Monday, 1 September 2008

Thaksin sells up?

I was expecting a new striker today, maybe a new left back, and wouldn't have been shocked by a new goalkeeper.

But new owners?

It's being reported this morning (they haven't talked about anything else on Sky Sports News for the last thirty minutes or so) that the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment have bought out Thaksin. The story started on It's now on MEN as well.

UPDATE 10.54: The author of the article on, Anil Bhoyrul, just did a long interview on Sky Sports News. The main points:

The group, Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment, was created in the last two days for the purpose of buying MCFC. It is an investment vehicle for the Abu Dhabi royal family. The deal between Thaksin and the Abu Dhabi group was agreed at 9.30pm last night, after three weeks of talks.

The man who will take a place on the MCFC board, Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, was described as 'the Donald Trump of the Arab world'. He is the CEO of Hydra Properties.

With regard to the Abu Dhabi group's plans, Bhoyrul was positive. He said that Dr al-Fahim was a real football fan, whose plan is simple: 'they want to be the new Chelsea'. My only concern now is that the people running the club: Cook, Hughes and Bowen - are retained. Things seem to be going quite well at the moment - to radically change this now would be disastrous. Bhoyrul did not seem entirely sure on this point, but did say "I don't think its bad news for the people currently working at Manchester City".

UPDATE 10.58 An expert on Thai politics just said on SSN that Thaksin will not be on the board, but will stay as an 'Honorary President' or similar title. But in terms of running the club, his time is over.

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