Sunday, August 24, 2008

Troubled Shinawatra Offers To Quit City

Troubled Shinawatra Offers To Quit City
Man City bigwig Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife are up to their necks in legal trouble back home in Thailand.

The former Thai PM is currently on trial in three cases, a figure which could reach double figures as police continue to probe his business and political affairs. Wife Pojaman was recently found guilty of initiating an illegal tax-free transfer of £1.1m into family business concerns. The first of Shinawatra's army-instigated trials could reach a verdict in September.

Shinawatra purchased Eastlands club City whilst in exile in England for 17 months after a military coup and his reign has been tumultuous so far.

Now, humiliated Shinawatra could fail the 'fit and proper person test' for top flight club owners and has told exec Garry Cook that he's willing to step-down to preserve both his own dignity and that of the League.

Cook explained: "Dr Thaksin is embarrassed about the indignity brought on all the entities - the club, the Premier League - he never intended this.

"Dr Thaksin has been really open. He has said to me, 'if you need me to resign from the football club as a director, because it would serve the needs of the Premier League, then I'm fine with that as long as that doesn't change any other thing.'

""We've talked about our options, but one thing we are adamant about is not to give up the majority stakeholding.

"I think there is a very loose term about what is 'fit and proper.' It's almost a tongue-in-cheek term that you would use for Premier League football over the last 10 years. There are plenty of unfit and improper individuals."

Moving Forward?

Ownership of a Premiership club, of course, comes down to one thing in the end - money. However, Shinawatra's assets have been frozen pending his trials and Cook is now working hard to convince supporters that the club is still in a strong financial position.

"Dr Thaksin is in a political situation and a case that affects his assets," Cook admitted. "The truth of it is this club is not bankrupt - we're moving forward."

"But the hurdle is, is there never going to be any more money? Dr Thaksin says, 'this will all resolve itself, but I need some time.' So that's great."

On a sinister note, he added: "If I was to say to him, 'is it true we haven't got any money', he'd fire me on the spot!"

Liam Black.

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