Leicester provide inspiration to the world: vice-chairman

Leicester City's remarkable journey from 5,000-1 outsiders to Premier League champions is an "inspiration for the whole world", says vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

The Foxes were crowned champions of England for the first time on Monday, a fairytale finish for a club that spent most of last season battling against relegation.

"Is it a miracle? It is," Srivaddhanaprabha, the son of the club's Thai billionaire owner and chairman Vichai, told the BBC.

"It is inspirational and people talk about it. We set the standard of the sport and inspiration for the whole world.

"It is not just for the sport, it is life. If people use Leicester as the standard now, if they fight, they try -- then they can achieve one day. Everything has to be right as well."

Leicester claimed the title with two games of their campaign remaining when second-placed Tottenham Hotspur drew at Chelsea.

The club's success has opened the floodgates to a wave of tributes for manager Claudio Ranieri, whose appointment had raised eyebrows in the close season.

The Italian arrived at the Midlands club after a dismal and short-lived spell in charge of Greece, which included an embarrassing home defeat by the Faroe Islands in November 2014.

Aiyawatt, however, said the 64-year-old was a clear first choice to replace former manager Nigel Pearson, who was sacked at the end of last season.


"The way he (Ranieri) managed the players and put them out on the field was something special," Aiyawatt said.

"We saw that when we interviewed him. He has something special inside and has all the plans in his head.

"We interviewed quite a number of managers and he was the one I chose the first time. When I met him, he was the first choice for me."

Aiyawatt also said he was amused when he was asked to buy striker Jamie Vardy from non-league Fleetwood Town.

After a difficult first campaign in the top flight, Vardy has been a revelation in the title charge, scoring 22 goals and being named Footballer of the Year by journalists.

"Steve Walsh (Leicester assistant manager) asked me to buy non-league players and I thought it was funny," he said.

"Then when he showed me all the information about him (Vardy), it was amazing. He scores 29 or 30 goals a year so we can see he can score and has a record.

"When I met him, he was quite a special character."