The Thaksin Takeover of Manchester City: An Overview Essay

This post is simply a link to an essay written a month ago that provides an overview of some of the key questions involved in Thaksin’s move to buy Manchester City Football Club.

MCIVTA/New Mandala Overview Essay

This essay doesn’t settle all the questions, of course, and my thinking has continued to evolve since it was written as events have unfolded and I’ve continued to learn more about Thailand and Thaksin’s record. The basic argument it advanced is that while Thaksin most certainly is complicit in human rights abuses, it can be reasonably argued that his regime was a bette than the plausible alternatives, and in particular better than the regime established by the military coup plotters. It also argued that even if one feels Thaksin is bad for Thai democracy, then one perhaps should be happy that he is devoting himself to sport and not to returning to power.

But that argument only works if it is the case that Thaksin truly is retired from politics (as he claims) and is not simply using the club as a stunt to advance his own reputation and long-term political prospects (as many suspect). Consequently, Manchester City fans should keep a close eye on Thaksin and remain skeptical about his motivations; and we should insist on the separation of football from political agendas.

This blog is one small way, perhaps, to help do that.

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