Daniel Ek, the CEO and founder of music streaming service Spotify, said on Friday that he would be interested in buying Premier League club Arsenal if under-fire American owner Stan Kroenke wanted to sell the north London outfit.
Thousands of Arsenal fans gathered outside Emirates Stadium ahead of the Premier League game against Everton to protest against Kroenke following the north London club’s part in the failed attempt to form a breakaway European Super League.
Proposals for a partially closed competition involving 12 of Europe’s top clubs in England, Spain and Italy collapsed on Wednesday when most of the founders pulled out amidst stinging criticism from fans, governing bodies and the government.
“As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring,” Ek wrote on Twitter.
While Ek’s offer might be music to Arsenal fans’ ears, Kroenke’s son Josh, a director at the club, said on Thursday that Stan Kroenke’s holding company KSE does not plan to sell despite the intense backlash.
Arsenal are valued at $2.8 billion according to Forbes.
Premier League games continue to be held behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic but Arsenal supporters were out in force around the stadium on Friday, lighting flares and chanting “We want Kroenke out” and “Get out of our club”.
“#KroenkeOut” was trending on Twitter with former striker and Arsenal great Ian Wright also chipping in with a tweet.
Supporters’ protests have been key to the U-turn from the English clubs who had signed up for the Super League with Chelsea fans also protesting outside Stamford Bridge on Tuesday before their game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said Kroenke, CEO Vinai Venkatesham and other figures at the club involved in the Super League plan had apologised to the players and himself.
Image via Twitter @Arsenal