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Leicester City; the sound of chickens coming back to roost

by Tony Attwood

Whenever we cover the dodgy doings by football clubs on this site, we get emails saying “your club is just as bad” and “why don’t you just write about your club” and then a few things that are not really repeatable.  

So we’ll take those as read, and remind everyone that the headline of this site used to be “Football news from an Arsenal perspective”.   I can’t remember why that got changed, but anyone, I’ve just changed it back as it seems relevant.

Anyway, I’ve always felt that was our brief, along with several special areas of interest.  Including economics – not to mention dubious goings on, odd behaviour, fines and court cases.   And it is rather odd that in and among the news these last few months we have found Leicester City FC’s name comes up quite a lot.  

It all started, you might recall, with that business of them being promoted and seemingly spending far more than FFP allowed in doing so.  That one recently started hovering around when QPR where caught in the same net and lost their appeal.  I think they are appealing again, but basically as things stand QPR are in trouble, and if Leicester ever get relegated again, then the Championship is going to impose a pretty big fine and a transfer ban.  

QPR have been told to pay the EFL £40m after being found guilty of breaking those rules at the same time as Leicester.  Failure to pay would mean expulsion from the League.   Leicester are ok for now because the PL doesn’t collect fines on behalf of the Football League, so they are rather keen to stay up.

But that was only for starters.  For then there was that curious business of their marketing and publicity company that no one could find, but which was bringing in huge, huge and then mega huge incomes to help Leicester stay on the right side of FFP in the Premier League.  That one’s gone a bit quiet, but these things never quite have the habit of vanishing for good.

And then third we reported that Leicester’s owner might be in a spot of local difficulty over his dealings in the airports of Thailand.   We did a little resume a few months back.

Anyway, criminal proceedings against the owners of Leicester City in respect of an unpaid £323 million owing to the Thai government have now come to life once more.  (I suspect they sent a cheque but it has got lost in the post).   The accusation from the state is that this is the money that it is said to be owed by King Power and King Power’s owners, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his son Aiyawatt.

King Power you may recall was given a booze selling monopoly in the airports by the then PM of the country, Thaksin Shinawatra, who used to own Manchester City.  I was going to write a quick summary of Shinawatra’s difficulties with the law since then but there is no way I can find of summarising the multiplicity of course cases.  If you are fascinated try Wiki – but you might want to set aside several hours to cover the detail.

But to summarise Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha set up a small shop in Bangkok called King Power and then in a way I don’t understand got the exclusive franchise for duty free sales at Suvarnabhumi airport. Thaksin Shinawatra may have been involved.  But he went out in a military coup.

Back with King Power, a judge at Thailand’s central court for corruption and misconduct cases ruled that criminal allegations presented to the court in July should go ahead to see if King Power really has withheld £327m from the money it was to pay the state for the right to run the duty free shops.

The argument is that King Power worked hand in glove with airport staff so that the amount of duty free sales recorded was a mere pittance of the amount actually owed.  In the end it is said they only paid 3% of the revenue to the state rather than 15%.  Quite a difference.

There are also cases against 14 airport officials, two other King Power companies and Sombat Dechapanichkul, the chief operating officer of King Power International.   The official court summary of the preliminaries said, “From the examination of the lawsuit, the court sees that the case is within the authority of the Central Court for Corruption and Misconduct case, and the lawsuit is in accordance with the Procedures for Corruption and Malfeasance Case Act.”

The lawsuit was filed by Charnchai Issarasenarak, former deputy chairman of a government anti-corruption subcommittee,   King Power then filed a libel lawsuit against Charnchai in February this year, claiming defamation in statements he made alleging corruption.

King Power problems with the Football League which arise from the fact that having bought Leicester City for £39m when the club was in the Championship they then loaned the club more than £100m saying that it had come from the hard-to-locate marketing company.

The prosecution and defence in the criminal case will now submit further evidence and lists of witnesses to be heard, with suggestions that the case may come to trial in March. In the original lawsuit, Charnchai listed the current prime minister of Thailand, General Prayuth Chan O-Cha, as the second witness.

King Power responded, “King Power has always followed and been absolutely committed to the highest standards in proper and ethical business practice. We are proud of our company’s good name and honest reputation and will fight rigorously any attempts to discredit them.”

So what might happen to Leicester if the corruption case against its owners is proven?   The King Power men might have to stand down, although the rules of the League are, of course, obscure.  When it comes to protecting the league from dodgy owners they always are.

The UK has an extradition treaty with Thailand.

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19 comments to Leicester City; the sound of chickens coming back to roost

  • Off topic,what the hell??? Mike Shit Dean is our ref with the Spunk’s??? I can’t not believe it. Can’t believe it. I’d there anything the Mighty Arsenal can do about it. Seriously Mike Shit Dean for us now????

  • finsbury

    It were the:

    “Greatest Story Ever Told!”

    So screemed the various broadcasters in unison for the last three months of that season.

  • Gord

    I’m sure that The Premier League, The (sweet) FA and PGMO never heard of this:

    https://www.change.org/p/the-football-association-the-fa-prevent-mike-dean-from-refereeing-another-arsenal-game

    Has to be an honest mistake, right? Not that PGMO wants to tilt the field for the Tottenspuds?

