Leicester City emerged this weekend not solely as FA Cup winners, however champions of the sport each soccer fan fell in love with.
By beating Chelsea to elevate the primary FA Cup of their historical past, Leicester introduced themselves because the antidote to the money-hungry plague that’s ravishing soccer – proof that the sport ought to be about followers, not funds.
I can’t have been the one particular person in tears watching Brendan Rodgers embrace membership proprietor Aiyawatt ‘High’ Srivaddhanaprabha.
Eyes had been on Khun High all through the sport, with tv cameras usually panning again to the Foxes proprietor who has picked up his late father’s torch to information Leicester to extra success – nonetheless in opposition to the chances.
And but, the proprietor didn’t milk the highlight.
At full-time, with their cup success confirmed, there was a fist pump from the proprietor earlier than he seemed to the sky, fingers collectively in a prayer-like gesture, as he took a second to recollect his much-loved dad, Khun Vichai.
One of many Wembley stands unoccupied by followers bore an enormous banner of the late proprietor, whereas within the build-up supervisor Rodgers defined how he and the staff had been taking part in in Vichai’s reminiscence and sought to make him proud by lifting one other trophy.
After letting the gamers have their second, celebrating in entrance of jubilant returning supporters for the primary time in too lengthy and lifting the FA Cup in a burst of white and blue streamers and pyrotechnics, the Thai businessman quietly made his means into the pitch.
It wasn’t till goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel observed him and he received concerned within the celebrations, too. He hugged participant after participant earlier than making a beeline for Rodgers, who met in an extended embrace.
It was a lovely second, however maybe what made it much more particular was that it was in stark distinction to what’s occurring elsewhere within the Premier League and wider European soccer.
Manchester United protests in opposition to the Glazers, Arsenal anger in direction of Stan Kroenke, Liverpool followers blasting FSG’s greed, Tottenham supporters even took to the streets of north London hours earlier than the FA Cup last kicked off to inform ENIC and Daniel Levy to get misplaced, with banners mocking the membership’s motto studying: ‘To Dare Is Too Pricey’.
And but, right here now we have an proprietor who’s as beloved by the supporters and their heroes on the pitch, who simply gained the membership’s first ever FA Cup of their 137 12 months historical past.
Whereas the Premier League’s ‘large six’ all harbour ambitions that apparently exceed the Premier League and Champions League, with their failed European Tremendous League plans, Leicester have been quietly proving why soccer is named ‘The Stunning Sport’.
An unlikely and historic Premier League title win and now an FA Cup victory within the house of six seasons, they’re now not the underdogs different followers and maybe these different golf equipment imagine they’re.
They’re forcing their means into the Premier League’s prime 4 golf equipment, and they’re doing it the way in which all of us need. No mega hundreds of thousands spent, no wasteful overspending and big-money flops.
King Energy have a devotion to their membership in all probability unmatched in your complete Premier League. They’ve invested within the membership’s amenities, believed in a supervisor, invested in the fitting gamers and constructed a staff that’s proving a nuisance to the remainder of England’s large boys.
It’s an proprietor/supervisor, proprietor/participant and proprietor/fan relationship each supporter goals of.
Khun Vichai and now Khun High are not any ‘Silent Stan’, they’re very current leaders of a membership, and their success couldn’t be extra deserved.
Now it’s time for the league’s different house owners to face up, and take discover.
As Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand stated on BT Sport, whereas Khun High hugged Rodgers like a brother: “In a time the place the relationships between house owners, gamers and followers are so fractured, to see what we’re seeing right here is so refreshing.
“I don’t suppose there’s a membership extra linked from prime to backside as what we see with this membership.”
“There will probably be some large golf equipment on the market, and a few I performed for who will probably be jealous and envious of those house owners,” added former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole.
“You will be absent house owners, however that is what you need, that is what soccer is about, the collaboration between everybody on the membership.
“It’s similar to Sir Alex Ferguson stated, you want everybody pointing in the fitting path and this membership has received everybody to man, lady and baby pointing in the fitting path.
“I don’t suppose you’ll see one other proprietor come on the pitch and be beloved like this man has been beloved, to be embraced as he has been embraced.”
“They again the membership, they again the managers and there’s a face to it, that’s the distinction,” stated Ferdinaind.
“I feel quite a lot of different house owners can take heed from this.”