For the first time, Dennis Bergkamp has spoken publicly about his involvement with Daniel Ek and the Spotify co-founder’s attempts to buy the club from KSE.

The 52 year old has backed the Swede, revealing Zoom conversations which made a positive impression, and insisted that for Arsenal to compete at the highest level again it needs to be run first and foremost as a football club, and not a business.

Last week Ek revealed he’d been rebuffed by Stan and Josh Kroenke, but according to the former Invincible, further efforts have been made.

I understand that in addition to that offer, Daniel has now reached out twice to Josh Kroenke and his bankers,” said Bergkamp, who is part of the consortium along with Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

“Whatever Kroenke’s intentions are, it would be good if we at least have a conversation with each other in the interest of the club.

“Regardless, Daniel is not a quitter and neither are we football boys. We are here to stay.

“We do know how the fans feel. We have already had a meeting with a supporter delegation. We also sense more and more enthusiasm on their side. That is very stimulating.”

On what kind of change they might bring to Arsenal if a takeover were successful, he continued, “I am not looking for a revolution. We really hope that we can talk to the current owners in a good way. We don’t want to harm anyone, it’s not about us personally.

This revolves around our views on an improved Arsenal. As players, we contributed to the transition from Boring Arsenal to a squad called The Invincibles. Thanks to that period, I have now been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame, which I am extremely proud of.

“The quality, mindset and passion of that time must once again become the norm. Thierry, Patrick and I have ideas about that.

“Which fit perfectly with Daniel’s plans.”

There was implied criticism of the current ownership though, as Bergkamp sees a change at the top as fundamental to any kind of restoration of Arsenal’s stature.

“An acquisition is crucial,” he said. So that Arsenal can continue with an owner who understands that a football club should not be run like a company.

“No matter how much money is involved in English football, Arsenal is and will remain a football club. Which is how it must be managed at all levels of the club.”

As for what kind of roles he, Henry and Vieira might have, there was some reluctance to go into specifics.

“We have plenty of ideas about the technical details, but it makes little sense to talk about them now,” he said.

“First, Daniel has to come to a takeover. After that, it would make sense to use the knowledge we have gained during and after our careers.

“We are ready and so is Daniel.”

Read the full interview here (its in Dutch, so use Google Translate).

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Des Lynam

The most important signing this club ever made.

Nate

For many, the best from that era as well. What a legend.

David C

More than Henry? Is it because Henry was more like the final puzzle piece?

ParteyPants

It was the game changer from which everything else followed right up to The Invincibles season & Champions League final…

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I think Bergkamp made Henry the player he was, as well as a couple others

Neil Bamford

Completely agree. I’d even say he’s the most important signing in the history of the premier league as he paved the way for superstar international players. The man is a legend

Homer

AW had a little something to do with that.

Opps, sorry! not supposed to say nice things about him, are we.
Only wet our shorts about past heros.

Martin R

Except it was Bruce Rioch who signed him and not Arsene Wenger.

John

This is technically true though Ian Wright, in his autobiography, claims Dennis was 100% a David Dein signing gifted to Rioch as an interim figure.

SG_Gooner

Funded by Danny Fiszman?

Neil Bamford

AW had bugger all to do with that

Arsenalista

The reason you were down voted is because there was no question mark after “are we”

A Different George

Well, there was Cantona, wasn’t there?

Qwaliteee

Oh behave mate.

Cantona wasn’t fit to lace Bergkamp’s boots.

ParteyPants

Wrong site.

enders

On top of above mentioned it was genuine statement of intent from our club. I can relive that passion I felt when this news emerged.

Carlton Kgololana

Loved you on Grandstand bro… Proper smoothie

Chr589

For Wenger he would had been miles too expensive and anyeay, not TOP TOP QUALITY in Inter.

DB10s airmiles

He kept him around for long enough….

Magneto

I think Arsene Wenger is the most important signing the club ever made, but maybe that’s just me.

Bergkamp certainly earned his place in the pantheon of the greats though, no question.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Overall signing, yes. On the playing side, Bergkamp

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Most important signing and best ever to play in the Premier League/First division

Scored at the Clock End

Herbert Chapman was the most important signing we ever made, closely followed by Arsene Wenger. Both transformed our club and world football in their own way.

