The Kroenke’s were used to the taste of victory having bought the club outright against a tidal wave of resistance from the boardroom and fans. After which, Stan Kroenke dispatched his wealthy Russian adversary to own the North London outfit lock, stock, and barrel, but he now faces a new dynamic foe in the form of Daniel Ek.
Daniel Ek has wealth, is charismatic and wise to the modern media, whereas Stan Kroenke, although wealthy, has the joint personality of a festering roadside carcass and tends to have an aversion to sharing any crumbs of information with the media.
This is an interesting and intriguing matchup against the Kroenke’s, who normally do battle with a known entity over the course of many years in a war of attrition. Now, they are in direct competition with an appealing tech billionaire, who brilliantly broadsided the father and son duo with a single tweet that immediately got the support of the fans.
Oh, how the Kroenke’s were out of their comfort zone having failed to make any connection with supporters on any level since Stan came onboard a winning ship back in 2007. Anyone who has sporting ventures called Rapids, Nuggets, and Avalanche was bound to look for a purchase that was beyond mocking and Arsenal stood out from the moment he was introduced to the club by David Dein.
At no point has Kroenke senior ever shown any interest in Arsenal Football club beyond scanning its profit and loss data. He referred to the club as a “brand” and pronounced that he “wasn’t in football to win trophies”, hardly what you want to hear from a new owner. Since then, the fans have despised him from afar and with the proposal of the Super League and news that the gunners have £154m in outstanding transfer fees, he will be despised with even greater intensity.
Ek has acted cleverly by mobilising the fans’ aspirations and including the three legends from the Invincible’s into the mix (Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira) was music to the fans’ ears. By confirming on American TV that he already has the funds he needs, Ek seems serious enough to the average fan.
He also made a point of announcing his credentials as an 8-year-old child attending matches which will make a change from Josh Kroenke’s vain attempt to sound knowledgeable at a recent meeting with fans by including Stoke in the conversation. Of all the teams to mention, Josh Kroenke picked Stoke.
Moreover, Thierry Henry told Sky Sports that the Spotify owner has reached out to the Kroenke’s and will soon submit a formal bid to buy the North London club. Ek is expected to make an offer of £1.8bn for Arsenal Football club by the end of this week.
Ek also confirmed his intentions to fight a long battle if necessary, almost like the heir in waiting whilst the Kroenke’s blandly repeated their tired and unconvincing message that the club was not for sale. Now, Kroenke is either genuine or purely biding his time for the right price. Let’s not forget that during these uncertain times and without a Super League gravy train to jump on, he may want to sell to bolster his American business.
No one wants to buy Nuggets unless it’s in a takeaway, but Arsenal would appeal to any buyer with its history and past pedigree, even if the buyer were another non-football fan who wanted to run it like Walmart. Incidentally, his Wife’s family owns that.
Fans want someone emotionally invested to own their club and Daniel Ek appears to fit that profile, but expect this to be an ongoing saga, one which will suit Stan Kroenke, who is under no immediate pressure to offload the club and already has the keys to the castle.