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Shinawatra quits Manchester City

LONDON, August 23 – Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has offered to quit the club’s board after fleeing Thailand with corruption charges hanging over him, its executive chairman said in comments reported Saturday.

Garry Cook said that Thaksin, the former Thai prime minister facing corruption charges over a property scandal in his homeland, was "embarrassed" about the situation, adding the club was exploring a range of possible actions.

Thaksin, who brought his family to Britain earlier this month, could fall foul of the Premier League’s fit and proper person test, which sets guidelines on who can and cannot be involved in top-flight clubs.

"Doctor Thaksin has been really open about this," said Cook, who was appointed by Thaksin, said in comments quoted in the British press.

"The man is embarrassed about the indignity brought on the club and on the league. He never intended for this to be the case.

"He has said to me: ‘If you need me to resign as a director to serve the needs of the Premier League, I’m fine with that as long as it doesn’t change anything else.’"

With most of his assets frozen as a result of the charges he faces in Thailand, Thaksin has had to scale down his plans for the club.

But Cook was adamant that whatever happened, "we’re not giving up the majority stake-holding".

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"We’re talking about a lot of things. We’ve talked about restructuring the board and selling part of his stake to an equity partner, who could come in and take some of the pressure away," he said.

Cook said the club still wanted to sign a football superstar to boost its profile in markets like China and India after trying unsuccessfully to lure Ronaldinho.

He added that Thaksin had been advised by security experts to stay away from City’s home games.

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