Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian billionaire, may be on course to achieve his dream of acquiring Arsenal amid crisis over botched plans by the club to join the European Super League (ESL).
Dangote’s £2 billion Arsenal takeover appeared to have received a boost recently as Stan Kroenke, current owner, is fast losing his popularity among fans, a development worsened by his decision to join the ESL.
According to reports, there has long been frustrated with the way in which Kroenke has been running the Gunners.
This, it was gathered, is due to a lack of investment in the first-team squad coupled with poor returns on the pitch in comparison to many of the Premier League rivals in recent years.
And things reached a new level over the weekend when it was confirmed that Arsenal was one of the 11 founding members – along with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool – of the new breakaway competition.
According to Football London, the American was eager for the Super League to go through as he saw the competition as the way to make Arsenal “the biggest team in the world”.
The development had irked several fans of the club, with many demanding Kroenke’s resignations.
With English Premier League (EPL) clubs pulling out of the ESL amid heated backlash, the pressure is on Kroenke to quit his position.
Already, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward has handed in his resignation, while Andrea Agnelli is understood to have also left Juventus following his role as head of the European Club Association.
The news of Woodward handing in his resignation has prompted some Arsenal fans to demand Kroenke do the same – with many pleading with Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote on social media to launch a bid.
What is encouraging for Arsenal fans is the fact that Dangote has made no secret in the past of his desire to buy out Stan Kroenke one day and become the owner at the Emirates Stadium.
Dangote had in January 2020 revealed plans to buy Arsenal after completing his refinery.
He had said: “It is a team that yes I would like to buy someday, but what I keep saying is we have $20 billion 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 sometime 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.”
According to KPMG in 2020 – who measure clubs’ enterprise value, which is a measure of a company’s total value – a popular metric used to value a company for a potential takeover – stands at £2.073billion.
A timeline of “early 2021” would suggest that the project will be completed at the latest before the end of June and Arsenal fans will be interested to see if Dangote keeps to his word that he will make a move for the Gunners then.