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Takeover deal up in the air

Reports emerged this morning suggesting that a full, formal bid for the club by Thaksin Shinawatra was imminent and that weeks of uncertainty was shortly to come to an end.

However, news this afternoon shot those reports out of the water, and at a very best scenario it now leaves the club hoping Shinawatra can somehow re-structure his takeover deal, whilst a worse case scenario sees us back to square one with a board keen to sell, no manager in place and having lost two of the better players in recent seasons.

All of this of course stems from the news that his assets and numerous bank accounts in Thailand have been frozen today. The Times reported:

Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand,
had his assets frozen today just as he was closing in on a deal to buy
Manchester City.
An anti-graft committee, investigating Mr Thaksin in
Bangkok, say they have sufficient evidence of corruption to freeze his bank
Mr Thaksin, who was removed from power in a bloodless coup last
year, was undergoing due diligence inquiries and thought to be on the verge of
making an official bid for the Premiership club. His aides refused to accept
that the deal would be aborted.
"The committee found evidence that Thaksin
during his time as prime minister committed corruption and illegal acts as well
as being unusually rich."

Following this announcement, Shinawatra's lawyers announced that "Of course this is going to affect the Manchester City bid, but it is not off. Some things may have to be restructured." All of which led the club to issue the following statement:

"The board notes the information emanating out of Thailand
today in respect of Dr Shinawatra and the freezing of his assets."The board and
its advisers are in discussion with Dr Shinawatra’s advisers to confirm the
implications of these developments in respect of their client’s interest in
potentially making an offer for the company."These discussions and those between
the company and other interested parties may or may not lead to an offer being
made for the company."

Shinawatra can appeal against the decision, but this is believed to take anywhere upto 60 days to go through - which will of course take us upto the start of the season, leaving us in a situation that is beyond thinking but may become a reality if the board have burnt bridges with other potential investors (Ray Ranson) to try and seduce Shinawatra.

Is the Shinawatra deal dead in the water? It seems likely that it now is, as in effect he will have to submit a brand new and re-structured proposal to the board to buy the club. The worrying prospect is of course his interest in the club was merely a flirtation to drum up publicity and PR to attempt to avoid the very decision which has now been handed down today.

Once again we appear to be in a bit of a mess from top to bottom and as we head towards pre-season, there is little appearing on the horizon to foster much optimism.