Manchester City quit Thailand as fickle fans lose interest
Manchester City have closed down their Thailand operations following former owner and ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's sale of the club, ending ambitious plans of becoming "Asia's Premier League team".
Jimmy Heosontaty, City's former representative in Thailand, said plans for an academy had been scrapped and the club's merchandise shop, launched to great fanfare last year, had closed due to a lack of interest.
"We saw no point in carrying on after the (Shinawatra) family sold their share," he told Reuters today. "City still have fans here, but there's not a lot of interest anymore."
Thaksin, convicted of graft last year and a fugitive overseas, bought City in July 2007, 10 months after he was ousted in a bloodless military coup.
He hoped to make City Asia's most popular club and signed three barely-known Thai players, a move widely dismissed as a political ploy to earn the support of soccer-mad Thais for a party formed by his supporters.
Amid rising discontent among City fans over his treatment of then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, Thaksin sold the club to a consortium from the United Arab Emirates in September and has been on the run since his British visa was revoked in November.
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Latest in Sport
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world