Stan Kroenke is a man who knows what he wants and is used to getting it.
He finally got total control of Arsenal after a bruising battle with Alisher Usmanov and bought him out for £600 million.
Usmanov, who In May 2014, (The Sunday Times) was listed as the second richest person in the UK with an estimated fortune of £10.65bn, finally gave up on the club after being denied any input or a place on the Arsenal board.
So that’s that then, well no, it isn’t.
It appears there may yet be another man just over the horizon who has ambitions to wrestle the club from the grasp of the American sports tycoon.
Africa’s richest man has Arsenal in his sights, which will be music to the ears of those that wish Stan Kroenke would find another pet project.
Dangote is reported to be worth £10.5 billion and has expressed a desire to buy the club outright.
He showed initial interest in buying Usmanov’s shares and this was probably used by the Russian as leverage for a swift and significant sale.
The sale however, doesn’t appear to have deterred Dangote from his desire to buy out Kroenke in any shape or form.
In fact, one feels that it’s made him even more determined to oust the current owner.
In July of this year when asked about his interest and before ‘The battle for the Emirates’ Dangote was adamant that his bid to take over Arsenal would eventually become a reality.
“We will go after Arsenal from 2020 … even if somebody buys, we will still go after it.”
Is this a realistic proposition ? My initial thoughts are no, Kroenke has top premier league club and it’s not like he needs the money, however, if the sum involved is big enough, who knows.
So, who is this new high roller who wants to throw Stan out with the bath water ?
The 61 year old, wealthy African businessman owns the Dangote Group, a multinational conglomerate currently constructing an oil refinery in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
At the time of the Kroenke/Usmanov spat a determined Dangote said
“If they get the right offer, I’m sure they would walk away. 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,”
Seems like this guy means business but it’s going to take serious cash to get Kroenke to jump ship.
I’ve contacted Mr Dangote directly for a Q&A session to outline his plans for the club should he wrestle Arsenal from its current owner and will publish the answers should he contact me but it’s a very intriguing battle ahead.