Thaksin back in front of crowds as he hosts concert for soccer fans in England – International Herald Tribune

 International Herald Tribune

Thaksin back in front of crowds as he hosts concert for soccer fans in England

The Associated Press

Published: August 4, 2007

MANCHESTER, England: Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra hosted a concert attended by more than 8,000 people in Manchester’s main square Saturday — his first major public appearance since he was ousted in a military coup last year.

Surrounded by players from the soccer team he recently bought, Manchester City, Thaksin addressed the cheering crowd outside Manchester Town Hall.

Before the event, Thaksin told The Associated Press he had no plans to attempt a political comeback in Thailand. However, he said the event would demonstrate the strong levels of support he has back home and in England, where he lives in self-imposed exile.

“The people in Thailand, the majority of them, are still supporting me,” Thaksin said after watching his first Manchester City game — a 1-0 defeat of Spanish team Valencia in a preseason friendly.

“If there were to be free and fair elections, my party would win again because this is the first time in Thai history that they have overthrown a very popular government,” he told AP.

Thaksin thanked the club and Manchester for accepting him.

“I feel very honored and touched by the type of reception I have received from you all today,” he said.

Thaksin endeared himself further to the crowd by closing the concert — which featured popular Thai singer Mai Charoenpura — singing the club’s anthem “Blue Moon.”

Thaksin completed his 81.6 million pound (US$162 million; €121 million) purchase of the soccer team last month, despite the military-appointed Thai government freezing more than US$2 billion (€1.5 billion) of his family’s assets.

Thaksin faces a series of corruption charges in Thailand relating to his five years in power.

This week, he was accused of overseeing extrajudicial executions, illegal abductions, arbitrary detention, torture and other mistreatment of people in detention during his premiership by Human Rights Watch, which made the allegations in a letter to the Premier League protesting his takeover of Manchester City.

Noi Ramasut, a friend of Thaksin’s for 40 years, predicted the images of the event broadcast in Thailand would reinvigorate supporters of his Thai Rak Thai Party, which was disbanded by a court ruling in May in a bid to eradicate the former premier’s political influence.

“He doesn’t want to create conflict now. He will wait for it all to calm down,” said Ramasut, who moved to Britain in 1973 from Bangkok. “This event will make a lot of people feel alive and feel he is present and his future in Thai politics is alive and well.”

Thaksin back in front of crowds as he hosts concert for soccer fans in England – International Herald Tribune

BBC News

Man City bash held for Thai owner

Thaksin Shinawatra

Mr Shinawatra earlier attended the friendly against Valencia

About 5,000 people gathered for a free concert in Manchester hosted by former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Manchester City team and manager Sven-Goran Eriksson joined the club’s new owner for a Thailand-themed party in Albert Square on Saturday night.

The crowd was entertained by a Frank Sinatra tribute singer, Cole Page, and Thai performer Mai Charoenpura.

But the biggest cheer was reserved for a rendition of City anthem Blue Moon, which Dr Shinawatra sang to the crowd.

The club’s new owner was making his first major public appearance since being ousted from power in Thailand by a military coup last year.

Crowd at Albert Square

About 5,000 people are believed to have attended

His ownership has caused controversy among some football fans.

In addition to a string of corruption charges he faces in Thailand, the former Prime Minister was described by Human Rights Watch as “a human rights abuser of the worst kind”.

But addressing the crowd on Saturday night, he thanked the club and the people of Manchester for accepting him.

He said: “I feel very honoured and touched by the type of reception I have received from you all today.”

Greater Manchester Police said the event passed off trouble free.

Earlier, City lost 1-0 in a pre-season friendly against Spanish club Valencia at the City of Manchester stadium

 

Newindpress.com

Thaksin sets European target for Manchester City
Sunday August 5 2007 00:00 IST

IANS

LONDON: Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been set the target of taking the club into Europe within two years by the ambitious new owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

The former England manager has opted not to go public with his own aims for the future. But having spent 40 million pounds on new players since replacing Stuart Pearce, and with the prospect of more to come, Eriksson knows the pressure is on him to deliver.

Thaksin, the former Thai prime minister, is wise enough to understand it may take some time for Eriksson’s revamped squad to hit top form.
But he does have clear ideas about where he sees the Swede taking City in the short term.

“This season, I feel we should be able to finish in the top 10,” he told Manchester City official website.
“The second season we should be aiming for the top six and qualifying for Europe.
“I accept the first year is a learning curve but we should start to be successful by the third. That is what I would expect.”

Eriksson’s triple swoop on the transfer market on Thursday took the number of new arrivals to seven.
Bizarrely, given the number of Premiership games he watched during his time in charge of the national side, not one of his signings has ever played in England before.

