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Stan Kroenke moves closer to Arsenal takeover

On the day the Colorado Rapids kick off their season, the big news comes from England.

A regulatory filing made public on Friday disclosed the news that Rapids owner Stan Kroenke is one step closer to taking over EPL club Arsenal, thanks to his purchase of another seven shares of the North London-based powerhouse.

The purchase leaves the Rapids owner just 10 shares shy of a mandatory takeover bid of Arsenal. Kroenke -- who paid $12,650 per share on Thursday -- is an Arsenal board member and the largest Arsenal shareholder with 29.9% of the club’s shares.

Kroenke is also the owner of the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, and owns 40 percent of the St. Louis Rams of the NFL.

Former MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis is the Arsenal CEO and the connections between the Rapids and Arsenal run deep.

On Feb. 9, 2007, the Rapids formed a club partnership with Arsenal and became the Gunners’ official partner club in the USA. Colorado’s current head coach Gary Smith is a former Arsenal scout and the Rapids recently conducted a week of preseason training at Arsenal’s facilities in London.

The Gunners are still in the running for the two most important trophies of the year.  They find themselves two points behind Manchester United in the race for the EPL title, and face Spanish giants Barcelona this week in perhaps the most intriguing of the Champions League quarterfinal match-ups.