Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Arsenal Play In Thailand?
Buriram PEA, under their flamboyant owner Newin Chidchob (named after a Burmese dictator), claim Arsenal will be playing Leicester City to inaugurate their new stadium sometime in July. The same report suggests that Arsenal pulled the plug on a tour of Japan following the earthquake there.
Buriram PEA will win this season's Thai Premier League, it's written in the tea leaves.
Leicester City are 80% owned by Thai investors with Newin believed to be the main man behind the scenes. A controversial figure in Thai politics Newin inherited his own personal fiefdom from old man Chai Chidchob and st about making a name in Thai politics but allegations of voter fraud and corruption have hindered his path to the premiership.
He 'imported' PEA, TPL winners in 2008 (before Thai football was 'discovered' by the masses) in 2010 despite their already being a Buriram team in the league set up, albeit at a lower level then Newin demanded.
Controversy has followed controversy with PEA farming out players on loan to Buriram and sending their coach to Army United, a blatantly political move that no-one seems to worried about.
There is already a dead rubber feel to this year's TPL with many feeling Newin's child have already won the league.
English football though isn't too worried who it takes its money from. It wasn't that long ago that Manchester City were happy to bend over backwards and 'wai' anything that moved to grab former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's cash and now Leicester have taken more Thai baht in the hope they can return to England's top flight.
Is Arsene Wenger, under pressure to increase Arsenal's overseas exposure, going to take his team to some pissant village in the north east of Thailand during the rainy season to sate the lust for admiration of an attention seeking politician of dubious practises?