Thierry Henry has confirmed reports that he, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira have been in contact with Daniel Ek as the Spotify founder firms up plans for a proposed takeover of Arsenal.
As fans protested against existing owner Stan Kroenke and his role in the proposed formation of a European Super League, Ek, citing long-standing support for the club, announced his interest in buying the Gunners.
As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring.
— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) April 23, 2021
In the 11 days that have passed, the 38-year-old Swede has reiterated his intentions by claiming to have raised the necessary funds for a deal reported to be worth around £2 billion.
In response, Stan and Josh Kroenke released a statement dismissing suggestions they would be open to selling Arsenal.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Henry revealed why he was happy to field a call from the billionaire entrepreneur.
“It is true. Daniel Ek is an Arsenal fan. He did not say it for any publicity, he has been an Arsenal fan for a very long time.
“He approached us, we listened to him. And we knew, first and foremost, that he wanted to involve the fans. He wants to re-inject the Arsenal DNA, the identity that I think is long gone.”
He added: “He already – I’ll give you something – reached out [to the Kroenkes] and already said himself that he had collected the funds to make sure that he can put in a good bid.
“They now need to listen. A lot of people have been screaming that they want the owner out. We are trying to offer a solution involving the fans and getting the DNA of the club back. There needs to be a discussion, but he reached out.
“I think it is going to be long and not easy if it does ever happen. One thing that I want to reiterate is that Daniel will not move away, he will be there waiting to see if they want to sell.
“That is going to take a very long time, we know what we want to do but first and foremost we need to make sure that we can take over, if they are listening.”
Great to hear you are an Arsenal fan. We would love to work with you & will support any potential purchaser who will allow fans to own a real equity stake and give fans a meaningful say in how our club is run. That’s a match to take Arsenal back to the top #Custodianship #FansIn https://t.co/FaJHDaMNh6
— AST (@AST_arsenal) April 24, 2021
Henry also confirmed that Ek had already met with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust to outline his vision for the club.
“Daniel is an honest man, transparent,” he said. “Fans want to know what might happen at their club.
“We had a discussion with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and he was very open with them and he wants to be open. We told them what we wanted to do. To bring them back on board.
“Make them part of the meetings and knowing what’s happening. You need to put the DNA back into the club.
“He wants to buy the club, he reached out, and there is going to be a bid. If I wasn’t part of the bid, I would have backed it up from afar.”