Moss Side, near Manchester, England - Friday 22 June 2007

The hopes and dreams of the loyal and long suffering supporters of the popular football club, Manchester City, were cruelly shattered last night when the former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra suddenly withdrew from takeover negotiations and and unexpectedly deposited his £81 million from a brown paper bag into an unnamed Swiss bank account.

In an exclusive interview, Mr. Shinywart explained:

‘I feel so stupid but I was conned and lied to. I thought Manchester City was a proper, massive Premiership football club. One that would sell lots of shirts in Thailand. However, when I recently visited Madchester to see John Wardle, I specifically asked to meet with my two favourite players, Silvia Distin and Josephine Barton.’

‘I think Distin is a superb defender and influential captain. I intended to build a brand new team around him - a team capable of restoring Citeh to their rightful place, a team capable of avoiding relegation every season.’

‘I am also a massive fan of Miss. Barton because I am looking for a new bodyguard with a warped mind, delusions of grandeur and a propensity for violence.’

‘I met Mr. Waddle in a dingy Working Men’s Club in a pleasant village called Hulme and was staggered to learn that both Sylvia and Josephine had both recently been sold. When I demanded an explanation, Mr. Wardle said it was to raise money as compensation for an ex-employee called Mr. Pearce Steward.’

‘I asked if we could use the money from Distin’s sale to buy a world class, international striker, guaranteed to remain injury free and score 20 goals a season. Or failing that, Michael Owen. Mr. Wardell then went a strange colour and mumbled that Distin had left on a free transfer to reduce the massive wage bill.’

‘I was now very angry and demanded to be introduced to the manager. Mr. Wardle looked a little sheepish and said they had decided to sack him because he kept telling the truth and, in any case, he thought I was going to bribe a Swedish adulterer with hard core porn videos to lead us into a new trophy laden era.’

‘After a silent lunch (Thai Green Curry with chips and gravy), we then caught the 34 bus to the modern, valuable stadium. I was really looking forward to this because I intended to sell it and share a ground with Glazer’s successful team who play in Red. Then, I discovered that Manchester City don’t even own this asset. Instead, they play their home games in a property rented from the local council.’

‘Enough is enough. I was now very close to withdrawing my offer. I gave Mr. Woddle one last chance to salvage the deal. I asked him for a video of all of the highlights and exciting goals from last season. Mr. Wardell mumbled: ‘Even with highlights, reserve games, the Xmas party and all the cup competitions, we still didn’t have enough footage to make a DVD. However, we do have a 37 second clip on YouTube featuring all the goals from our home fixtures.’

‘So that was that. The deal is off. If I am convicted on charges of corruption, bribery and fraud and have to spend 15 years in a Thai prison, it will be a narrow escape compared with being the owner of Manchester City.’

John Wardle was bitterly disappointed at this breakdown in negotiations and issued a brief statement:

‘Well, he started it. He invited me to Thailand where I bought this £4,000 Gold Rolex for 15 quid on a street market. The bloody thing is always 12 minutes slow so I keep missing kick-off and vital business appointments.’

‘Mr. Skinnywater is a opportunistic fraudster who knows absolutely nothing about football. I say this because he claims we need to buy two strikers, two midfielders and a goal-keeper. So, clearly, the man thinks English teams only have five players. What an complete idiot !’

‘And another thing, when I was in Bangkok, I decided to sample the nighttime delights of Patpong where I enjoyed a drink with a delightful hostess. She was stunning. I truly loved that girl. I was going to bring her home to Moss Side and marry her until she revealed a deep voice, a preference for the rear entrance, hairy armpits and a 10" sex aid strapped around her waist. At least, (s)he claimed it was a sex aid. I can only thank God I followed Thaksin’s advice and decided to pull out at the last minute.’

31 years.