Arsenal are for sale just days after Stan Kroenke insisted he would not entertain any offers for the club.
Swedish Spotify billionaire Daniel Ek last week threw his hat into the ring and said he is preparing a bid for control of Arsenal.
And word on the international investment circuit is that Arsenal have effectively been on the market — for about two years.
The Mail on Sunday understands it is less then two years since Kroenke’s Denver-based holding company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) received an approach from an international financial consortium.
Rather than rebuff talks, as previously had been the case with the Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov and Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, the interested party were told KSE would entertain bids in the region of £1.7billion. A deal could not be made on that occasion but it did show that everyone has a price, despite what Kroenke said last week.
In a statement the Kroenke family said: ‘We remain 100 per cent committed to Arsenal and are not selling any stake in the club. We will not entertain any offer.’
Arsenal supporter groups have called on the club’s fans to assemble outside the stadium for a second ‘Kroenke Out’ protest this Thursday, before the club’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal. Manager Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, insists he does not fear the sack going into the biggest week of his short managerial career but admits everything that could be going wrong is going wrong.
The Spanish coach takes his battle-weary squad to a rejuvenated Newcastle today, with reversing a 2-1 deficit in Thursday night’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal the obvious priority. Arteta has defended the club on all fronts in recent weeks, with fan protests against American owners morphing from Kroenke Out into Arteta Out.
His team are struggling in mid-table and facing their worst season in 26 years but, when asked if he fears the sack, Arteta said: ‘Well, I don’t want to think that way. I want to think that we are going to be in that [Europa League] final and then we are going to have really positive consequences after that game.
‘Consistency in results in the Premier League is very different to the Europa League, where we have been very consistent. We try to be as clear as we can in our messages.
‘There are some games where we have started really well and not finished that well. I don’t think there has been a pattern over the season.’