Best owners and administrators in English football - A Tribute to the late Mr. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
This post is really to commemorate and celebrate the life and achievements of late Leicester City owner Mr. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who must stand as one of the best owners of a club in Premier League history.
Mr.Srivaddhanaprabha, along with Mr. Kaveporn Punpare, Ms. Nusara Suknamai, Ms. Izabela Roza Lechowicz, and Mr. Eric Swaffer passed away in a terrible accident just outside the Leicester City King Power Stadium. For his achievements for at the club, and in how he was received by the supporters and all connected to the institution, he will be sorely missed.
Leicester City is not the biggest club - and this is meant in all due respect to it. It had won a few trophies in PL history prior to King Power's takeover, namely the League Cups in 1997 and 2000. Martin O'Neill, the former Celtic manager, was their boss at the time, and this era saw the emergence of players like Emile Heskey and Robbie Savage. Heskey went on to join Liverpool and win trophies with them, whilst Savage has become a noted BBC/BT Sports pundit and dancer to boot. But bar a few top division appearances, notably with England legend Gary Lineker and Arsenal great Alan Smith, they had not achieved that much in their history.
This is until the late Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha stepped in. As head of King Power, a Thai-based duty-free firm, he bought the club in 2010 and then progressed to move it up from the Championship.
And then in 2016 - all hell broke loose. Several bookmakers had Leicester City at 5000-1 to win the league. And they did this, and how. "Bigger" clubs and better teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal for various reasons fell by the wayside. Tottenham ended up as their biggest challengers ultimately, but then they too "bottled it". With the pace and goals of Vardy, trickery of Mahrez, the defensive strength of Morgan and Huth, and the midfield power of Ngolo Kante, Leicester City became the sixth team to win the Premier League title, following Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Kasper Schmeichel also emulated his father, the great Peter Schmeichel, in winning the Premier League.
For his success at a club that had seldom ever won big, the late Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha must be seen as one of the best owners or top-management figures in PL history. But which others have succeeded too? Have many other attained the heights of this?
His influence helped Leicester City do something which the very biggest in England haven't for some time (namely Liverpool and Arsenal), this is a tribute to the late Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha and his aid in bringing Leicester City to glory.