Billionaire Arsenal Owner Won’t Sell After Breakaway Fiasco
(Bloomberg) -- American billionaire Stan Kroenke and his son Josh said they have no intention of selling Arsenal Football Club after fans reacted with anger to their plans to join an elite European league.
“We remain 100% committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club,” Kroenke Sports & Entertainment said in a statement Tuesday. “We have not received any offer and we will not entertain any offer.”
The statement comes after a tempestuous few days for Arsenal and the other five English clubs who signed up for the aborted Super League-project eight days ago. The uproar that erupted after the announcement had led to talk that some of the owners might consider selling their teams.
Spotify founder Daniel Ek said last week on social media that he’d be happy to “throw my hat in the ring” if Kroenke Sports was interested in selling. Media reports suggested former star players Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira would be part of an Ek bid.
Kroenke, who’s worth $9.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, owns all of the London-based team after taking it private several years ago in a deal valuing the club at $2.3 billion.
Arsenal fans have long complained about his ownership as the team slipped in the Premier League. Those protests have intensified since news of the Super League and last Friday several hundred fans gathered outside the team’s north London stadium with chants of “Kroenke out.”
The project, which also included Real Madrid and Barcelona would have granted permanent membership in the new system, removing uncertainty over the European Champions League — for which teams must qualify annually or risk losing broadcasting and sponsorship revenue. Arsenal are currently outside the places to qualify for that elite competition.
“Our ambition for Arsenal remains to compete to win the biggest trophies in the game and our focus remains on improving our competitiveness on the pitch to achieve this.”
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.