Kroenkes insist Arsenal not for sale but Spotify’s Daniel Ek will press on with bid

  • ‘We will not entertain any offer,’ owners say in statement
  • Ek keen to buy club with help from Arsenal legends

Arsenal’s owners, the Kroenke family, have insisted they will not sell at any price but a group led by Spotify’s co‑founder Daniel Ek intends to test their resolve by pressing ahead with a firm offer.

Ek has enlisted Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira to help him prepare a package that he hopes could tempt the Kroenkes to sell amid increasing unrest among the Arsenal fanbase. The Swedish billionaire is expected to expand on his plans in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday but the Kroenkes have sought to wrest control of the narrative by stating they have no intention of walking away.

“In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club,” their statement, signed by Stan Kroenke and his son Josh, read. “We remain 100% committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club. We have not received any offer and would not entertain any offer.

“Our ambition for Arsenal remains to compete to win the biggest trophies in the game and our focus remains on improving our competitiveness on the pitch to achieve this.”

The Kroenkes’ position is that they have invested in Arsenal during the chastening Covid-19 pandemic, covering debts that will exceed £100m this year as well as transfer business, and intend to back Mikel Arteta further this summer.

However, they face a battle to persuade supporters – who protested in numbers outside the Emirates on Friday in the wake of the owners’ botched attempt to join the short-lived Super League – that they will arrest the decline perceived during their decade of ownership.

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Ek and his partners are unmoved by the statement, released on Tuesday, and continue to formulate an official approach that could be made as early as next week. They are believed to be prepared for a drawn-out process as both sides establish their positions.

The Guardian understands Ek has expressed interest in buying out the Kroenkes on previous occasions. Those attempts did not get anywhere but both parties now find themselves embroiled in a public stand-off that has escalated significantly since the weekend.


Nick Ames

The GuardianTramp

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