Dennis Bergkamp claims Daniel Ek takeover bid fuelled by concerns over how Arsenal is run
Arsenal icon Dennis Bergkamp has explained to Voetbal International that Daniel Ek’s bid to purchase the club from Stan Kroenke grew from concerns over how the club is being run.
The Spotify co-founder saw an offer in the region of £1.8billion (Sky Sports) rejected earlier this month, with Stan and Josh Kroenke, via their company Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE), making clear that they have no interest in selling.
Ek’s attempt to purchase the Gunners has attracted the support of several of the north London side’s legends, with Invincibles members Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira joining Bergkamp (Telegraph) in offering their backing.
Ek is still understood to be keen on exploring options to purchase the Gunners (Sky Sports), and has held constructive talks the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) over his plans to give fans a meaningful say in the way their club is run.
Bergkamp has expressed that it is Ek’s desire to inspire change from the top at the Emirates Stadium that he is intent on buying the Premier League side, with the club’s proposed plans to join the European Super League acting as the final straw.
“Daniel has been an Arsenal fan all his life,” Bergkamp said. “He also appeared to be worried about the downturn at the club for some time. When the Super League dominated the news for days, Daniel just about exploded.
“That was when he wanted to continue and contact us. During a Zoom meeting with Thierry, Patrick and I, he shared his concerns and plans with us. That made an impression from the first moment.
“It immediately became clear to me how deep the supportership is with Daniel. I think that’s important: Daniel doesn’t see a takeover as buying a nice toy. On the contrary. He understands the passion of a football fan. Because he is one himself.”
Bergkamp’s comments will surely resonate with a large proportion of the Arsenal fanbase who share Ek’s concerns over how their club is currently being run under KSE’s ownership, leading thousands to protest (Guardian) outside of the Emirates Stadium.
But Ek’s desires to spark change and the backing of some of the Gunners’ all-time greats can only go so far, as KSE still need to agree to sell which seems unlikely as football.london report they will help Arsenal pay back the club’s £120m loan with the Bank of England.
It would seem questionable for KSE to play a role in repaying the loan only to then sell the club, although it would help remove the debt and free a potential buyer to invest in transfers without first selling any prised assets.