  • Gord

    Over in Italy, they are entertaining some Swedes.

    9 minutes in, an Italian gets booked.

    10 minutes in, a Swede gets booked.

    19 minutes in, the booked Swede is substituted.

    Scoring? We don’t need no stinkin’ scoring!

    Go Sweden! 🙂

  • Gord

    Over in Italy, they are coming up to half time.

    At 22 minutes, another Italian is booked.

    At 29 minutes, another Swede is booked.

    According to the earlier pattern, the Swede will be substituted in about another 4 minutes.

    Scoring? We don’t need no stinkin’ scoring!

    Go Sweden! 🙂

  • Gord

    Well, the Italian fans won’t be happy, but I think the neutrals got the better deal if the Italians are not in the next World Cup.

  • Fox

    Two things:
    1. Arsenal “earned” more in prize money than Leicester when they won the league (and finished 10 points ahead of them) and yet you want to complain about alleged Financial Fair Play?
    2. You should probably take a look at the people corrupt involved with Arsenal when talking about dodgy owners – which has been brought to light in the recent Paradise Papers leaks: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/nov/05/arsenal-everton-stakeholders-close-ties-leaked-files-alisher-usmanov-farhad-moshiri

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Let us the Gooners not worry or show any anxiety as to which anti-Arsenal match referee the PGMO will this time appoint to referee our home PL match against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. If the PGMO like it, let them appoint any of the well known anti-Arsenal referees of: Mike Dean, Michael Oliver and Anthony Taylor to referee this match. Notwithstanding, Arsenal will win the match because they are already aware of the hidden moves taken by the PGMO to subvert Arsenal in the match by using the match officiating officials to implement their devilish plan against Arsenal. But Arsenal have taken steps to negate the PGMO devilish plan even if they appoint the 3 officiating match officials and the 4th match official from Jupiter with orders to sway the outcome of the match to favour Tottenham Hotspur to thus inflict back back big game defeats on Arsenal, but unfortunately for the PGMOL but fortunately for the Arsenals who have a foolproof plan in place for this match which they will activate during the match to negate every step taken by the match referee and his 2 linesmen against Arsenal, the Gunners will this time around not be taken for a ride again but inevitably claim a 3-0 scoreline home win over Tottenham Hotspur.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Australian humour –

    It seems that years ago , the disembarkation form before landing in Australia had a column which asked : Do you have any previous criminal records ?

    It was subsequently removed ever since one chap wrote in the reply column : I didn’t know it’s still a requirement to enter Australia .

  • Fox, have covered Moshiri four times, and are well aware of the ownership of this club. It would be rather tedious to go through it all again. Not sure many of the readers would appreciate mere repetition.

  • finsbury

    Chickens coming home to roost?
    Aren’t you confusing the LCFC “investors” with the, um, ah, the “investors” in Blackburn Rovers FC?

    *clucks*

    That campaign run by the “Steve Kean Out Brigade” (also known as SOBs) worked out well for them eh? Surely no one else could ever be so easily manipulated, gullible and stupid…

  • finsbury

    …all these “investors” who end up being exposed for criminal stuff (RICO Enterprises as decribed by the US courts), one club left as a husk after another once the Risdales have finished with it, apart from those beautiful petro-clubs that we are all so envious of *coughs*, or at least those that choose to belive in the funny papers are, bloody nora, it all feels like Groundhog Day 😉

  • Flares

    Fox,

    Arsenal enjoyed nearly double the TV appearances that season – hence their larger share of the money – although the actual difference in payments was £7.6 million, not a vast amount when you consider Leicester coined in around £250m for winning the title. Did you also mention City, Spurs and United also collected more, due to being bigger clubs who attract more worldwide interest than a tinpot outfit from the Midlands?

    Thought not.

  • JimB

    Flares,

    That was rather Fox’s point………that the system as it stands is specifically designed – nay, rigged – to maintain the status quo. If all the established big clubs have such vastly greater revenues than the other clubs, and if the owners of those other clubs are forbidden from investing in their own companies (what an extraordinary notion, by the way), then there can never be any real, long term competitiveness in the Premier League for any but five or six clubs.

  • climatic

    Untold covered this ages ago & only now the cheating media are catching up and taking the glory. Did they buy the PL?

  • Fox

    Thank you JimB. You’ve just explained why our title win was so extraordinary. It literally was impossible.

  • Phil

    Sounds like these Arsenal bloggers are still pissed off about Leicester’s Tommy Benfield being the first player to score a goal at Highbury in 1914. Talk about holding a grudge. Get over it, the rest of us have!

  • A prize for the funniest post of all. Not sure what the prize is, but when I think of it, you get it.

  • omgarsenal

    Fox….. your point #2 is a true ¨Trumpism¨ if I ever saw one. Don’t talk about Leicester,hide behind a claim that Arsenal are worse….it is called ¨whataboutism¨ and the Republicans use it all the time to deflect attention from what they want to hide.

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