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“What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?”

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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“What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?” | The Thaiger
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PHUKET GAZETTE SPORTS – Quote of the day: Liverpool owner John W. Henry asked on Twitter: “What do you think they are smoking over there at the Emirates?”

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World sports news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Reds favorite ‘son’ Suarez should heed fans: Rodgers
Reuters
PHUKET: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told Luis Suarez to think about the fans who have treated him like “a son” after the club’s American owner laughed off a bid from Arsenal for the striker’s services yesterday.

British media reported the north London club had offered 40 million and one pound (US$61.47mn/1.9bn Thai baht*) for Suarez prompting Liverpool owner John W. Henry to ask on Twitter: “What do you think they are smoking over there at Emirates?”

Arsenal’s unusual bid ties in with media reports that an offer of more than 40 million pounds triggers a clause in the Uruguay international’s contract that says Liverpool must inform the striker of their Premier League rivals’ interest.

“There’s no doubt the market these days for top players is very small so Luis will always be linked with top clubs,” Rodgers told reporters after Suarez made a cameo appearance in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over local club Melbourne Victory.

“But I think the support that he’s received from the supporters and the people of the city of Liverpool has been unrivalled.

“In the period of time, he’s missed a lot of games for the club through various reasons. And the people have stood by him like a son and really looked after him.

“So I’m sure whatever happens in the coming weeks, that will be in his mind because it’s certainly something you can never forget.”

Suarez was due to discuss his future with Rodgers in Melbourne after rampant speculation about his future went up a notch following reports Arsenal had made a second bid for the 26-year-old.

Suarez has said he wants to leave Liverpool to play in Spain, blaming the British media for making his life impossible in England.

Rodgers, who left Suarez on the bench until the last 20 minutes in front of more than 95,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, said he had already shared several chats with his tempestuous striker since he landed in Melbourne.

Storm of criticism

Suarez, who signed for Liverpool from Ajax Amsterdam in January 2011 and was second top scorer in the Premier League with 23 goals last season, has tempered his brilliance on the pitch with a series of controversial misdemeanours.

He still has to serve six matches of a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in April, which excludes pre-season friendlies.

Suarez also sparked a storm of criticism the previous season when he was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and earned an eight-game suspension.

Rodgers had “nothing to report” on reports of the latest move by Arsenal, who have already had one bid for Suarez rejected by Liverpool.

“The only talks have been between me and Luis,” he said.

Suarez provided a reminder of his value to the club when his entry onto the MCG’s temporary soccer pitch sparked a thunderous roar from the terraces packed with red-clad fans.

While his body language on the pitch prompted debate about his current commitment, he signed off his brief appearance with some trademark trickery.

Receiving a pass from a corner, he jinked into the box and steered a low cross through a crowd of players for Iago Aspas to tap home.

“He’s a little bit tired at the moment,” Rodgers said. “He’s trained a double session on Monday after being off for three weeks so he was a little bit tired and, obviously, he came on and played that 20-odd minutes or so.”

Suarez was among the last players to leave the MCG turf, saluting cheering fans in a victory lap, some of whom may wonder whether it was a valedictory bow in Liverpool colours.

“He’s very much a Liverpool player,” Rodgers added. “Over the course of the next number of weeks we’ve got to get him up to speed.”

(*1 British pounds – 47.48 Thai baht)

Keep checking the Phuket Gazette’s sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter for the latest local, national and international sporting news.

— Reuters

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Air Pollution

Salty tap water and dirty air – Bangkok’s environmental woes continue today

The Thaiger

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Salty tap water and dirty air – Bangkok’s environmental woes continue today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Government House officials are turning to salt-tolerant plants - khaosod.co.th

Brackish tap water, with increased salinity caused by seawater back-flowing into the Chao Phraya River, is threatening the gardens in and around the Government House compound. Government House officials are seeking assistance from the Agriculture Department.

Several small tree species – Lamduan, Chor Sumalee, Rachavadi, Nom Maew and Hom Muenlee – are more vulnerable to brackish tap water. The gardens are watered from a supply pumped in from the Chao Phraya.

It’s been noted tha the saline level was around 400 milligrams per litre, still within the 1,000 mg/litre standard, but some of the species were already intolerant to the rising salinity.

Officials are seeking advice from the Agriculture Department about long-term measures to replant with species which would be more tolerant to the rising salinity of the water – situation they acknowledge will need to be managed in the short to medium term.

Salty tap water and dirty air - Bangkok's environmental woes continue today | News by The Thaiger

SCREENGRAB: Air Visual

Meanwhile, air around the capital today continues to be universally poor to very poor with readings as high as 187 near Suvarnabhumi Airport. Light airs, dust problems from northern-easter provinces and hot continental air flowing across the capital, continue to haunt Bangkok. Even with many factories closed today, and traffic lighter than weekdays, Bangkok’s air has been recorded as the ninth worst city in the world for air pollution.

Right across the city the air quality readings are into the ‘unhealthy’ zone.

