In disappointing news for everyone who was hoping Mathieu Flamini would buy Arsenal from Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov someday, the former Gunner isn’t actually a billionaire.
Flamini never really won Arsenal fan hearts on the pitch during his two spells in North London. At first he was only really a utility player for the club. After four years without much progress in that regard, he decided to leave for AC Milan.
On his return he was initially exciting, with his combative style of play seemingly providing the antidote to a long-running Arsenal problem. Unfortunately it didn’t last, and he became a bit of a liability as the seasons went on.
Most Arsenal fans know him for two things today: His wealth, and his brace at White Hart Lane in 2015.
Yet, it seems rumours of that wealth have been greatly exaggerated. Many articles have written about Flamini’s energy firm being worth ‘up to £20bn’, but this isn’t actually the case.
Le Monde traced the figure back to a few articles in 2015. Spanish outlet AS wrote that GF Biochemicals was worth “30,000 million euros”, but didn’t cite any sources.
They seem to have taken the figure from an article by ABC, itself based on a tweet, where Flamini appeared to claim his company could “one day” be worth “up to £20bn”.
Flamini later clarified in an interview that he wasn’t even talking about his company. Rather, he was talking about the market they were entering into.
“It is not our company that is estimated at 20 billion dollars, much less my personal fortune, but that of the global market on which we position ourselves,” he explained. “It’s not the same thing!”
Further, therapeutic chemistry researcher Janos Sapi added that this is just the potential value of the market, if they can remove technological barriers.
To conclude, Flamini has a 50% stake in a company. That company is in a market that could someday be worth ‘up to’ £20bn. Only if we get the right technological advances though.
Looks like he still has some way to go before becoming Arsenal’s new owner.