Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is reportedly on the verge of purchasing French football club Valenciennes FC for €10 million. The acquisition will see the Nigerian businessman owning 60% of the club, according to French media outlet Entreprendre.
Dangote, who is the CEO of the Dangote Group, the largest industrial conglomerate in West Africa, has long been interested in acquiring a football club. He attempted to buy a controlling stake in Arsenal in 2010, but his bid was unsuccessful. If the reports of his acquisition of Valenciennes FC are genuine, it will mark the first time that he will own a football team.
Valenciennes FC, established in 1913, has a rich history of winning several titles, including the Ligue 2, the Championnat National, and the Championnat de France amateur. However, the team is currently ranked 15th in Ligue 2, which suggests that they are not doing very well in the 2022-23 season campaign.
Nevertheless, Dangote’s acquisition may help to revitalize the team by attracting top players and injecting new energy into the club. This follows the trend of Nigerian billionaires like Shola Akinlade and Dozy Mmobuosi, who have also invested in European football teams.
Akinlade, the CEO of Paystack, purchased Danish club Aarhus Fremad, with the goal of creating opportunities for African talents. Mmobuosi, a billionaire from Nigeria in the technology sector, is on the verge of acquiring English Football League team Sheffield United for £90 million.
These moves highlight the growing interest of Nigerian business tycoons in investing in sports and putting Africa on the global map. With the amount of potential in Africa, it is not surprising that these billionaires are focusing their attention on investing in sports.
In conclusion, if Dangote’s acquisition of Valenciennes FC goes through, it could be a significant step in his quest to own a football team. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see how this move impacts the future of the club and Nigerian football in general.