Billionaire Aliko Dangote reiterates ‘2021’ Arsenal takeover plans

Tom Kershaw

African billionaire Aliko Dangote has reiterated his desire to buy Arsenal from current owner Stan Kroenke.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man, who is thought to be worth £8.5b, had initially announced he would attempt to oust Kroenke this year, claiming: “We will go after Arsenal from 2020… even if somebody buys, we will still go after in.”

However, he confirmed he has postponed those plans until 2021 to concentrate his efforts on building one of the world’s largest oil refineries.

“It is a team (Arsenal) that yes I would like to buy someday, but what I keep saying today is we have $20b worth of projects and that’s what I really want to concentrate on,” Dangote told the David Rubenstein Show.​

“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.”

Arsenal owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment have come under increased scrutiny this season, with the ‘We Care Do You’ campaign lobbying against the how the club is run as Unai Emery’s downfall reached a tipping point.

However, Stan Kroenke’s son, Josh, who is a non-executive director at the club, insisted he is committed to guiding the club back to the top-four at the start of the season.

The Kroenkes insist they are committed to the football club (Getty)

“It’s important for them to know how passionate we are,” he told the BBC. “When I met with some of the fans’ groups last season I told them that trust is earned over time and I would love for you to trust me now but unfortunately that trust has to play out over the next several years.

“We’re just getting started and hopefully we’ll start to earn more and more trust with the more and more work we put in.

“The Emirates is a place that is always going to be special to me and my family. I’m excited about being here, hopefully a long time.”