Defensive duo Javi Garrido and Vedran Corluka, plus Brazil midfielder Elano are the latest stars to join the Eriksson bandwagon, with Bulgarian forward Valeri Bojinov set to complete his own move to Eastlands from Fiorentina shortly.
City fans will get their first opportunity to examine their new-look side in Saturday’s high-profile clash with Valencia but Thaksin is already happy with what he has seen.

“I am pleased with what Sven has done,” he said.
“He has set about reshaping the side and has handled both the existing players and the new ones very well. He has given everyone their chance.
“Sven has proved to be quite a draw when it comes to signing players. His name and reputation have proved to be valuable.
“There is more money to spend if he feels he needs it but we will not be held to ransom by other clubs.”

 

FOX Sports.com

 

Thaksin upbeat despite Man City losing

Associated Press, Updated 22 hours ago

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Manchester City lost 1-0 to Valencia in a preseason friendly on Saturday, his first home game since taking charge.

David Silva scored for the Spaniards in the ninth minute.

The defeat marred the carnival atmosphere which greeted Eriksson and new owner Thaksin Shinawatra at the City of Manchester Stadium.

Thaksin, whose suitability to own a Premier League club has been questioned by human rights activists this week, told The Associated Press he was touched by the fans’ welcome.

“I feel very warm that the community embraced me today,” Thaksin said. “I have tried my best for the club. What I have started in the first month of taking over gives me some hope that Manchester City, having not won a trophy in 31 years, may have some hope now.”

Eriksson has spent about 30 million pounds (US$60.9 million; €44.6 million) of Thaksin’s money on eight players since being appointed on July 6.

“The players we brought in are quite different, and I think if they have more time to play together they can do much better,” Thaksin said.

Eriksson insisted he was pleased with the performance against a Champions League team.

“I’m very positive, we played one of the best teams in Europe,” Eriksson said. “We will have an exciting team this season, with young, good football players.”

Eriksson, who blushed as fans gave him a pre-match standing ovation, has spent around 30 million pounds (US$60.9 million; €44.6 million) of Thaksin’s money on eight players since being appointed on July 6.

The Swede now has a week to prepare his global recruits for the start of Premier League season next Saturday when Man City travels to West Ham.

“I would be a liar if I said I didn’t wish for a bit more time,” Eriksson said. “But I liked what I saw and I am much more positive than I was this morning. We will be better next week for sure.”

Eriksson is under pressure to improve on City’s 14th-place finish in the 20-team league under his predecessor Stuart Pearce.

Cheering fans mobbed Thaksin as he arrived at the stadium to the strains of Thai music, and the accolades continued when he took his place in the directors’ box.

City was unable to end its scoring drought at home, despite late efforts by newcomers Rolando Bianchi and Geovanni. City netted just 10 goals at home last season – the final time on New Year’s Day – setting a Premier League record.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t score a goal – we deserved that,” Eriksson said. “The goals will come in the Premier League, I hope.”

Valencia’s goal came after a wayward pass by Switzerland under-21 captain Gelson Fernandes, one of five new City signings in the staring lineup.

Joaquin Sanchez had his shot parried by Kapser Schmeichel, giving Silva a clear view on goal to dampen City’s celebrations.

 

Times Online

August 3, 2007

Thaksin hits back at critics as pace of rebuilding City grows

Oliver Kay

Thaksin Shinawatra, the new owner of Manchester City, has endeared himself to many of the club’s fans by sanctioning a £40 million spending spree since taking control a month ago and yesterday he hit back at critics who have been less eager to welcome the former Prime Minister of Thailand, whose regime was accused of human rights abuse.

The Asia division of Human Rights Watch branded Thaksin “a human rights abuser of the worst kind”, having written to the Premier League to ask how he had passed its “fit and proper person test” after his £81.6 million takeover, but he has spoken out to defend his reputation.

“I was a democratically elected leader ousted by a military coup, so I know that the British people, as a mature democracy, understand my position well,” he said. “I am still very popular in Thailand and the military are trying to justify why they have overthrown me. There is no evidence that I violated any human rights.”

Sven-Göran Eriksson, whom Thaksin appointed manager on arrival at City, completed a further three signings yesterday, Elano Blumer, the Brazil midfield player, from Shakhtar Donetsk for £8 million, Vedran Corlu-ka, the Croatia defender, from Dynamo Zagreb for about £7 million and Javier Garrido, the Spanish left back, from Real Sociedad for £1.5 million.

The arrivals are expected to keep coming over the next week, with Valeri Bojinov, the highly rated Bul-garia forward, close to securing a £5.75 million transfer from Fiorentina, which would take the spending in the past month to £38 million, and at least one more signing is likely next week. The spree makes City the third-biggest spenders in the Barclays Premier League this summer and it will quickly be put to the test in tomorrow’s friendly at home to Valencia.

