Here we go again, the talks of Aliko Dangote buying Arsenal are here again and this time I’ve gotten tired of it.
Since 2015, Dangote has talked about the idea of buying Arsenal more than six times; quotes from him about his plans to buy Arsenal comes every five, six months.
Although it might look he’s just answering questions from journalists, this subject has become boring and for Dangote, a smart businessman, it’s not his style for anything associated with him to run-of-the-mill.
It is unknown to me how many business takeovers Dangote has carried out successfully, but no movement from him has suggested so far that he is serious about buying Arsenal.
Coming out to say sacking Arsene Wenger would be the first thing on his agenda if he buys the club is disrespectful to not just the manager but everything Arsenal stands for.
Arsene is Arsenal’s most successful manager and the blatant disrespect from Dangote only shows he really has no plan to buy the club. No one will say that about the most successful manager of the club they want to buy.
Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov who is worth $14.9 billion according to Forbes and currently owns 30 percent of Arsenal, has been trying unsuccessfully to buy the club for more than five years. A known Wenger critic, Usmanov has shown nothing but respect for Wenger, he unlike Dangote stands a true chance of getting to own the majority shares at Arsenal.
Usmanov in May 2017 had a £1billion takeover bid turned down by Arsenal’s majority owner Stan Kroenke.
Dangote is currently not a shareholder at the club and does not even have an idea about the structure and dealings of the Arsenal boardroom. So how is he supposed to come from nowhere and buy the club?
Dangote knows he can’t buy Arsenal, he doesn’t even have the plans to, he is just interested in the publicity he is getting from it. He even hinted this in a June 2015 interview with Forbes when he said buying Arsenal will help put Nigeria on the map.
This is how he put it: “The issue is that if I buy all the Nigerian clubs, the Nigerian flags will continue to remain here. Buying Arsenal will take the Nigerian flag worldwide. Just like whenever (Chelsea owner), Roman Abramovich is mentioned, the name of his country comes up. Everyone knows he’s Russian.”
That simply translates to ‘I want the publicity’. Mentions in the prestigious world sports media are alluring to Dangote who despite a well-respected billionaire is not mentioned in the same breath with the likes of Roman Abramovich.
It would be wrong to count him out though, Dangote is a hugely successful businessman and he might have something up his sleeves in his plans to buy Arsenal.
But no matter what is true intentions are, being linked with the ownership of Arsenal has top PR perks and that’s what Dangote wants.
In 2013, he promised $1m to the Super Eagles team that won the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in South Africa, a pledge he is yet to fulfill.
Why then did he make that pledge? Your guess is as good as mine.