Arsenal has been owned by Stan Kroenke for a relatively unsuccessful period, but does that mean that Aliko Dangote could be a hero?
Arsenal supporters are actually pretty unified in one area. They do not like Stan Kroenke. The American business tycoon, who has his fingers in sports teams everywhere, doesn’t seem to be too dedicated to bringing the Gunner’s any silverware.
His primary concern, again, allegedly (though pretty convincingly), is balancing the budget and keeping Arsenal financially stable. It’s an admirable charge, but you still have to invest in the team and there have been times where that investment has been questioned. Although this summer did a lot to prove otherwise.
This all brings about the question of what the person who buys the team from Kroenke (assuming that happens) would qualify as.
Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, has said that in four years, he will purchase Arsenal to ‘turn them around’. To some, this may sound like the glorious news they’ve been waiting for for years. To others, it sounds a little frightening. Say what you will about Arsene Wenger, but the man has done amazing things and brought about such a system that promotes the longevity of what he has built.
So we have to wonder if Dangote would go along with what Wenger has put into play or turn everything around, like he is saying he would. Would that mean that Arsenal would take on a Manchester City vibe where heavy investments and summer purchases take front and center instead of the new wave of youth talent that would, ideally, be holding down the ranks at Arsenal in four years when Dangote expects to be in control.
It’s like a gray area of uncertainty. Dangote has never run a sports team before, but believes that he would make it successful. That’s well and good, but we have no idea what kind of approach he would take. And yes, you could say “any approach is better than Kroenke’s!” And to a certain extent, I would entertain that talk.
But what Wenger has done is tried to equip this team for long-term success. Personally, I don’t want someone new coming in and thinking he knows better. Of course, I don’t have any reason to suspect that Dangote would undo everything, but him saying he would ‘turn the club around’ makes me worried. What would he turn around?
I’m interested to hear some opinions on this. Gooners, help me out, is Dangote the hero to free us from Kroenke or the villain who will undo what Wenger has attempted to build? Or do you believe, like me, that he is in that morally gray are where we can’t really know for sure?