ARSENAL fans have reacted to the growing slump in their team’s form by making it clear they would love to see Nigerian billionaire Alhaji Aliko Dangote buy the club and return it to winning ways.
Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Dangote, 63, is valued at £8.5bn ($12bn) and is a big Gunners fan, who has repeated tried to purchase a majority stake in the English Premiership side. Alhaji Dangote has made several unsuccessful bids for the club over the last five years but each has been rebuffed by Arsenal’s current owner American billionaire Stan Kroenke.
Over the last three years, Alhaji Dangote has put his plans to buy the club on hold as he focuses on building Africa’s largest refinery in Lagos. His Dangote Refinery in the Ibeju-Lekki suburb of Lagos is due to be completed this year and the business mogul has stated that once that is completed, he will turn his attention back to Arsenal.
According to a social media poll conducted by www.football.london, Arsenal fans are keen for Alhaji Dangote to take over the club. In the poll, a majority of Arsenal fans said they would like Alhaji Dangote to buy the club and return it to the summit of English football with his financial backing.
Arsenal are currently languishing in the second half of the English Premier League table with 34 points from 25 matches. With no chance of winning the league this year, the fans have repeatedly called for the head of manager Mikel Arteta who they hold responsible for the slump.
Mr Kroenke’s relationship with supporters is also very sour due to a lack of investment in new players and the fact that he is a recluse who makes very few public appearances. Arsenal’s faithful believe that as a Gunners fan himself, Alhaji Dangote will a personal interest in the club and adopt a more hands-on approach.
Alhaji Dangote told the David Rubenstein Show: “It is a team that, yes, I would like to buy some day but what I keep saying is we have $20bn worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on. I’m trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe some time in 2021 we can.
“I’m not buying Arsenal right now. I’m buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects because I’m trying to take the company to the next level.”
Mr Kroenke’s son, Josh, is a director on the Arsenal board and told fans to be excited after the Gunners signed Nicholas Pepe for a club record fee, as well as Kieran Tierney and David Luiz but things did not improve. In December 2019, the long-suffering Arsenal fans who yearn for a return to the winning ways they enjoyed under Arsene Wenger, carried banners calling for the Kroenkes to leave the club.