By Boluwatife Ezekiel Olaleye
Aliko Dangote, Nigerian businessman, says the first thing he will do if he acquires Arsenal football club is to fire Arsene Wenger, the coach.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Dangote said his desire to own the club dates back to the mid-1980s.
Dangote said he’d consider making an offer once the construction of his $11 billion oil refinery in Lagos is completed.
“The first thing I would change is the coach. He has done a good job, but someone else should also try his luck,” he said.
Stan Kroenke, American billionaire, is Arsenal’s biggest shareholder, controlling 67 percent of the company.
Earlier in the year, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who holds a 30 percent stake, sought to buy out Kroenke in an offer that valued Arsenal at an estimated $2.6 billion.
Dangote says he’s optimistic that the right offer will persuade Kroenke and Usmanov to sell their shares to him.
“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,” said Dangote.
Since his appointment to the north London club in 1996, Wenger has won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup trophies.
In May, he agreed to a new two-year deal despite calls by fans for him to step down.