Thierry Henry has confirmed that he is involved in Daniel Ek’s proposed takeover of Arsenal, admitting that “it’s going to take a very long time” but insists the Spotify founder wants to “interject Arsenal DNA” back into the club.
Sources involved in the proposed takeover told football.london last week that the approach is ‘serious’, explaining that Ek ‘sees himself as the solution to the problem’ at Emirates Stadium right now.
It’s also understood that Ek made the initial approach to Arsenal legends Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, after announcing on Twitter his intention to ‘throw his hat into the ring’ if Kroenke would be willing to sell.
The most recent Forbes evaluation, from May 2019, says the Gunners are valued at £1.8bn but that figure is certain to have changed in the two years since owing to a lack of Champions League football and the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is every word Henry said about Ek, Kroenke and the proposed takeover:
“It is true. Daniel Ek is an Arsenal fan. He did not say it for any publicity, he has been an Arsenal fan for a very long time.
“He approached us, we listened to him. And we knew, first and foremost, that he wanted to involve the fans.”
“He wants to re-inject the Arsenal DNA, the identity that I think is long gone.
“They don’t have a lot of Arsenal people among the board who can show the right direction, and that’s what Daniel wants to do.
“He already reached out and said himself that he has collected the funds to put in a good bid.
“A lot of people have been screaming that they want the owner out…
“We are trying to offer a solution, involving the fans and the DNA back at the club.”
“As a marketing guy, you can see what [Ek] did with his company.
“But, more importantly, he is a fan. He wants to make sure that the team can be what it used to be.
“That is what he wants to bring, and what we want to bring – the identity and the DNA of the club back, and people who care about the club.
“If you had fans on board, this European Super League thing would never had happened.”
“The takeover is going to be a long, and not easy.
“And Daniel will not move away, he will be there waiting to see if they want to sell.
“That’s going to take a very long time.
“We know what we want to do but, first and foremost, we need to make sure that we take over, if they are listening.”
“Daniel is an honest man, transparent.
“Fans want to know what might happen at their club.
“We had a discussion with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and he was very open with them and he wants to be open. We told them what we wanted to do. To bring them back on board.
“Make them part of the meetings and knowing what’s happening. You need to put the DNA back into the club.
“He wants to buy the club, he reached out, and there is going to be a bid.
“If I wasn’t part of the bid, I would have backed it up from afar.
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“Because I want the club to be run a bit better and the fans to be involved.
“It is not so much only about what’s happening on the field, it is what’s happening off the field.
“And the fans are not happy about it.”