Soccer

Henry’s timeframe over sealing Arsenal takeover after Daniel Ek “reaches out”

Arsenal are one of several Premier League clubs whose ownership is in dispute following the failure of the European Super League, and Thierry Henry has confirmed rumours of a takeover bid.

Henry, 43, has thrown his support behind Spotify co-founder and chief executive Daniel Ek, who is expected to launch a £1.8 billion offer for the north London outfit this week.

However, the Gunners legend has warned any potential purchase of his old club will be “long, and not easy.”

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Henry opened up on Ek’s insistence to get a deal across the line: "The takeover is going to be long, and not easy. And Daniel will not move away, he will be there waiting to see if they want to sell. That's 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 take over, if they are listening.”

Henry—who scored 228 goals in 376 appearances for Arsenal—also confirmed his role in the bid, adding Swedish billionaire Ek has already made contact with the current owners: "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. Because I want the club to be run a bit better and the fans to be involved. It is not so much only about what's happening on the field, it is what's happening off the field. And the fans are not happy about it.”

Henry added Ek’s intention to involve the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and “reinject the Arsenal DNA” was another reason why he supports the potential takeover. Former team-mates Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp are also reported to be among Ek's supporters.

The club’s current proprietor, Stan Kroenke, has been criticised for Arsenal’s proposed role in the breakaway European Super League. Arsenal would have been one of 12 ‘founder’ clubs in the competition, six of whom hailed from England.

Kroenke made his initial Arsenal investment in 2007 but took a majority share in 2011, going on to become the sole shareholder in 2018.

The 73-year-old boasts a sports empire that also includes the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL and Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids.

Some sections of the Arsenal support consider Kroenke out of touch with the club. The decision to make 55 club staff redundant at the end of last season was widely criticised, particularly as it came one week before the Gunners signed 32-year-old Willian to a lucrative three-year deal.

Results have by and large worsened since Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign as manager ended in 2018, with the club possibly failing to qualify for European football for the first time since 1996.

The Gunners currently trail Villarreal 2-1 entering the second leg of their semi-final in the Europa League, which looks like their last route back into either European tournament next season.

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