Leicester City had to sack Claudio Ranieri to give them a chance of staying in the Premier League. Sad as it was, Leicester became a sinking ship that the Italian had lost control of long ago.
You have to say Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s, the Thai owner of Leicester city, gets his controversial decision proved right and the gamble just pays off every time.
Leicester now are worth more than £436m – 11 times what he bought the club for according to the New York‑based research firm Private Company Financial Intelligence.
Vichai promised in 2014, following the club’s promotion to the Premier League, that he would spend £180m to reach the top five within three years.
Two years later and with only a third of that money spent, Leicester completed the most astonishing story in modern British sport.
Here’s a look how the how Leicester City’s quiet Thai owners turned the Foxes into the best team in country with their decisions.
Sacking Nigel Pearson
Nigel Pearson was sacked by Leicester City after a collapse in his relationship with the owners.
The club’s owners said “the working relationship” between them and Pearson was “no longer viable” and “that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us”.
Even Gary Lineker didn’t welcome the sacking of Pearson.
Getting LCFC promoted and the greatest escape ever, Pearson is sacked? Are the folk running football stupid? Yes http://t.co/EUWq1423Nt
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 30, 2015
Gambling On Ranieri
After a bold attempt to lure back former Manager Martin O’Neil failed, Claudio Ranieri was appointed by the Leicester’s owner to succeed Nigel Pearson.
His appointment did not just polarise opinion, it was widely criticised and the Foxes were seen as a relegation fodder.
Now whenever we see this decision, to say it proved a masterstroke is an understatement and nobody saw it coming.
Sacking Claudio Ranieri
Leicester’s fall had been more dramatic than anything they could have foreseen in their worst nightmares.
The difference was stark and, very clearly in the opinion of Leicester’s owners, dangerous.
The clear and present danger was the threat of relegation, as stated by vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha when he said: “It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign.”
Shakespeare to the rescue.
Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said results under Craig Shakespeare have justified the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) March 12, 2017
Having gone winless in Ranieri’s last nine matches, the Foxes have won both games under the new man 3-1, including a dominant performance over Liverpool that bought memories of last season’s title win flooding back.
With confidence returned to the squad – especially key man Jamie Vardy, who scored twice against Liverpool, as well as the crucial first-leg away goal, the King Power will be bouncing.