What do Queen Elizabeth II, Jay Z, Universal boss Sir Lucian Grainge and Spotify founder Daniel Ek have in common?
They all support Arsenal Football Club in North London. But only one person has expressed interest in buying it.
On Friday (April 23), Swedish billionaire Daniel Ek announced his interest in buying Arsenal, one of London’s biggest football teams.
“As a kid, I’ve been cheering @Arsenal for as long as I can remember. If KSE wants to sell Arsenal I would love to throw my hat in the ring, ”Ek tweeted.
KSE is Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the US-based owner of Arsenal, as well as other sports clubs such as the Los Angeles Rams (American football), Denver Nuggets (basketball) and Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey).
“If KSE wants to sell Arsenal, I would like to throw my hat in the ring.”
Daniel Ek, Spotify
In the past few days, fan pressure has increased on KSE founder, American billionaire Stan Kroenke, to leave Arsenal.
It did so after the European Super League announced last week that Arsenal would have joined 14 other European clubs in a VIP league from which they could never be relegated.
The move was largely viewed by fans as a money robbery. Big protests took place at Arsenal’s home stadium, and the UK government even promised to veto any attempt to create the league … before the whole idea fell apart.
In the midst of this chaos, Daniel Ek seems to see an opportunity and, at least on paper, has what it takes to become Arsenal’s new majority shareholder. Ek is valued at £ 3.38 billion, according to Forbes, and the potential acquisition has already been welcomed by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, which Kroenke will never do.
However, Ek’s intentions have been met with a touch of cynicism elsewhere on the internet. Tim Burgess, front man for UK guitar band The Charlatans, asked, “Can we ask you to sort things out with musicians before you step in with footballers?”
Ek’s ownership of Arsenal is sure to spice up Ek’s relationship with Sir Lucian Grainge, the UK chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.
Grainge is a staunch Arsenal supporter who often wakes up early in his hometown of Los Angeles to watch the club’s games on British television.
Hours before Ek’s cheeky tweet on Friday, KSE had expressed “no intention of selling” its stake in Arsenal.
Regardless, at the time of writing, Ek could make a £ 1.8 billion ($ 2.5 billion) offer “in a matter of days,” according to reports.
In fact, Ek’s interest in owning Arsenal is rapidly gaining traction.
Sky Sports announced today (April 26) that Ek will launch its takeover bid alongside Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, adding another element of validity and undoubtedly the overwhelming support of the fans to Ek’s offer.
(For those who don’t follow football, it’s fair to say that this trio of legendary ex-players is to Arsenal what Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Derek Fisher are to the LA Lakers.)
Other arsenal avid music industry fans include Merck Mercuriadis, founder and CEO of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund.Music business worldwide