Watch out Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – Manchester City owner wants a place in the ‘Big Four’

I’m sure we heard something similar from the West Ham camp this time last season. The Press Association reports that Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has drawn up a three-year plan which he hopes will culminate in a top-four placing in the Premier League.

The former Thailand Prime Minister must have been pinching himself earlier this campaign after the team’s flying start saw them in the Champions League qualifying places. Now he wants them to maintain that kind of form throughout the campaign.

“I have a definite plan, a strategy: the first year top 10; the second year to qualify for Europe; and the third we want to be in the top four and qualify for the Champions League,” said Thaksin in an extensive interview with City’s matchday programme ahead of their final home game of the season against Fulham.

“We have to fit the plan. I know from what we have shown already this year that a top six spot will not be too much pressure but to break into the top four will.

“So that is when I will be prepared to spend a lot of money; to take us into the top four.

“The message is this: I will not be spending huge amounts of money this summer but next summer I will.”

It’s unclear as to whether manager Sven-Goran Eriksson is part of the long-term picture although the Swede maintains that he will serve the remaining two years of his contract at Eastlands. The question remains as to whether the club can attract the calibre of players which will see them challenge the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham in the next few seasons, especially as they can only qualify for Europe next season through the Intertoto Cup next season.

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