Bangkok - Leicester City's Thai
vice-chairman insisted there was no secret to their miraculous rise after they
inched closer to a previously unthinkable English Premier League title.
Hundreds of blue-shirted Thai fans watched
Leicester's 4-0 win over Swansea City live on big screens late into the night
at an outdoor venue in Bangkok as the Foxes opened up an eight-point lead at
the top of the table.
Afterwards Aiyawatt 'Top'
Srivaddhanaprabha, who is also chief executive of Thailand's King Power
duty-free empire, said Leicester's rise is "very good for football and for
people who love sport".
"I play sport as well and I understand
that inspiration from (striker Jamie) Vardy, inspiration from Leicester has
inspired everyone in the world," he said, in rare comments to media.
"We don't have a secret... the
players... are trying so hard, and the spirit in the team is so good."
Top's publicity-shy father Vichai
Srivaddhanaprabha owns the British club, but Top is hands on in running it as
well as being the King Power CEO.
Leicester only narrowly survived relegation
last year but Claudio Ranieri's side have taken this season by storm with their
high-energy, attack-minded approach.
Leicester's Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez
became the first African to be named England's Professional Footballer's
Association player of the year on Sunday, while the prolific Vardy has netted
The Foxes, or 'Siamese Foxes', are now
beginning to attract fans in Thailand, where English Premier League giants
Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea traditionally command a strong
"We have 600 people come to celebrate
and enjoy to watch Leicester, the team that maybe seven years ago no one
knew," said Top.
"We try to tell Thais that you have
your team and you have your second team as Leicester, so every time Leicester
play please support."
Free beer helped draw the crowd but there
was no mistaking the enthusiasm as two goals from Leonardo Ulloa, and one each
from Mahrez and Marc Albrighton pushed Leicester closer to the trophy.
"We'll be champions no problem,"
enthused Auawut Job, 42, who like many Thais professed to being a new convert
to Leicester mania.
"I was a Liverpool fan until three
years ago, but Liverpool have gone down... all Thais will support Leicester if
they win the league," he added.
The Srivaddhanaprabha family have been
widely praised for their judicious spending and appointments, which have taken
Leicester to the top of the Premier League.
Top was a key voice in Ranieri's hiring and
that of former boss Nigel Pearson, who left in the close-season despite a remarkable
run of games to survive relegation.
The departure came shortly after a sex tape
scandal involving three young fringe players - including Pearson's son - during
a summer tour of Bangkok.
The mystery of Leicester's rise is whether
it has been case of luck or canny judgement - or both - on the part of the
Thai Buddhist monks certainly think good
karma helps after they were drafted in to bless the King Power Stadium pitch
and hand out lucky talismans to players.
Top said of his father: "He's a
successful businessman and he tried to challenge himself to get something done.
"This is one thing that in his dreams
he wanted to own the club, and he said I think two or three years before that
he want the team to be a success in the Premier League, and now we are."
He added: "As a son, I try to make the
father and boss happy."