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What Does Kroenke Want with Arsenal?

Unfortunately, when British soccer fans think of wealthy Americans buying English soccer clubs, they think of the hostile scenes that marked the takeover of Manchester United by the unwanted Malcolm Glazer family. Years later, the Glazers largely kept their noses out of soccer matters, and the animosity has lessened, though the allegory for many still lingers.

Arsenal fans are adamant that that won't happen to them, but Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke has financial power that's several times stronger than the lot of 'em, and if he can convince the club's majority shareholders to sell, he may yet assume control of the Arsenal whether the fans like it or not.

If Kroenke is indeed planning to expand his 12.2 percent interest in the club into something more, err, controlling, then Arsenal fans could at least take some comfort from his past success, the Denver Post says. His company, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, owns the Colorado Avalanche, the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Mammoth, the Rapids and the Pepsi Center. Kroenke is currently the fourth-highest shareholder at Arsenal, but the fact that he's gotten that far has raised red flags with Arsenal supporters. "People wonder if it's a takeover," said Tim Payton, the Supporters Trust spokesman. "In terms of going forward, he needs to announce his long-term intention." On that note, Kroenke is set to meet with Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood in the next few weeks. Arsenal fans will be waiting with baited breath.

Read the whole story at Denver Post »

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