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Milan Mandaric praises Leicester owners for unlikely success

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Leicester City will win the Premier League on Sunday if they beat Manchester United after a season that has defied expectation and perhaps even explanation.

The playing and coaching staff are given the most credit for dramatically reversing the club's fortunes but without the stability and prosperity brought by the King Power group, none of this would have been possible.

Too often, wealthy owners alienate the fans of the teams they purchase but ever since their takeover in 2010, they have worked tirelessly and quietly behind the scenes to gain the supporters' trust and demonstrate that they're not here to simply make money.

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Of course, Leicester's budget has grown considerably during their six-year reign but there is so much more to successfully running a club than only ploughing in cash.

In 2013, they wiped out the considerable debt racked up by the club - estimated to be £103 million - in a move that was the first suggestion that they were here for the long haul and began a period of relatively big spending that was unthinkable for a club that nearly fell out of existence in 2002.

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Milan Mandaric's comments support the fact that these owners have intentions of continual success after this season.

"I don't think Leicester will be one of those one-offs" he says and considering how close the 77-year-old Serb is to chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, this is a statement that represents far more than conjecture.

Southend United v Leicester City

Although Mandaric says "it's not just the money any more" motivating them, they are businessmen - very good ones at that - and financial gain will still be a prominent thought for the group.

And so it must be if Leicester are to maintain their presence at the top of English football.

For everything that the club has done so brilliantly this season, there has been an element of stumbling upon a team who are so much more than their component parts and haven't needed to rely on spending massive amounts on transfer fees.

As romantic a thought it is to imagine this current side remaining competitive for years to come, that's nigh on impossible and a lot of money will be required to turn this part of the East Midlands into a centre of European football.

Even if the group can't keep the club at its current level of performance, they will be forgiven as long as they continue to be active in creating a personal relationship with fans.

Leicester City v Sheffield Wednesday - npower Championship

For three years in a row they have bought every fan attending a certain game a drink and though it's not much out of their pocket, it's a gesture that consistently endears them to the Foxes faithful.

Shady investors are a huge problem in world football as they struggle to understand the history and culture of the club they seek to turn into a cash machine.

In a world full of Randy Lerners, Mike Ashleys, Vincent Tans and Massimo Cellinos it is refreshing to see a group of owners who ostensibly get everything right.

They have delivered stability while remaining respectful to the club's 132-year past. As Mandaric puts it, the club is "now in their blood".

Leicester City v Watford - npower Championship

Whatever happens in the next three games, Leicester's season has probably been the most memorable in the history of English football.

A decade down the road people will reminisce about Jamie Vardy's 11 game scoring streak and Riyad Mahrez's PFA Player of the Year award, hopefully there will be a few small lines reserved for the owners that brought it all to fruition.

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Topics:
Leicester City
Football
Premier League
Wes Morgan
Robert Huth

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