Leicester are mourning the loss of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the man who wrote the best football fairy tale. He was the owner of the "Foxes". "Gathering the pieces of our hearts and with great disappointment we confirm that the president, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was among those who tragically lost their lives on Saturday afternoon when the helicopter carrying him and four others crashed just outside." "King Power Stadium," reads Leicester's announcement, ending in the most nightmarish way a glorious story, a story begun by the Thai tycoon.
“A man of kindness, generosity, whose life was determined by his dedication to his family and to those who led him with great success. Leicester was a family under his guidance, ”say fans and people who knew him. Leicester mourns and the football planet turns their attention to the "Foxes" again, this time not to spare her for a huge feat, but to support their pain!
The man who put his stamp on modern football England
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai billionaire who loved to play polo and had a great relationship with the English royal family, was the man who made Leicester's terrible football tale. Under Vichai's guidance, investment and money, Leicester was transformed from a small to medium-sized team into a top club thanks to winning the Premier League. And all this in six years for a club that as a budget had all the salary of a top player in the category! The 60-year-old had made a huge fortune from duty free shops. He was born Vichai Raksriaksorn to a Chinese-Thai family in 1958. He started his business with a first store in Bangkok in 1989 and launched it in 2006 as a huge company, King Power. He went on to have a monopoly on all the major airports in Thailand and beyond, thus becoming one of the richest people in Thailand.
He managed to put aside all his competitors, to climb business and personally and to have a close relationship with the former Monarch of the country, King Bhumibol. He named it Srivaddhanaprabha in 2012 to reward him for his professional distinctions, his success and his philanthropic work. In English, the name means 'the light of progress and glory'.
He bought Leicester in August of 2010 for 39 million. But he was previously a supporter of England, having become president of the Polo Ham Club in Richmond from 2008 to 2012. She then became a permanent member. He and his son, Aiyawatt, vice president of King Power, were often photographed in polo action with members of the royal family, such as the Princess, Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry. They had a space in Berkshire where they held their team of poles, the King Power Foxes. He had three other children with Aimon's wife: Voramas, Apichet and Arunroong.
Coach, teammates, players, fans, but the "King Power" would not be so happy if Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha did not exist. Leicester fans were chanting his name because he was the man who gave that momentum to the club. In the summer of 2013 the Thai billionaire extinguished the debt of 103 million. pounds of club and continued to invest in a stadium and training center!
He wanted to see the Foxes in the top 5 of the Premier League
Who didn't make fun of him in 2014, when he revealed that he wanted to see the "Foxes" in the top 5 of the Premier League? In the summer of 100, when Leicester won the promotion, they had offered drinks to 30 fans, they did the same thing again when the "Foxes" stayed in the Premier League, the treat came to the title! Everyone is drinking to his health!
Vichai's move to take Leicester was more than just a business move. He gave his heart and soul to the club.
Buddhist monks from the Golden Buddha Temple in Bangkok were often on the Island before the Leicester home games to bless players and coaching staff. On special occasions, free beer and donuts were offered to fans. On the president's birthday, New Year, Christmas and other holidays.
There were also events for the children. There were picnics and other free activities. Even his administration had ensured that in memory days there were whiskey bottles for those who would like to have a glass in memory of their loved ones.
For Leicester players there have always been rewards for their racing achievements. From visiting free pizza to restaurant trips to Thailand for the Premier title, free and their own BMW i8s (which cost over 100.000 each as a sample).
The team recently had a record revenue of 233 80 million. Also a profit of XNUMX million, which of course had to do with the fact that Leicester had won the title and had the financial rewards of the Premier.
It took the title of Premier in 2016
And all this in a team that when 2010 took over was in a tragic state. It was a down category, with only 16 million return and 7.6 million loss Vichai helped Leicester greatly with both sponsorship and money from his business and King Power. With Claudio Ranieri, Leicester achieved something that seemed impossible for her. It took the title of Premier in 2016. Nine months later, however, Ranieri was fired and the team was in danger of being relegated. It was probably the first time the Thai had felt the frustration of the world.
Vichai also bought Belgian Leuven last year. He also invested in racehorses, having bought four of the Frankel generation, the best racehorses. In 2016 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester. According to Forbes magazine in May, Vichai's fortune was $ 5.2 billion, up $ 2 billion in the last two years. Its launch came in 2006 with the main concession of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok's new international gateway with an official capacity of 45 million passengers. Vichai secured the same concessions for international portals in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai. King Power has interests in high quality hotels and airlines. In 2016, it paid $ 226 million for 39% of Thai AirAsia, Thailand's largest airline.
On Sunday, shocked Leicester fans left flowers and a scarf around King Power Stadium in memory of their owner. Twitter was flooded with thanks. "This owner was the best thing that ever happened to this club," wrote one sports fan. "Thank you for what you gave us. Vichai were more to us than you could ever imagine. "email> firstname.lastname@example.org