An integral aspect of Thaksin's strategy is to be in a position to bring the cream of Asia's young talent to the club. He told the club's official website, "I plan eventually to establish Manchester City Football Club academies in Asia, firstly in my home nation of Thailand, then in China.

"The Academies are designed to identify and foster talented Asian youth and give them new opportunities in life through the beautiful game of football.

"Manchester City is leading the way in tapping into the reservoir of football talent in Asia. One of my particular hopes is that young Asian players, who show great promise, can find a life in professional football through Manchester City.

"It's my hope that they will become as famous in their own country as our City star Sun Jihai is to China and that young Chinese prospects will follow his shining example.

"Jihai has helped City become a better known club in China."