Thaksin Shinawatra would be acting alone if he chose to dismiss Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson, it has been revealed.
The Times says Eriksson has the backing of the majority of the City board, Pini Zahavi, the "super agent" who advises City owner Thaksin, the players and the supporters, who recognise the sterling job that the former England head coach has done, having been appointed only five weeks before the start of the season.
Thaksin has been advised that he would be making a serious error if he decided to replace Eriksson and that such a move would not only risk annoying many within the club but, more troublingly, could lead to a revolt among the fans, most of whom have taken the manager to their hearts and reacted with a mixture of disbelief and indignation to the news yesterday.
"Everyone knows that when a club changes manager there needs to be a bedding-in period, but City's results were so good under Sven in the first few months of the season that Thaksin must have thought that challenging the top four would be easy," a City source said.
"That could not be further from the truth and now Sven seems to be paying the price for his own fine start. There must be some perspective, but there appears to be a real danger of that being lost. The owner really needs to step back and take a look at just how much the club has achieved during Eriksson's reign."