Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Thursday, 21 June 2007 08:41 UK

Thaksin lodges bid for Man City

Thaksin Shinawatra

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has lodged an 81.6m formal takeover bid for Manchester City.

The City board said it intended to back the bid from UK Sports Investments, a vehicle indirectly controlled by Mr Thaksin and his son and daughter.

But Mr Thaksin will have to pass the Premier League's standard "fit and proper person" test before being able to complete the proposed takeover.

Thai prosecutors have recently filed corruption charges against Mr Thaksin.

They have also frozen his assets, but Mr Thaksin insisted this would have no affect on his takeover of the club.

"The funds had been allocated for this deal long before my assets were frozen," he said.

"It [the freeze] will be a temporary measure.

"They [the Thai authorities] have no legal right to do so because it is my own money."

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Mr Thaksin has approached Sven-Goran Ericcson about the vacant managers' job.


Mr Thaksin's wife Pojaman has also been named in the corruption case, which involves allegations of wrongdoing in a land deal.

Mr Thaksin's son and daughter, Panthongtae and Pintongta Shinawatra, are also major players in UK Sports Investments.

Manchester City is the latest English football team to attract interest from foreign investors.

If the takeover goes ahead it would mean an addition to the number of Premiership clubs in foreign ownership, with City joining Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Portsmouth, and West Ham.

Newly-promoted Sunderland is also owned by an Irish consortium.

'Excellent work'

The offer is 40p in cash for each Manchester City share, valuing the existing issued share capital of Manchester City at approximately 21.6m, together with net debt of approximately 60m.

"I am delighted that the Board of Manchester City has recommended my bid for the club and I look forward to continuing the excellent work of John Wardle and his team," said Mr Thaksin.

Manchester City's football stadium
Man City could be about to join the list of foreign-owned clubs

"We share a determination to take the club back to its rightful place at the highest level of competition in both the FA Premier League and European football."

John Wardle, chairman of Manchester City, added: "Following our significant progress over the last few years, this offer provides an exciting opportunity to take Manchester City to the next stage of our development and deliver the on-field success we have all been striving for."

Mr Wardle said he had been asked to remain on the board of the club, together with chief executive Alistair Mackintosh.

Land deal

In the background to the proposed takeover has remained the corruption charges that the former Thai PM has been facing.

Mr Thaksin has stayed away from Thailand since the coup which removed him from power last year.

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra playing football (file image)
Thaksin's Man City bid has been dogged by uncertainty

Thai prosecutors have filed corruption charges accusing him of illegally helping his wife buy government-owned land at a bargain price four years ago.

The former Thai leader, who now lives mainly in London and was overthrown in a bloodless military coup last September, denies any wrongdoing.

The charges relate to the purchase of a plot of land in Bangkok by Mr Thaksin's wife Pojaman, for 772m baht ($24m; 12m).

The land, owned by a government agency, had earlier been valued at 2.1bn baht.

Mr Thaksin is accused of illegally influencing the deal.

The Supreme Court said it would decide on 10 July if it would hear the case.

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The corruption charges Mr Thaksin is facing

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