Was Hughes right to enter the Man City soap opera?

August 12, 2008

Thaksin Shinawatra

Manchester United fans once popularised the old Monty Python song ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ as a stadium chant but it is their neighbours at Manchester City for whom those words have become almost a way of life during the past 32 years without a trophy.  

It looks like City supporters may need to draw on their famed reserves of black humour once again given the current uncertainty surrounding the future of their club.  

When former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived at Eastlands during the 2007 close season — having passed the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper person’ test for club owners — there was bold talk of City playing Champions League football in the not-too-distant future.  

Hopes of a bright new dawn were enhanced by the installation of Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager and a spending spree of around 40 million pounds. 

Although the fans may not have liked Thaksin’s treatment of Eriksson — the Thai dismissing him for his failure to achieve a top-six finish – the appointment of the highly-rated Mark Hughes in June went down well (despite Sparky being a former United hero and often mentioned as a possible successor to Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford). 

The new man’s vow to “challenge at the top table, not only in this country but in Europe” persuaded many fans that further progress lay around the corner.  

Two months on and Hughes must be wondering just what he has got himself into. His arrival after a successful stint at Blackburn Rovers came at a time City were spending a record fee on Brazilian striker Jo and making loud noises about signing Ronaldinho. 

The former Barcelona man is now at AC Milan and City appear to be in limbo. Thaksin’s announcement that he has gone into exile in Britain may spare his wife Potjaman a jail sentence for tax fraud — she had been freed on bail pending an appeal — but it also means most of his assets remain frozen in Thailand.  

Where this leaves City’s spending plans remains to be seen.   

“I was at Blackburn for four years and I knew exactly how things were done, the lines of communication, what have you. At the moment, it’s not quite as it was at Blackburn,” Hughes was quoted as telling the Telegraph. 

PHOTO: Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin and his wife Potjaman Shinawatra wade through an army of photographers at criminal court in Bangkok. July 31 REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang


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We will pull through like we always do. With or without Thaksin’s money or lack of it. Who knows if he’s got any. Then one day we may be able to buy a place in the top 2 like Chelsea have done.

Posted by joey | Report as abusive

No matter what happens, i’ll still be there week in and out cheering for our boys in blue, CTID always

Posted by We're not really here | Report as abusive

we have to trust in the chairman to explore avenues of finance he is vastly experienced in this type of work.
My problem is how thelast regime allowed our club to be sold to this man.
But city fans with their in failing support for the club will,once be the ancor for city

Posted by 60 years a blue | Report as abusive

i sort of feel sorry for the guy, he is trying to protect his wife and family ! who wouldnt ?? but i hope that the saudi arabian cash rich partys that are involved with possibly buying liverpool are watching and thinking this could be a far better investment for them… come and buy city and help lift this cloud of uncertanty of us !!!!

Let’s all laugh at siddy!

Posted by BOB | Report as abusive

As they say in the City, SELL SELL SELL
At least ROVERS won the Premiership and the Worthington cup, in the short time we had some money, city have used the funny money to amass more debt the loss adjusters are coming to get you

Posted by Roversok | Report as abusive

long live the boys in blue.