Mikel Arteta says owners have made their commitment to Arsenal ‘very clear’

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Mark Mann-Bryans, PA
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hopeful a strong statement from the club’s owners will end speculation surrounding a potential takeover bid from Spotify founder Daniel Ek.

Swedish billionaire Ek last week sent a tweet saying he would be interested in purchasing the Premier League club, which is owned by Stan Kroenke through his Kroenke Sports and Entertainment (KSE) business.

But any potential deal looks to have been scuppered following a staunch response from the Gunners’ American ownership, who say they have not received any bids.

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“In recent days we have noted media speculation regarding a potential takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club,” read a KSE statement.

“We remain 100 per cent committed to Arsenal *and are not selling* any stake in the club.”

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final first-leg tie against Villarreal, Arteta was pleased with the response.

“It closes a lot of the speculation regarding what could happen because they moved straight away and made very clear lines of their understanding and what they want to do with the football club,” he said.

“We spoke to them and I think it was very clear. They have shown their commitment and ambition to the football club because we all want a successful team on the pitch. It was very clear and took any doubt out of the situation.”

Asked if the takeover talk, coupled with fan protests against Kroenke ahead of Friday’s Premier League defeat to Everton, could cause a distraction ahead of their last-four tie, Arteta replied: “A lot of talks and a lot of speculation has been surrounding the situation the last week or so.

Czech Republic Soccer Europa League
Arteta’s Gunners reached the Europa League last four with a quarter-final victory over Slavia Prague (Petr David Josek/AP)

“Our fans raised their voices during the match against Everton, but now we have a clear and committed statement from the ownership, so I think that is gone when they said what they did (on Tuesday night).

“I cannot control the speculation and what is going on.

“What I like to know and talk about is the reality and the reality is that we have owners who are really, really committed and want a successful team on the pitch and are going to do everything on the pitch to achieve that.”