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Man City owner dodges Thailand court appearance

The former Thai prime minister, who insists the charges against him and his wife are politically motivated, said in a statement: "My wife and I will stay in England where democracy is more important.

"What happened to me and my family and my close relations resulted from efforts to get rid of me from politics."

The Thai court could now issue an arrest warrant for Thaksin, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006.

This latest turn of events could have implications on Manchester City if Shinawatra has his assets frozen and is unable to continue bankrolling the club.

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