Governments in sport? Now, that's a thought... - MAY 15, 2004: "Thailand wants to buy a stake in the famous Liverpool football club. Could that be the start of a trend?
The disclosure this week that wealthy Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra planned to use state money rather than his own to become a part-owner of the English Premiership club provoked criticism in both countries.
But Thaksin said he was intent on Thailand's making such an investment and might go after another English team if his Liverpool bid failed. The purchase of sports teams has sometimes been an aid to aspiring politicians. The fame of Silvio Berlusconi was enhanced by his ownership of AC Milan, a top Italian football club, well before he became prime minister of Italy.
And George W. Bush's record running the Texas Rangers baseball team may have helped him win the governorship of Texas."