Manchester City had a first-hand experience of the club owner's popularity when the lack of interest surrounding their visit was wiped out by a pro-Thaksin Shinawatra wave yesterday.
City, the first foreign club to visit Thailand since 2005, had failed to fire the imagination of the public despite the connection with the country.
Even though the City are not a favourite in this football-crazy nation, few could have imagined the kind of reception they received, with just around eight supporters to welcome them, at the airport on Wednesday.
This lack of interest was a far cry from the attention showered on their league counterparts, Manchester United and Liverpool, during their tour to the country, which saw hundreds of fans scrambling to get close with their favourite stars wherever they went.
However, the listless atmosphere marring the City visit was not visible at the launch event of the club's first store in the country, on the second floor of Shinawatra Tower 3.
A chorus of "Thaksin Fight! Fight" greeted the former prime minister when he made his way into the building. Securitymen seemed to have a more difficult time clearing the way for Thaksin than the group of the City players led by manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Even with Thaksin seated, there were still scenes of chaos as people jostled to get a glimpse of him.
Thaksin appeared in good mood throughout the event and the sight of him chatting with Eriksson made for a good photo-op, given the speculation surrounding the Swede's future. In fact, Thaksin even expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance in their first season under Eriksson.
"I acknowledge that Eriksson did well in his first year with the club. He managed to haul the team from 14th place last year to ninth this season.
"We had been as high as fourth for a while but we then slipped down because some of the first-choice players suffered injuries," Thaksin said.