Thaksin refuses to back Man City boss Eriksson

Thaksin Shinawatra has pledged to stay as Manchester City owner "for life" - but has once again refused to back manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000;document.write('');

Eriksson is due to hold discussions with the former Thailand Prime Minister, in theory to address the current position and prospects for the summer but held amid growing rumour that the former England coach is about to lose his job.

That Thaksin was present to see City toss away a two-goal advantage in the final 20 minutes against Fulham yesterday hardly helps, especially as it had almost certainly cost them any remaining chance of landing a European place.

"I want to keep the club long-term," he said.

"It will remain private and I want to hold it for life.

"I see the club as always growing and growing beyond the city of Manchester. The Premier League is a global brand, so if we are in the UEFA Cup or Champions League it will mean we will go beyond Manchester."

Maybe those words are to be expected, as is a commitment to invest in the academy, which has just spawned a team good enough to win the FA Youth Cup, and a re-statement of a declaration to have City in the Champions League by year three of his grand plan.

But Thaksin spoke very much in the past tense when addressing what excited him about his first year at the helm.

"I felt very optimistic after I got Sven-Goran Eriksson as coach," he said.

"We also got some new players and even though it was quite heavy on my pocket, I was very confident the club would be moving forward.

"At the start of the season we were playing exciting football and making new friends. I like that style and the way Sven was training them, the way the team came together and the way they played football."

The message therefore is quite clear. If Eriksson remains, and the question mark is still there, it is the swashbuckling early season form that is demanded not the slump experienced from January onwards.

Have your say