Leicester City Boss Claude Puel: ''Play To Remember The Man That Did So Much For Our Club''
The manager of Leicester City, Claude Puel, has spoken for the first time of a week that has left everyone at the club “numb”, after the tragic death of chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha along with four others in a helicopter crash outside the club’s King Power Stadium on Saturday.
The Thai businessman was an immensely popular figure among the club’s staff and squad, and tributes flowed in from them on social media in the aftermath of the event. They paid a visit to the thronged memorial outside the stadium together earlier in the week, which, Puel said, “showed all the lives Vichai touched”.
In a press conference ahead of the Foxes’ away tie against Cardiff City on Saturday, their French manager has been paying tribute to a man who “made Leicester City into a family”.
Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club when it was in the Championship and led it to promotion and then an odds-defying Premier League title win in the fairytale 2015-16 campaign under Claudio Ranieri.
Puel was emotional but composed when speaking about a chairman who had “invested in the club, invested in the city, invested in the people” and was “truly was loved inside and outside the club”.
He described how his squad met at the club’s training ground on Monday, which he was explained allowed them to “talk between ourselves and to share this difficult moment. Just to listen [to one another], to share all our sorrow.”
In a poignant moment, Puel was visibly moved and spoke about the actions that would be taken to further what the deceased chairman has left behind, a “legacy” and a ”vision that the club and myself as manager will take forward.”
It was decided yesterday that their game in Cardiff would go ahead despite the events of the last week, and Puel pledged that his players would “play to remember the man that did so much for our club.”
The funeral of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha will begin in his native Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday.