Spotify co-founder and CEO – and prospective new Arsenal owner – Daniel Ek simply doesn’t take no for an answer.
“The first job he applied for was at Google, they told him to go back to university to finish his degree. His reaction was basically ‘sod off, I’ll build my own search engine’. That tells you what kind of a man he is.”
So with that in mind, his sensational bid to buy Arsenal along with Gunners legends Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira won’t be something he just gives up on without a real fight.
There are the words of Swedish financial reporter Jens B Nordstrom, who has told talkSPORT Ek wants to ‘give it a real go’ with his rumoured Arsenal takeover, and could make it happen within the next two years.
One thing the Spotify mogul certainly doesn’t lack in self-confidence, nor ambition.
“I can dabble enough where most people would say, ‘Oh, this guy is really good,’” Ek said during an interview with Fast Company back in 2018.
So who is the Swedish billionaire entrepreneur who has expressed an interest in buying Arsenal amid strong fan protests against Stan Kroenke and KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment)?
talkSPORT.com takes a look below…
Who is Daniel Ek?
Ek certainly isn’t a one-trick pony – in fact, he’s far from it.
His first venture in the business world came at just the age of 13, when he started making websites for clients from his home.
The 38-year-old has enjoyed previous success with Nordic auction company Trader, which was acquired by eBay back in 2006.
Ek also started another company called Advertigo, an online advertising enterprise, who sold to TradeDoubler, in the same year.
In addition to this he served as the CTO of browser-based game and fashion community Stardoll.
Ek later founded Spotify in his native Stockholm in 2006, three years later it arrived in the US… and the rest is history.
How much is Daniel Ek worth?
A recent report by Forbes claimed Ek, a major shareholder in Spotify, is worth $4.7billion (£3.4bn).
Arsenal, meanwhile, are currently estimated to be worth $2.8billion (£2.02bn), which is a notable increase of 23 per cent over the past two years.
Is he really an Arsenal fan?
Well, yes – Ek is a proper Gooner.
In his recent Twitter post announcing his interest in buying the club, the Swede said he has ‘cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember’ and has supported the Gunners since he was a boy.
He is said to ‘eat, sleep and breathe’ Arsenal and reports even claim he watches Arsenal matches on his laptop during Spotify board meetings.
He has been described as ‘an Arsenal obsessive’ and has travelled to north London to watch games in person at Highbury and the Emirates Stadium.
Ek started supporting the Premier League side in the early 1990s, when Swedish star and his favourite player Anders Limpar moved to Highbury.
He revealed himself as an Arsenal fan in 2018, in a tweet following a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Good to know…
- He took engineering classes at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology – the MIT of Sweden, abbreviated KTH – but dropped out to focus on his IT career. Ironically, he launched a recruitment drive from KTH in question to build the technology team that created Spotify.
- Like many of us, Ek loves FIFA – the popular franchise football game created by EA Sports. He has a custom-designed PlayStation at home fitted with the Spotify logo. Only the best for the once Spotify FIFA champion!
- Ek married his long-term girlfriend in 2016 in a lavish wedding at Lake Como, Italy. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was one of the guests, Hollywood star Chris Rock officiated proceedings and Bruno Mars was his wedding singer!
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‘He usually gets his own way’ – Ek character profile
“He’s quiet and likes to have things his own way. I’ve spoken to him in public and said hello to him, but he’s always declined interviews,” Nordstrom told talkSPORT.
“This usually happens when people make a lot of money but he’s very private and doesn’t like the spotlight.
“This might be a shock if he does buy Arsenal as owning a Premier League football team means you are really in the limelight.
“You have fans that you have to listen to and he’d become much more of a public figure than he’s ever been.
“He’s a quiet guy but has a lot of patience. You can tell when you talk to him that he usually has a very set idea about what he wants to do and he usually states it quite openly.
“Usually, Daniel Ek gets his way in the end.”
Receiving backing from Henry, Vieira and Bergkamp…
“It’s a clever move because although Daniel Ek has a successful business acumen but in football he’s a nobody,” Nordstrom also told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“He hasn’t dipped into the entertainment industry apart from music.
“Football is something quite different from music so I think it makes sense that he brings in people who know more about the practicalities of handling a football club.”
Will the rumoured Arsenal takeover happen?
“With a lot of his business deals he announces them and then the other party says ‘no, I’m not going to do that’ and then things take a while to come together,” Nordstrom explained.
“Daniel Ek usually gets his way in the end, but it might take a couple of years and I think this might be true for the Arsenal deal. It might not happen this week or next month but it could be a reality in two years.
“My gut instinct is that he probably doesn’t believe [he can take over Arsenal] but Daniel Ek has done a number of impossible things his entire life.
“When he wanted start a music streaming service, everybody said it was impossible and that the industry wouldn’t allow it. Now Spotify is a reality
“He is an ambitious guy and I think he wants to go for it.”