We Need More Owners Like Khun Top In Football

On 15 May, Leicester City lifted their first ever FA Cup title in their 137-year history. A team that has grown on football fans around the world, Leicester added another tale to its Cinderella story.

With the players celebrating, Kasper Schmeichel called upon Khun Top, the club's owner, to join the festivities. Beaming from ear to ear, he jogged on the field, embracing his players and team manager Brendan Rodgers in what was truly a wonderful moment.

Leicester and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Embracing the Club Culture

When was the last (or even the first) time you saw an owner of a major club in football be so loved and revered by the players, staff, and supporters? At a time where the disconnect between club owners and their players, managers, and supporters is at an all-time high, Khun Top is a breath of fresh air. Ask him, and he will tell you that he is keeping his father's legacy alive.

When his father, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, took ownership of the club in 2010, Leicester were in the third tier of English football. On the surface, many had thought that this would be yet another case of foreign investment that didn't mean much for the club's culture or success.

However, quite the opposite happened. Vichai was a regular at the Foxes' home games and often handed out free beer and donuts to supporters. He would regularly meet with the players, staff, and managers during training sessions, taking pictures with supporters, and bringing monks from Thailand to bless the players.

His impact was not just on the football field. Vichai's family was actively involved in the local community. Donating to hospitals and charities as well as partaking in honourable initatives had built a strong connection with the local community, unheard of in football.

This translated to success on the pitch as well. Leicester climbed the ranks from the third tier to the Premier League in 4 years. But it was at the top flight of English football where Vichai's greatest moment would come when Leicester City won the Premier League in 2016.

Like Father Like Son

Two years following the greatest Premier League victory, Vichai along with four others would sadly pass away in a helicopter crash right outside the King Power Stadium. This was a shocking and heartbreaking time for the club, the fans, and the family of Vichai.

Khun Top would become the chairman of the club in its darkest hour. But immediately upon taking the helm, he would restore the faith of the Foxes faitful by announcing that, "today, he has left me with a legacy to continue and I will do everything I can to carry on his big visions and dreams."

Since taking ownership of the club, Khun Top has kept his father's legacy alive and has woven himself into the fabric of the club. When you look at Leicester City, you don't look at a club. You're looking at a family where the owner is considered as part of the club's culture and pride.

Leicester was once a club with avid supporters but no direction Today, it's a club that contends for the Premier League title every year. The vision, values, and heart instilled by Vichai has transformed Leicester City into one of the most loved clubs in football.

You've heard dozens of stories of club owners taking from the club for their own financial gain. You've also seen the (thankfully) failed attempt at a European Super League purely out of greed. At this volatile time in football, Khun Top serves as an example of an owner that brings success to the club while embracing its culture.
Peter Norman is from the green island of Ireland, loves football and Manchester United in particular, where also the great idol Roy Keane had his career. Peter is a trained journalist and likes to write articles and analyses of football.