EX-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has given his first British television interview in which he has dismissed claims that corruption charges will bar him for ownership of Manchester City.Shinawatra formally tabled a bid for the Blues this morning after weeks of speculation over the takeover.Thaksin Shinawatra hopes to have a new Manchester City manager in place inside the next week – and admits he has spoken to Sven-Goran Eriksson.The former England coach would appear to be the front-runner now Shinawatra has a controlling interest in the club.Shinawatra today made a formal £81.6million offer and the board have recommended shareholders to accept it.The former Thai prime minister has been pledged a 55.9% stake through irrevocable undertakings – shares owned by members of the board and former chairman Francis Lee.
His first task is to appoint a new manager, through recommendations from his advisors, and headway is being made.
Shinawatra told Sky Sports News: “I have advisors working on the new manager and they inform me from time to time – I leave this to my professionals.
“Sven-Goran Eriksson is one of the names that my advisor told me about. He has a very good reputation and he is a very capable coach.
“I’ve met him once – probably last week maybe.
“I had my advisor talk to him and just say hello and touch base. I didn’t talk to him (Eriksson) that long because my advisor did that interview.
“I am very new in the Premier League so I’ll let the professionals decide.
“If they will give me all the analysis and tell me this is the one they prefer…I normally follow their recommendation.”
It is understood Shinawatra and his team would like the new man in place before the players return to training at the beginning of July.
That way the coach and the players can hit the ground running and enjoy a full pre-season together.
Shinawatra said: “Nobody’s perfect but as long as he can do the job and likes the job and is fit for it, and my advisors say this is the man, then I’ll support it.
“I can’t say anything until next week. I hope to have a manager.
“After I have more than 75% I can decide on many important issues.”
Former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri was also a contender for the role but opted instead to join Juventus because of the delay in the City takeover talks.
The only other major shareholder in the club is Sky, who own 9.9%.
Should they sell up that would take Shinawatra to 65.8% of the shareholding and closer to the 75% threshold where he could take the company off the the Stock Exchange.
If things go to plan he would become chairman with his son and daughter joining the board.
Current chairman John Wardle would then step down to vice chairman but Alistair Mackintosh would remain as chief executive.
Dennis Tueart, Mark Boler and David Makin are all standing down as directors.
Shareholders will receive the bid document in the post with the recommendation from the board and Shinawatra’s outline plans as well.
A transfer kitty, believed to be about £50million, will be made available for Stuart Pearce’s successor.
Shinawatra added on Sky Sports News: “I am quite confident the support is going to be there.
“I will bring some equity and capital to the club so they can invest more on players and other infrastructure if this is necessary.
“The existing players are very good but we have to bring more good players to the club.
“If we come across many good players we have to invest. When you buy a boat you have to buy the engines – but we have to wait until we get the coach.
“We have to be professional and improve the direction of club. The potential is there.
“When you want effectiveness you drive for the target and that is my style – strong leadership not dictatorship.”
Shinawatra remains bullish about charges brought against him by Thai prosecutors and insists they will not impact on his plans for City.
Now based in London, he has also had some of his assets frozen by the government.
The first formal charges lodged against Shinawatra emerged earlier today in Thailand but he has no immediate plans to return to his homeland.
Shinawatra’s wife Khunying Potjaman was also named in the case, which involves allegations of wrongdoing in a 2003 land deal.
The attorney general’s office recommended that officials seize the 13.2-acre plot of land, valued at 772million baht (£12million).
The couple are accused of breaching Article 100 of the National Counter Corruption Act, which bars state officials and their spouses from doing business with a state agency.
The Thai Supreme Court will decide on July 10 if they will hear the case.
Shinawatra said: “I am quite confident after democracy returns to Thailand in December, I will have more justice. I can prove my innocence.”