Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has re-iterated his hopes of one day buying English Premier League giants Arsenal.
The Nigerian has an estimated fortune of some £12.2 billion and is reported to have wanted to purchase a holding in the gunners when former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith was selling her stock in 2011.
American Stan Kroenke is Arsenal’s majority shareholder, owning 66.64% of the club’s parent company Arsenal Holdings plc.
Russian-Uzbek Alisher Usmanov owns 29.11% with the remainder of the 62,217 shares held by minority shareholders including former players and the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, who own three.
Dangote, ranked 67th by the Forbes rich list, last month stated he remained keen to become part of the club sometime in the future.
He indicated in a new interview with the BBC World Service Hausa, that once his work in the establishment of an oil refinery in Nigeria – which is set to be the largest in Africa – is complete, he would consider revisiting his interest in making a move at Arsenal.
‘When we get this refinery on track, I will have enough time and enough resources to pay what they are asking for,’ he told the channel.
‘There were a couple of us who were rushing to buy and we thought with the prices then, the people who were interested in selling were trying to go for a kill.
‘We backtracked because we were very busy doing other things, especially our industrialisation.’
The Gunners retained the FA Cup last season and Dangote feels the team can mount a challenge for top honours again but require a different ownership in order to be more successful on the pitch.
He added: “They are doing well, but they need another strategic direction. They need more direction than the current situation, where they just develop players and sell them.”