Football’s Favourite Basket Cases

Plus ca change. In June 2007, we expressed our concerns over the new ownership taking over at Manchester City. “The military government in Thailand have already tried to seize all of his assets once”, we said. “I can imagine more stable financial backgrounds that he could have come from”, we said. Did anyone listen? Do they ever? The first danger signs came with the sudden sacking of Sven Goran Eriksson at the end of last season. Eriksson had taken City to ninth place in the Premier League last season, a reasonable performance, all things considered, and into the UEFA Cup via the back door of the Fair Play Awards. Quite what Thaksin was expecting is open to question. If he was expecting a considerable amount more than than, then he’s delusional. Still, the replacement for Eriksson, Mark Hughes, was a solid enough choice, having taken Blackburn to an over-achievement-tastic seventh place in the table last season. Having done this, they forked out £19m on Jo from CSKA Moscow. With thirty goals in fifty-three matches for CSKA and three appearances in a Brazil shirt, it looked like a tidy piece of business. Then, things started to unravel. First up, they allowed themselves to be led well and truly up the garden path by Ronaldinho, who played City like a banjo in order to secure himself a better deal with Milan....

Read More