Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thaksin 'happy with progress'

RELAXED Thaksin Shinawatra headed to London on Tuesday night happy that City's 'bolts' did not need much 'tightening' and his Blue revolution is still on course.

The chairman, who watched his side clamber back into the race for the Premier League's top six by coming from behind to beat Spurs 2-1 on Sunday, held a two-day series of meetings with key personnel at the stadium during his stay.

Plenty of positive spin was put on the recent visit from the owner, of course which coincided perfectly with the 2-1 victory over Tottenham, but nothing compared to the opening paragraphs from this article from The Bangkok Post:

Manchester City chairman Thaksin Shinawatra has proved he is so important to the English Premiership side that his presence can spur the team to triumph.

When their Thaksin was away to fight corruption charges in Thailand, City were like a sinking ship. The players seemed to lack motivation and inspiration and had poor results which affected their ambition to secure a Uefa Cup berth.

This prompted the former prime minister to return to England to "tighten the bolt" and "steady the ship" as well as hold talks with Sven-Goran Eriksson about future plans to make City a major force in England, and perhaps Europe.

The former prime minister instantly made his presence felt at City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday as the Blues came from behind to beat Spurs 2-1 for their first win in four games.

Despite facing corruption and abuse of authority charges, Thaksin is still popular at City. He is often mobbed like a rock star by fans who seek his autograph.

Few football club chairmen receive such treatment from their supporters. This is not surprising as Thaksin has turned around City's fortunes since he took over the club last year.

At the stadium before Sunday's match, Thaksin was all smiles and pretended to fight with British boxer Ricky Hatton, one of the club's best known fans. Whether Thaksin or Hatton is more popular in the blue part of Manchester is debatable.

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