Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Thursday June 21 2007
Thaksin Shinawatra has given his first interview to Sky Sports News after his takeover bid was today accepted by the City board.
Shinawatra confirmed that he has spoken to ex English boss Sven Goran Eriksson regarding the vacant manager's post but also confirmed that he was only one of a number of candidates under consideration.
He also claimed that until he had a controlling stake of 75% of the club he couldn't announce who the new manager would be. He expected to be in a position to make that announcement by early next week at the latest.
With regards the playing staff, Shinawatra confirmed that money would be made available to buy new players. Comparing buying a club and not spending on new players to buying a boat without an engine, Shinawatra hinted that as much money as is necessary would be made available to the manager.
Shinawatra took the opportunity to deny all charges that the current Thai junta have laid against him and promised to return to Thailand by the end of the year in order to clear his name.
Shinawatra also conceded that he aimed to raise Manchester City's profile in Asia by developing academies in countries such as Thailand and China. He also promised an increased effort in marketing the club to the population of Asia predicting that City could be as big as the rags and Liverpool in that region within three years.
All in all I was impressed by the Shinawatra interview. I concede that I have always supported Shinawatra's bid and am pleased to see it come to fruition. The man himself came across as intelligent and likeable, although I do accept that he hasn't risen to prominence on the back of a charm offensive alone.
He has though shown a commitment to buy the club and stuck with that commitment regardless of the attacks on his character. He showed he had some knowledge by accepting that he needs to fund the purchase of at least two forwards and two midfielders and most importantly he accepted that Manchester City was a community already in existence and one he wished to be accepted into.
Date:Thursday June 21 2007
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