Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa and self-confessed long-time admirer of Arsenal, has admitted he might have to turn his attentions elsewhere if Stan Kroenke won’t sell.
Speaking to the media this week, Dangote revealed that despite the fact that he is “very attached” to Arsenal, it’s more important to him that he owns any football club than the Gunners specifically. He doesn’t want to wait around for Kroenke to sell until it’s too late for him to take over another club.
“I’m very attached to Arsenal but if he won’t sell, I might have to change,” said Dangote. “I’m very much a fan of football. I have to have a club. I don’t have to own Arsenal.”
The billionaire is seemingly waiting until he’s completed one of the world’s biggest oil refineries to make his next move. His refinery is set to start producing fuel in early 2020, and he says Dangote Cement Plc will probably be listed in London around September 2019.
“By the time we’ve finished, we’ll be a $30bn company in terms of revenue,” he said. “We’ll have an excess amount of cash to start playing around with.”
A significant portion of the Arsenal fanbase last year wanted Kroenke to be replaced by anyone at all, and Dangote was a pretty popular option. However, the American billionaire instead just strengthened his grip on the club, and he doesn’t seem like letting go any time soon.
Hopefully, it won’t make a great deal of difference either way. Arsenal are likely to remain self-sustainable regardless of who is in charge, so unless Kroenke starts taking money out of the club, it shouldn’t be a big problem. That’s a fairly big ‘if’ though.