The truth behind Daniel Ek’s Arsenal takeover plans and usurping Stan Kroenke


Daniel Ek’s proposed takeover of Arsenal is genuine, but KSE remain resolute in their refusal to sell the club at this stage, football.london understands.

The 38-year-old Swedish billionaire entrepreneur is the co-founder of music streaming platform Spotify, with recent estimates suggesting his net worth at $4.4billion (£3.17billion).

Sources involved in the proposed takeover have told football.london 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 Thierry 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.


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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.

football.london spoke with football finance expert Kieran Maguire who answered some of the key questions about what a takeover would involve and whether the Kroenke’s could be tempted to sell.

What would the process be if KSE accepted an offer?

If KSE accepted an initial offer, the bidders would gain access to a data room where they would be able to review Arsenal’s accounts in granular detail. Going through every player’s contract, every transfer deal, outstanding amounts, what they’re paying in rent – every single type of cost. This will give them an idea as to the cost base of the club, looking at the different monies coming in. On the basis of that, it will help to form their valuation.

Could Ek borrow money against his Spotify shares in order to fund a takeover?

Certainly. He could use those as collateral. When Stan Kroenke bought Alisher Usmanov’s shares a few years ago, Arsenal were valued then at £1.8billion. If he wants to sell – and he certainly doesn’t have to – because Kroenke is ridiculously wealthy and I would suppose he’d want a massive profit on the deal.

Is Forbes’ £1.8bn valuation of Arsenal accurate?

I would say that’s in the right ballpark. Manchester United’s shares are worth probably around £2.5billion. Arsenal aren’t qualifying for the Champions League on a regular basis, they don’t have the commercial clout of United and they also need to spend quite a lot of money to play catch up to the other teams at the top of the table.

What is your view on the Arsenal legends being involved in the takeover?

I think they’ll be front of house, for want of a better phrase. In the sense that they’ll be involved in the engagement with the fans which has been very lacking under Stan Kroenke. If you sit down and discuss things with people, you tend to get a more rational and reasonable response. What the Kroenke’s have failed to do is to give the fans the courtesy and respect in explaining what the plan is and involving them in it. There is no doubt that the three Arsenal players could act as ambassadors and effectively as a go-between the board and the fanbase, and that way you’ll win people over.



Arsenal fans protested against owner Stan Kroenke ahead of the match against Everton

Ek’s Arsenal tweets:

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has warned that any prospective takeover involving his former teammates needs to get the structure of the club right.

Pointing to his own experience on the board at Hertha Berlin, the former goalkeeper warned that any involvement Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira have must be in the right area of the club.

He told Sky Sports: “It would be fantastic to have my former teammates working for Arsenal again because they’re all great guys.

“But I don’t know if the Kroenke family actually wants to sell Arsenal. From my encounters with Josh Kroenke, he’s a very nice guy and he was very interested to lead Arsenal to a brighter future.

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“My experience of football, now I’m on the board at Hertha Berlin, is people first need to know the right questions and then implement a structure where all the guys – Thierry, Dennis and Patrick – can work.

“There’s Edu, a former team-mate, I think he’s doing a good job there. So if on top comes Thierry as a coach or manager probably, Patrick the same. Dennis was an assistant coach at Ajax.”





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