Thursday, May 1, 2008

Arsenal Exit Making It Easier For Takeover?

Arsenal FC managing director, Keith Edelman, is to leave the club "to seek pastures new and embark upon fresh challenges," according to the BBC. How vague is that? I'm not one for idle speculation but here's some. Edelman has been a big opponent of outside investment in the London club. His shareholding is apparently small but his move would suggest any takeover may be more likely. As we all know, Colorado Rapids owner, Stan Kroenke, has a decent stake in the club. I wouldn't even pretend to know what Mr. Kroenke's designs are on Arsenal but, if he is still interested in the club, he will still have to deal with the always erratic chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, another one apparently opposed to outside involvement, particularly American. Mr. Hill-Wood does seem to contradict himself a lot on this but he did once famously say that "we would be horrifed to see ownership of the club go across the Atlantic." As if going across the Atlantic would be worse than going to deepest Moscow? The club is currently 24% owned by Red and White Holdings which is controlled by another Russian billionare not called Abramovich. Speaking of Chelski, the Rocky Mountain News has a story on its website how the chairman just bought a $36.5 million mansion in Snowmass. So many Colorado links! This truly is the global game.

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