Arsenal Qatari takeover: Experts examine public buyout as fans expect heavy investment

Arsenal have experienced an increase in takeover rumours over the course of the past year. Despite KSE owner Stan Kroenke’s seemingly unwavering position that the club is not for sale, he has faced offers.

Initially, Daniel Ek, Spotify CEO, had a reported £1.8 billion offer rejected. Ek confirmed via social media that Josh Kroenke had informed them “they don’t need the money.”

Ek maintained he would “remain interested should the situation ever change.”

So far nothing from the Kroenke perspective has changed despite the continual decline and poor results of the club. However, a new potential buyer looked to of seemingly emerged.

Through some cryptic online tweets, the former President of Qatari club Al Arabi, Khalifah Bin Hamad Al Thani, appeared to address KSE writing on the 24 th August:

‘I think it’s time to sell.’

‘The situation is getting worse than bad.’

‘London red.’

This was then followed up with another tweet a day later which read alongside a picture of the Arsenal logo:

‘The rest of time..’

‘7 months’

Naturally, this led to a reaction from Arsenal supporters speculating that Arsenal could soon experience yet another takeover bid.

Who is Khalifah Bin Hamad Al Thani?

The Fan Brands team spoke with Ahmed Hashim, the editor at Qatar Football Live. Hashim explained some of the confusion around the identity of the Sheikh.

“Although he is from the Al Thani tribe, he’s not a member of the ruling branch. People get confused between him and the Amir’s brother, who also happens to be named Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad,” said Hashim.

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Information on Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Thani is hard to find, likely leading many to confuse him with a member of another branch.

What is known is how active he is on social media. His links with Paris Saint Germain were particularly highlighted during their pursuit and eventual acquisition of Lionel Messi.

How likely are the chances of a takeover?

Fan Brands also spoke with Qatari football expert Mitch Freeley who had extreme doubts about the prospect of a takeover.

“I personally don’t think this is something that is going to happen anytime soon,” said Freeley.

“I feel that Qatar has significant investments in PSG and that investment in PSG is far more important than going with Arsenal. I feel that they have invested too much there for them to invest again in another club.

“I think that there is a certain element of ‘for show’ here. People do this to gain social media clout. He is obviously very cryptic and strange in his tweets.

“It is some kind of posturing, but I realistically think that the serious money in Qatar would not be looking to invest in Arsenal football club as of now.”



Many Arsenal fans have been protesting to bring an end to the Kroenke's regime at the club.
Many Arsenal fans have been protesting to bring an end to the Kroenke’s regime at the club.

Ahmed Hashim concurred with Freeley, in particular about the style of the tweets he had been using.

“Considering everything, I don’t think he is serious about buying Arsenal or any club for that matter, because in these times, I don’t see an individual from the Middle East buy a club like that. State-owned funds are a different thing altogether,” said Hashim.

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“In this particular case, he hasn’t even actually suggested that he is thinking about buying, but like most of his tweets over the past few weeks, it seems he’s just having fun on Twitter.

“It’s also clear he is not exactly fluent in English or Spanish and is using some translator or dictionary, and we all know things can get lost in translation. Sadly, for a lot of fans who are desperate to hear good news about their club or favourite player, they take it too seriously. I’d suggest they don’t.”



Sportify CEO Daniel Ek made his interest in buying Arsenal very public through media appearances and social media posts.
Sportify CEO Daniel Ek made his interest in buying Arsenal very public through media appearances and social media posts.

Interestingly, similarly to Daniel Ek’s proposed takeover, this is occurring very publicly. Whether this is simply an indication of a change in the way multi-billion takeovers are changing is far too early with too few examples to know.

However, it is interesting that where previously these types of discussions would have been conducted very privately and behind closed doors, they now appear to be happening across social media.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger previously said that this type of tactic would not be beneficial for the buying party.

“Once you announce things, you have a mountain to climb after. Nobody wants to give in, and I think it is better always if you do your deal, then when it is done you come out and tell people what you want,” said the former coach.

KSE seem ingrained at the club with no sign of a possible sale in sight. The tweets from the Sheikh have caused a storm on social media but without news of an official bid remain, for now, just words.

How genuine do you believe the rumoured takeover hints are? Follow our new Arsenal Fan Brands Writer Tom Canton to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source by Football London

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