Philippe Auclair has been speaking on the latest episode of the On The Ball Football podcast, where he claimed prospective new Arsenal owner Daniel Ek is not the answer to the club’s ongoing problems.
Fans of the north London outfit have been protesting against Stan Kroenke and his holding company, Kroenke Sports Enterprise, after they announced their intentions to join the failed European Super League.
After a huge backlash from the supporters, the hierarchy withdrew from the new competition just 48 hours later, but the damage was already done as far as the fans were concerned.
Since then, Spotify owner Ek has tweeted: “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,” and has reportedly joined forces with club legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira in an attempt to purchase the 13-time English champions.
However, Auclair has major reservations surrounding the 38-year-old entrepreneur due to his reputation within the music industry.
He said: “They think that Arsenal would have an owner who, this time, would be able to bankroll the club and to invest money, and that would change and therefore will improve the results.
“And then of course, if you have people like Bergkamp and Vieira and Henry, three of the greatest players – not just of Arsenal, but in the history of Premier League and of English football – with you, obviously you look at it in a completely different way from Kroenke.
“Stan [is] in Colorado and Josh, everybody seems to detest, so it’s a difference, but it’s not a difference. It’s part of the same problem and not necessarily part of a solution.”
TIF Thoughts on Arsenal’s potential takeover…
It’s widely reported that Spotify pays music artists far, far less than 1p per stream, so any illusion that Ek is a multi-billionaire who also has people’s best interests at heart are perhaps a myth.
The Swedish entrepreneur is believed to be worth 4.7 billion US dollars (£3.38bn) according to Forbes, and would therefore presumably have no problem in purchasing Arsenal at their supposed £2bn valuation.
Having club legends on the board or in a co-ownership role would arguably help keep the club’s best interests central to any decision-making process, but ultimately Ek is a businessman, just like the Kroenkes, and Auclair’s apprehension is easy to understand.