.”