VICHAI’S WAL­LET IS ABOUT TO BE FLEECED

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

AGENTS around the world must be wet­ting them­selves with glee af­ter Le­ices­ter chair­man Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha an­nounced he would spend £180m “to reach Europe” by 2017.

The Foxes Thai owner has ba­si­cally com­mit­ted the board­room equiv­a­lent of strolling round Comp­ton with an iPhone, lap­top and blaz­ing in bling. Only a ‘Mug Me’ Tshirt would have been more ef­fec­tive.

Spend­ing the money won’t be hard. As Tony Fer­nan­des dis­cov­ered at QPR, there are a mil­lion chancers, has-beens and mer­ce­nar­ies happy to trouser a slice of the Pre­mier League cake.

But get­ting value for money as a newly-pro­moted Pre­mier League club? That will be in­cred­i­bly tough.

Le­ices­ter may be a ‘big’ club with a pres­ti­gious past. But in the here and now, they boast no rep­u­ta­tion or ku­dos, no stand­ing on the in­ter­na­tional stage. All they have is a chair­man with a fat wal­let.

As a re­sult, the best play­ers will give them a swerve, leav­ing sec­on­draters on the hunt for a pay­day. Worse yet, ev­ery trans­fer fee and pay­packet will now be dou­bled in the knowl­edge that Sri­vad­dhanaprabha has a bot­tom­less pit.

This is ex­actly what hap­pened to QPR, who tried to mix it with the big boys from day one and had their trousers firmly pulled down.

It’s great that Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, above, wants to back the club. But if he’s got any sense, he should for­get talk of Europe by 2017. Try­ing to grow too big, too fast is a recipe for fi­nan­cial dis­as­ter – and one that is doomed to end in em­bar­rass­ment.

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