Bergkamp says Arsenal legends 'here to stay' in bid to buy club


Bergkamp says Arsenal legends 'here to stay' in bid to buy club

Dennis Bergkamp has warned Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and a consortium of iconic former players in their attempt to buy the club "are here to stay."

Following the demise of the European Super League last month, Swedish billionaire Ek expressed an interest in purchasing Arsenal, a club he has sponsored since he was eight years old.

The 38-year-old has the full support of Arsenal legends such as Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, and Patrick Vieira, but he announced last week that his original bid to buy the club was turned down.


      Ek, on the other hand, is not giving up hope of persuading Kroenke to sell, and Bergkamp, repeating Henry's previous remarks, acknowledges it will be a lengthy process.

      "We can't make someone sell. That's something I understand "Bergkamp explained to Voetbal International. "In addition to that bid, Daniel has now contacted Josh Kroenke and his bankers twice.

      "Whatever Kroenke's motives are, it would be in the best interests of the club if we could at least talk to each other.

      "Daniel, on the other hand, is not a quitter, and neither are we, football boys. We want to stay. The bizarre thing is that we have no idea how the current players feel.

      "We've all competed for the championship. We understand how the fans feel. We've also met with a delegation of supporters.

      "We sense a growing amount of excitement on their part. That is really energizing."

      Since the Kroenke's took over as majority owner of Arsenal in April 2011, the club's only significant trophy triumphs have been four FA Cup victories.

      Their best league finish was second in 2015-16, but they have not finished in the top four since and could miss out on European football for the first time in 26 years next season.

      Bergkamp understands Arsenal fans' anger as they prepare to demonstrate against the new government ahead of Sunday's home match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

      "I played an important part of my career at Arsenal and had a testimonial there," said the Dutchman, who won three Premier League titles with the Gunners, including the legendary 'Invincibles' season in 2003-04.

      "My heart belongs to the club. I, including Patrick and Thierry, have become fans of players. I'm starting to recognize the Arsenal from our own era.

      "They need to win major awards is in Arsenal's DNA. Never admit defeat. That mindset has gradually faded.

      "I'm feeling a sense of resignation about the present situation. That is a serious matter. As though, considering their financial situation, Arsenal should be expected to finish in the center of the pack.

      "That is not a member of this club. The DNA of Arsenal must be restored."

      Ek's personal fortune is estimated to be worth around £3.4 billion, making a takeover possible if Kroenke is persuaded to leave.

      Bergkamp says Arsenal legends 'here to stay' in bid to buy club

      "Daniel has been an Arsenal fan his whole life and has been concerned about the club's decline for some time," Bergkamp said. "Daniel almost exploded as the Super League dominated the headlines for days.

      "That's when he decided to keep going and contact us. He expressed his concerns and plans with Thierry, Patrick, and me during a Zoom meeting. That made an immediate impression on me.

      "Daniel's dedication to the club was instantly apparent to me. That, I believe, is significant: Daniel does not regard a takeover as a purchase of a pleasant toy. Quite the opposite.

      "He knows a football fan's love because he is one himself. He also wishes to greatly increase the power of fans. Among other items, they will be given a role in the club's management. That is really important to us.

      "We want to get close to the fans. Daniel, on the other hand, prefers openness. Just look at how he talks about it on Twitter, where everyone can see it.

      "Another critical point is that Daniel recognizes that Arsenal's problems cannot be solved in this manner. Adding more funds and firing the boss, for example, would not get you there.

      "Changes in the structure are needed. This is Arsenal's foundation. This is a large-scale, long-term project.

      "Regardless of the amount of money involved in English football, Arsenal is and will remain a football club that must be managed as such at all levels."

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