Manchester City Football Club Official Web Site

Dr Thaksin invites you to be part of One City

03/08/2007 11:50



Free Concert Aug 4th Albert Square, Manchester (6pm – 8.30pm)

New Manchester City owner and chairman Dr Thaksin Shinawatra is inviting people from all over Manchester to the ONE CITY free concert, to be held in Albert Square, Manchester this Saturday evening.

Dr Thaksin is keen to build on the existing relationship between the City of Manchester and his home country.  The event also symbolises the Club’s great commitment to working with the different cultures and communities of our diverse city.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, several of the Blues’ first team squad and other special guests including World Champion boxer Ricky Hatton will be attending the event. Delicious FREE Thai food will be cooked up on the spot and a licensed bar will be available for all.



Mai Charoenpura, one of Thailand’s most popular entertainers among a number of other artists, will be singing live at the event. Dr Thaksin has been delighted to be dubbed ‘Frank Sinatra’ by City fans since his arrival at the Club, so with this in mind a Frank Sinatra tribute singer will help get everyone in the party mood.

Open to all, the concert will follow Manchester City’ friendly against Valencia, staged after the Thomas Cook Trophy match on Saturday 4th August and begins at 6pm. The Club will provide some limited free transport from the Stadium to Albert Square, allowing supporters to enjoy the game and then move onto the party.

This event follows other Manchester City, One City cultural events held each year and our day to day engagement with it’s communities. 

Tim Oscroft

 

City ambitions

Eriksson and Thaksin: City ambitions

Thaksin wants top 10, then Europe

Sven-Goran Eriksson has been set the target of taking Manchester City into Europe within two years by the Blues’ new owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

The former England boss has opted not to go public with his own aims for the future but having spent £40million on new players since replacing Stuart Pearce, and with the prospect of more to come, Eriksson knows the pressure is on him to deliver.

Thaksin is wise enough to understand it may take some time for Eriksson’s revamped squad to hit top form.

But he does have clear ideas about where he sees the Swede taking City in the short term.

“This season, I feel we should be able to finish in the top 10,” he told the Manchester Evening News.

“The second season we should be aiming for the top six and qualifying for Europe.

“I accept the first year is a learning curve but we should start to be successful by the third. That is what I would expect.”

Eriksson’s triple swoop on the transfer market on Thursday took the number of new arrivals to seven.

Bizarrely, given the number of Premiership games he watched during his time in charge of the national side, not one of his signings has ever played in England before.

Defensive duo Javi Garrido and Vedran Corluka, plus Brazil midfielder Elano are the latest stars to join the Eriksson bandwagon, with Bulgarian forward Valeri Bojinov set to complete his own move to Eastlands from Fiorentina shortly.

City fans will get their first opportunity to examine their new-look side in Saturday’s high-profile clash with Valencia but Thaksin is already happy with what he has seen.

“I am pleased with what Sven has done,” he said.

“He has set about reshaping the side and has handled both the existing players and the new ones very well. He has given everyone their chance.

“Sven has proved to be quite a draw when it comes to signing players. His name and reputation have proved to be valuable.

“There is more money to spend if he feels he needs it but we will not be held to ransom by other clubs.”

 

image

Thaksin forms three-year plan

Thaksin Shinawatra
AMBITIOUS: Thaksin Shinawatra

Chris Bailey
3/ 8/2007

THAKSIN Shinawatra, who just loves his City nickname `Frank Sinatra,’ has set out his blueprint for success.
And just like the iconic crooner, the Thai billionaire, who has bankrolled the Blues in shelling out over £100m, says: “I’ll do it my way.”
City’s new owner has set his sights on a top 10 Premiership place this season but accepts it will be 2010 before the club lands silverware.
Despite spending £40m so far this summer, new boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has been reluctant to declare his hand in terms of expectation and ambition.
But in an exclusive interview with MEN Sport, Shinawatra has revealed a three-year plan that has the top six on the agenda in the second season and silverware by the end of year three.

“This season I feel we should be able to finish in the top ten,” declared the controversial former Thai Prime Minister. “The second season we should be aiming for the top six and qualifying for Europe.

“I accept that the first year is a learning curve but we should start to be successful by the third. That is what I would expect.”
Shinawatra has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the former England chief, who was a surprise arrival to succeed Stuart Pearce as manager.
“I am pleased with what Sven has done,” he declared. “He has set about reshaping the side and has handled both the existing players and the new ones very well. He has given everyone their chance.

“Sven has proved quite a draw when it comes to signing players. His name and reputation have proved valuable. I talk to him on the phone regularly and he keeps me informed of who he wants and what it will cost.

“There is more money to spend if he feels he needs it but we will not be held to ransom by other clubs. I am new to the industry but that doesn’t mean I am naive. I am surrounded by good people who will make sure we get value for money.”
Do you think City will finally land some silverware witn Sven at the helm? Have your say.

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