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Arsenal at Crossroads
Associated Press, June 22nd, 2007 4PM

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The 12 percent stake American billionaire Stan Kroenke recently purchased in EPL club Arsenal effectively divided the North London club. On one side are those who accept the idea of foreign ownership as the direction the sport is moving in, and on the other are shareholders who refuse to let their beloved club fall into the hands of businessmen.Vice-chairman David Dein angered the rest of Arsenal's board in supporting the idea of a $1.3 billion takeover by Kroenke, and he has since departed.

Arsenal is now the last of the Premiership's big four still holding out against a foreign ownership, and the club is now believed to be at a turning point. Its star striker, Thierry Henry, has said he will leave if the club fails to bring in new players. Manager Arsene Wenger, too, is rumored to be on his way out. Both men had a close relationship with Dein, although neither one was in love with the idea of foreign ownership.

Steve Morrow, coach of FC Dallas of the MLS and a former Arsenal defender, says Kroenke, who owns the Colorado Rapids, would be nothing but a positive for his beloved former club. "I think it can be very positive if there is a financial boost for [the Arsenal]," he said, adding that Kroenke doesn't have "a great deal of input on the soccer side" of things at the Rapids, and he would have no reason to ruffle feathers at Arsenal, either.

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