LONDON (AP) -Stan Kroenke's potential takeover of the Arsenal soccer team of the English Premier League is on hold, though he offered no signs Thursday that he is giving up.
``It's a very strategic thing,'' he said. ``If you invest in sports and you're not looking at the long-term, you're probably not doing the right thing.''
Better known in the United States as owner of the St. Louis Rams, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, Kroenke was swarmed by British reporters who wanted to know his intentions. He recently bought 12 percent of Arsenal and looked to be positioning himself to buy more.
But the club's board of directors extended an agreement last week to only share their stake to ``permitted persons'' until 2009. Shortly after Kroenke's purchase, former vice chairman David Dein was forced from the Arsenal when he backed a full takeover by Kroenke.
``I certainly don't have any problem with the lock-down,'' Kroenke said. ``This is a long-term, strategic investment for us. These things take a lot of time and effort to develop.''
Kroenke's purchase was the latest in a series of American-led takeovers of British teams.
Malcolm Glazer, owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also owns Manchester United.
Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers, is co-owner of Liverpool along with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr.
Randy Lerner, owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns, owns Aston Villa.
With so much American investment, some wonder if there could be a move in the English Premier League to play some meaningful games in America, much the way the NFL has brought a regular-season game to London this week.
``Based on the success of this game being played in London, I'd imagine there might be a corollary effect, that there would be interest for teams to play in the United States,'' said Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch, who does not have any interest in owning soccer teams. ``Sports is not local. The world is a lot smaller through technology and the digital age we live in.''
NEXT STOP, CHINA: The NFL's plans to play a game in China aren't getting any clearer.
The league was supposed to stage a preseason game between New England and Seattle in August, but logistical problems forced them to call it off and push plans back to 2009.
NFL international vice president Mark Waller said 2009 is still on the table, but nobody is quite sure who will run Olympic Stadium after the Beijing Games.
``It's very important for us to know that relationship,'' Waller said.
NFL EUROPA: The NFL's highly promoted and highly touted developmental league, NFL Europa, was quickly and surprisingly scrapped this summer after 16 years.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said it was not a reflection on the reported $30 million in annual losses the league absorbed, bur rather a business decision to take the next step in the NFL's international strategy - namely, putting on the kind of events like this weekend's regular-season game between Miami and the New York Giants.
On Thursday, Waller insisted the folding of NFL Europa was not a bad thing for the league.
``I don't think it sets us back at all,'' he said. ``NFL Europa set the platform for us to be here today. Life moves on and things evolve, and fans want more and better in this day and age. That was our job, was to make sure we evolved to meet those needs.''
One theory behind the formation of NFL Europa was that it created a way for European players to get involved in American football.
``Going global, it would be nice to have more international players,'' Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said. ``But I don't think it's going to hinder the appeal of the game. We think it's a great game, and we think it will travel. It would help if we had local players, but in our opinion, it still will travel without that.''

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