Tony

I am 100% behind your guys.

SB Still

I’m not so sure. I very much like nostalgic feeling of having this trio back. However, their managerial/coaching career is far from their glittering career as players.

Having said that it will be an improvement on the current set-up.

I’m with Wenger on this one and hope there is a far more concrete effort in private than through the media.

Mpls

As long as they’re not managing and coaching, it could all be fine- that could be a pretty stellar crop of board appointments!

Ranbo

Ek is doing all the right things to get the fans onboard, but unless something dramatic happens I don’t think Korenke will sell.

Vaibhav Pandey

Unless Ek offers more than 2.5 billion or his spotify stake :D, not happening!

Biggles

I agree. It takes two to tango and, so far at least, the owner just isn’t interested. I can’t see that any real pressure can be exerted – I’ll believe an effective boycott of season tickets, merchandise etc., when I see real evidence of it, rather than the talk about it which there is certainly a lot of.

goonero

Dramatic things are happening. Arsenal are falling out of Europe altogether for the first time in 25 years, playing uninspired football and not attracting top players. That status quo only has to persist for a year or two longer and Arsenal will no longer be a “top” club. Someone else will take that mantle, probably Leicester at this rate, and the Kroenkes will have an asset that is depreciating in value and even if they don’t care about what that means in real terms for the club they will certainly care what that means for their wealth and business. Unless… Read more »

Matt Brookes

The only thing that will make them listen is a wide range of constant activity: protests inside and outside the stadium, non attendance, stop buying kits and merch etx. The only way the Kronkes will even consider selling is if the situation is made financially and reputationally intolerable. And even then its a long shot

John C

Ek has no money, runs a business that has cumulative losses into the billions and that has no immediate prospect of turning a profit any time soon. (I like Spotify btw) Kroenke on the other hand is 2nd or 3rd largest private land owner in the US and is married to a woman who’s a major share holder in one of the worlds largest company’s. Why anyone would want to swap one of the most solvent people in the world for someone who isn’t is beyond me, Arsenal would immediately be saddled with huge amounts of debt. Is that an… Read more »

Arsene's Smirk

The question is not about who has more money. Kroenke and family are clearly rich folks. The problem is exactly as stated by DB10 – A football club should not be run as a business!

Also the Kroenkes are not football people and have proven to have little idea of footballing culture.

John C

What’s it about?

How will we improve if we have huge sums to repay to his investors?

The Kroenke’s have had nothing to do with the lack footballing culture at the club

Qwaliteee

Because it’s not just about money…..

Hello? Anyone at home?

John C

What’s it about?

How is someone who brings nothing but huge debt to the party improve us?

Qwaliteee

Kroeber does that anyway! What Ek is bringing to the table are two things the Kroenkes can’t provide. Ownership with emotional as well as financial investment – someone who gives a shit – witness Leicester City’s owner at the FA Cup Final. A galvanised club and fan base is incredibly powerful in attracting better revenue streams and better players who want to join a happy and successful ship. Secondly, the Invincibles – three extremely high profile club legends who will be able to facilitate massive growth in the club’s global marketing potential and offer additional technical assistance in moving the… Read more »

Qwaliteee

*Kroenke

Eddie Ritchie

Kroenke may be solvent, but has invested far too little into Arsenal. The amounts invested this far are pathetically paltry for a solvent billionaire landowner.
This is why in my non billionaire, humble opinion – he should either invest, or, to put it politely, fuck the fuck off.

A P

Eh, so how much you think Ek would invest in players?

Eddie Ritchie

Ek isn’t convincing either, sure. He’s not the answer either, as explained above.

However, our current crony Kroenke is anything but good for the club.

Eenie meenie miney mo, which Billionaire will change this shitshow?

Carlton Kgololana

About as much as he gives to struggling music artists…

Qwaliteee

Eh, so how many Premiership Titles and Champions League trophies can we all get ‘excited’ about under the current regime?

Biggles

While I’m certainly not a fan of the owner, he did make it clear from the outset when he took over complete control that he was looking at a “self-sustaining” model for Arsenal rather than the one followed by, say, the owner of Chelsea – to take an extreme case. I think it boils down to this: for good or bad, the owner has done what he said he’d do (about the financial model for the club to follow). Lots of fans, and you’re one clearly, are very critical because he hasn’t done something else. Now, everyone is entitled to… Read more »

Eddie Ritchie

It’s fine to have something that eventually becomes self sustaining.
It’s like simple gardening. Watering, fertilizer etc.
This squad needs a haulover. How are we going to pay for it? As it stands, we’re withering and in need of funding.

The oligarch turd down the road understands this and at least puts something into it.
That’s why they’re in the CL final and we are mid table mediocrity.

We need investment in order to become self sustaining. Simple maths.

mc1892

He hasn’t though because we’re making massive losses. So how exactly are we self-sustaining? Our revenues are shit compared to all of our competitors- and even some who we’d most definitely consider to be a far bigger club than.

Biggles

We’re obviously not self-sustaining, or anywhere near it currently. We made a big loss last season (getting on for £50 million) as you say and there will be an even bigger one this season (over £100 million). However, both are because of the drastic effects of Covid on income, not because of anything the owner has done (or not done) in the last couple of years. We shouldn’t mix these things up. Some things have been done: the re-financing of the (still large) stadium debt of around £140 million; the money for the Partey transfer is apparently covered through a… Read more »

mjc1892

But we’ve made losses for the two years prior to covid? Can’t remember the exact numbers but im almost certain it was in the region of £20m both years. Now this may not seem a lot comparatively, but that is still an enormous amount of money. We’ve been left behind commercially, we get poor value out of our players when they’re sold, and seem to often pay over the odds or exorbitant amounts on contracts. I’m aware that we’ve spent a lot of money on players, so I’m not screaming from the rooftops about lack of investment, but to say… Read more »

John C

For years we were the morally superior net spend champions and Chelsea were financially doping, now when the effects of putting big profits over investing the team have become apparent everyone has a problem with it.

If you supported that you are to blame for where we are now!!

Qwaliteee

The only thing being self sustained at the moment is Stan Kroenke.

Carlton Kgololana

He gave 72 million for Pepe I’ll say that was a generous act

John C

The club has made quite significant investment over the last 5 years, just on the wrong players, and that’s not the Kroenke’s fault.

We really shot ourselves in the foot between 2006-11/12 and we’ve never recovered

Man Manny

How has Kroenke’s solvency helped Arsenal FC?
We are sliding ever so consistently into mid-table mediocrity.
From challenging for the title when they showed up to needing results to our way for us to clinch 7th position, and qualify for an irrelevant European competition!
So much for a solvent owner.

John C

Ek’s lack of solvency certainly won’t help.

I’m not against someone buying the club but they have to be able to afford it and improve the club

Adam

Crucially he also talks about structurally changing Arsenal, talks of the ‘spine’ of the club needing a change. This sounds very much like Johan Cruyff’s ‘velvet’ revolution in the early 2010s in which he himself was involved: astute transfer plans, a reliance on the very best of scouts (sadly we sacked plenty of ours), a role for former players with club DNA in the technical aspects of running the FC (no more sketchy short/mid termists whose only interest is the next salary or friendly agents’ gifts), and massive investment/trust in the academy. I realise the last point is less viable… Read more »

shokim

DB10 is the reason I followed Arsenal. Congratulations to him on his induction into the PL Hall of Fame. 🎉

Once a gunner

Me too, what he played during our tittle wining year 1998 was splendid

Chip

Wow!! This is a powerful article! The Legend DB10 has given me renewed hope, and also shows that Ek really is trying to buy our beloved club. Interesting times my Gooner friends.

Original Big Dave

God has spoken.

DB10s Air Miles

Downvoted by heathens.

Eddy F

If this takeover does end up happening, sounds like Vieira, Bergkamp and Henry would have technical football roles inside the club.

That would mean bye-bye Arteta, maybe even Edu.
Vieira – Manager/Head Coach
Henry – Assistant Manager
Bergkamp – Assistant Manager / Coach

Biggles

Highly unlikely to happen but great players for us though they were neither Vieira or Henry have exactly covered themselves with managerial glory so far. Simply being “old boys”, however good, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best choice for top positions in a big club – as Arteta critics would no doubt agree.

A P

They were good as players but failed as managers and coach. They better stay as far away as possible from the technical side.

filsuf

Put them all in as board of directors and find accomplished personnel to coach

Carlos

The fans really need to get on board whilst there’s so much attention here. Boycotting games and demonstrating will at least start to turn heads. COME ON YOU GOONERS.

Biggles

We’ll see, but when push comes to shove I don’t think that there will be an effective boycott which will need to be both comprehensive and long-running. Something very patchy that lasts a few weeks won’t work at all, particularly as the owner has made it clear that there is no interest at all in selling the club.

As the summer transfer window gets nearer I suspect more Gooners will be interested in what the club does in preparation for the 2021-22 season, which will certainly be a key one for Arsenal, rather than demonstrating.

Once a gunner

Is Daniel ready to pump one billion to players investment? If yes I’m in

Carlton Kgololana

Didn’t Vieira try leaving every summer? And tried joining Tottenham under Harry Redknapp. If we got one decent season out of him as manager he’ll want to go Man Utd, Madrid or PSG

Qwaliteee

No. Vieira didn’t try leaving every season; the gutter press sold a lot of papers with speculative crap taken in by gullible idiots, usually haters who supported rival clubs.

If we got one decent season out of Vieira as manager it would better than a decade of Arteta dining out on one FA Cup.

carlton kgololana

He was a great player who was coveted by all the other top clubs Real Madrid especially. Read his autobiography. Several times he wished to go, he was upset at his treatment by referees and had ambitions to play for Real Madrid, he was allowed to talk to them in 2004. It was an annual saga, ironically when he finally did go he wasn’t pushing for a move, in his autobiography he commented that David Dein told him of Juventus’ offer and said that it was a good offer and the club were ‘neutral and would let Vieira talk to… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

Wrong. As usual.

Qwaliteee

Is Kroenke ready to do the same?

Anders Limpar

I. FUCKING. LOVE. DENNIS.

Bergkamp’s Taint

Bergkamp could be director of football. Henry and Vieira, board members.

Dodgem

And thus the commandments of Berkamp where written

Carlton Kgololana

Jobs for the boys. If Henry stayed loyal and continued with the youth teams rather than taking the money to go on Sky criticizing the team, he would have had a shot at the top job before now and would not have showed how inept he was at Monaco almost getting them relegated

Qwaliteee

If Henry criticised the team, it’s because the team deserved it.

As for Monaco’s relegation flirting, might I suggest you look a little closer to home and cast your mind back to last December, where Arteta’s Arsenal were the subject of a million Christmas Cracker media one liners……

carlton kgololana

Henry left Monaco in the relegation zone after only 2 league wins in 12 and only 4 in 20 matches in total. Like Gary Neville he found the managerial hot seat more difficult than the pundits chair. He has such great passion for the game that it would be great to see him get another chance as coach somewhere in England or maybe France or Spain and learn his trade. We certainly were closer to the relegation zone last December but thankfully not in it, though it did look precarious. Best regards to all the Arsenal fans hoping for a… Read more »

Vonnie

There was a lot of spite and condescending in Henry’s punditry when speaking about Arsenal and our strikers. He may have been a wonderful player but he’s arrogant and a bit of a dickhead as a person.

Cliff Bastin

The Iceman Cometh.

Qwaliteee

Great episode of ‘That Peter Kay Thing.’

Fatgooner

Great words from a great ex-player.

Like Dennis says, the ONLY way we can return to greatness is with a change of ownership. We MUST have an owner who understands and loves football. That is NOT Stan. Under the current ownership the club is going nowhere.

I really hope that Ex eventually succeeds in the takeover and we can get over this frustrating period in our history.

