Manchester City: a tale of love and money – guardian.co.uk, May 18, 2012
[Thanks to Tom for pointing out the references to Thaksin and Thailand in this article about the ownership history of Manchester City.]
…At the end of August 2008, Manchester City, always written up as the people’s club (in contrast to Manchester United’s corporate greed), had been owned by the fugitive former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra. He was accused of murderous human rights abuses, had been convicted in absentia of corruption and the club was hurtling towards ruin.
…in June 2007, somewhat desperate, [Manchester City’s owners] agreed to sell to Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been accused of human rights abuses, ousted as prime minister of Thailand in a military coup, charged with three counts of corruption and had his financial assets in Thailand frozen. He appointed Sven Göran-Eriksson as manager and provided the wherewithal to sign exciting new players including Martin Petrov, Vedran Corluka and Elano, a real, live Brazilian international. The accounts from Thaksin’s single season owning Manchester City, 2007–08, show that, as many had suspected, Elano, Petrov and several others were signed in installments, not as the result of massive investment from Thaksin. He had put some money into the club, but not as much as it had appeared. A year later, with Thaksin on the run, City’s finances plummeted.
…Abu Dhabi United did not say at the time exactly how much they had paid for Manchester City, but a figure of £150m later emerged, meaning that Thaksin had made a personal profit of £90m…
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