Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, is whipping up a PR frenzy in the media. He wants to buy Arsenal and he’s going in with Bergkamp, Thierry, and Vieira.
The fee they are talking about is £1.8b.
That’s where the story ends for me.
Some reasons it won’t work.
KSE don’t sell. Never have done. They have gone on the record 500 times to say that is their business philosophy. There’s no reason to doubt their stubborn desire to be good at this one thing.
If Stan and his family can ride the pressure of screwing over their hometown by moving a franchise to LA, do you really think pressure in Europe will register?
Daniel Ek Wealth
Now, you always have to take Forbes numbers with a pinch of salt, Donald Trump faked his value for years. But Daniel Ek is worth about $4.7b and Stan is worth nearly double. Factor in Stan’s marriage into the Walton family and you start to see the difference.
Stan doesn’t need the money. He doesn’t want the money. If he was flat out broke, he has the ability to find whatever he needs with a couple of phone calls.
Billionaires are dick swingers. Stan selling out to someone he perceives to be of smaller wealth, in a country as hierarchical as America, feels like a stretch.
Put it this way, if Stan wouldn’t sell to Alisher Usmanov because he was Russian affiliated, do you think he’ll be selling to a European tech guy?
Myself and a few other bloggers were approached by a group repping a Qatari Family in 2017 about a huge bid they were preparing. £2b was the number. I don’t think they ever formally bid for the club because Stan blew out Usmanov who also wanted to expand his holding.
If Arsenal were for sale, Daniel Ek would not get near it for £1.8b. I am not in the football club market, but a London club, with the lowest debt in Super League 12, elite training facilities, classy brand, in a prime spot in London… well, you’d be looking at £3.5b plus to even get near what Arsenal would be worth to an owner that doesn’t want to sell.
Football isn’t a rational business. We would be an ego purchase. That would mean a mega premium. Buying Arsenal is not for business people, it’s for people with too much money to spend who want a hobby, to whitewash a shocking reputation, or to sell plane tickets to their desert paradise tourist spots.
I would absolutely LOVE Daniel Ek to buy Arsenal and save us from hell, but honestly, I think there’s a higher chance we sign Lio Messi this summer. We’re stuck with KSE forever and it’s painful to know that.
Business or pleasure?
Final thing. We have been run by sustainability merchants for 15 years. It has gotten us nowhere. We are in the top 10 net spenders in Europe. It has taken us to 10th.
Daniel Ek brings data smarts to the table you couldn’t imagine. He’s a branding genius. He’s a commercial powerhouse. But he’d still have to bring Arsenal back to life the hard way. He’s not going to pump a billion into a club that can’t repay him.
Petro-dollars is the only way you get to the level of investment we need right now. If you’re getting into bed with a consortium, that means three things:
- Shared leadership of the project. Lots of cooks.
- There’s not a lot of spare cash swilling around
- A return will be desired
It’s also slightly different to Liverpool. They have a sports club buying engine called RedBall. It’s a monster filled with sporting experts like Billy Beane and Lebron James. Arsenal need more than big names on the board to get back to the top, especially on a budget.
But let’s see how serious his plan is. Let’s read the documents. Just promise me one thing? Don’t get too excited. The chances of this being anything more than good PR are very, very slim.
Flo Balogun has signed a new deal with Arsenal. A superb bit of good news and full credit to Edu and Arteta for making that happen. Arsenal is a project in flux, one of the reasons we’re in such a mess is the lack of smarts around contracts with young players. Some of the hottest names in Europe left us for little to nothing. Keeping Flo in the family for the foreseeable stems the flow of bad news on that front.
The player has it all to be the striker Arteta needs. I think he’s an imposing number 9 that makes clever runs, he’s strong, he’s fast, he truly believes he belongs at the level, and he’s deadly in front of goal.
Our frontline, if it develops at the rate it is currently, really could be something special in the next three seasons. What is very interesting is the player sees himself making an impact at Arsenal NOW.
‘My ambitions for next season are to make an impact in the first team. I see it as something that I’ve taken upon myself to be able to go over there & make an impact, not just be one of the numbers’
That means players are leaving. No more Lacazette. No more Eddie. If that’s the case, we really should be making sure our Thursday night line-up is reflective of where we’re going, not where we’ve been.
Now we have to move and make sure Kido Taylor Hart and ESR are tied down.
Wherever this season takes us, it is promising that we have one of the most exciting groups of players coming through in the league.