Daniel Ek insists he has secured the funding required to make a bid for Arsenal, and says he hopes that owners KSE will listen to his offer.
The Spotify co-founder appeared on CNBC this afternoon to discuss the share price plummet of the music streaming service, but also his intention to try and buy the club from Stan and Josh Kroenke.
Here’s what he said in full
CNBC: How much do you want it?
Ek: I’ve been an Arsenal fan since I was eight. Arsenal is my team. I love the history, the players and of course I love the fans. So as I look at that I see a tremendous opportunity to bring it back to glory. I want to establish trust with fans, and I want to engage the fans again.
To answer your question, I’m very serious. You know, I have secured the funds for it. And I want to bring what I think is a very compelling offer to the owners. And I hope they hear me out.
CNBC: Daniel, they don’t seem to be interested in selling though. And unlike a public company where there’s other things you can do to conceivably pressure them here, I suppose it’s only the fan base. But you know, they made it clear, we’re not sellers.
Ek: Yeah, but you know, I started out saying, I’ve been a fan for 30 years of this club. And I certainly didn’t expect that this would happen overnight. And I’m prepared that this could be a long journey. But you know, all I can do is prepare what I think is a very thoughtful offer, and bring it to them and hope they hear me out.
CNBC: Well, one of the things that they’re saying is that they’re not interested. That to me sounds like an opening offer. You have a lot of cash, you are the fan owner. Everyone wants to see an owner who identifies with the fans. I don’t want to slam the Kroenkes too much. But they own a lot of teams. And it seems like this is just some asset for them. Nothing real particular. Doesn’t that gall you? Doesn’t that make you feel angry?
Ek: You know, I just focus on the vlub. I focus on the fans and I focus focus on trying to bring the club back to glory. And as you said, I’m first and foremost a fan. That’s the most important thing for me and I want the club to do better. That’s my primary interest.
His comments come in the wake of KSE’s unambiguous statement yesterday in which they insisted the club was not for sale, and they would not entertain any offers.
With Spotify’s share price tumbling due to a fall in active users, it remains to be seen how much time and effort he can put into buying a football club when his primary business seems to need his full and undivided attention.
Nevertheless, he sounds serious, so whether he can do enough to change the minds of KSE is something that we’ll discover in due course.