Africa’s richest businessman has said he will buy Arsenal within the next four years and “turn it around”.
Nigerian mogul Aliko Dangote, who is valued at £9.95billion by Forbes, has long made clear his intention to take Arsenal out of the hands of Stan Kroenke and said last year that he would pay whatever price was required to claim the club.
Whilst the struggles of the Nigerian currency have wiped a sum reported to be worth greater than £2bn off Dangote’s wealth he continues to dream of buying the club he supports and told Bloomberg there was “no doubt” he would eventually make his move on Arsenal.
“Maybe three to four years,” Dangote said. “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.
“It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual. 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.”
The current majority shareholder has shown little appetite to part with the Gunners and Kroenke Sports Enterprise increased its stake in Arsenal to 67.05 per cent in May.
Kroenke though has proved to be unpopular with Arsenal fans for a perceived lack of interest in on-field success, despite manager Arsene Wenger confirming earlier in the year that he could spend “as much as he wants” to improve the playing squad.
Arsenal’s other significant shareholder, Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, last month denied rumours that he was set to sell his 30.04 per cent stake in the club and insisted he saw the club as “a long-term investment for his family and future generations”.