Arsenal legend changes tune on potential Daniel Ek takeover of Gunners

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Patrick Vieira had previously backed Daniel Ek to become Arsenal owner (Picture: Getty Images)

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has distanced himself from Daniel Ek’s proposed takeover of Arsenal, having backed the move earlier in the year.

The Arsenal legend was open in his support of the Swedish billionaire to buy the club, along with other Gunners icons Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, who were also in Ek’s camp.

Talk of a takeover by the Spotify co-founder has gone a bit quiet after a bid was turned down by the current owners in May, although Henry insisted that Ek is going nowhere, saying just last month that ‘he is here to stay.’

Vieira’s support has waned though, understandably as he has now taken over as Crystal Palace boss and his focus is entirely on the Eagles rather than Arsenal.

Asked about his previous support for Ek taking over from the Kroenke family, Vieira said: ‘I was just expressing myself as Patrick, ex-Arsenal football player.

‘That comment was based on how the direction (of the club) was going. I was talking to somebody who had a different view and a different way of taking (forward) Arsenal Football Club.

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Daniel Ek remains interested in buying Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

‘This was the reason why with Dennis and Thierry were involved in the kind of situation that Arsenal was in.

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‘I am in a different position than a couple of months ago. So I’m not going to express myself in the same way than when I was just an ex-Arsenal football player.’

Before Vieira returned to the Premier League as Palace manager, he spoke very positively of Ek’s interest in Arsenal.

‘After the time that I spent with Daniel, I personally believe it’s time for a change of ownership and I believe he is the right person to bring happiness back to this football club,’ Vieira told The Daily Mail in May.

‘We haven’t talked about ourselves. What is happening to this club at the moment is bigger than Dennis, Thierry or myself. We are concerned about how can we help Daniel, because we strongly believe he can take it to a different level.

Spotify Investor Day

Daniel Ek speaking at a Spotify Investor Day (Picture: Getty Images for Spotify)

‘We didn’t talk about what we will do if Daniel gets the club. We didn’t get into that conversation yet because that is not the priority. The priority is to give the club back its DNA and what it deserves.

‘What is really important is to understand the football club, the fans, the country where you are. We have this kind of credibility because we know what we are talking about because of the number of years we spend in England and at Arsenal. We have experience that we can bring to the football club.’

Ek was at the impressive 3-1 win over Tottenham last month with Henry, with the Frenchman providing an update on the Swede’s position on the proposed takeover on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football the following day.

Thierry Henry is still on board with Ek (Picture: Getty Images for Amazon Prime)

‘To be able to get there, you need to have someone respond on the other side,’ Henry told Sky Sports. ‘It hasn’t happened yet, but we and he is here to stay.

‘So, let’s see what’s going to happen. But for the moment, we enjoyed the win yesterday.

‘There’s no dialogue at the moment and I feel it’s going to be a long process. I said this the last time I was on the show [in May]. How long it’s going to be, I don’t actually know.

‘But we are here to stay.’


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