After Leicester City's FA Cup triumph on Saturday, something rather special happened on the pitch. Especially in the aftermath of the European Super League, it's unusual to see club owners genuinely embraced by the players they employ. But Foxes owner Aiyawatt 'Top' Srivaddhanaprabha came down to greet his players and was treated as one of the dressing room as they hugged, sung and lifted the trophy together.
So why do Leicester's players treat the club's ownership so differently? Comments Kasper Schmeichel made on the High Performance Podcast earlier this year shed some light on the differences in attitude at the King Power Stadium.
He said: "I think the whole Leicester case is a unique case because I’ve been at many clubs and I’ve never seen or experienced a club that runs the way Leicester does. From my time, it was Nigel [Pearson] who started it, implemented it. You look at our staff now, so many of them are people that Nigel employed.
"But, it’s the way they treat people. You’re treated as a person and you feel important. And, that came right from the very top with Khun Vichai, the way he treated everybody, you could see the outpouring of grief when he died, for a man that these people didn’t know. But, what he’s done for the club, the way he just showed respect for every single person, it didn’t matter what position in the club you had, you were just as important, you were part of the machine.
"And to make the machine work, everyone has to do their part. And, that’s what it’s like in Leicester. You know the people who are involved with the club."
This culture at the club helped Leicester pull off one the biggest shocks in the history of the sport when they won the Premier League in 2016, and they upset the odds again on the weekend when they edged past Chelsea at Wembley thanks to Youri Tielemans' stunning long-range strike.
The togetherness that Schmeichel spoke about was there for all to see as Leicester celebrated with their supporters and owner after the final whistle.
Top took over ownership of the club following the tragic death of his father Vichai in a helicopter crash in 2018, and has followed in his footsteps by continuing to build a unique bond with Leicester's fans.
His approach has certainly allowed Leicester to hit heights that they could have hardly imagined reaching not so long ago, and with the culture at the club showing no signs of changing, they could be set for even more success in the years to come.
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