We are in a remote northern suburb of Denver, a city that is exactly one mile above sea-level, and rather less famously, precisely 4,683 miles from the Emirates Stadium.
It is a part of America’s mid-west that is better known for skiing than football yet, since 2004, it has also been the home of the Colorado Rapids, one of seven sports teams that Stan Kroenke either owns or holds a significant stake in. Another is Arsenal — and the unlikely affinity is instantly obvious.
On the reception wall at the Rapids, a huge map of the world identifies the entire United Kingdom simply with an Arsenal badge. A section of the 917-acre Dick’s Sporting Goods Park has also been called the 'Arsenal Gunner Corner’ and a giant cannon is even set off within the 18,000 all-seater stadium whenever the Rapids score.
It is clear that thousands of Colorado-based Arsenal fans will be combining their breakfasts tomorrow with live coverage of the match against Manchester United. At the same time, all eyes in the Emirates directors’ box will be on Kroenke, the club’s 62 year-old billionaire shareholder.