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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 18:26 UK

Man City boss calms Thaksin fears

Thaksin Shinawatra
Shinawatra fled to Britain with his wife on Sunday

Manchester City's executive chairman Garry Cook says the uncertainty around owner Thaksin Shinawatra does not pose any threat to the club's stability.

There is a warrant for his arrest in Thailand and the Premier League says he may take its 'fit and proper person test' to see if he can own a club.

"City's future is not in jeopardy. In the short term it's business as usual," Cook told the Manchester Evening News.

"He's willing to look at whatever it takes to make City a great club."

An arrest warrant for the former Thai Prime Minister was issued after he failed to appear in court in Bangkok on Monday.

The test was introduced to ensure that only "fit and proper people" are owners or directors of Premier League clubs.

It states that "any director of a club is automatically disqualified if convicted of one of a number of offences by a 'competent court' anywhere in the world."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: "If we feel the rule has been breached, we will invoke it.

"(But) we have a club owner who has not yet been found guilty of any offence."

The test was introduced to ensure that only "fit and proper people" are owners or directors of Premier League clubs.

We will not turn a blind eye to issues of a serious nature

Richard Scudamore
Premier League chief executive

Thaksin is currently facing charges of corruption and abuse of power in Thailand, which he has denied.

The Thai government could ask for Britain to extradite Thaksin so he can face trial in Bangkok.

The two countries have a long-standing extradition treaty and Thailand's democratic government is recognised by Britain.

Scudamore added: "We will not turn a blind eye to issues of a serious nature (but) it is quite a complex matter and we can't just make a judgement on the spot."

He also said the league would seek advice from the UK Home Office and Foreign Office before making any decision.

Thaksin's wife, Pojaman, was sentenced to three years in jail for tax fraud two weeks ago but was granted bail.

The couple fled to Britain on Sunday after watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

But Cook said City fans had nothing to fear and the turmoil surrounding him would not impact on manager Mark Hughes' plans for the new season.

"We don't rely on Dr Thaksin's money," he said.

"When Mark Hughes makes a decision we go through the normal process, which can include banks, finance or a whole bunch of different things just like any other club."




see also
Former Thai PM flees to the UK
11 Aug 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Thaksin 'not fit to run Man City'
31 Jul 07 |  Man City
Ex-Thai PM's wife guilty of fraud
31 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Thaksin goes on trial in Thailand
08 Jul 08 |  Asia-Pacific


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