The Thai Billionaire behind Leicester City Football Club
When Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha purchased Leicester City Football Club in 2010 most people would have said he made a big mistake.
The club, which was purchased for $55 million in a spur of the moment decision by Vichai was struggling in English Football’s second level competition and many believed it would remain there for many years to come.
Vichai pulled out all the stops and alongside his family, invested a staggering $142 million into the development of the team. This is more than likely the reason football fans all over the world are now perched on the edge of their chairs waiting to see the outcome of the Premier League season.
At the beginning of the football season many fans would have sooner believed a pig could fly then believe that Leicester was capable of winning the Premier League. But now, even the big names like Manchester City and Arsenal can’t seem to catch up to the underdogs.
He puts the success of his team down to old-fashioned family values and Vichai’s son, Aiyawatt said “It’s the Thai culture. We give our time to the staff, the players and to the manager. We try to manage it like a family, try to listen to the problems of every single member of staff.”
Vichai’s spent a large portion of his childhood in Taiwan and the United states, where he regularly flew between the two countries, he claims this is where his interest in the duty-free business originated.
After working as an agent for luxury brands he founded King power in 1989, a travel retail company which employs more than 10,000 people, controls most major airports in Thailand and has now investments in restaurants, hotels and solar power.
As like any other billion dollar business man Vichai is planning on using the fame and success of Leicester Football Club to market and promote his Thai companies and expand business to a global scale. He hopes the free marketing will be able to increase revenue by 25 percent, from $1.8 billion to $2.4 billion.
Vichai and his family were given a new surname by the King of Thailand, the highest possible gift for a citizen of Thailand.
Photo Credits: Mooinblack, Pal2iyawit