Rams' Kroenke preparing to increase role in Premier League

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is close to getting deeper in his involvement in the English Premier League.

Kroenke now controls nearly 63 percent of the soccer club Arsenal after securing deals to purchase 33 percent of the team buy purchasing shares from two owners.

Per Sky News, Kroenke will have the support of the Arsenal Supporters Trust. Kroenke had cross-ownership issues when he purchased the Rams because he also owned the Denver Nuggets of the NBA and the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL. NFL guidelines don’t have rules for owning foreign soccer clubs.

“We are excited about the opportunity to increase our involvement with and commitment to Arsenal,” Kroenke told the Stock Exchange. “Arsenal is a fantastic club with a special history and tradition and a wonderful manager in Arsene Wenger. We intend to build on this rich heritage and take the club to new success.”

The English have not trusted American involvement and Owen Gibson of the Guardian says there aren’t many parallels that can be drawn between Kroenke and Malcom Glazer, the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, other than they’re both wealthy and have NFL clubs.

“Yesterday, the 63-year-old Kroenke vowed not to leverage the club's cashflow in order to fund his purchase and retain fan involvement,” Gibson wrote. “But Glazer at Manchester United, and the now hated Tom Hicks and George Gillett at Liverpool, once made similar promises.”

The Bucs have been roundly criticized for going on the cheap because ownership is financially strapped by the soccer club. Kroenke, of course, has experience juggling multiple sports franchises.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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