Mikel Arteta: Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke ‘fully excited and committed’ to club amid takeover talk

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Simon Collings
·3-min read
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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is “fully excited and committed” to the club and fans would be surprised if they met him.

Kroenke is currently under pressure to sell Arsenal after Spotify’s billionaire founder, Daniel Ek, teamed up with Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to try and buy the club.

Kroenke is adamant his company, Kroenke Sports Entertainment (KSE), have no plans to sell and they released a statement yesterday evening confirming their position.

Arteta has also spoken with the club’s owners, who reiterated their commitment to him, and he believes fans would be surprised by Kroenke if they met him.

Kroenke’s son, Josh, attended a fans forum last week, but supporters have only caught glimpses of Stan at the now-defunct AGMs.

And asked this morning if Kroenke should speak to the fans, Arteta said: “If we all feel that is necessary and that would be helpful, I’m sure they (KSE) would do anything it takes to bring the fans closer to them.

“If they (the fans) get the opportunity to know them (KSE), I think most of them would be surprised.

“We spoke to them and I think it was very clear, they showed their commitment to the football club and showed ambition to the football club - because we all want a successful team on the pitch. I think it was very clear and took any doubt out of the situation.

“I said from the beginning what my perception was, everything that I sense, all the communications I have with them and they are fully excited and committed to this project, and they really want to push everybody to do what we want to do.”

Talk of a takeover has been rumbling on since last Friday, when Ek made his interest known via Twitter, but Arteta is aiming to keep his players focused on their Europa League semi-final with Villarreal.

The Gunners are travelling to Spain for the first leg tomorrow and they have been boosted by the news Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all in contention to play.

The match will see Arteta come up against his predecessor, Unai Emery, who he revealed this morning he spoke to before taking the Arsenal job.

“I spoke to him a few times because we have people in common,” said Arteta. “I spoke with him before I took the club and he was really helpful.

“He offered me that opportunity which is sometimes unusual. He was very sincere and open and I was very grateful for that.”

Despite KSE insisting Arsenal is not for sale, Ek is not expected to drop his interest in buying the club.

The Swede however, in the words of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, has “a mountain to climb” after news of his bid went public.

Wenger, who was speaking on BeIN Sports last night, commended his former players for being involved in the consortium and he even tentatively offered his expertise if they were required.

The Frenchman, however, also warned that it will be very difficult for Ek to buy Arsenal given the public nature of his approach.

“I like the fact that former people of the club run the club,” said Wenger .

“And basically you two have examples in the football world - former players who run a club, like at Bayern, or big investors who buy a club, like Man City.

“You have all different kinds. I personally, because I am a football man, like the fact that former Arsenal players takeover and have advice.

“For the project, the best deals are made when nobody knew about it and you come out and it is done.

“Once you announce things, you have a mountain to climb after. Nobody wants to give in and I think it is better always if you do your deal, then when it is done you come out and tell people what you want.”

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