Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Manchester City cash concern as Thaksin misses court date

Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has cast doubt over the financial future of the club after he failed to return to Thailand to face corruption charges in court and is seeking exile in London instead.

The Thai government has frozen £1billion worth of the former Thai Prime Minister's assets and if Shinawatra fails to return to fight for his cash through the courts he will struggle to finance his ambitions of making City a Champions League club. The 52-year-old, who has always insisted the charges are politically motivated, said in a statement: 'My wife and I will stay in England where democracy is more importan "What happened to me and my family and my close relations resulted from efforts to get rid of me from politics."

Thaksin and his wife were in Beijing over the weekend after a court allowed them to attend the Olympic Games opening ceremony and then flew to England rather than returning to Thailand. The Thai court could now issue an arrest warrant for Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006.

Thaksin completed his purchase of Manchester City in July last year while he was in exile in Britain and is believed to have around £200m available to him. But with such a dent in his wallet Shinawatra is unlikely to fund the building process to move City forward with manager Mark Hughes desperate to strengthen his squad.

The City owner's refusal to head to Bangkok has fuelled rumours that Hughes might actually have to sell players rather than recruit new talent.

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