Aliko Dangote: My Undying Desire to Buy Arsenal Club

Even with the attractive and lucrative investments in the English Premier League, one of the richest African men is yet to feel satisfied with his money unless he goes ahead to own Arsenal Club as well. According to Forbes, Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian cement tycoon worth approximately $13 billion. His undying ambition to buy the English Premier League club remains unsatisfied, but if at all it comes to fruition, Arsenal’s Premier League odds would definitely reflect the change of guard at the summit.

The 59-year old Dangote has been a passionate Arsenal fan for many years and his interest to own the club has constantly circulated in various media outlets just to stir his desire and push his agenda. In 2010, the tycoon planned to hold discussions about purchasing a 15.9% stake in the London-based club, but the talks scheduled with the owners collapsed. However, in 2015, he once again declared his desire to buy the entire club at an agreeable price.

Since the Nigerian business mogul has confirmed his yearning to acquire a large stake in the English football club, last week, he gave himself a window period of between three and four years for him to get his hands on the keys to Emirates Stadium. During an interview in New York with Bloomberg Television, Dangote vehemently stated that he has no doubt that he will buy Arsenal someday because money is not the problem. However, he still needs to complete most of his business plans and ongoing business ventures before engaging himself in such a considerable investment opportunity.

Furthermore, Dangote pointed out that if he becomes the owner of Arsenal, he will ensure the club turns around from its misfortunes to make it one of the most successful clubs in the world. Even with its reputation in modern English football as well as its global acclamation, it was in the year 2004 when the London-based club last clinched the English Premier League crown. The club does not have any UEFA Champions League trophies to its name as well. According to Dangote, it will not be about buying the Gunners to make the business go on, but turning it around in the interest of all fans and shareholders. Dangote boasts in running many successful businesses, which gives him some leverage to run a very prosperous team as well.

Currently, Stan Kroenke, an American sports tycoon with a net worth of approximately $7.4 billion, is the majority shareholder in the clubs parent company, Arsenal Holdings Plc with a 67% stake. Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbekistan-born metal and mining entrepreneur follows with a 30.05% stake. Both majority shareholders are yet to comment on Dangote’s desire to purchase Arsenal. One of the major investments Dangote is working on is a $12b oil facility investment projected to be completed by the year 2019. By its completion, the oil facility would be the first private crude oil refinery in Nigeria. According to reliable sources, by 2018, the Nigerian tycoon has also targeted to construct new cement plants in a minimum of eight nations.

Apart from Sports investments, the Nigerian businessman also promised to lend a helping hand to the local government in a bid to recover full from the Boko Haram rebellion. Since Dangote was born in Kano, a northern Nigerian city, he feels that his support will help to revive the country’s northeast, which has been ravaged by the insurgency. In May, Dangote a donation of $10b to be used to support families affected by Boko Haram. Since 2009, the Islamist terror group has displaced over 2 million people and killed thousands.

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