Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday August 23 2008
Executive Chairman Garry Cook has moved out of the Eastlands shadows to talk about the dreadful situation surrounding City's owner who is preparing to step deeper into those shadows.
As we all know, there was no doubt that before too long the pisspoor Premier League decision makers would be considering daring to go after Thaksin and City over their 'fit-and-proper-person test' which rules that no club is allowed to employ a director with a conviction. Of course the risk where the Premier League is concerned would be in them opening up a pandora's box of dodgy background ownership investigation across the English top flight. They may yet choose to do a Ricky Gervais in Extras at the point of maximum embarrassment, point the other way, mumble and stumble off.
But City's hierarchy are clearly preparing for the worst at any rate. The damage limitation has begun. Thaksin has been advised to keep out of the public eye for his own safety and avoiding Eastlands is one of the precautions. Cook has already met with Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman over the issue. He is also going down the road of hinting at a man of honour angle in his statements to the press:
"Dr Thaksin has been really open. He has said to us, 'If you need me to resign from this football club because it will serve the needs of the Premier League, I'm fine with that.' He is embarrassed about the indignity he has brought upon his football club and the Premier League. He never intended this to be the case. Three months ago, it was very different."
The Grauniad reports:
'Thaksin and his lawyers are examining Premier League documents to see how he can take a passive role behind the scenes and continue bankrolling City without breaking any rules. 'We are looking at taking him off the board as a director,' said Cook. 'But can he be a shareholder? Those are two very different issues. The jurisdiction around the term 'fit-and-proper-person' needs to be more clearly defined. It is a very loose term, almost tongue-in-cheek, because there have been plenty of unfit and improper people in the league over the last 10 years.' '
The sooner the unholy mess surrounding Thaksin is done with the better. Many Blues who gave their support to the takeover, so desperate was the club's playing plight at that time, are steadily forming the opinion that Thaksin should sell up and ship out after promising the stars only for the club's image to be dragged repeatedly through a mire of damaging revelations.
In the short term however, the club's hierarchy continues to be shrouded in a veil of inconsistent, questionable leadership. The very least City fans deserve is some open honesty and explanations from the very top of the club as to exactly what is going on financially and exactly who is scouting and dictating transfer policy. Mark Hughes should not have been having to fend of questions that he has done so admirably in the past weeks.
So Messrs Cook, Aldridge and co, bollocks to knocking out the odd statement via the hacks. Get out there and start talking to the fans NOW.
Date:Saturday August 23 2008
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