Thaksin takes control of Manchester City

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced on Friday that he had gained effective control of the Manchester City club.

updated: July 07, 2007 14:10 IST
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Sven-Goran Eriksson was appointed Manchester City's new manager on Friday after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced he had gained effective control of the club.

"I am absolutely delighted and honored to have been asked to be Manchester City's manager," said Eriksson, who took the job a year after stepping down as England coach. "This is an exciting challenge and I have already started making preparations for the new season. I want to deliver a team that our fantastic fans can be proud of."

Thaksin, who is in exile in Britain after being ousted in a bloodless military coup in September, announced on the Plus Markets stock exchange that the Manchester City board and the other shareholders had waived any opposition to his taking over the club through his company UK Sports Investments Limited.

"UKSIL announces that all conditions relating to the offer have been satisfied or waived," his company said on the stock exchange. "Accordingly, the offer has been declared unconditional in all respects. The offer will remain open for acceptance until further notice."

Eriksson, who has been at City's training camp with the players for the past two days, is set to sign a three-year deal worth a reported nine millions pounds as he bids to transform the ailing club into a title contender.

City, which last won the league championship 1968, has not won a major title since 1976 and has been in the shadow of neighbor Manchester United for four decades.

England has had the same lack of success over roughly the same time span, winning nothing since the 1966 World Cup.

The news from the stock exchange means that Thaksin will become the eighth foreign owner of a Premier League club.

Other foreign owners in the Premier league are Russia's Roman Abramovich of Chelsea and Alexandre Gaydamak of Portsmouth; American businessmen Malcolm Glazer of Manchester United, George Gillett Jr. and Tom Hicks of Liverpool and Randy Lerner of Aston Villa; Iceland's Eggert Magnusson of West Ham; and Egypt's Mohamed al Fayed of Fulham.