Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is reportedly interested in buying Arsenal, with the Nigerian billionaire claiming he has a “strategy” that will see him acquire the club, as reported by Bloomberg.
The 58-year-old has already tried to obtain a stake, but saw his attempted bid fail back in 2010. That hasn’t deterred him however, and Bloomberg claim he will once again be looking for a way into the club.
“I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,” Dangote said, as quoted by Bloomberg.
“I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”
He is in a far better financial position now than he was when he failed with his bid five years ago, with Bloomberg reporting that the mogul’s $15.7 billion worth makes him worth more than seven times the amount he was valued at back in 2010 – despite his wealth dropping by $2.7 billion this year.
Dangote insists he is too busy with other investments at the moment to mount a new bid, but claims once he has more time he may come back to Arsenal.
“We have $16 billion-worth of investments in the next few years,” he said.
“Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe [an offer will follow.]”
Many Arsenal fans would be keen to see a wealthy businessman buy the club, with a number of supporters unhappy with the limited injection of funds made by current owner Stan Kroenke.
Some of Dangote’s quotes were somewhat worrying however, with the tycoon claiming that while Wenger has done well at the club, he “needs to change his style a bit.” Going on to say that we “need a new direction.”
We are unlikely to see a bid anytime soon, with Kroenke recently increasing his majority share in the club (via the Mirror). The American doesn’t appear to be of a mind to sell his stake in Arsenal, and Dangote clearly isn’t willing to pay over the odds to purchase us either.
You could argue that this is not the right time for a new cash rich owner anyway, with financial fair play rules playing more of a role year by year. Our model of self sustainability and financial intelligence looks like it may start paying dividends soon, and a new owner isn’t likely to change that.