FORMER Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has defended his controversial interference in the club during Sven-Goran Eriksson’s year in charge.
The businessman controlled City for only one season before the Khaldoon Al Mubarak 2008 takeover changed the club forever.
But his short reign saw him clash with Eriksson during several turbulent months.
The power struggle with the former England manager got so toxic that Shinawatra once sang The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ in Eriksson’s direction before he sacked him the next morning.
The Swedish boss took charge of City in 2007 and quickly recruited a bunch of new stars to energise the squad.
The signings settled in quickly with Eriksson’s side beating rivals Manchester United to go top of the table after three games.
City’s form would begin to stumble in the second-half of the season as speculation grew over their manager’s position.
Fans had even began bringing “Save Sven” banners to the Etihad as they looked to back their boss.
Speaking in Paramount+ documentary Fever Pitch, which reflects on the Premier League’s earlier years, Shinawatra said: “The performance of the club was getting worse.
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“I talked to the players in the dressing room. They needed moral boosting.
“It felt like [Eriksson] was getting annoyed that I was getting more [involved]. The tradition is that the owner should not get involved in the manager.
“But it’s my money. I invest so why should I not say anything.”
Eriksson was eventually sacked at the end of the season after a shock 8-1 defeat to Middlesborough on the final day of the season.
But he had taken the club to their joint-highest Prem points total and managed to qualify them for Europe.
Before his dismissal, Eriksson, the coaching staff and the players joined the owner on a post-season trip to his native Thailand, where Shinawatra had previously served as Prime Minister.
It led to a bizarre scenario where the businessman sang about Eriksson’s potential firing during a karaoke session.
The former Man City manager said: “During the late hours he took the microphone and came to the table where the coaches were sitting.
“And he started to sing ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’. I couldn’t believe it. I [thought] I might be dreaming.”
Source: The Sun