Swedish billionaire Daniel Ek – co-founder and chief executive of music streaming service Spotify – has declared his interest in buying Arsenal.
On a night of intensive fan protests outside the Emirates Stadium calling for owner Stan Kroenke to sell up, Ek said he would be keen if Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) decided to heed their calls.
Writing on Twitter EK said : “As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”
Ek is worth £3.38bn (€4.7bn) according to Forbes, following the worldwide success of Spotify. In 2017 he was named the most influential person in the music business by American magazine Billboard.
He appeared to be reaching out to supporters as thousands massed outside the Emirates as Arsenal took on Everton on Friday night in protest at Kroenke’s involvement in the aborted attempt to set up a breakaway European Super League.
Many supporters have been unhappy with his management of the club for some time, having failed to qualify for the Champions League for the last three seasons running and struggled in midtable again this term under Mikel Arteta.
Kroenke’s son Josh spoke to a fans forum this week in which they apologised for their involvement, but they have since declared they have “no intention” of selling the club despite the controversy.
Arteta said on Thursday Kroenke, chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and other figures at the London club involved in the Super League plan had apologised to the players and himself.
And ahead of kick-off on Friday, he said the team would continue to listen to the noise created by supporters outside the Emirates during the game.
“Well we hear it, we know what they [the fans] think but our responsibility should be on trying the best possible way to play the match, and that’s it,” he said.
“Obviously it doesn’t help when you have your fans standing out there on a matchday and saying loud and clear to us they’re not happy with something.
“But our job again is to win the football match and when that happens everything is better.”
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