Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man has disclosed plans to buy English Premier League side, Arsenal, by the year 2019.
If successful, Dangote will become the first African owner of an English top flight side. He reportedly made the disclosure in a television interview in new York.
He said that beyond buying the club, his move is to turn it around. ‘‘It’s not about buying Arsenal and 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,’‘ he said.
It's not about buying Arsenal and 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.
The 2019 target is largely hinged on the fact that his current investments are directed towards the completion of infrastructure projects including a refinery and petrochemical plant in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
His fortune is reported to have dipped as a result of the devaluation of the Nigerian currency, the naira. His fortune fell to $12.9 billion dollars from $15.4 billion dollar according to Forbes’ annual ranking of billionaires.
In the past he responded to issues about why he won’t rather invest in Nigerian clubs rather than an English club, “The issue is that if I buy all the Nigerian clubs, the Nigerian flags will continue to remain here.
‘‘But buying Arsenal will take the Nigerian flag worldwide. Just like whenever Abramovich is mentioned, the name of his country, Russia comes up. Everyone knows he’s Russian,” Dangote had said.