Friday, June 08, 2007

Thaksin to buy English club to inspire poor Asians

Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister who is bidding a reported US$197 million for English Premier League club Manchester City, said he hoped to inspire poor Asian children by owning an English football club. “In getting involved in the football club in England or in the Premier League, we will allow another window open for the younger generation in Asia. That is what I think,” the exiled former leader told AFP. “Anything that we can do to provide opportunities to younger generations in Asia, we should do it,” he said.

Thaksin, whose great-grandfather was an impoverished Chinese immigrant, said that in Thailand “there are still many poor but talented” children. He said that in the West, sports “provide opportunities for the gifted young generation to have an opportunity to show themselves, to make themselves a millionaire.”

After being ousted by a military coup in September last year, the wealthy businessman has spent much of his time in London in between travelling around the world. However Thaksin is now in Tokyo to be a visiting professor of business and economics at Takushoku University. "I’ve tried to find myself a job by employing myself as a chairman of a football club, but it’s not quick enough,” he said with a laugh. “The university is quicker by employing me as a visiting professor.”

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