Shinawatra tables formal bid

21 June 2007 08:55
Thaksin Shinawatra has tabled a formal £81.6million takeover offer for Manchester City, ending months of speculation linking the former Thai prime minister with a bid for the Premier League club. The news of Shinawatra's approach via his vehicle, UK Sports Investments, comes on the day that Thai prosecutors filed corruption charges against their former premier. However, despite the charges relating to alleged wrongdoing in a land deal, the City board have reportedly unanimously backed the bid. Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup last year and has seen financial assets subsequently frozen by the Thai government, will now have to pass the Premier League's fit and proper test for potential club owners. Despite denying any wrongdoing and claiming the charges are politically-motivated, he has been ordered to return home to face the High Court next month. Meanwhile, should the takeover approach go through then Shinawatra will reportedly turn to former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to lead the club next season. The experienced Swede has been out of work since stepping down as England boss last summer, but is believed to be the frontrunner in the race for the vacant Eastlands hot-seat following Stuart Pearce's departure at the end of last season. However, Eriksson's agent Athole Still has denied receiving any contact from either City or representatives of Shinawatra. "There has not been any kind of meeting or contact between Sven-Goran Eriksson, myself or anyone purporting to represent us with either Thaksin Shinawatra himself or any of his representatives, or anyone purporting to be," he claimed. "It's just nonsense and I haven't the vaguest idea where these stories come from. But I can tell you categorically it is absolutely untrue. "There has been no contact whatsoever and to say there have been meetings is rubbish."

Source: ESA