Friday, 2 May 2008



Well last night's planned protest was somewhat of a damp squib but it got the media's attention. Here's the Manchester Evening New's write up of the event and current update of the Save Sven campaign. Write up from Chris Bailey.

CITY'S two major supporters' organisations are ready to crank up the pressure on the increasingly isolated chairman Thaksin Shinawatra.

They have added their voices to the crescendo of criticism that is engulfing the owner's decision to get rid of boss Sven-Goran Eriksson in the summer.

The Centenary Supporters' Association and the Official Supporters' Club have come together to warn the former Thai Prime Minster that his treatment of Eriksson has risked alienating them for good.

And their near 10,000 joint membership will join forces with a rally of support at Eastlands for Eriksson next Saturday, May 10, at which they will urge Shinawatra to take into account the wishes of the vast majority of the supporters and think again about the manager's position.

"We advocate those who give council to advise Thaksin wisely," CSA chairman Alex Channon told MEN Sport. "Sven is the best manager we have had for many years and is the man the supporters trust and feel is the best man in the world for managing City. He cannot be replaced."MCFC may be owned by Thaksin but the club belongs to the supporters. The good doctor needs to understand that there is a long standing bond between the club and its fans. "We give unconditional support and have a culture that cannot be bought at any price. We have welcomed his financial support without too many questions but we are not blind.

"Fan power, when used correctly, is a powerful thing at Manchester City. We pushed Peter Swales out of his chairmanship and more than influenced Francis Lee's departure. If supporters were to be given a choice between Sven and Thaksin I think the support for the owner could be counted on the fingers of one hand! We are grateful to Thaksin for giving us a manager to be proud of but we cannot allow our club to become a foreign billionaire's play thing. We would welcome a sensible working arrangement between the owner, the manager and the supporters.

Click here to visit our Save Sven page "Manchester City is the heart beat of our proud city and the fans of a true Manchester team, let's keep it that way."The message is the same from the OSC where general secretary Kevin Parker pointed out that Shinawatra had succeeded in bringing the two fans' organisations closer together than any time since they split in the last century."Our argument is not with Manchester City, who we all love, or the people working hard within the club but with one man -Thaksin Shinawatra," pointed out Parker.

"Our 6,000 members fully support the thoughts of the CSA and if any good has come out of the last week it is that we are all closer together. We feel Shinawatra has broken the club's own charter with regard to listening and working with the fans and we will support any lawful and peaceful protests aimed at getting him to back Sven."

Blues fans attending the team's next match at Liverpool on Sunday afternoon intend to continue their campaign of discontent with protest banners that they hope will be captured on live television pictures and beamed to Thailand where they suspect the owner will be watching.

Already an online petition calling for the chairman to think again and let Eriksson continue his successful stint as boss has reached 8,000 names, close to its target of 10,000 and its organisers will not rest until it is presented to Shinawatra. As reported exclusively in yesterday's MEN Sport the players, too, are backing Eriksson with five of the senior professionals approaching him and offering to sign a letter of protest and organise a possible boycott of the post-season tour to the Far East.

Eriksson persuaded them not to get involved further and show their feelings by winning the last two matches at Anfield and Middlesbrough.The MEN has received a record response from City fans with more than 6,000 taking part in an online vote where 97 per cent said Sven should be allowed to stay.

Last night around 20 City fans stood out Sven's base at the city centre Radisson Edwardian hotel to show their support for the Swede. Some chanted Eriksson's name but the mass demonstration, planned on online networking site Facebook, failed to materialise.

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