Arsenal are reportedly on the market despite owner Stan Kroenke insisting only days ago he would not listen to offers for the club.
Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek – a boyhood Gunners fan – expressed his interest in a takeover last week, with club legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira believed to be backing his bid.
This prompted American billionaire Kroenke to release a statement saying he is “100 per cent committed” to Arsenal and will “not sell any stake”.
While Ek was undeterred by the hands-off warning, it has emerged that Arsenal have actually been up for sale for the last two years.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) were approached by an international financial consortium in 2019.
Rather than reject the approach outright, the report claims the interested party were told KSE would consider bids in the region of £1.7billion.
While a deal never materialised, the episode shows that Kroenke’s stance is not as unwavering as he claimed a few days ago.
The revelation that Arsenal are on the market comes as Kroenke faces increasing backlash from fans for his role in setting up the European Super League (ESL).
The 73-year-old was appointed one of four vice-chairmen of the controversial breakaway division, which collapsed within 48 hours of its unveiling.
Meanwhile, thousands of Gunners supporters descended on the Emirates to voice their opposition to their club’s ownership ahead of the defeat by Everton last month.
Would you like to see Daniel Ek take over Arsenal? Have your say in the comments.
Kroenke has long been an unpopular figure in the eyes of many fans and the ESL fiasco heightened tensions, with some at the protest stringing up a dummy with the banner “Silence Stan?”
Meanwhile, Swedish billionaire Ek remains intent on wresting control of Arsenal and is said to be preparing a mammoth bid.