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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Man City ask small shareholders to 'sell quickly'

Manchester City have appealed to the club's small shareholders not to hold up the appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson by delaying selling to new Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

The former Thailand prime minister has said he will not complete the signing of the former England coach until he has got the 75% of shares needed to take the club into private ownership.

And with Eriksson already having earmarked his transfer targets, the quicker City get the Swede into the job the better.

Eriksson has also just completed his compensation deal from the Football Association, so he is free to take another job.

Thaksin is now at the 70% mark, having mopped up the last two shareholdings of 3% - 1.7million shares - bought today.

The two holdings were of £900,000 and £800,000, and that leaves only small shareholders of 2% or less to agree to sell up.

In all there are 54million City shares on the market, and all the major holders have now sold, with just the fans with 10s, 20s or a few hundred each still to agree.

Most shareholders received their formal acceptance documents from the club in the last 48 hours, with the deadline being July 17.

But City want the deal struck much quicker than that, so Eriksson can get to work.

Time is not on City's side as they approach the new season and next week's return to pre-season training for their playing staff.

A City spokesman said: 'We would appeal to our fans now with small shareholdings to sell as quickly as possible.

'Thaksin is approaching the 70% mark now. Things have not been helped by the postal strike today which has delayed things, but he could reach 75% by early next week if things go well.

'If our fans want to see the pace towards a new future they want, then they need to get cracking and sell quickly to speed things along.'