Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra has offered to resign from the club's board and has been advised to stay away from Sunday's game against West Ham over fears for his safety.
The former Thai prime minister was due to face corruption charges in a Bangkok court Monday, but instead jumped bail and took a flight from Beijing, where he had been watching the Olympics, back to exile in England.
City chief executive Garry Cook said Thaksin had offered his resignation from the board, but insisted that he would remain as owner.
"Dr. Thaksin is embarrassed about the indignity brought on all the entities _ the club, the Premier League _ he never intended this," Cook said. "Thaksin has been really open about this. He has said to me, 'If you need me to resign from the football club as a director, because it would serve the needs of the Premier League, then I'm fine with that as long as that doesn't change any other thing.'"
Cook said Thaksin may stay away from the West Ham game _ City's first home match of the season _ after being told he might not be safe.
"He wants to be at this ground on Sunday but he is hearing advice about being in a public space," Cook said.
The Premier League may now look into whether he passes the so-called "fit and proper person" test for being involved in a topflight club, but Cook said that term was very vague.
"I think there is a very loose term about what is 'fit and proper,'" Cook said. "It is almost a tongue-in-cheek term that you would use for Premier League football over the last 10 years. There are plenty of unfit and improper individuals."
Thaksin's assets have been frozen in Thailand, but Cook said that would put City at risk and claimed the charges against the owner were politically motivated.
"Thaksin is in a political situation and a case that affects his assets, so that's well documented. So that's a hurdle," Cook admitted. "The truth of it is this club is not going to go out of business. This club is not bankrupt. We're moving forward."