Aliko Dangote has not given up on his plan to
acquire Arsenal. The Nigerian reportedly worth $
10.9bn says he plans to take over the club by the
end of the decade.
Dangote stated last year that he was prepared to
pay any sum to take ownership of the Premier
League club away from Stan Kroenke.
Dangote, a lifelong Arsenal fan whose fortune is
largely tied up in Dangote Cement, is reported to
have lost $4.4bn this year due largely to the
depreciation of Nigeria’s currency
But the 59-year-old says he still plans to complete
a takeover of the Gunners before the end of the
decade once his latest ventures in gas pipelines
and an oil refinery have developed.
“Maybe three to four years,” he told Bloomberg
Television when asked when he intended to buy
the club. “The issue is that we have more
challenging headwinds. I need to get those out of
the way first and start having tailwinds. Then I’ll
focus on this.”
Dangote believes his success in the business
world proves he is the right man to transform
Arsenal’s fortunes, after years of relative stagnation
under Kroenke and manager Arsene Wenger.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing
with business as usual,” he said. “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 20billion dollars of
projects, I cannot do both.”
Kroenke, who has been criticised by fans for a
perceived lack of interest in the team’s on-pitch
successes, increased his majority shareholding to
67.05 per cent in May.
Alisher Uzmanov, the Russian billionaire who owns
a 30.04 per cent stake in the club, moved to deny
rumours last month that he was considering
selling his shares, insisting that he sees the
Gunners as “a long-term investment for family and
Arsenal, who dispatched Nottingham Forest 4-0 in
the EFL Cup on Tuesday, have won three, drawn
one and lost one of their opening five Premier
League games this season.