Simon Hattenstone on the “New” Manchester City

Guardian columnist and lifelong City fan Simon Hattenstone has a hard think about what Manchester City has become under Thaksin Shinawatra, and has decided he just can’t take it anymore. Hattenstone is sure to catch a lot of abuse for his column announcing his intention to swear off supporting City until Thaksin is gone, but similar sentiments can be found on just about any City message board vocalised by a thoughtful minority of City fans who dislike the idea of their club becoming Thaksin’s plaything.

Apart from Hattenstone’s personal view, perhaps the most interesting bit in the column is the revelation that the club has decided not to give interviews to the Guardian because of critical press coverage of the club (read Thaksin) in the past. How dare anyone raise a critical question about a man accused of human rights abuses and other attacks on democratic norms as prime minister! Shut up and watch the football, or better yet watch the football and sing Thaksin an adoring song telling him how great he is and how grateful City fans are for his largesse.

Update: it’s rather interesting seeing the responses to Hattenstone’s columns, with some City fans defending Thaksin with reference to what he has done and is expected to do re results, while others are having a discussion about whether fans are morally responsible for their club’s ownership. All this ground has been discussed extensively in this blog previously; for a full summary see this post.

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