Could Daniel Ek buy Arsenal, Sir Lucian Grainge’s favorite football team?

Spotify
Daniel Ek, CEO and co-founder, Spotify

What do Queen Elizabeth II, Jay Z, Universal boss Sir Lucian Grainge, and Spotify founder Daniel Ek have in common?

They’re all supporters of north London’s Arsenal Football Club. But only one has expressed an interest in buying it.

On Friday (April 23), Swedish billionaire Daniel Ek declared his interest in purchasing Arsenal, one of London’s biggest football (soccer) teams.

“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,” Ek tweeted.

KSE is Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the US-based owner of Arsenal, as well as other sports clubs such as the Los Angeles Rams (American football), Denver Nuggets (basketball), and Colorado Avalanche (ice hockey).

“If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”

Daniel Ek, Spotify

In recent days, fan pressure has been mounting on KSE founder, American billionaire Stan Kroenke, to depart Arsenal.

This came after last week’s much-maligned European Super League announcement, which would have seen Arsenal join 14 other European clubs in a VIP league they could never be relegated from.

The move was overwhelmingly seen by fans as a money grab. Large protests took place at Arsenal’s home stadium, and the British government even pledged to veto any attempt at the league’s creation… before the whole idea fell apart. 

Amidst this chaos, Daniel Ek appears to eyeing an opportunity and, on paper at least, has what it takes to become Arsenal’s new majority owner. Ek is worth £3.38bn (€4.7bn), according to Forbes, and the potential acquisition has already been welcomed by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, something Kroenke will never be afforded.

Ek’s intentions were met with a sprinkling of cynicism elsewhere online, however. Tim Burgess, frontman of British guitar band The Charlatans, asked: “Could we ask that you get things sorted out with musicians before jumping in with footballers??”.


Ek’s ownership of Arsenal will also certainly spice up the relationship between Ek and Sir Lucian Grainge, the British Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group.

Grainge is a staunch Arsenal supporter – who often wakes up extra-early in his now-hometown of Los Angeles to catch the club’s games on UK TV.

Hours before Ek’s cheeky tweet on Friday, KSE had expressed “no intention of selling” their stake in Arsenal.

Regardless, at the time of writing, a £1.8bn ($2.5bn) offer from Ek, say reports, could come “within days”.

In fact, Ek’s interest in ownership of Arsenal is rapidly gaining steam.

Sky Sports announced today (April 26) that Ek is set to launch his takeover bid in tandem with Arsenal ‘invincibles’ Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, giving Ek’s offer a further element of validity and, no doubt, overwhelming support from fans.

(For those who don’t follow football (soccer), it’s fair to say this trio of legendary ex-players are to Arsenal what Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Derek Fisher are to the L.A. Lakers.)

Other ardent music industry Arsenal fans include Merck Mercuriadis, the founder and CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Fund.Music Business Worldwide