Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday February 9 2007
There are claims in this morning`s newspapers that American Billionaire Stan Kroenke is in talks with Arsenal regarding a potential 'technical partnership` with his football team, MLS side The Colorado Rapids.
According to reports The Colorado Rapids would change their name to incorporate 'Arsenal` into it as well as changing their kit colours to the maroon worn by Arsenal last season.
Arsenal striking a technical partnership with foreign clubs is nothing new. The Gunners have links with Beveren and Celta Vigo as well as ploughing money into youth academies in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and The Ivory Coast.
Any partnership between the clubs would likely involve an exchange of training techniques, an annual friendly, and Arsenal youngsters being sent on loan to the MLS side.
It would be a fantastic opportunity for Arsenal to raise their profile in The States as 'soccer` starts to increase in popularity and with the arrival of David Beckham in the MLS there could be no better time for an English club to strike any such partnership.
With a population over 300Million, there`s a potentially massive market in the U.S, football just needs a bigger profile over there. Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan all make annual tours of America which raises between 5 and 10 Million pounds for each club, so any potential partnership could be very lucrative.
Kroenke is also believed to be interested in a potentially investing in Arsenal. I want to stress that there is no takeover being proposed, merely a cash injection. He has shares in several sports team`s in America and he`s a huge sports fan. Jeff Plush, Rapids MD and close friend of Stan Kroenke is also believed to be a big Arsenal fan.
Watch this space!
Date:Friday February 9 2007
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