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Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 10:43 UK

Thaksin is not selling - Man City

Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra completed his takeover of City in July last year

Manchester City have denied that owner Thaksin Shinawatra is about to sell the club after 800m of his assets were frozen in Thailand.

The former Thai prime minister faces corruption charges in the country.

A City spokesman denied that Shinawatra wanted to sell the club but said there had been "exploratory talks" with potential investors.

Shinawatra's wife, Pojaman, was sentenced to three years in jail last week for tax fraud.

The BBC's South East Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head, said Shinawatra realises he is "in some trouble now" and is "having to recalculate everything in his life, including his commitment to Manchester City".

Head said: "Shinawatra's camp were very confident he could get that money unfrozen when he came back to Thailand in March.

606: DEBATE

"Thailand has a government that is led by his allies...but the courts have been very tough with him.

"Things look a lot more gloomy for him now than they did four months ago.

"He is clearly looking very worried. His wife was not only given three years in jail but a very fierce lecture and her conviction was publicly televised.

"It showed him he really is being humiliated by his opponents at the moment and there's a really good chance that at least one of the cases against him will result in a conviction."

Head said Shinawatra was unlikely to be able to get his hands on the 800m of frozen assets in Thailand for several months.

"Until he can clear himself of all of the cases against him - there are three pending and the possibility of more - the chances are that money will remain frozen," Head said.

"He could be tied up in court for many, many months and won't be able to get his hands on that cash while that goes on.

"What we don't know is how much money Shinawatra has outside Thailand. Some estimates say as much as 200m or 300m. We don't really know how liquid he is at the moment and how much he needs that 800m unfrozen."


see also
Ex-Thai PM's wife guilty of fraud
31 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Embattled Thaksin faces new trial
28 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Man City deputy chairman leaves
09 Jul 08 |  Man City
Thaksin goes on trial in Thailand
08 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Hughes becomes Man City manager
05 Jun 08 |  Man City
Eriksson leaves Manchester City
02 Jun 08 |  Man City
Thaksin completes Man City buyout
06 Jul 07 |  Business


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