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The Leicester City Fairy Tale: King Power, King Richard III and the Siamese Foxes

May 15th, 2016 · Thailand Articles, Thailand Information

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Sport has a habit of throwing up surprises. A rank outsider winning a horse race, a top-seeded tennis player losing to an unknown, an amateur golfer outdoing the professionals. Whether you like sport or not, there is something compelling about an underdog succeeding against all the odds. And with the improbable achievements of Leicester City in this season’s English Premier League, the football club and their Thai owners are on the brink of becoming part of the . The team are top of the league and poised to win English football’s biggest prize despite being 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the campaign. Leicester City players and coaching staff have been rightly lauded for their success this season, but there is another team based in Thailand who have played a role behind the scenes. A team who wear saffron robes, shave their heads and chant Buddhist incantations.

King Power and the Thailand connection

Thai businessman, , bought Leicester City Football Club in 2010. Since then, he has periodically flown in Buddhist monks from Thailand to England to take part in . Phra Prommangkalachan from Bangkok’s is one of the monks who has performed religious ceremonies on the pitch, blessed players with holy water and daubed protective Buddhist symbols known as yants at Leicester City’s stadium. If you’ve been to Thailand, you will probably have noticed above doorways in hotels and stores and even on the interior of taxis. It’s common for business and home owners to carry out a number of rituals to appease spirits and bring good luck. Whether it’s in the form of or , what might be disregarded as superstitious nonsense in some countries is a .

One of the richest men in Thailand, billionaire , a company which has a near monopoly on duty-free sales in Thailand. In February 2013, Vichai’s family was given the honour of a royally appointed surname from His Majesty the King Of Thailand. Vichai said, “It is our family’s greatest honour to receive this royally granted surname . . . The name ‘Srivaddhanaprabha’ conveys positive attributes to the industry and brings prosperity to our family.”

Leicester City FC chairman Vichai pictured with anger Claudio Ranieri
King Power owner Vichai pictured with Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri (photo credit: )

The power of the king

With the name ‘King Power’ featuring on the team’s shirts and the owner bestowed a surname from the King of Thailand, the royal omens have been good. But there is another king who, if you are to believe such things, has played his part in Leicester City’s astonishing story.

King Richard III of England was killed at the in Leicestershire in 1485. He was thought to have been hastily buried to keep his body away from his enemies, but the location of the royal remains were unknown for centuries. It was only in 2012 when archaeologists excavated a site in Leicester that the His remains were reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in a formal ceremony on March 25th, 2015. The reinternment of King Richard III coincided with an upturn in Leicester City FC’s fortunes and there are some people who believe that this is more than coincidence.

Against all the odds

At the beginning of April 2015, Leicester City were rock-bottom of the English Premier League and had been written off as certain candidates for relegation. A remarkable sequence of seven wins in the remaining nine games saw them survive the drop into the league below and meant they would remain in English football’s top flight for another season at least.

As amazing as Leicester City’s form was at the end of the 2014-15 season, they were amongst the favourites for relegation ahead of the 2015-16 season. The thought of them actually . Bookmakers William Hill That’s the same odds as Elvis being found alive. The same odds as Kim Kardashian becoming the U.S. president in 2020 or Barack Obama playing cricket for England after he’s finished with his job in Washington. In short, you would have been ting-tong (crazy) to use a Thai phrase if you bet on Leicester City to win the Premier League. However, there have been at least two Leicester City fans who were ting-tong enough to make the wager. One man who if Leicester City did achieve the impossible dream. Not many people would have blamed him when he took the opportunity to cash the bet in early in March 2016 to pocket £72,000.

King Power Stadium Leicester City FC
Leicester City’s King Power Stadium (photo credit: )

Thailand tour fiasco

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Leicester City who have a strategic partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand. An ill-fated ‘goodwill’ tour to Thailand in May 2015 resulted in a involving the son of the man who was then manager. The fallout from the public relations disaster saw the sacking of the three players involved and the departure of the manager. Ironically, this episode may have been the catalyst for Leicester City’s success this season. In what has proved to be an inspired move, the Thai owners of the club appointed the experienced and well-respected Claudio Ranieri as the new manager. The amiable Italian has been a calm influence and has masterfully steered his team towards the verge of the unlikeliest of achievements.

Thailand’s love affair with football

, but this is also a country in love with football. The Thai League is going from strength to strength and the national team are enjoying a run of success at the moment which gives them a chance of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Many Thais take an interest in the Spanish and German leagues, but it is the English Premier League which is most keenly followed with Manchester United and Liverpool particularly popular in Thailand.

The involvement of Thai businesses in English football has become an increasingly common trend in recent years. In 2007, former Thai prime minister bought Manchester City after he had been removed from office by a military coup. Thaksin sold the club a year later, but since then King Power have bought Leicester City and Thai business people have been involved in takeovers at Sheffield Wednesday and Reading Football Club whilst Chang beer have a well-established sponsorship deal with Everton.

