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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 9, 2007

Wenger dismisses Colorado Rapids takeover talk

Arsene Wenger has insisted Arsenal are not set to become the latest club taken over by tycoons from the USA and claimed: 'There are enough Americans in the league already.'

The Gunners are to form a 'ground-breaking' partnership with American side Colorado Rapids, owned by billionaire Stan Kroenke, but only to extend Arsenal's brand to the USA and as part of Wenger's policy of searching the globe for player talent.

• Wenger labels internationals 'boring'

It is understood the link-up could include a name-change for the Major League Soccer club.

Wenger said: 'We develop a few partnerships sometimes with football schools, sometimes with clubs.

'We try to extend our brand. We try to extend our technical corporation as well because the Americans might produce some players at some stage and that's why we do it.

'It is not for a takeover. There are enough Americans in the league now,' he added, referring to the fact that Liverpool, Manchester United and Aston Villa are now all owned by wealthy Americans.

The Gunners will send coaches over to Colorado while promising players from the US side, will be given the chance to train with the Arsenal team.

Wenger however will resist his side going on pre-season tours of the USA.

He added: 'I don't like the pre-season tours. But I must say the club has become so popular that we have a lot of proposals now to do it.

'I hope I can resist as long as I want because it is a lot of money that is offered. I have the final say.'

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein is understood to be in the USA at the moment and a news conference has been called by the American club.

The Rapids' will also be using Arsenal's London Colney training ground as their base for a pre-season tour of England from March 8 to the 13.

Arsenal already have a partnership with Belgian side Beveren, from whom they signed Ivory Coast defender Emmanuel Eboue. A number of Arsenal players have gone on loan to Beveren too.

Colorado Rapids said in a statement on their website:

'Kroenke Sports Enterprises and the Colorado Rapids will today hold a press conference to unveil a groundbreaking international soccer partnership and major club identity changes.'

  • Wenger labels internationals 'boring'

    The Arsenal boss has also criticised International football for being 'boring'.

    'If you leave national pride aside, you have to accept international games are of no interest at all,' Wenger told reporters on Friday.

    'National football is boring, you have to accept that. For me, there are two reasons, club football has moved forward and national football has gone backwards.'

    Wenger was responding to comments by Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson, who criticised the structure of domestic football and said the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool were not doing enough to help England.

    The Arsenal manager said officials needed to do something to halt the slide of international football.

    'I think football has moved on and has moved more towards the clubs,' said the Frenchman. 'It is more exciting to watch club football now than it is to watch national football, and that's the same for England, France, Argentina, Brazil.

    'Games are becoming boring. If you go to England against the Faroe Islands, no one will really be interested apart for their love of the country.'

    Wenger, whose Arsenal side host Wigan Athletic in the Premier League on Sunday, backed his foreign policy at the London club and said it was no hindrance to England.

    'When I sign a player nationality doesn't come into it, it's all about quality,' said Wenger. 'If I give you a good wine, first you taste if it's good then you ask where it comes from.

    'You have to accept we live in a world that is down to quality. The only thing I can say is that whenever England do not win it is always my fault, even when I am not at the game.'