Thailand's ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra launched a bid worth £81.6 million (US$162.6 million) for English Premiership soccer club Manchester City yesterday and the club backed the terms.
The formal offer came as Thai prosecutors in Bangkok laid formal criminal corruption charges against Thaksin in the first case to reach court since a coup last year removed him from power.
The bid by Thaksin's UK Sports Investments company was backed by management at Manchester City, which finished a disappointing 14th place last season in the Premiership.
"This offer provides an exciting opportunity to take Manchester City to the next stage of our development and deliver the on-field success we have been striving for," Man City chairman John Wardle said in a joint statement.
Manchester City has become the latest English soccer team to attract interest from foreign investors.
Following the takeover of Manchester City, eight Premiership clubs will have fallen into foreign ownership - including Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Portsmouth and West Ham.
"I am delighted that the board of Manchester City has recommended my bid for the club and I look forward to continuing the excellent work of John Wardle and his team," added Thaksin Shinawatra in the statement.
"We share a determination to take the club back to its rightful place at the highest level of competition in both the FA Premier League and European football," he said.
The Man City bid, pitched at £0.40 per share, represented a premium of 77.8 percent to the closing share price on Dec. 6 last year, one day before Man City revealed it had received a takeover approach.
The offer is to be financed with £21.6 million in cash and £60 million in debt.
Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin's lawyer and spokesman in Thailand, had said last week that Thaksin still had enough money to buy Manchester City, even after Thai authorities froze US$1.5 billion of his assets over corruption claims.
Before authorities froze his assets, Thaksin had already set aside about 7 billion baht (US$210.6 million) to finance the purchase of Manchester City, Noppadon said.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017