Back in May it emerged that Aliko Dangote was very interested in purchasing Arsenal and now he’s back again, saying there is ‘no doubt’ that he will buy the club, so who is he?
A 58-year-old business man from Nigeria, Dangote is said to be worth just over £10.9bn (an increase of £0.9bn since May) and would certainly be able to afford Arsenal if he was to find Silent Stan amenable to a sale.
Which he won’t.
There’s even less chance of there being a change in ownership than there is a change of manager.
Gaining a business degree from the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, Dangote, who was already blessed by being born into a business family, set up his own in 1978, trading rice, sugar and cement.
From there he moved into manufacturing and now his company is valued at more than $24bn, or, to put it a way that you and I can understand, it’s the largest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Attempting to buy a stake in Arsenal in 2010, Dangote is now worth eight times more than he was when he first tried to get his hands on the club and is still very much dreaming of buying Arsenal.
“I still hope, one day at the right price, that I’ll buy the team,” he told Bloomberg in May.
“I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist,” he continued. “I know my strategy.”
“We have $16 billion-worth of investments in the next few years.
“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.]”
Now, his latest comments, again to Bloomberg, in which he said, “Maybe three to four years [before he ‘no doubt’ buys Arsenal’]. 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.”
“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.”
Worth more than both Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, Dangote is also a Gooner and has been since 1980.
I’m not quite sure what he means by ‘turning it around’ and if he thinks running a football team is the same as running a business, he’s in for a very rude awakening.