Legends join billionaire Spotify founder's Arsenal takeover bid

Andrew Reid
Pictured here, billionaire Spotify founder Daniel Ek.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek has expressed his interest in buying English Premier League giants Arsenal. Pic: Getty

Arsenal legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are reportedly all involved in a stunning takeover bid of their former club by billionaire Spotify founder, Daniel Ek.

The Gunners were one of England's 'big six' clubs who sparked worldwide outrage after joining the controversial European Super League breakaway group.

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Like the other five English clubs involved, Arsenal soon withdrew from the rebel group after fierce backslash from fans that could have long-reaching consequences.

Arsenal is currently owned by American Stan Kroenke through his Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) business, however, many Gunners supptorters have called for him to sell the club and for the board to step down in the wake of the Super League fiasco.

Thousands of supporters marched on the Emirates Stadium before Arsenal's recent Premier League defeat to Everton, with Spotify's founder announcing before kick-off that he would be interested in purchasing the club should KSE be willing to sell.

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It's now emerged this week that the 38-year-old Swede has begun to make inquiries into the viability of a takeover bid, with Arsenal's legendary trio Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira all part of the plan.

Forbes estimates Ek's net worth to be around £3.4 billion (A$6 billion), which incredibly is only around half of Kroenke’s net worth. 

Recent reports indicate Kroenke may be open to selling the famous north London club for $3.5 billion, with Ek understood to be preparing a bid in the region of $3.2 billion.

Whether the Spotify founder can tempt Kroenke to sell the club remains to be seen, with KSE’s stance understood to be centred around keeping hold of Arsenal, despite a turbulent week and the emergence of an interested party.

The Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has thrown its support behind Ek's bid after saying it “will support any potential purchaser who will allow fans to own a real equity stake and give fans a meaningful say in how our club is run”.

Henry was among those to hit out at Arsenal chiefs in the wake of the Super League drama, accusing them of betraying the football club and its supporters.

“They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand," Henry said.

“Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. But whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong.

“I was genuinely shocked like most people and couldn’t believe what was unfolding.

Seen here, Arsenal' greats Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira.
Arsenal's legendary trio of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are understood to be part of Ek's takeover proposal. Pic: Getty

Henry inducted into EPL Hall of Fame

On a happier note for Henry, the Frenchman is celebrating after becoming one of the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, alongside Alan Shearer.

Shearer is the league's all-time top scorer having netted 260 goals for Blackburn and Newcastle between 1992 and 2006, while he lifted the title with Rovers in 1995.

Henry was a four-time winner of the Golden Boot award, given to the top scorer in a season, and netted a club-record 175 Premier League goals in 258 matches for Arsenal.

The Frenchman won the league title twice and was a key member of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' that went unbeaten through the 2003-04 campaign.

Shearer said on premierleague.com: "When you look at some of the unbelievable players to have graced the Premier League, I feel very honoured to join the Hall of Fame. I have to thank all of my team-mates, as well as the managers and coaches that I've worked with.

"All I ever wanted to be was a professional footballer. It was my dream to do that, my dream to win trophies and my dream to score at St James' Park, to wear the number nine black-and-white shirt and it was fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Henry added: "To be inducted alongside Alan Shearer as the two first inductees into the Premier League Hall of Fame is more than special. When I was young, I was just trying to make sure I could get a pair of boots, and now we're talking about the Hall of Fame."

A further six inductees will be selected by a fans' vote from 23 nominees announced on Monday evening. Voting will be open until May 2.

with agencies

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