It seemed a good day to bury the bad news that Spotify had emailed all their subscribers informing them of a hefty price hike. Students will be charged 20 per cent more. Families will see their monthly rate increase by 13 per cent.
But look over there everyone! Quick! Look! Daniel Ek our founder is teaming up with Arsenal’s Invincibles and is going to try to buy his beloved club from those evil owners the Kroenke family who tried to destroy English football as we know it. And who, incidentally, made clear in a supporters meeting last week they had absolutely no intention whatsoever of selling the club.
Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira, players who remind fans of those nostalgic, heady old days, are assisting with enquiries.
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Generally, serious attempts to purchase football clubs in multi-billion-pound deals are done as covertly as possible. Ek told everyone on Twitter.
“As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember,” he tweeted last Friday. “If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat into the ring.”
The Invincibles involvement is a fabulously fun story first revealed by the Daily Telegraph. But do the numbers actually add up? Does £2bn plus three Arsenal Invincibles equal a club takeover?
Forbes estimate Arsenal is worth around £2bn and that Ek, who retains a nine per cent stake in the music streaming service he created in 2006, has a net worth of £3.3bn. Just suppose Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is prepared to sell Arsenal for the exact asking price, is Ek seriously prepared to stake 60 per cent of his wealth on a football club in decline? And when people have no intention of selling something, its value tends to increase substantially.
Arsenal supporters, meanwhile, might want to be careful what they wish for, given the queue of music artists who believe Ek has exploited their hard work for his own gain.
Tim Burgess, lead singer of the Charlatans, lead the charge on Monday. “So many artists forced to take second jobs, give up flats because they can’t pay their rent all while getting decent numbers of plays on @spotify – yet the owner has enough to bid for a premier league team. It just doesn’t seem ethical to me,” he tweeted.
Adding: “Fun fact: An artist on a standard record deal (24%) would need 100,000 plays in order to have the funds to buy a non member ticket to a Category A Arsenal game.”
By my calculations, artists would need 100,000,000,000 plays to sign a world-leading football player. Unless, of course, my numbers don’t add up either.
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