The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust say they would welcome the involvement of three former club legends in a potential takeover bid fronted by Spotify founder Daniel Ek, but it does not change their demand for fans to be given an equity stake in the club.
While Ek, who claims to be a long-time Arsenal fan, tweeted on Friday evening that he “would throw his hat in the ring” if the Kroenke family would be willing to sell, it has since been reported that Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira are considering jumping on board as minor partners.
In response to Ek, the trust tweeted on Friday that they “will support any potential purchaser who will allow fans to own a real equity stake and give fans a meaningful say in how our club is run.”
The Telegraph report that Ek is serious about a bid with the former players likely to take hands-on roles at the Emirates Stadium, despite Josh Kroenke saying on Thursday that the club is not for sale.
In response to a question at an online fans’ forum that failed to dilute discontent, Kroenke said: “When are we going to sell? I am not willing to answer that question because we have no intention of selling.”
With pressure mounting on the American family to depart following last week’s Super League fiasco, the AST has more than doubled its membership in the past week.
Thousands of supporters gathered outside the Emirates on Friday before the defeat to Everton to protest the ownership, and the potential involvement of Bergkamp, Henry and Vieira in a takeover is likely to swell such sentiment.
Asked if the addition of the former players to Ek’s plans alters their stance, a spokesman for the AST said: “Our position is the same. We will work with anyone who can address our key issues as set out in that tweet.
“The AST has said for many years that the club needs more football experience on its board so welcome the reported involvement of some of the club’s greatest ever legends.”
Ek is worth an estimated £3.4bn with Arsenal valued at a little more than £2bn. All three players have been involved in coaching since retiring with mixed results, but their knowledge of the club would strengthen the Swedish entrepreneur’s hand significantly.