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Music to fans’ ears? Spotify’s owner plans to buy Arsenal FC

The billionaire owner of Spotify is allegedly in the running to buy Arsenal FC, with the support of a few of the club’s legends.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Swedish billionaire Daniel Ek, who made his money from Spotify, is poised to make a takeover bid for Arsenal FC, with the support of formers players Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, and Patrick Vieira.

This news comes the week following the Super League debacle, in which six English clubs joined six others from Europe in declaring their ambition to form a new prestigious international football competition from which they could not be relegated or disqualified. Immediately and vociferously decried by fans, the media, and prominent politicians as an anti-competitive farce, the plans were dropped almost as soon as they’d been proposed, but the detractors’ anger lingers on.

With Arsenal fans being so resentful of their current majority-owner, the American billionaire Stan Kroenke, both for the attempt at a breakaway league and for long-standing claims of underinvestment and underperformance by the club, the news of a takeover could be widely welcomed — especially given the involvement of three members of the legendary ‘Invincibles’ team that went unbeaten in the 2003/04 Premier League season.

As for Daniel Ek, the Swedish streaming supremo claims to have been an Arsenal fan for his whole life, implying that both passion and pounds would be poured into Arsenal should he become the owner.

Incidentally, fans of music rather than Arsenal will be more annoyed by the fact that Spotify raised its membership price on the same day the news broke, with Premium Student and Premium Duo subscriptions costing £1 more, and the Premium Family subscription going up by £2. Will we see the results of that increase in Arsenal’s fabled transfer budget “war chest”? Time can only tell…

The controversy over the Super League has prompted deeper questioning over the nature of football club ownership, with many wondering whether English football would be better off if it adopted a fan-ownership model similar to that in Germany, rather than placing the fate of historic institutions in the hands of extremely wealthy individuals. If the recently-inspired solidarity stays strong, perhaps all clubs can hope for a future that is more secure (and solvent). 

 

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