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Do you worry about your owner's background?

Premiership Manchester City
by Simon Austin (U1645949) 31 July 2007
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After last season's struggles, the future suddenly looks bright for Manchester City fans.

Sven-Goran Eriksson has stepped into the manager's hotseat and is busily spending his £50m transfer kitty on an eclectic mix of players.

More than 25,000 season tickets have already been sold and fans are even talking about the possibility of challenging for a European place.

There is one main reason for the upturn in mood at the club - Thaksin Shinawatra.

And it is little surprise that City fans are hailing him as their messiah.

But others are not quite so enthusiastic about the former Thai Prime Minister joining the elite group of Premier League owners.

The world's two biggest human rights organisations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have serious reservations about Thaksin being allowed to buy into the Premiership.

Indeed, Human Rights Watch has written to the Premier League questioning why Thaksin was able to pass its fit and proper person test before buying the club.

"This is not somebody who should be mixing in the polite company of the Premier League - he is a human rights abuser of the worst kind," Brad Adams, the group's Asian director, told BBC Sport.

"It's up to the Premier League to decide whether they want to be full of human rights abusers or a club of decent people."

Amnesty International's spokesperson told BBC Sport: "Our view is very clear about the kinds of human rights violations Thaksin has presided over.

"If the FA want to take any of that into account when making their decisions, we're happy to make our documents available to them."

Thaksin also faces a corruption trial in Thailand on 14 August, concerning a land purchase by his wife.

Thaksin completely refutes these allegations of corruption and human rights abuses.

His lawyer, Noppadol Pattama, told BBC Sport that the corruption charges are politically motivated and that none of the human rights allegations has ever been proven.

"Thaksin is the most popular Prime Minister ever in Thailand," he told BBC Sport.

"The civil and human rights charges against him have never been proven.

"My client deserves to be treated as an innocent man, until proven guilty. So far there hasn't been any solid evidence against him."

Yet the controversy surrounding Thaksin is unlikely to subside.

What do you think?

As a football fan, do you care about the background of your club's owner?

If you are a City fan, are you worried about these allegations against Thaksin?

What do you think of the human rights concerns and corruption charges?

Should he have been allowed to pass the Premier League's fit and proper person test and become a club owner?

Or should fans leave these concerns to the powers that be and concentrate on what happens on the pitch?

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Sep 2, 2007

I worry about my dogs background,
I dunno what he thinks of me.

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comment by Rocky57 (U4315019)

posted Sep 3, 2007

This has got nasty.Despite Shankly's ironic statement, we know politics to its practitioners really is more important than life & death (most of our prime ministers, will have people killed to preserve their standing, e.g. The Belgrano, & 1st & 2nd wars against Iraq, & that's just the last 3).

I'm not taking sides on those issues, just stating facts.

But let's get back to football. Surely one worrying aspect about the profile of these overseas investors is that they are entirely financially motivated, & we all know that outside a handful of big clubs football doesn't pay its way. What happens when they don't get their return/just get bored/football goes out of fashion again. The rug gets pulled big style.

I have some sensitivity as a Fulham supporter whose chairman, whilst, not always being Mr Nice Guy does loads of good charity work in the UK, wants to be British but suffers undue racism & is surely more genuine about his football than many of these 'soccer' fans.

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comment by Webby (U6799501)

posted Sep 3, 2007

sorry but this is really boring me now, it's another case where we will never know the full story, what is clear though, from eyewitness accounts not mine, is that Shinawatra was loved by the poor for his political reforms, (there is an excellent article on BBC News you should read) and hated in Bangkok due to his wealth. His human rights record is similar to anyone else who would have led a country that still has capital punishment, so I'm afraid I'm in no position to comment on who is right and wrong, and niether are you in any position to judge anyone but yourselves.

Let him without sin cast the first stone.

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comment by Webby (U6799501)

posted Sep 3, 2007

oh no, I've been rumbled by the expert on Thai politics, well done.

my post is aimed at rags like you who jump on the human rights bandwagon just cos you're obssessed with City, who know nothing about anything in Thailand. I make no claim I know what went on, but neither do you, so take your childish insults, grow up a little, and share your drivel with people your own size, you're lucky schools are back this week.

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posted Aug 12, 2008

It's not really about making a profit out of a football club for these people. It's an insurance policy. They come from countries where, whether they are guilty or not, there is a risk that the regime will take them in. Owning the big football clubs gives them a profile in the West and that provides some degree of safety for them.

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posted Aug 13, 2008

sorry but this is really boring me now, it's another case where we will never know the full story, what is clear though, from eyewitness accounts not mine, is that Shinawatra was loved by the poor for his political reforms, (there is an excellent article on BBC News you should read) and hated in Bangkok due to his wealth. His human rights record is similar to anyone else who would have led a country that still has capital punishment, so I'm afraid I'm in no position to comment on who is right and wrong, and niether are you in any position to judge anyone but yourselves.

Let him without sin cast the first stone.
________________

:) Let him who is without sin... Where did you get that?

Sounds like a defence Hitler, Stalin or Amin might use.

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posted Aug 13, 2008

comment by Denchanter™ (U2894071)
posted 3 Hours Ago

Let him who is without sin... Where did you get that?
-------------------------
<laugh>

not often you hear dot cotton quoted on 606 is it?

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comment by Rocky57 (U4315019)

posted Aug 25, 2008

I trust you're all joking about where that quote comes from. I'm no Christian bible basher but...

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