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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul, 7, 2007

Thaksin has 3-year plan for City

HONG KONG, July 7 (Reuters) - Former Thai Prime Minister and new owner of English Premier League soccer club Manchester City Thaksin Shinawatra said on Saturday he was looking for new strikers and midfielders to bring the team to a 'satisfying' level within three years. Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England coach, has agreed to take the helm at City and Thaksin said he had faith that the Swede could raise morale at the club, which avoided relegation by four points last season. Thaksin was deposed in a coup in September and has been living in exile ever since. He is being investigated on more than a dozen counts of alleged corruption and asset concealment. Over $1.5 billion has been frozen in his Thai bank accounts. 'Right now, I have no other plan than to make the club very good,' Thaksin told a news conference in Hong Kong. 'We have to get good players to the club and this season we have to move forward ... It's hard to tell how much we are going to spend. We need strikers, we need midfielders. We need quite a number, maybe five, six, seven, I don't know.' The Thai billionaire said cost was secondary: 'Talent comes first. Wisdom, money comes later on.' He expected news next week 'on who we are going to get.' Thaksin's estimated 81 million pounds ($163.8 million) takeover of City could herald a return to the glory days for the club, whose last major success came in 1976 when they beat Newcastle United to win the League Cup.

Thaksin was bullish about Eriksson. He said: 'I believe in the new manager. The squad, they will have better morale to move up and forward. 'Normally in my life, I don't waste my time for more than three years. So, in three years I should be able to bring the club up to the satisfying level.' While Thaksin is keen on attracting new talent to his football club, he said he was still in the job market. 'I've been unemployed since Sept. 19, so I am finding myself jobs, being a lecturer, being president of a golf association, being a chairman of a football club -- and it still has not filled my time yet. 'I think I have to find something else to do.'

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