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Arsenal greats Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira are reportedly joining a new bid to buy the club from current owner Stan Kroenke.
The three members of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' season - all club legends - are apparently working with Spotify founder Daniel Ek, the billionaire who is preparing a formal offer to Kroenke. That's according to a new report from Matt Law in the Telegraph, who claims the news is "very real".
A prospective owner utilising club legends to gain fan support for a bid is a tried and trusted plan. But according to the report, Swedish entrepreneur Ek is serious about having the trio involved in the running of Arsenal FC.
"If Ek is successful, then it is understood Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira could all return to Arsenal to be part of the new set-up, with their knowledge of the club and the fanbase already proving invaluable to his plans," claims the Telegraph Sport report.
I have it on good authority that Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira have joined Daniel Ek in his bid to buy Arsenal FC and I am told it is very real. #afc Story: https://t.co/jKhk28kZ9k
- Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 26, 2021
Arsenal supporters have long been disgruntled with Kroenke's ownership of the club. But the recent European Super League farce - which saw six Premier League clubs announce they were part of the breakaway competition, before withdrawing days later - has led to protests at the Emirates and an increased desire to pressure 'Silent Stan' into selling.
The Gunners' record goalscorer Henry has been outspoken in his criticism of Arsenal's current ownership in the past week, saying he "did not recognise" the club in its current state.
Henry told the Telegraph: "This club belongs to the fans, I love the club and I will support the club until I die, but I do not recognise my club and what happened just now, with them trying to join a league that would have been closed, makes no sense to me.
"They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand. Maybe it's a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. But whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong."
Henry also pointed out the importance of supporter power when it comes to the club.
"Fans always decide, as you saw with the ESL," he explained. "You have to listen to the fans and I can understand why they protested.
"The ESL didn't happen because of the fans, not because anyone else was talking, Not only me, you and the fans said it was wrong, they [the owners] also said it was wrong. They showed their hand and that was disappointing."
Ek, who co-founded Spotify, has claimed on Twitter: "As a kid growing up, I've cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring."
There is no indication that KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) are in any way ready to sell.
But it will be interesting to see if three genuine Arsenal legends apparently joining Ek's bid will make a difference to Arsenal's future.
As a kid growing up, I've cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring.
- Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) April 23, 2021
All imagery: PA Images
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