Few were sure where the future of King Power or even Leicester City lay as disaster struck both in October 2018. Their owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, sadly passed away following a tragic helicopter crash at the Midlands-club’s ground.
The Thai billionaire was, of course, the founder, owner, and chairman of the King Power International Group, as well as the owner of Leicester City Football Club before his untimely death.
With him gone, would the retail giants be able to carry on trading with the success they had become accustomed to, and would Leicester City still retain the X factor that enabled them to punch well above their weight?
The answer, as we now know, was an emphatic yes to both of those questions. But it is the performance of Leicester City in the English Premier League that is perhaps the most impressive. Let’s go back a few years and have a look at King Power’s forced transition at the top.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha had instructed that should anything happen to him, the running of King Power and, of course, Leicester City be handed over to his son Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.
Now, there is always uncertainty when a change of ownership takes place with the value of a company fluctuating for better or for worse depending on the situation that led to it.
In Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha’s case, he was still in his early 30s and without the experience and perhaps an appreciation of building a business from the ground up.
There was a justifiable concern but, in some respects, genuine intrigue as to how he would handle the reins of a multi-billion pound company all of a sudden.
His father Vichai – who was always a tremendous judge of character – quite obviously saw enough during his lifetime to convince him that his son was the man for the job.
Indeed, fast forward two and a half years and King Power continues to hoover up duty-free contracts at Thailand’s major airports and Leicester City seems to be on the verge of the impossible once again as they hunt another Premier League title.
Needless to say, the Foxes aren’t anywhere near the odds of 5000/1 as they were back in 2015 when they miraculously won the Premier League title.
This time around, they are at 16/1 in the latest soccer odds, which is perhaps a bit unfair, given that they are only a couple of points behind Manchester United. After all, this is a football club that has defied the odds before and will take great pleasure in doing so again. Anyone dismissing Leicester’s chances of more top-flight glory would be doing so at their own peril.
Even so, and irrespective of Leicester’s past heroics in that incredible season of 2015/2016, the very fact that they are somehow in the running again to win the world’s most competitive football league is an accomplishment in itself, and further proof that Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was right to hand over the running of the company to his son.
Whichever way you look at it, despite facing the most turbulent and tragic times, King Power just hasn’t missed a beat since the passing of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha thanks to the inspired leadership from his son.