Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has claimed that the Gunners must undergo a change in ownership in order to restore the club’s winning DNA.
The north London outfit is in turmoil, with supporters staging protests against owner Stan Kroenke, and Spotify owner Daniel Ek publicly stating his ambitions to buy the club which he claims to support.
Kroenke has already rejected one takeover bid from Ek in recent weeks, but the Swede remains undeterred and is calling on the owner to have a change of heart.
Arsenal legend Vieira agrees it is time for Kroenke to sell the club after 10 years at the helm, and has backed Ek in an interview with the Daily Mail to be the man to ‘bring happiness back’ to the Gunners.
The Frenchman is the third Gunners legend to speak out in favour of Ek, after Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp both supported the entrepreneur’s dreams of restoring Arsenal to the top of English football.
Here’s everything Vieira had to say about the proposed takeover, the current owners and Arsenal’s identity.
“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.
“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.
“The priority is to give the club back its DNA and what it deserves.
“Daniel can be the right person to bring back this union that you used to have at this club between the fans, players and the ownership. I found him to be someone who knew a lot about Arsenal, loved Arsenal and was a true Arsenal fan.
“I found somebody who really wanted to build something simple around the fans. That is something that pushed us to support him.”
“What Daniel will bring to this table is building the relationship with the fans. Having fans sitting on the board is something that Daniel is prepared to discuss. Having the fans understand that they are part of what Daniel will try to build, is really important.
“The fans will be part of this club. That is something that has to be a priority. When you look at Arsenal in the last couple of years and the gap that exists between the Kroenkes and the fans and the players, that is something really difficult in a club.
“He’s prepared to invest to make this club successful but it’s not to get a player for £300m and then waiting for him to make a difference. It’s about building a team.”
“Through the years, Arsenal has lost this kind of identity. People now realise that in losing Arsene, they lost more than a manager or coach. Arsene had a massive impact on Arsenal in every department. Since he left [in 2018] maybe there wasn’t the right people to fill all the positions that Arsene was doing.
“They brought a scouting guy [Sven Mislintat] from Germany who stayed a little bit. They brought this kind of CEO or sporting director [Raul Sanllehi] from Spain who didn’t stay very long.
“Losing Arsene and this kind of person coming into the club did not give the club the stability it needed to build a new era, a new foundation. It’s like building a house. You want to build a house on solid foundations. That is the biggest problem in the last couple of years at Arsenal.”
“The way the fans reacted to the Super League showed that football is about the heart, the passion for the game, about winning, losing, but football is for everybody. Leicester winning the FA Cup showed to the Premier League and the world that you can still be really successful with passion.
“I want the chairman, the players, the fans included. How many times did the Kroenkes go to a game to watch Arsenal play? I don’t have the answer but that is a question I would like to know. How many times have they been to see the players? How many times have they met with the fans? The answer will tell you how big the gap is between them and the fans.”