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Thierry Henry has laid down the gauntlet to Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke – saying he and Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek are "here to stay."
Ek and Henry were spotted together at the Emirates on Sunday as Arsenal thumped Tottenham 3-1 in the North London Derby.
It's the first time the Swedish billionaire has been spotted at the ground since a takeover bid was turned down by the Kroenkes.
Henry's presence alongside Ek at the weekend set tongues wagging among Arsenal fans, especially given the Frenchman revealed back in May that he and other club legends had been approached by the Swede as part of a takeover bid.
Appearing on Monday Night Football ahead of Brighton's clash with Crystal Palace, Henry was asked to provide an update on Ek's takeover bid.
Arsenal's record goalscorer reaffirmed his and Ek's commitment to a takeover, but suggested current owners Kroenke Sports and Entertainment aren't currently playing ball.
"To be able to get there you need to have someone to respond on the other side. It hasn't happened yet," revealed Henry.
"He is here to stay, so let's see what is going to happen.
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"But for the moment we enjoyed the win yesterday.
Pressed on whether there is any dialogue between Ek and Kroenke at the current time, Henry replied: "I think it's going to be long now.
"I think you remember I said that it was going to be long.
"How long it's going to be, I don't actually know, but we are here to stay."
Of particular interest during the discussion was Henry's use of the word 'we', suggesting that he remains involved behind the scenes.
The Frenchman has said in the past that it was Ek's promise to have fans involved in the club's ownership which got him interested, along with fellow Gunners heroes Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp.
He said: "When we knew first and foremost that he wanted to involve the fans, exactly what we talked about, we actually met the Arsenal Supporters' Trust and told them what we wanted to do – bring them back on board, being part of the meetings, knowing what's happening, because you've got to put the DNA back into the club.
"The golden share that I'm talking about."
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Ek first announced his intention to launch a takeover of the club amid outrage at Stan Kroenke following the collapse of the European Super League.
The music streaming pioneer took to Twitter to make his interest public.
"As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember," he wrote at the time.
"If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring."
The owners subsequently released a statement reaffirming their commitment to Arsenal, but that didn't deter Ek who doubled down and said he was preparing an offer.
KSE later said that no offer had been received for the Gunners, but the Swede disputed this.
"Inaccurate reports emerged today saying I have not made a bid for Arsenal Football Club," Ek said, posting social media.
"I think it's important to correct the record – this week an offer was made to both Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at board and a golden share for the supporter.
"They replied that they don’t need the money.
"I remain interested should that situation ever change."
As it stands, it seems the Kroenkes still have no intention of letting Arsenal leave their ownership.
- Arsenal FC
- Premier League
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