Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote, who previously hinted on his desire to acquire English football club, Arsenal, few times, has revealed that desire is still there.
The billionaire was speaking with Bloomberg in a recent interview when he said he would consider a takeover of the north London club only after completing his refinery project in Lagos.
Read excerpt from the interview below :
On whether buying Arsenal Football Club is still on his wish list:
‘Yes, but I don’t want to go after Arsenal until I deliver the refinery. Once I deliver, I will go after Arsenal.’
On other clubs he may want to buy:
‘I don’t change clubs. Even when Arsenal isn’t doing well I still stick by them. It’s a great team, well-run.
‘It could be run better, so I will be there. I will wait. Even if things change I will take it and make the difference going forward.’
On the possibility of current owner, Stan Kroenke, and major shareholder, Alisher Usmanov selling their stakes:
‘Well, you know anything is possible in this world. If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away. We’ll be in a position to give them the right offer.
‘They will not hold Arsenal forever. Someone will give them an offer that will make them seriously consider walking away. And when we finish the refinery, I think we will be in a position to do that.’
On what position he would play for Arsenal if he were a footballer:
‘I would rather be a striker. Naturally, I’m an aggressive person. I don’t want to be part of the support team. I want to be the one scoring the goals.’
On when he started loving the club:
‘In the mid-’80s. I was introduced to a man named David Dein, who was Arsenal’s vice chairman, through a friend of my uncle’s.
‘He was the first person who showed me a cargo of sugar in 1980, when I started importing. I started buying sugar, and he started taking me to the stadium.’
Asked if he would you ever run for president in ‘Maybe in 10 or 15 years?’
‘No, I’m not interested. There’s quite a lot we can do from the business side. I enjoy a lot of what I am doing, and I also love my freedom—and I don’t have too much.
‘The little I have, politics would take away. I am not ready to give that up. There are businessmen who are interested in politics. I’m not one of them.’
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