Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thailand's Thaksin makes 7.5 billion baht with sale of English football team

Ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra loses Man City on Tuesday to an Abu Dhabi group - but gains a profit of about 7.5 billion baht. "My financial position has changed in the last 15 months," he said.

( - The takeover of Manchester City by Abu Dhabi investors has been made final, and ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra will lose the club by Tuesday, the British media reported from Manchester on Sunday.

"My financial position has changed in the last 15 months," said Mr Thaksin, according to the reports.

"I thus felt it was in the best interests of everyone associated with the club that I hand over the reins to new owners who share similar ambitions and visions to my own for Manchester City."

The deal is believed to be worth roughly 210 million pounds (about 12.76 billion baht; US$375 million).

In July of last year, he bought Manchester City Football Club for 82 million pounds, or 5.2 billion baht.

The reports quoted Premier League officials as saying that Abu Dhabi United Group, led by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has concluded its process of due diligence and finalised its negotiations to purchase the team from Mr Thaksin.

The former premier, living in exile in England to avoid corruption court cases in Thailand, will retain a minority stake in the club.

The Arab group's oil wealth makes City the richest club in world football. Man City has promised to make more high-profile signings in the January transfer window after already luring Brazil striker Robinho from Real Madrid.

Robinho scored in City's 6-0 win over Portsmouth on Sunday. (Compiled from agency reports)

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