Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek told on Wednesday that he is “very serious” about buying Arsenal, despite the club’s current ownership vowing not to sell.
Ek first expressed interest in purchasing the team on Twitter last week, following widespread criticism from fans, government officials, former players, and other sports observers.
Arsenal was one of the founding clubs of the ill-fated European Super League. Arsenal eventually apologised to supporters for joining, stating that it was “never our intention to cause such pain” in a tweet.
“I want to make an extremely persuasive bid to the sellers, and I hope they listen to me,” Ek said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “I am dead serious. I have secured funding for it,” he said.
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke, however, confirmed Tuesday in a joint statement with his son and club director, Josh, that they have no intention of selling. The statement noted recent “public speculation about a possible Arsenal Football Club takeover offer.”
According to the Associated Press, the statement read, “We remain 100 percent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any interest in the club.” “We have not received any bid and will reject any that we receive.”
According to The New York Times, billionaire Kroenke, who also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, gained complete ownership of Arsenal in 2018 in a transaction estimated at $2.3 billion. Arsenal is currently a member of the English Premier League.
Ek, whose bid for the north London club is said to include former players such as Thierry Henry, claimed that his interest stems from his long-standing love for the Gunners, who last won the Premier League in 2003-04.
“I’ve been a fan of Arsenal since I was eight years old,” Ek, a 38-year-old Swedish billionaire who created Spotify in 2006, explained. “My squad is Arsenal. I adore history. I adore the players and, of course, the fans, and when I consider this, I see an incredible opportunity to have a genuine vision for the club and restore it to its former glory.”
When asked about Kroenke’s lack of interest in a deal by CNBC’s David Faber, Ek stated: “I definitely did not expect this to happen overnight.” I’m prepared for a lengthy journey.”
“All I can do is put together what I believe is a very thoughtful offer and present it to them, hoping they listen,” Ek added. “I want to see the club succeed. That is my primary objective,” he said.