Eriksson familiar with financial roller coaster at top

When Roman Abramovich's estimated £9.5bn fortune has just failed to deliver the Carling Cup, there must be uncertainties about the capacity of Thaksin Shinawatra (estimated personal wealth with assets unfrozen: £1.5bn) to turn Manchester City into the "next Manchester United".

But the club's manager, Sven Goran Eriksson, declared himself ready to go along for the ride yesterday, even though his analysis of the chairman's notion was laced with demonstrably more realism.

Did Thaksin have a full understanding of what it takes to compete with the Uniteds of this world, Eriksson was asked.

"I'm quite sure he knows how much the other clubs are paying for star players," Eriksson replied. "Remember that Chelsea was a good team but only started to compete with Manchester United and Arsenal when Abramovich came in. How long it will take I don't know.

"It depends on a lot of things – how good the players we have now are and how much better they can become – and depends on the level of players we take in the future because they must be the very top if we are to do that.

"Beating United in a single match, of course, is positive, but beating them over the course of a season or on an international level, given their fame, will be really difficult. That's why United are where they are and why we are where we are," Eriksson added.

Of course, City are not the only second-string club with money to invest in being "the next Manchester United", which means clubs may have no interest in taking your buckets of Thai cash. Take Tottenham, Eriksson suggested.

"Of course they want to keep [Dimitar] Berbatov. I wouldn't say it [would be] suicide, but it would be very close if they let him go. They don't want to be 11th in the table next season at this stage."

Eriksson knows that money can be ephemeral in football. At Lazio, he fought for the title for three years and finally won it, plus the European Cup-Winners' Cup, with money behind him. But then it ran out.

"That is why Lazio are where they are today," he said. He will also be aware that his chairman, whose decision to take Kaspar Schmeichel and Kelvin Etuhu to Bangkok will be viewed by many as a publicity stunt, cherishes media attention and has a track record when it comes to issuing sound bites like yesterday's.

An interview Thaksin gave in December may be nearer reality. In it, he complained that running a football club was painfully expensive and that he might need to seek securitisation of the gate receipts to obtain loan funding for investment in the club – a fateful path which Leeds followed – to help move City on.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore