Pattaya Daily News

14 August 2010 :: 14:08:12 pm 35292

Thai-based Consortium Completes Leicester City Takeover

A Thai-based consortium headed by the owner of Thailand’s King Power Group has completed a takeover of English Championship club Leicester City FC from chairman Milan Mandaric this week. Mandaric will remain in his chairman role with the new owners expected to invest heavily in the clubs bid for Premier League promotion.
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United Kingdom, the 13th of August 2010: Headed by King Power Group owner Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn the Asian Football Investment Consortium completed the planned takeover this week. Although no official statement has been released, various media sources report the purchase price at approximately Bt2 billion.

Following the completion of the takeover Aiyawatt exclaimed, “We are delighted that Asia Football Investments has secured this exciting deal. I am passionate about football and I see Leicester City as a club with tremendous passion and potential. It has excellent management on and off the pitch and I am convinced that it has the right mix of ambition and realism to drive the team and club forward.”

The Asian Football Investment Consortium of which previous Leicester City owner Milan Mandaric is a member is now expected to invest heavily in all areas of the perennial underachievers in order to strengthen their bid for Premiership promotion. Despite relinquishing ownership of the club, Mandaric will remain chairman, stating the deal would benefit the club enabling it to “secure ambitious and exciting plans.”

Last week, a new shirt sponsorship deal was announced with King Power Group, however possible takeover talks had been dismissed as speculation in the media. King Power is a Thai-owned and run company who hold a monopoly on the lucrative duty free sales market in Thailand.

Despite the takeover and recently appointed manager Paulo Sousa’s statement that the club will achieve promotion within two seasons, Leicester chief executive Lee Hoos insists the deal will not increase the pressure on either the manager or existing administration to achieve success.

“It provides a real opportunity for Leicester to grow and transform its status over the next few months and years. We are realistic and we wish to assure supporters that this deal will not pile the pressure on the football manager and create unreal expectations. We want consistency and sustainability in our current league, and of course future leagues, and that makes this deal unique as we are signed up to these ideas.”

The last time a Thai businessman was involved with an English football club was when, now international fugitive and former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra purchased Manchester City in 2007. The deal was completed shortly after a military coup deposed him as the Thai Prime Minister amidst controversy and numerous criminal accusations.

Thaksin owned the Premier League club for approximately one year before selling out to an Abu Dhabi based consortium that then humiliatingly dumped him as honorary chairman, citing the inappropriateness of having a politician convicted of corruption in such a role.

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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