Thai deal accepted

Posted by Rushian on May 18, 2004, 02:33:27 AM

Date: 18/5/04 Time: 2:21am London 8:21am Bangkok

News is breaking in the Far East that Liverpool have accepted the Thai deal. Reuters is reporting that the bid for a 30 percent stake of Liverpool FC, led by the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has been approved by the board of LFC.

Sports Authority of Thailand governor Santiparb Tejavanija is reported as telling Channel 3 Television "I am flying to Liverpool, England tonight, our proposal has been approved".

The Sports Authority of Thailand was appointed by the Thai PM to work on details of investment which is believed to be worth 4.6 billion baht (56 to 64 million pounds) for a 30% stake in LFC.

An unnamed senior official at Thaksin's office confirmed the deal "They have informed us by telephone at 4 p.m. that our deal has been accepted. We are waiting a final written confirmation."

The exact details of how the Thais intend to fund the deal remain hazy at best, but latest information suggests that the Sports Authority of Thailand would serve as the main vehicle for the investment by setting up a subsidiary in which SAT would own a 51% stake. The private sector and the Thai public would be encouraged to invest in the company to form the other 49% stake.

Thai taxpayers' money is now not believed to underpin the scheme, the 51% SAT stake being raised through a public lottery.

The news comes against a background of sporadic protests against the proposed Thai deal by Liverpool fans at the Liverpool-Newcastle game on Saturday. Banners ranged from the simple "Say no to Thai deal" through "Thai money = moral bankruptcy. Loyalty doesn't mean blind faith. It's our club" and onto the emotive "We want Morgan, not Thai blood money".

We will keep you updated with any further developments.

3:05am London 9:05am Bangkok - The spokesman for the Thai PM, Chakrapot Penkai, gave a short interview to Rhod Sharp on BBC Raio 5 Live's Up All Night show. He had just taken a short break from a cabinet meeting where the Thai PM was talking to advisors on how to finalise the details of the Thai funding. 

He confirmed that no funding would be forthcoming from Thaksin Shinawatra's personal fortune, but it would instead be a combination of a form of public lottery and the rest from a few private corporations. The spokesman said a delegation would fly out to the UK later on Tuesday to sort out the fine print and details with Liverpool before signing what he described as a "done deal". The Thai PM and his advisors had been told the news verbally on the phone by LFC and were "very happy" about the news.

© RAWK 2004

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