Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp has confirmed that Daniel Ek has reached out twice to Stan and Josh Kroenke in an attempt to buy the club.
The Spotify co-founder expressed an interest in buying the Gunners from their American owners in the aftermath of their decision to sign the club up to the European Super League without any consultation of fans.
Despite reports suggesting that Ek was still yet to make any official bid, the Swedish billionaire took to social media last week to confirm that he had in fact made an offer to buy the club, only to see it turned down by Josh Kroenke.
And now Bergkamp, who Ek has sought to involve in the takeover along with fellow Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira, has revealed that the Swede has reached out for a second time in an attempt to begin talks to purchase the club, but that the Kroenkes have again refused to even entertain the offer.
“I understand that, in addition to that offer, Daniel [Ek] has now reached out twice to Josh Kroenke and his bankers,” said the Dutchman to Voetbal International.
“Whatever Kroenke’s intentions are, it would be good if we at least have a conversation with each other. In the interest of the club.
“Regardless, Daniel is not a quitter and neither are we football boys. We are here to stay.”
Bergkamp also revealed that he, along with Henry and Vieira, had been contacted by the Swede who had put forward proposals for more fan involvement in the running of the club.
“Daniel has been an Arsenal fan all his life. A real. He also appeared to be worried about the downturn at the club for some time. When the Super League dominated the news for days, Daniel just about exploded. That was when he wanted to continue and contact us,” Bergkamp added.
“During a Zoom meeting with Thierry, Patrick and I, he shared his concerns and plans with us. That made an impression from the first moment.
“It immediately became clear to me how deep the supporter relationship is with Daniel. I think that’s important: Daniel doesn’t see a takeover as buying a nice toy. On the contrary. He understands the passion of a football fan. Because he is one himself.
“He also wants to significantly increase the influence of the fans. Among other things by giving them a place in the club management. We think that is very important. We want to get close to the supporters.”
Since the Kroenkes took over at Arsenal the club have fallen from a regular Champions League side to one that may not qualify for Europe at all for the first time in 25 years.
Bergkamp went on to bemoan this decline and stated that he felt it was symbolic of a loss in Arsenal’s DNA that has occurred in recent years.
“After I left the club I always kept in touch with Thierry [Henry] and Patrick [Vieira]. And of course I continued to follow the games of Arsenal. I have played an important part of my career there, I have had a testimonial there. The club is in my heart, I have become a fan of players.
“Just like Patrick and Thierry, I recognise the Arsenal from our own time less and less. The ambition to win top prizes is in Arsenal’s DNA. Never accepting loss.
“That mentality has slowly disappeared. I sense resignation about the current situation. That is serious.
“As if, given the financial situation, it is normal for Arsenal to end in the middle bracket. That does not belong to this club. Arsenal’s DNA must be restored.”
When asked about the specifics of how he, Henry and Vieira would actually be involved in the day-to-day running of the club should Ek’s proposed takeover go ahead though, Bergkamp remained relatively vague, stating that he wanted the deal to be completed first before thinking about that.
“Football, passion and ambition must again be central. We have plenty of ideas about the technical details, but it makes little sense to anticipate them now,” he said.
“First, Daniel has to come to a takeover. After that, it would make sense to use the knowledge we have gained during and after our careers.
“We are ready and so is Daniel. Fans are thrilled. Now the current club management.”
Source by Football London