Ek’s expression of interest comes at a sensitive time for Arsenal, a Premier League team whose value Forbes estimates at $ 2.8 billion. Last week around 3,000 fans protested in front of the team’s London stadium after the collapse of a European football super league, calling on the Kroenke family to resign as owners.

British media outlets, including The Guardian and The Telegraph, say Ek has the funds to close a deal – Kroenke is said to want at least £ 2 billion ($ 2.8 billion) – and, perhaps more importantly, he has those Supporting a former star Players Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp, ​​who were part of the “Invincible” team that won the 2004 Premier League.

Ek, whose net worth comes from its 9% stake in Spotify, has net worth of $ 4.7 billion, according to Forbes.

The aversion to Arsenal owners has been mounting among fans for years due to the lack of investment from Kroenke and the declining performance of the team that finished eighth in the Premier League in 2020. The team counts the CEO of the Universal Music Group, Lucian Grange, among its supporters.

But the family still has to buckle up. On Tuesday (April 27), Kroenke and his son Josh Kroenke, the club’s director, issued a statement saying they were “100% committed to Arsenal and will not sell any shares in the club” adding that they had no offer and we will not have an offer. “

KSE controls one arena and three stadiums – including the brand new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles – and seven sports franchises, most notably Arsenal, the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, and the NFL’s and Colorado Avalanche the Colorado Rapids from MLS. (Kroenke, himself a billionaire, is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke.)

While Ek would be the first known streaming music manager to earn interest in a sports team, he would hardly be the first music industry to get involved in sports ownership. JAY-Z, Nelly, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Bon Jovi, Kiss band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have bought shares in US teams. Private equity investor Tom Gores, who helped save his brother Sam Gores by buying a majority stake in Paradigm Talent Agency last year, owns the Detroit Pistons NBA team.

Then there is Elton John, who bought his British soccer team Watford FC in the 1970s and built the team from fourth to first division. The same year that John Too released Low For Zero (which included the singles “I’m Still Standing” and “I Think That’s Why They Call It The Blues”), Watford finished second after Liverpool Das in the 1982/83 season highest result of the club to date.

John wrote in his autobiography that he was chairman of the club during “the worst time of my life: years of addiction and misfortune, failed relationships, bad deals, lawsuits, endless turmoil”. But the Rocketman said last year that the club’s ownership was “grounded” [him] Because people who go to football are telling you the truth. “

Should Ek persuade Kroenke to sell, the deal could have a significant impact on Ticketmaster’s ticket agreement extended with KSE in August. In 2018, Kroenke invested in the start-up ticketing company Rival, which was founded by the former managing director of Ticketmaster Nathan Hubbard. It was planned that Rival would replace KSE’s existing contract with AEGS owned by AEG, but the LA startup couldn’t get started by the July 2019 deadline.

Ticketmaster executives agreed to buy Rival and get Kroenke and its investors to invest in the ticketing flop in exchange for long-term contracts allegedly including the SoFi stadium in Los Angeles that Ticketmaster will use when it opens will be fans later that year and a right to refuse Arsenal in the UK

Additional coverage from Dave Brooks