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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 6, 2008

Man City owner Thaksin 'not selling'

Thaksin Shinawatra has no intention of selling Manchester City.

The former Thailand prime minister has been dismayed at the way talks with potential commercial and business partners have been interpreted, suggesting they could offer him a way of walking away from the Eastlands outfit just over a year after he bought the club.

Thaksin's plans for the Blues have not been helped by his inability to release over £1billion in assets, the sentencing of wife Pojaman to three years in prison for tax evasion - though she is now on bail pending appeal - and his own fraud allegations that still have to be answered, but he remains committed to City.

He had a morning phone call with executive chairman Garry Cook to transmit his commitment to the Blues from his current base in Beijing.

'It is not true to say Thaksin Shinawatra is selling Manchester City,' said a club spokesman.

'He spoke with Garry Cook this morning and those were the sentiments he echoed in very strong terms.'

However, it has been confirmed Thaksin has been in contact with associates, who have expressed an interest in investing in the club, although these have been nothing more than 'exploratory'.

City boss Mark Hughes could certainly do with a bit of extra financial muscle given it will take the impending sale of Vedran Corluka to Tottenham for the Welshman to start moulding his squad.

The only new arrivals at Eastlands this summer have been Brazilian striker Jo - currently on Olympic duty - and Tal Ben Haim, whose arrival for £5million from Chelsea represents the first time in the Thaksin regime that a player has been purchased from a Premier League rival.

However, Hughes was not involved in either purchase and he has outlined a number of areas that will need strengthening if City are to be as competitive as their owner hopes.

At the end of last season, Thaksin spoke of his belief that the Blues could be battling in the Champions League by the 2009-10 campaign.

Such a notion was based on minimal investment this term, with more transfer business being carried out in 12 months' time.

Yet it is difficult to see how City can keep pace with big spending rivals such as Tottenham, let alone break into the top four, without significant funds being made available to Hughes.

In addition, many of the deals done by Sven-Goran Eriksson last season - including Corluka's from Dinamo Zagreb - now require further payments to be made.

Given Hughes learned of the Tottenham deal through the media, the Welshman hardly seems to be being kept in the loop on such matters, quite an alarming situation in itself.

City are in talks over new players, although no deals are thought to be imminent, leaving Hughes to juggle a squad which, in his opinion, is short of numbers and quality, through a tough opening to the season.

That includes a testing period of four games in eight days at the end of the month after the Football League confirmed City must play their Carling Cup second round game as scheduled, just 48 hours before they visit FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Cup.

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