Opinion – It is hard to be enthusiastic about Daniel Ek’s desire to buy Arsenal

The current state of Arsenal under the ownership of the Kroneke family means that most Gooners are desperate to see the man sell up and be gone.

So when Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek threw his hat into the mix late last week it was easy to get carried away at the prospect.

However, the words of Michael J Fox from the film The American President springs to mind.

To quote the great actor

“People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand”.

That kind of reminds me where we may be with Daniel Ek.

The reason is simple, he is not rich enough to bankroll the club and he will be forced into owning the club with the same self-sufficient method that the Kroenke’s have been working with.

Ek, according to Forbes, is worth $4.7b, a tidy sum no doubt but nowhere near enough to compete with the likes of Man City or PSG and still a lot less than what Roman Abramovich is worth ($15.2b) at Chelsea.

Unless it is ridiculous wealth, any new owner that comes in will be in no better position than what Stan Kroenke has been in and remember, he has been dropping significant amounts in recent transfer windows.

So what would Daniel Ek bring that is so different? Maybe he will be more visible but why would that make a difference to results?

He would have to overhaul the board if he wants an improvement in recruitment because buying the club but not changing how it operates is not going to make much difference either, is it?

The bottom line is that getting rid of Kroenke with another billionaire is unlikely to make much difference unless it is someone with astounding wealth prepared to compete directly with Man City and clubs like them.

The difference will come once better recruitment is achieved and a better manager is installed.

The grass may be greener on the other side but it is more likely to be just another mud pit.

Tags Daniel Ek Stan Kroenke

18 Comments

  1. Reggie says:

    Don’t agree with the article for what it is saying, if he wanted to and is allowed too, 2 billion give or take a few 100 millions is plenty of money to bankroll any team. For me that isn’t the issue and to some degree the self sustaining model isnt the issue either. Where my problem lies, it would be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. He doesn’t live in England would not be at every game and would still be sole owner. The fact he is a supposed Arsenal supporter all his life helps a bit because kronk didn’t know football existed let alone Arsenal 25 years ago. The problem for me is absent owner, the set up of the board and they way the club is run from top to bottom. We need an Arsenal family not a kronk family. The club should somehow belong to the fans as well as the owner. If he bought the club and sold shares to the fans say 51 %, not only would he not own it outright, the share money could be used to run the club as a self sustained model. It isnt the model that is the problem but how the money is spent and where.

    1. Dan kit says:

      Apparently Reggie he as attended loads of games even at Highbury and he’s only 38 which says to me that he is a proper fan ,just read on sky that he actually will watch games even if he’s in his board meetings for his music business.

  2. ken1945 says:

    That last paragraph is so telling – look where we are today versus three years ago!!!
    What I do like about this rumour, is the inclusion of three Invincibles, who know what The Arsenal is all about.
    Trouble might be though, what would be the long term goals of DB, TH and PV?

    1. Dan kit says:

      Ken he also as said he would welcome fan representation onto the board which is what the majority of fans have been crying out for ,problem is his he full of hot air and the biggest obstacle would be Stan actually selling .

      1. Sue says:

        Just saw that on Sky, Dan. And with TH, DB & PV said to be ‘completely committed’ it’s hard not to be excited!!

        1. Dan kit says:

          Yea love the fact Dennis could be involved ,a proper Arsenal fan and apparently a proper gent ,the other 2 I’m not sure what they think would be in it for them regarding management proposals.
          Anyway how’s your predictions going ,I’ve given up looking at others scores ,think I’ve hit 2 points before tonight’s last game 😂

          1. Sue says:

            I ended up with 3 points, Dan. I’ve been absolute sh*te lately! 🤪
            Next week I’m going to go with the opposite of what I predict!! Can’t be any worse surely!!

  3. speedy says:

    4.7 billion dollars is a tidy sum:o:D oh how i wish that is a tidy sum in my pocket

    1. Reggie says:

      To put it another way it is 4700 million or 4700,000,000

  4. guy says:

    That’ seems a rather jaundiced view Martin. I think the intent is as important as the money. Disinterested like Kroenke he is not. What’s the point of Kroenke’s cash if he doesnt spend it? You think your “model” buyers grow on trees? And most of the super rich would probably not pass the Proper Person tests for the UK anyway. Honestly I just want somebody who CARES!
    1) He is an Arsenal fan since childhood
    2) He is young, very smart, doesnt mind taking risks and has ideas. He definitely would not be in it just for the money
    3) Its rumoured he would come in with like-minded backers – rich fans who couldn’t buy in on their own
    4) Endorsed publicly by Vieira, Henry, Bergkamp. They all love the club and would not back a guy just for the sake of it. The guy must have plans and made promises to get them on board.
    5) He’s European. He gets it
    This is not my concern. What is, is getting Kroenke to sell. Needs a bigger bid that he cant refuse. Or to hope he’s had enough hate to want out. As likely to stay for that reason though as he sames to enjoy being despised.
    Yes Dengote has more but he’s spent years saying he would buy and never come through. I honestly think he only does it for the publicity.
    A bird in the hand… and the fingers crossed on that hand.

