This time last season, season-ticket holders at Eastlands were bouyant. Thaksin Shinawatra had taken over the club, installed Sven as the manager and funded a number of transfers, including Elano, Petrov and Corluka. A bright start to their Premier League campaign, including a defeat of Man United, contributed to the feelgood factor, although there’s currently a very different atmosphere at Eastlands with the season about to start.
Sporting Life report that the future of the club’s ownership is unclear after ‘Frank’ failed to attend a court hearing in his native Thailand. They related to fraud and corruption charges and now the Premier League have to once again decide whether Shinawatra is a ‘fit and proper person’ to own a club in the top flight. Many would argue he shouldn’t have been allowed to do so, especially if you speak to Amnesty International. Could City all of a sudden find themselves in the financial mire?
“As always, we will take advice from the Home Office and the Foreign Office. We are not experts in law in every country, so it is wise to speak with the people who are,” Richard Scudamore said.
It is a matter Scudamore could have done without, although if he feels the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper persons test’ needs to be used for the first time, he will.
“Of course, if we feel the rule has been breached, we will invoke it,” he said.
“We will not turn a blind eye to issues of a serious nature.
“It is quite a complex matter and can’t just make a judgement on the spot but clearly we have a club owner who has not yet been found guilty of any offence.
“However, it is an evolving situation and we will look at it.”
It’s fair to say that Man City will be fairly quiet in the transfer market between now and the end of August, with the owner’s assets frozen by the government in Thailand. Does this also mean that a number of quality players will be leaving Eastlands in the next few weeks, with the club in a state of financial disarray?