MANCHESTER—Bell Pottinger North has been appointed to help build and manage the reputation of Manchester City Football Club chairman Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand who was ousted in a military coup in September 2006, accused of corruption and abuse of power.
The Cheshire-based public relations consultancy, a unit of Lord Tim Bell’s Chime group, advised Thaksin following his takeover of the club last summer. At the time he was hailed as a potential savior by City fans—despite allegations of human rights abuses and other controversies—and a good start to the team’s season seemed to solidify that relationship. But the team finished the season weakly, and media speculation that Thaksin will fire manager Sven-Goran Erickson and even put the entire squad up for sale has led to a sour relationship of late.
BP North has now been brought back in on a short-term contract to support him with