2007-02-09

Arsenal and MLS Colorado Rapids create a partnership

The American soccer getting closer and closer to the Premier League teams. This time, Arsenal Football Club have announced a new business partnership with MLS club Colorado Rapids.

Indeed, this agreement is designed to build Arsenal's brand in the United States, while also helping to develop the MLS club.

"I can assure that this is a really important step for Arsenal as this becomes our first venture into the US marketplace," said managing director Keith Edelman.

Furthermore, Colorado Rapids are owned by American billionaire Stan Kroenke's company Kroenke Sports Enterprises. In fact, Arsenal already have a similar tie-up with Belgian team called Beveren as well as an academy in the Ivory Coast.

This deal between the two popular football clubs includes the development of a Centre of Excellence in Colorado, the transfer of coaching ideas and the launch of the Arsenal Cup, a club tournament open to squads from all over the US. What's more, the deal comes just days after Liverpool's takeover by American tycoons George Gillet and Tom Hicks.

"Unless I'm completely naive it's not a takeover," Wenger stated. "I've never heard about a possible takeover and I really don't think that is at all behind our partnership."

"It's just that we develop a few partnerships sometimes with football schools and sometimes with clubs. Indeed, we're trying to extend our brand and we're are also trying to extend our technical cooperation because the Americans might produce some players at some stage and that's why we're doing it".

It's important to mention that the Colorado Rapids will come to London to use Arsenal's facilities for six days while they continue their preseason ahead of the MLS season which starts in three months.

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