Dangote says he will turn his attention to another club if he cannot end up buying Arsenal

AFRICA'S richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote has revealed that he will turn his attention to another English Premier League club if his long-term plans to purchase Arsenal do not materialise.


Alhaji Dangote, 61, who is valued at $13bn, is a big Gunners fan and has repeatedly tried to purchase a majority stake in the English Premiership side. He had planned to make an offer to Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke for his stake in the club once the construction of a new oil refinery in Lagos, Nigeria, was completed.


However, in July this year, his plans appear to have gone up in smoke after the club's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke announced an offer to take full ownership of the club in a deal worth £1.8bn ($2.3bn). Mr Kroenke, the American sports mogul, who currently owns 67% of the club through his company Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, reached a deal with Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov for the sale of his 30% stake in Arsenal.


“I’m very attached to Arsenal but if he won’t sell, I might have to change. I’m very much a fan of football, I’ll like to have a club but I don’t have to own Arsenal,” Alhaji Dangote said.


A lifelong Arsenal fan, Alhaji Dangote, who counts former vice chairman David Dein as a good friend, had revealed in September 2016 that he has a four-year time frame to complete the takeover of the club. At the time, he said he had more challenging issues on his hands for now but once he gets those out the way he will focus on Arsenal.


At the time he said: “By the time we’ve finished the world’s biggest oil refinery in Lagos, we’ll be a $30bn company in terms of revenue. We’ll have an excess amount of cash to start playing around with to buy Arsenal."


With the purchase of the Gunners now apparently no longer possible, Alhaji Dangote said he will consider buying another football club if Arsenal, would not be sold to him. Under London Stock Exchange takeover rules, if Mr Usmanov accepts Mr Kroenke's offer, it would trigger the sale of the remaining minority shareholders’ shares.