Aliko Dangote Would Ruin Arsenal

By World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsCopyright (cc-by-sa) © World Economic Forum ( Matthew Jordaan
By World Economic Forum [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsCopyright (cc-by-sa) © World Economic Forum ( Matthew Jordaan /

Aliko Dangote has been hailed by Forbes as the second most powerful black man in the world behind President Barack Obama. He is the richest man in Africa from his businesses in cement, sugar and flour. Now valued at around 12 billion dollars, he has amassed about twice the fortune of Roman Abramovich (via Daily Mail). 

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It is not every day that you want someone like that not to buy your club.

But for Arsenal, I truly hope that Stan Kroenke holds onto his 67% majority share.

Aliko Dangote has made his intentions clear. He told BBC Sports: “They are doing well, but they need another strategic direction. They need more direction than the current situation, where they just develop players and sell them.” He has also been on record speaking ill against Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal way.

All of it spells trouble. Arsenal is one of the last holdouts among the top tier football teams whose success is not based on a summer spending spree. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid – all those teams shuffle players in and out like a revolving door. They buy the hottest commodity and sell the dips in form. They treat players like stocks, not human beings.

That is what Aliko Dangote would have Arsenal become. No longer would we cultivate players to love the team and therefore play their best for the team. Now we would have the same strategic approach as the cash-shoveling vultures. It would remove all personality from Arsenal and make them just like the rest. I am not too keen on how that sounds.

Not only that, but since when has Arsenal’s direction been to develop players and sell them? The last really big player we sold was Robin van Persie and that was over three years ago at the tail end of paying off the Emirates. Now we have no need to sell anyone and we will not. Aliko Dangote needs to read more recent literature on Arsenal’s situation.

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Arsenal’s “way” is so unique and it all comes from Arsene Wenger being in control. He is the father figure that puts his team together like a family. It is not a band of mercenaries, it is a cohesive army that truly cares about each other. Now I am not saying that other teams do not have a sense of camaraderie, but when you have been playing with the same guys for seven, eight years through your late teen years, when you are growing up with each other like brothers, you are going to have a much higher appreciation for one another than if you were both brought in a summer ago.

Arsene Wenger takes a lot of flak for not spending big, but look at what he has done with less. Manchester United spent over 150 million pounds last summer and finished fourth. Arsenal got more out of one 35 million pound signing that United did with all of their massive spending. Angel di Maria and Falcao, almost half of that 150 million, were complete flops and with Falcao on his way out (already), di Maria’s future is also in question. That is wasted money, the kind of which we never see at Arsenal.

Instead of splashing money on a big name keeper, Arsene Wenger bought David Ospina, who proved to be one of the best keepers of the season, despite what the batty pundits will tell you. And where would we be without Francis Coquelin? If Wenger had purchased someone to play the role Coquelin now holds, he may never have a had a chance.

Not only that, but how many teams would have given up on Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere long ago? Not Arsenal. Now look at what Ramsey is doing and what Wilshere is on the brink of doing. Even Mesut Ozil would have been sold by so many executives after a shabby year like he had in his inaugural Arsenal season but Wenger stuck with him and boy did it pay off.

Getting rid of the Arsenal way is a terrifying concept. It would spoil all that Arsene Wenger has built just as we are starting to see the fruits. If given the chance, this direction Arsenal is in could lead to prolonged success, not just a few pops to the top like heavy-spending can provide.

Wanting to be rid of the Arsenal way is all that is needed to prove that Aliko Dangote knows very little about the team he so wishes to purchase. Let’s hope “Silent” Stan Kroenke feels the same.

Next: Santi Cazorla lacking faith in Giroud?

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