Glenn Gomes

Wow!! This man, this man right here is the reason I am Arsenal….. He epitomised what a footballer should be…. Arsenal is what it is today thanks to this man and a certain Wenger. Many say Henry was the greatest but had not the foundations been laid by Arsene and Dennis, Henry would not be that final and prominent jewel in our Invincible crown…… Having maintained this though, we know that he had a not so successful time at Ajax but you never know. When it comes to Arsenal, his verve might be different And throw in the prospect of… Read more »

Qwaliteee

I’ve said more than enough already on this subject and made my views crystal clear.

What I will say, however, is that these things take time – and you never say never in business; everything has a price – even Arsenal. If Ek eventually makes it worth their while, the Kroenkes are businessmen; they’ll listen.

If this deal ever gets done it’ll be done behind closed doors and the first we’ll learn about it is when it goes through.

In the meantime, let’s all go ferret in the bargain basement baskets for a left back……

assistantref

Has Ek yet confirmed that his bid wouldn’t be a leveraged buyout where the debt to fuel the purchase gets put onto the club? Until he does that, nobody should be getting on board. We don’t need to go a billion into debt to get a new owner who doesn’t have any money.

Qwaliteee

Like we’re not already up to our arse in debt being owned by the Kroenkes…..

What do you want? A successful football club on the pitch with debt or a ‘thrifty’ (but also in debt) mid table annual relegation fighting circus?

The biggest enemy of this football club isn’t debt.

It’s the loss of prestige in world football.

That’s far more damaging to future global marketing revenue – as the Kroenkes are about to find out……

Biggles

I’m not sure Barcelona FC would agree with you about that. They are a hugely prestigious club but their financial position is so bad that they are considering really drastic measures to halt the slide. This hasn’t come around because of Covid. They were taking out expensive loans for years just to pay wages and finance “bloated” transfer fees. The irony is that they are still the club of choice for many top players – but they can’t afford to finance any major transfers to bring those players to the Camp Nou. All the prestige – but none of the… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Yes, but Barca haven’t got a novice for a manager and a cunt for an owner.

They’ll bounce back.

We’ll just pass back.

assistantref

This is factually wrong. Arsenal has essentially zero debt – or had zero debt, before the pandemic anyway. I don’t think you are really appreciating the economics of taking on a billion or two in debt to finance the new owner’s purchase. That debt has to be repaid, and it directly results in lower spending on player recruitment and salaries. You can’t just magic money out of nowhere. An owner who doesn’t have any money has no way to invest in the club. If a new owner buys Arsenal and loads up the club with the purchase price, there is… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Mate, I’m not saying that we’ll be without debt. I actually ACKNOWLEDGE we’d still be in debt with Ek. But with Vieira, Bergkamp and Henry on board as ambassadors and executives, we’d be a much healthier global marketing proposition to increase revenue. Having Ek would mean having a rich business owner emotionally invested in the club. And before you scoff – look at how powerful that has been for Leicester City. Those images shown around the world of the team celebrating the FA Cup with their owner were incredibly powerful. They will almost certainly now attract better players, better deals… Read more »

Frank Bascombe

You’re pissing in the wind, applying logic with this fella.

Frank Bascombe

Man, you really do talk a lot of shit don’t cha?

Santori

I’m not sure I am over enthused by the involvement of all these ex players. Its good endorsement for Ek but in the running of the club, I’d like to see EXPERIENCED people come in. 1) DoF. Edu out before he mucks up another summer which is critical for us now without allure of CL/Europa. Get in people with good in trench experience like Overmaars at Ajax or Campos at Lille. 2) Executive – Vinai probably knows financial management but we need a bit of leadership and some clout. Push Vinnai to side to manage the business end (something he… Read more »

carlton kgololana

I agree Overmars has proven himself in an executive role and has the experience to help move the club forward.

WellArsed

Sadly, I think there’s almost zero chance of the Kroenke’s selling up – unless the club becomes a massive money loser. Unfortunately, because of their business model I doubt they will absorb any of those losses unless the club becomes financially unviable and a worthless asset. The decision to join the ESL reveals their mindset and intentions for the future: milk the club for revenue.

wsilve

I’m down with a takeover, but none of them should get the manager job.

Sancheezy

I’m sure Kroenke would sell only if it’s above 6 billion. He could always buy another “franchise” elsewhere.

Alexander Nikolov

The GOAT!!!