Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote says he wants to buy Arsenal in “maybe three to four years” and claims he plans to turn the club around. The 59-year-old also is confident he can run a successful team but says the time is not right currently.
American businessman Stan Kroenke is the current majority shareholder at the Emirates, after increasing his stake in the club and taking over in 2011. Nicknamed ‘Silent Stan’ by Arsenal fan, the billionaire has often been a source of frustration for supporters.
Dangote, an Arsenal fan, is reportedly worth £8.3 billion and has outlined his plans to become the first African owner of a Premier League club by investing part of his wealth in north London.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual,” he told Bloomberg Television.
“It’s about buying Arsenal and turning it around. I’ve run a very successful business and I think I can also run a very successful team. Right now, with what we’re facing, over $20 billion of projects, I cannot do both.”
Dangote also insisted “There’s no doubt” he’ll buy Arsenal and claimed money is not an issue, adding: “Maybe three to four years. The issue is that we have more challenging headwinds. I need to get those out the way first and start having tailwinds. Then I’ll focus on this.”
Dangote’s wealth is reportedly tied up in Dangote Cement Plc based in Lagos whose stock is down 4.7 per cent on last year due to the falling value of the local currency meaning he has lost £3.3 billion this year.
A change in ownership would certainly be welcomed by some sections of the Arsenal support who protested against Kroenke last season after growing frustrated with a perceived lack of ambition since investing in the club.