The rise of the Siamese Foxes

Leicester City’s nickname is ‘The Foxes’. Dubbed the ‘Siamese Foxes’ in Thailand, the success of the club means they are being . Some fickle football fans in Thailand have switched allegiances from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United to support Leicester City and the demand for replica Leicester City shirts has sky-rocketed.

Countdown to the final whistle

If Leicester do win the biggest prize in English football, it won’t be a fluke. It’s been a sustained effort by Leicester over the course of the season. By the time the final whistle blows on the final day of the season, Leicester City will have played 38 league matches. Luck can play its part in individual games, but over the course of a long season the team that wins the league deserves to win the league.

It’s not all over yet. Leicester could still stumble at the final hurdle. Whatever happens in their remaining fixtures, it’s been an incredible season for Leicester City and their fans and there has been much pride in Thailand too because of the Thai association. Winning the league title would be the fairy tale ending. But fairy tales don’t come true. Do they?

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Septic Waste Dumped at Thepprasit, Pattaya

May 15th, 2016 · Pattaya News

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Pattaya One Media Group –

Residents in Theppasit Soi 5 have made a complaint to Pattaya’s Municipality Offices about the obnoxious smell from a garbage truck dumping septic waste.

Locals informed reporters that they have made a complaint before, with photos taken as evidence when the truck arrived and left all the waste, garbage, and feces but what they received from the Municipality Office was that they could not help until the residents make this issue known to news reporters.

Mrs. Nongnuch Sinak, a 42 year old resident said at first they thought it was rotten seashells but later on the smell became unbearable and they made a complaint but received no feedback from the Office.

Another local resident, Mr. Pansawas OunKlang, said the smell caused so much trouble to everyone in the neighbourhood and he took photos of the truck that dumped all the garbage and showed them to the Municipality Office but in return the Officers said they will only take action if the matter went to reporters.

Thus all the residents are seeking help from reporters to liaise with the relevant parties.

dumping (3)
dumping (1)
dumping (2)

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Tourists Attacked in Hua Hin: Thai Police Under Fire

May 15th, 2016 · Thailand News

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Four Thai men have been arrested following a on holiday in the beach resort city of Hua Hin. The incident took place on Soi Bintabaht in central late in the night on April 13. Details of the event only began to emerge towards the end of last week when video footage from a security camera was published online. If found guilty, the accused men face jail sentences ranging between six months and ten years.

With various versions of the Hua Hin video going viral last week, Thai police and officials have been criticised for the way they have handled the case. There have been accusations on social media that Thai police and officials were trying to keep the video clip secret as part of an attempt to hush-up the incident which took place in a and one which is popular with foreign retirees and senior citizens. In response, Thai police say that the video clip was confidential evidence forming a key part of their investigation and should not have been released into the public domain.

security cameras on Soi Bintabaht, Hua Hin, Thailand

security cameras on Soi Bintabaht, Hua Hin

The video shows Rosemary Owen, 65, and her husband Lewis Owen, 68, walking along Soi Bintabaht with their 43-year-old son. The narrow street in the middle of Hua Hin city is lined with small bars and was thronged at night with party-goers enjoying the . The video clip shows the son of the family brushing against a Thai man walking in the opposite direction. The Thai man responds by turning round and shoving the tourist resulting in the British man stumbling and falling to the floor. The video then shows Rosemary Owen approach the Thai man. After a short period of talking, the British woman appears to slap the Thai man in the face. There is then some grappling and something of a melee before another Thai man wearing a black t-shirt re-enters the scene and punches each one of the British family in the face knocking them all to the ground. The sickening clip goes on to show the tourists being stamped on and the 68-year-old woman being savagely kicked in the head as she lays prone on the floor. Rosemary Owen suffered fluid on the brain that needed draining. Her husband suffered two black eyes and needed six stitches to his forehead. The son required multiple stitches for his injuries.

Thai police say that shortly after being apprehended one of the Thai men admitted he and his three friends were drunk. The accused also said he thought one of the tourists had hit one of his friends first. Rosemary and Lewis Owen have been regular visitors to Thailand over the years and have apparently told friends in the past how much they loved the country. The married couple gave evidence in court today ahead of their return to the United Kingdom tomorrow. Their son, who lives in Singapore, was quoted in a British tabloid newspaper saying he and his parents will never return to Thailand again. However, speaking to Thai media today Rosemary and Lewis Owen apparently and vowed to return.

Following the adverse publicity the case has created, Thai officials in Hua Hin have gone on a charm offensive. Senior figures from the city’s police and tourism departments were on the streets of central Hua Hin over the weekend to meet and greet tourists and assure them of their safety. Thai officials have expressed their shock at the attack and said that this was an isolated incident with alcohol playing a major part.

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