Sven Goran Eriksson's bizarre tour of Thailand has already included five encounters with Thaksin Shinawatra – the man whom he is expecting to be sacked by – but yesterday there was still no definitive idea of what his future holds.
Eriksson and Thaksin's first formal meeting took place in Bangkok on Sunday morning. The 45-minute encounter was said by club sources to have been "friendly" with a "widespread discussion of football matters, including buying and selling of players", but Thaksin's much heralded review of the season now seems likely to go on up to the end of the month.
Sunday's meeting came on the day after City began their post-season promotional tour of Asia with a 3-1 loss to Thailand Premier All-Stars. Thaksin's efforts to entice Thai fans to adopt his club also showed mixed results. The 65,000-capacity Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok was sparsely populated during the so-called "super match" on Saturday.
Thaksin opened a club store in Bangkok on Friday and reiterated his desire to turn City into a global brand. He and Eriksson were together at a dinner organised by City sponsor Singha on Thursday, a drinks reception at the team hotel on Friday and they met before and after Saturday's game.
City flew to the city of Pattaya on Sunday and will journey on to Hong Kong today and return to Manchester on Thursday night. Sources have suggested that even if Thaksin does sack Eriksson during the tour, the Swede will keep to an agreement not to reveal the fact until back in Britain. It is conceivable that his pay-off will be dependent on this. Eriksson has been keeping a brave face on things in Thailand, surprisingly describing his relationship with Thaksin as "good".
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