Thursday December 7, 2023

Next on Spotify Founder’s List: Arsenal?

  • Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek is interested in buying Arsenal with an ownership that includes three team legends.
  • The team is currently owned by Kroenke Sports Enterprises, which has not signaled a desire to sell.
Spotify/Arsenal/Design: Alex Brooks
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European football club owners incited fan fury with their short-lived attempt to start a Super League. Could that be enough to push at least one ownership group out the door?

Spotify CEO and founder Daniel Ek is putting together a bid to acquire Arsenal with three legends of the London club: Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, and Patrick Vieira. 

Ek teased a potential bid on Friday, tweeting that he’s a lifelong Arsenal fan and would “be happy to throw my hat in the ring,” should current owners Kroenke Sports Enterprises be open to selling. 

That could please the roughly 2,000 fans who gathered at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium that same day to protest the team’s owners. The team board apologized for its involvement in the Super League.

However, it’s not at all clear if KSE is looking to move on. Josh Kroenke, an executive at KSE, said on Thursday that the group has no intention of selling the club, which it took full control of in 2018. 

Denver-based KSE also owns:

  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Teams in MLS and the National Lacrosse League
  • Esports teams in the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues

Arsenal was valued by Forbes at $2.8 billion this month, but Ek can afford them. The 38-year old Swede owns 9% of Spotify and is worth a reported $4.8 billion.

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