Spotify founder Daniel Ek has revealed that Arsenal director Josh Kroenke has rejected a formal offer from the 38-year-old to buy the club. The Swedish billionaire has been vocal about his desire to purchase a majority stake in the Gunners, initially announcing his interest on Twitter last month.
The Kroenke family promptly responded with a statement which underlined their position that the club would not be for sale at any price.
Ek has since received backing from Gunners legends Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, who have all confirmed their involvement in the takeover plans.
However, in a Twitter message posted on Saturday evening, Ek admitted that an offer has been turned down but stressed that he remains confident of pushing a deal over the line.
He explained that three major changes were tabled with significant implications for supporters, but claimed that Kroenke reiterated his family’s reluctance to sell at this time.
“Inaccurate reports emerged today saying I have not made a bid for Arsenal Football Club,” Ek’s statement began.
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“I think it’s important to correct the record – this week an offer was made to both Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at the board and a golden share for the supporters.
“They replied that they don’t need the money. I respect their decision but remain interested and available should that situation ever change.”
It remains to be seen whether Ek will submit a renewed offer in the near future or take a step back to weigh up his options, with the Kroenke family seemingly determined to stay put.
He revealed last month that he was planning to lodge a ‘very compelling’ bid in order to test their resolve, but Saturday’s admission suggests that he may be forced to go back to the drawing board.
Stan and Josh Kroenke’s previous statement issued a clear message with regards to their position on selling the club, and it seems as though the pair were not bluffing.
“In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club,” the statement read.
“We remain 100% committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the Club. We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.
“Our ambition for Arsenal remains to compete to win the biggest trophies in the game and our focus remains on improving our competitiveness on the pitch to achieve this.”
The Kroenke family’s association with Arsenal began in 2007, when a number of shares were purchased by both Stan and Russian business tycoon Alisher Usmanov.
The latter eventually accepted an offer for his stake in 2018, handing Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) full control of the club.
A large portion of Arsenal supporters are vehemently opposed to the current ownership model, with many citing a lack of transparency and a perceived reluctance to invest in the playing squad and wider organisation.
Large-scale protests took place outside the Emirates Stadium last month in the wake of the failed European Super League plans that Arsenal were scheduled to take part in.