The Arsenal legend spoke on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football about Daniel Ek’s plans to launch a takeover bid.
Thierry Henry has confirmed that he is involved in Daniel Ek’s proposed takeover of Arsenal, admitting that “it’s going to take a very long time” but insists the Spotify founder wants to “inject Arsenal DNA” back into the club.
Sources involved in the proposed takeover told football.london last week that the approach is ‘serious’, explaining that Ek ‘sees himself as the solution to the problem’ at Emirates Stadium right now.
It’s also understood that Ek made the initial approach to Arsenal legends Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, after announcing on Twitter his intention to ‘throw his hat into the ring’ if Kroenke would be willing to sell.
The most recent Forbes evaluation, from May 2019, says the Gunners are valued at £1.8bn but that figure is certain to have changed in the two years since owing to a lack of Champions League football and the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is every word Henry said about Ek, Kroenke and the proposed takeover:
I know a lot of people wanted to hear about it. It is true. Daniel is an Arsenal fan. He didn’t say that for any publicity. He is an Arsenal fan for a very long time. He approached us, we listened to him.
When we knew first and foremost that he wanted to involve the fans, exactly what we talked about, we actually met the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and told them what we wanted to do – bring them back on board, being part of the meetings, knowing what’s happening, because you’ve got to put the DNA back into the club. The golden share that I’m talking about.
He wants to re-inject the Arsenal DNA, the identity that for me is long gone. You don’t have Arsenal people there amongst the board which can show the right direction – that’s what Daniel wants to do.
He already reached out, said himself that he has collected the funds to make sure that he can put a good bid. Now, they [KSE] obviously need to listen and see what they can do if they accept or don’t accept, but something that’s very important about it is that a lot of people have been screaming for the owner to go out. We are trying to offer a solution, involving the fans and the DNA back into the club. Let’s see where it’s going to go because at one point there needs to be a discussion, but they reached out.
Reached out, yeah. I don’t know how far they went into…
Not yet received or rejected?
Do we know numbers?
I don’t have that type of money to talk about it! No, but I cannot talk like that about how much it is. That’s going to be between Daniel and the Kroenke family, if they are there to entertain the bid.
First and foremost what you can see as a marketing guy, you can see what he’s done with his company and how far he’s pushed it. But more importantly he’s a fan, he wants to make sure the team can be what it used to be. At one point, let’s be honest, you can win or not win – look at Liverpool it took them how long to win a title. But along the way they never lost their identity. Liverpool fans always come together, always stick together and are always strong together. I don’t think that didn’t happen with Arsenal, that’s what he wants to bring, that’s what we want to bring – the identity and DNA of the club back and people that care about the club. Because like I said to you, if you had fans on the board that would never have happened with the European Super League.
What type of role would you, Bergkamp and Vieira have at the club if it happened?
First and foremost it’s going to be long and not easy. One thing I want to say is that Daniel will not move away. He will be there, waiting to see if they want to sell and he’ll be there with us.
That’s going to take a very long time. We know what we want to do but, first and foremost, we need to make sure that we take over, if they are listening.
Daniel is an honest man, transparent. Fans want to know what might happen at their club. We had a discussion with the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust and he was very open with them and he wants to be open.
He wants to buy the club, he reached out, and there is going to be a bid. If I wasn’t part of the bid, I would have backed it up from afar. Because I want the club to be run a bit better and the fans to be involved. It is not so much only about what’s happening on the field, it is what’s happening off the field. And the fans are not happy about it.