Chiang Mai, Lampang and Central Thailand are fairing no better – all with readings at least 3 times the Thai upper safe limit of 50 microns of 2.5micron particulate per cubic metre. The World Health Organisation sets its limit even lower at 25.

Pattaya has air quality readings today of 162, whilst even Phuket, in the south, is registering readings between 100 and 145 with reduced visibility today.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Salty tap water and dirty air - Bangkok's environmental woes continue today | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach

Bill Barnett

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Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Northern end of Layan Beach - True-beachfront

by Bill Barnett – c9hotelworks.com

Two new condo developments are going ahead in the Layan Beach area of Phuket’s up-market west-coast beach strip. And there’s another one underway next to the Dream Beach Club at the northern end of the Layan beach strip. All in all, another 1,200+ keys added to the available rooms along the Bang Tao/Layan Beach area.

On the northern side of Bangtao Beach, next to Maan Tawan and nearby Banyan Tree Phuket is the upcoming Sunshine Beach development. With a plan for 771 hotel and residences units on 12.6 rai, the high-density project is targeting Mainland Chinese buyers with pricing points reportedly starting from 4 million baht. Construction is expected to start in June of this year and complete in 2022.

From our discussion with sales staff the developer has claimed they have reached an agreement with the government for beach fronting facilities in the National Park strip in front of the project.

While in Layan next to Lotus Gardens is the upcoming 400 unit Layan Green Park. Pricing points run from 2.5 million baht. Unit configurations will range from studio, to one, two and three bedrooms. Guaranteed returns of 10% for a period of 10 years are being promoted.

Phuket’s Layan area is seeing a surge in new real estate led projects and rising land values. At the same time as these two projects are underway, next to the Dream Beach is an oceanfront luxury project promoting sales of Grand Beach Villa and Ocean View Suites tagged as ‘N5’. The developer of the project is VIP Thailand who have another project in Rawai.

Based on our research the primary source market tragets of these three projects are mainland Chinese and Russian buyers. Local concerns in the Cherngtalay area over mounting traffic, water shortages and strain on municipal infrastructure are becoming issues.

Traffic in and around the central Cherngtalay shopping district is becoming increasingly clogged with little hope for respite other than improved traffic management.

SOURCE: C9Hotelworks.com

Three massive condo developments along Phuket's up-market Layan Beach | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court

The Thaiger

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Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MINOR International are trying to kick Marriott out of it's Mai Khao property - Booking.com

Marriott International, the American international hotel company, has failed in its bid to secure an injunction in a Thai court to stop a legal claim filed by the Minor International group.

Minor International (MINT) says that its subsidiary MI Squared Ltd had filed a legal claim in a Thai court against Marriott International and the Thai subsidiary Luxury Hotels & Resorts (Thailand) for 570,605,134 baht. The claim is linked to the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Mai Khao, which is owned by MINT. In the statement, MINT accuses Marriott of “acting in bad faith” alleging “serious and repeated breaches of Thai law”, according to ttrweekly.com.

The complaint from MINT alleges that Marriott was openly competing with the JW Marriott Phuket through its operation of competing Marriott-branded hotels in Phuket. Claims are made that the Mai Khao hotel uses its facilities to promote Marriott’s other competing Marriott hotels. Another of the complaints accuses Marriott of forcing the JW Marriott Phuket to accept high volumes of low-margin business through the Marriott’s loyalty program.

According to the ttrweekly.com article, the legal dispute includes allegations that Marriott “misappropriated MINT’s confidential and proprietary information” to promote Marriott’s competing hotels and unlawfully benefit Marriott’s own interests at the expense of MINT. The JW Marriott Phuket remains under Marriott’s management for now but “the operating performance has been poor”.

MINT told shareholders total hotel revenue decreased from 920 million in 2013 to 876 million baht last year. Over the same period, gross operating profit fell from 409 million to 379 million baht.

(It should be noted that many of Phuket’s high-end hotels have suffered a similar revenue fall due to increased competition, competitive pressures pushing room rates down and, especially over the past 12 months, a shift in tourist demographics.)

Marriott International issued a statement to ttrweekly.com following a request for comment.

“Marriott International acknowledges that a subsidiary of Minor International has initiated legal action in Thailand against Marriott and one of its Thai subsidiaries. Marriott reiterates that such claim is meritless and should be heard in confidential arbitration.

Our Thai subsidiary recently secured an interim injunction in arbitral proceedings restraining MINT’s subsidiary from pursuing the action in Thailand. We subsequently agreed with MINT to suspend the Thai proceedings pending the final outcome of our ongoing arbitration. As we intend to comply with our contractual confidentiality obligations, we are unable to provide more information at this time.

We consider JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa has performed well compared to the market. The dispute will have no impact on operations at the hotel, which continues to offer guests with world-class service and accommodations, a beachfront location and eleven culinary options.”

SOURCE: ttrweekly.com

Minor International battles Marriott over popular Phuket hotel property in court | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: marriott.com

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