Don Garber, the Major League Soccer commissioner who has been one of the main forces behind the rise of American soccer, expects his compatriot Stan Kroenke to complete a full takeover of English club Arsenal.
Despite Kroenke increasing his stake in the London club to 28.7 per cent last week, sources close to Arsenal continue to insist that the American has no intention of trying to take full control of the club. Indeed, Kroenke is seen by the Arsenal board as a buffer against the more aggressive plans of Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov, the club's second-largest shareholder.
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MLS chief Garber, however, told The Associated Press that he has discussed Kroenke's plans for the future of Arsenal with the businessman, who also owns the Colorado Rapids MLS team, the Colorado Avalanche NHL franchise and the NBA's Denver Nuggets.
"Stan Kroenke is very, very bright and a capable sports man - with his NBA teams, NHL teams and Major League Soccer team - and I think he will be a good owner of Arsenal," Garber told The Associated Press. "He's a strong silent type, and I think that's not necessarily the worst thing when it comes to sports team owners."
Garber also insisted that whether or not Kroenke completed a takeover, Arsenal's fans could be confident about the future. "He doesn't make rash decisions, and I think fans will be really pleased at whatever role he and his people decide to take with Arsenal," said Garber.