  5. SueP says:

    Please correct me as I’m bound to have got mixed up because I’m not a business person, but Ek doesn’t have to part with all of his own money. The Glazers borrowed to the hilt I thought. Somewhere there must be a happy medium and Reggie makes a solid point that fans must be involved
    I’m trying not to get over excited because at the moment it is pie in the sky

  6. Phil says:

    I can see where AdMart is going with his article and I was saying something similar this morning. Basically, if DaniEk is worth £3b, and he spent £2b on buying the Club, then it “ONLY” leaves him £1b. If he then put another £250m into the Club to buy players he is then a Millionaire and not a Billionaire.
    So, if he then started drawing down on his investment, as I’m sure his misses would want, we (The Club) would be paying it all back in time.
    CHELSKI have an owner who has reportedly “donated” £1b of his own personal wealth and written it all off. If Daniel Ek did this after buying for £2b he would literally be skint.
    I appreciate this is a pretty basic summary, but any new owner who was “ONLY” worth £3b will not have the necessary financial clout that is desperately required.
    A thought I have always had- we are sponsored by Emirates, a Dubai based business. Should the right investment opportunity not be sought from there? I had business contacts in Dubai for many years, and am very close to concluding a property purchase there. The country is spending BILLIONS each year on infrastructure investment. Surely our name, values and history of being a Club steeped in tradition would bean attractive proposition to one of the financial institutions that rival Etihad (as a comparison) and many other investment companies from there. Or has our standing diminished so far?
    I think not. But at the same time, having a financial institution such as FSG at Liverpool always has the risk of being in the hands of an organisation that could be looking for either a handsome return on their investment and/or a further future sale that would have profits only available to them
    David Dein, ( how we could do with him steering this club in these times) was very pro Usmanov, a businessman who, reportedly loved the CLub, and would have given Kronke a very early handsome return on his investment. This was rewarded with his 30% stake being worthless in effect when Silent Stan altered the voting rights, and basically brought out Usmanov for 100% control.
    This fan base is often label led as toxic, but this is when opinions are divided. A Support Group,with the direct aim of toppling KSE would get 100% backing and would, I’m sure, force Kronke to sell.
    But as AdMartin so rightly says, it’s the wealth of the Owner that will transform the Club, not the fact he/she/they or whoever would like to own it.

  7. Phil says:

    Should have been far more specific that Etihad is an Abu Dhabi based company but hopefully you understand my point

  8. jon fox says:

    Excuse this cynical old sceptic of 70 years old who has , however been round the block and back in my long life and also learned a fair bit about human nature. Less than a week ago I had never heard of Daniel Ek and I think most would say the same, if they are being honest with themselves. Spotify, of course I have heard about(but so what!)
    Instinctively, I mistrust “the goodness” of multi billionaires, as they do not get that rich by being overly concerned for the welfare of others and tend to be ruthless in getting whatever they desire, no matter who they tread upon in the way. That is how life works at that financial level. Very rich people have been known to use others, ruthlessly, as naive pawns in getting what they want.

    Even if all they want is massive publicity, then if you were a super rich person who “cheered for Arsenal when young” as the quote says, you “might well” have enough club knowledge to know who our revered legends of recent times were and who among them are actual fans and worshipped by we fans.

    What better publicity I ask myself ( cynically or shrewdly or both!) could a man in Eks position get than using the three stellar names who all love our club and who are now linked with him in this bid, be it a real one or one made for publicity,aka advertising!!!
    I freely admit this is me being cynical but life has taught me to be cynical where super rich folk are concerned. I merely say that before throwing my hat, blindfolded, into the Daniel Ek camp I would like to know for certain a great deal more about this man, who may well have watched Arsenal; indeed who may well be a fan too.

    But my common sense and life experience tells me that he likes making money more than he likes our club. I may well be wrong, BUT I MAY WELL ALSO BE RIGHT and what happens if I AM and we are all being suckered along as naive innocent pawns in his MACHIAVELLIAN PLAN TO PROMOTE HIS COMPANY, BY USING THE WORLD WIDE NAME OF ARSENAL FOOTBALL CLUB. He knows it would be impossible to prove that he NEVER had any serious interest in buying us, thus avoiding bad publicity from world wide Arsenal fans.
    There is one other important and relevant point too: when billionaires act, almost always it happens out of the blue with no prior knowledge by ordinary people and is not revealed to anyone, UNTIL it is a fait accompli!

    This cannot be done this way NOW by DANIEL EK. So all my instincts are that this “PLAN” will not bear fruit and that DANIEL EK WILL NOT BE OUR NEXT OWNER.

    1. Bobs says:

      100% agree with you.

      If reports are to be followed, I read he never pay his musicians well and they only sign for him cos they have no other options.
      He love money more than humans feelings.

  9. Assndir says:

    Chill Jon

    1. jon fox says:

      Assndir, No need to chill as I am already cool! I do wonder though if you even understood the whole argument I made, otherwise why write “chill”?

      1. GPeter says:

        I see this as more of a publicity stunt bid for his image and his business than a real takeover bid.

        Nobody would say he never tried if he eventually fails to buy the club.
        He’ll simply say he was outpriced and overvalued.

        I expect his Spotify business shares to rise in the coming days whether he buys the club or not.

        It’s all business.

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