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White knight investors to save FC Phuket

White knight investors to save FC Phuket

PHUKET: The fate of FC Phuket will be made clearer by the end of today (Monday), with three potential investors due to submit their business plans to club management.

Monday 30 January 2012, 11:09AM

From left, Naruebet 'Ko Lek' Aryupong, Soranun Sanae and Aseen Arammethapongsa during Friday's press conference.

From left, Naruebet 'Ko Lek' Aryupong, Soranun Sanae and Aseen Arammethapongsa during Friday's press conference.

The deadline was announced at a press conference on Friday (January 27), which was held in response to an interview with OrBorJor president Paiboon Upatising that was posted on Youtube and re-posted on FC Phuket fan site noksanarm.com.

The interview alleged that the current management was trying to sell the club for profit, and raised questions over management’s transparency.

FC Phuket management – the trio of Naruebet ‘Ko Lek’ Aryupong, the caretaker president of FC Phuket after Paiboon Upatising resigned; FC Phuket director Soranun Sanae; and general manager Aseen Arammethapongsa – held the press conference on Friday at Mai Morn restaurant in Phuket City to respond to the claims.

Sanae explained that when the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand (OAGT) froze OrBorJor funding and plunged FC Phuket into financial crisis, they had to resort to borrowing money to pay footballers and cover their expenses.

The management then agreed that they should find investors to help them financially.

There were several investors interested in FC Phuket, such as Muang Thong United’s Robert Procureur, Thai Tobacco Manufacturer, and a group of Dutch investors.

Mr Paiboon claimed in his interview with noksanarm.com that he knew nothing about these potential investors.

Mr Soranun said that they were furious about the accusation that they were trying to sell FC Phuket for profit, and said they may launch legal action.

He said potential investors in the club would not be charged any money to take control of the Division 1 rights. In other word, it’s free. All they asked of those investors is that they must have good credit records and must commit to supporting the club into the future.

Laguna Golf Phuket

After outlining the exact financial situation for the club, the trio announced their complete resignation from FC Phuket.

Upon that, a fan named Tawat Duangtawan introduced Prawit Jantawong, a representative of Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Srisoonthorn FC, who said he may be interested in investing.

Mr Prawit said his team is backed by a group of investors from Chonburi province, and proposed to use 70 per cent local footballers, while the rest would come from their connections in Chonburi and Osotspa M150.

His team would have Chatchai Paholphat (current coach of Pattaya United) as technical advisor. The coaches would be Dusit Chalermsaen (former head coach of Sriracha Suzuki FC) and Kowit Foythong.

Another prospective investor also stepped forward – Samak Rattanadilok Na Phuket, the former president of Phuket FC (the old name of FC Phuket before it was changed in 2009) and current president of the Phuket Football Club.

There was also a third investor, from Holland, introduced and represented by the head of Phuket Provincial Public Relations Department Weerapong Waitayawongsakul.

FC Phuket director Soranun proposed that the three groups of investors present their business plans today (Monday), and said new management and investors must show a guarantee that they have a minimum of B15 million at their disposal on the day.

FC Phuket’s operating costs last year were more than B34 million.

–Kazira Hans

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