Apparently, Tom Hicks’ reign of error at Liverpool has done little to hurt the chances of U.S. sporting magnates gaining greater control of England’s soccer sides, with Arsenal chairman Peter-Hill Wood all but proposing marriage to American zillionaire Stan Kroenke. From Simon Williams in Thursday’s Guardian :

Hill-Wood famously said only last year that “we don’t want his sort” in English football when the American was seeking to increase his stake in the club but has now completely changed his mind.

“Contrary to what I said before, I now believe he may have a vital contribution to make to the future of this football club. I am not denying I said what I said, but I made those observations before meeting Stan. I have now got to know him and I have changed my opinions.

“When I hadn’t met him, yes, I didn’t think he was the right person to take control of Arsenal Football Club. Now I know him as a man who is very much steeped in sport. He is a sports man. He already has a link through our broadband rights and there is every reason to expect that we shall discuss further how his involvement can be extended,” Hill-Wood said. Kroenke has a 12% stake in the club and the board appear now to find him more acceptable than the Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who owns 25%.

The last sentence of the above report is the telling passage. At the risk of being far too simplistic, Hill-Wood has apparently decided that however many faults the Nuggets/Avalanche owner might have, he’s preferable to a rapist/extortionist.