Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha named as new Leicester City chairman to succeed his father the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

8 Aug

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has been named the new chairman of Leicester City.

Khun Aiyawatt succeeds his father, the late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash outside Leicester’s King Power Stadium last October.

“It is a privilege to become the next chairman of this great club and to lead the Leicester City family into the next chapter of what has already been an extraordinary story,” Srivaddhanaprabha, 34, said in a statement on the official Foxes website.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has succeeded his late father as Leicester City chairman
Getty Images - Getty

“It feels like there is so much more to come.

“As we approach the start of the new season, there is genuine excitement and positivity among our supporters and in the football community about what we can achieve.

“We have an exciting young squad, an outstanding manager and backroom staff, and a well-structured and sustainable off-pitch operation, all backed by an energised and engaged supporter base.

“Next summer, our football operation will move to a brand new training facility that will be among the best in Europe, while the process of consulting supporters and our community on the proposed expansion of King Power Stadium has also begun.

Jamie Vardy comforts Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha as they pay their respects at the sea of tributes to the victims of the crash at Leicester City
Getty Images - Getty

“These developments were all part of my father’s dream for Leicester City.

“It’s a dream that belongs to all of us now and it will be my honour to lead the club as we pursue that dream together.”

Srivaddhanaprabha’s previous role of vice-chairman will be filled by his brother Apichet, who retains his position on the club’s board alongside Liu Shilai and Susan Whelan.

Leicester City helicopter crash: Renaming King Power Stadium after late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha being ‘considered’

30 Oct

Leicester bosses are reportedly considering re-naming the Premier League club’s King Power Stadium after Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha as a tribute to their late chairman.

The 60-year-old was one of five people who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash on Saturday, which has devastated everyone connected with the team.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was a popular man with Leicester fans

Leicester have called the disaster the ‘darkest day’ of their club’s history and tributes have poured in for the popular 60-year-old from across the world of football.

On Monday, son and vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha was joined by his mother, Aimon, at the stadium as they laid a wreath during an emotional morning, which also saw Leicester players join the mourners.

Having invited supporters and well-wishers to sign a special book of condolence at the stadium, the club are now said to be in discussions about how to best remember Khun Vichai.

And, according to ESPN and sources within the club, one of the suggestions has been to re-name Leicester’s home ground in the late chairman’s honour.

It is claimed son Aiyawatt will hold talks with Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan this week about their plans to celebrate his father’s life.

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha greaves with Leicester stars Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel

The stadium currently holds the name of Srivaddhanaprabha’s King Power retail empire, but it is claimed Aiyawatt and senior members of the King Power Group are in favour of renaming it the Khun Vichai Stadium.

A King Power spokesperson has confirmed that details of tributes to Srivaddhanaprabha will be revealed in the coming weeks, and that a statue could also be erected at the stadium.

“What is important now is to give the Srivaddhanaprabha, King Power and Leicester City family time to grieve,” a statement from the company read.

“In due course we will release memorial details and are touched by the public outpouring of support and condolences.

Thousands of flowers, cards, shirts and scarves have been laid outside Leicester’s stadium

“The King Power Stadium is already a celebration of Khun Vichai’s successful business and we would be open, with family, club and supporter consultation, to discussing a name change in Khun Vichai’s honour.

“We are aware of petitions seeking this type of change as well as for a statue at the club and will discuss all these wishes with the Srivaddhanaprabha family and the football club.”

Leicester City players arrive at King Power stadium to see tributes for owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha alongside his family following helicopter crash

29 Oct

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s family, along with the Leicester City first team, have visited the King Power Stadium to see the tributes left for the late Foxes owner.

The 60-year-old was killed, along with four others when the helicopter carrying them crashed outside the King Power Stadium and burst into flames on Saturday night.

Wearing all black, Srivaddhanaprabha’s wife, Aimon and son, Aiyawatt were seen looking at the thousands of flowers, scarves and soft toys already left at the scene of the accident before laying their own tribute.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s wife Aimon and son Aiyawatt visited the King Power Stadium to lay flowers
Thousands of mourners have already left tributes and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha appeared to be visibly moved by what he saw
A Leicester fan, one of thousands who have visited the stadium, greeted Aiyawatt as he arrived to lay his wreath
Dressed in black, Aimon and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, laid a wreath among many other flowers, soft toys and scarves
A father of four, Srivaddhanaprabha’s children are all involved in the King Power company

After the family laid their wreath, they were then joined by players from Leicester’s academy and first team.

The youth team walked out first where Darnell Johnson placed a signed shirt among the many flowers.

Darnell Johnson places a Leicester shirt among the many floral tributes

First team stars led by manager Claude Puel, Kasper Schmeichel and Jamie Vardy came out next.

They walked around the perimeter to read the messages fans and other mourners had left.

Leicester players Wes Morgan, James Maddison, Matty James and Harry Maguire look at the tributes

On Twitter, goalkeeper Schmeichel posted on Twitter a moving message, which read: “Dear Mr Chairman. I cannot believe this is happening. I am so totally devastated and heartbroken. I just cannot believe what I saw last night. It just doesn’t seem real.

“It is difficult to put into words how much you meant to this football club and to the city of Leicester. Never have I ever come across a man like you. So hard working, so passionate, so kind and so generous in the extreme.
“You changed football. Forever! You gave hope to everyone that the impossible was possible. You literally made my dreams come true.

“We now have a responsibility as a club, as players and fans to honour you. From knowing you we do this by being the family you created.”

Kasper Schmeichel, right, looks at the tributes – the goalkeeper posted a heartfelt tribute himself on social media
Manager Claude Puel was also in attendance
As well as the numerous tributes on the ground, a portrait of the late owner is also visible
Vardy, the club’s striker, makes his way around the perimeter at the King Power

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha became chairman of Leicester in February 2011 and under him, The Foxes won promotion back to the Premier League in 2014 – and with it secured the riches of modern-day football.

The most ardent Leicester fan, though, could not have dreamed they would ever see the club crowned Premier League champions – even if taking on odds at 5,000-1.

Quoted by the Wall Street Journal when looking back on their unexpected success, Aiyawatt, Leicester’s vice-chairman, said: “When we bought the team, we had so many plans.

“If you ask whether we believed the team would become the Premier League champion when we bought it, the truth is at that point we didn’t dare to think so.”

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his son, Aiyawatt, celebrate Leicester’s Premier League triumph together in 2016

Leicester’s players led the tributes to Mr Srivaddhanaprabha and the club confirmed the Carabao Cup game against Southampton will be postponed.