Following promotion to the Premier League, Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is aiming high and targeting a top five finish for his club.
Leicester finished as champions of the Sky Bet Football League Championship in impressive style, amassing 102 points as they blew away the competition, winning 31 of 46 league matches. Now Srivaddhanaprabha (said to be one of the richest men in Thailand) has set his ambitions on making a stir in the top flight and is willing to splash the cash.
According to the Guardian, the Thai billionaire told reporters he wants to stay in the Premier League for a long time and thinks it could take £180 million to make the Foxes an established force.
He told the national paper: "We want to stay in the EPL as long as possible, But we won't take the huge leap to challenge the league's top five clubs immediately.
"Do we have a chance to beat them? Yes, we have, but I think we need to establish our foothold in the league first and then we think about our next step.
"It will take a huge amount of money, possibly 10 billion Thai Baht (around £180 million), to get there. But that doesn't put us off. I am asking for three years, and we'll be there."
The news will be tonic to manager Nigel Pearson who will no doubt want as much help in the transfer market to prepare his squad for next season. While Leicester fans may be dreaming of potentially blockbuster acquisitions after hearing this.
Srivaddhanaprabha bought the Foxes in August 2010 and in October 2010 he appointed Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager and oversaw the former England boss’ lavish spending, which included big fees for flops such as Matt Mills and Jermaine Beckford. Since re-appointing Nigel Pearson in November 2011 the spending has been much more prudent, and Srivaddhanaprabha showed his commitment to the club’s solvency by writing off the club’s £103m debt in February this year.
It was a clear act of faith by the Thai owner and demonstrated he is a financial heavyweight who can be taken very seriously.
If Srivaddhanaprabha makes good on his promise we can certainly expect an exciting pre-season. With Chelsea and Manchester United expected to spend, Liverpool and Arsenal in need of greater depth, and Tottenham, set to appoint a new boss after Tim Sherwood was dismissed, likely to be as active as usual it should be a summer that keeps the Premier League money men busy.
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