Leicester's Premier League clash against Cardiff will go ahead this Saturday as tribute planned to honour owner
Leicester’s Premier League fixture at Cardiff on Saturday will go ahead as planned, the Foxes have announced.
The club have opened a book of condolence in memory of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The 60-year-old Thai billionaire was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening.
There has been a steady stream of supporters arriving since the early hours of Tuesday morning, as supporters continue to lay their tributes, including flowers, scarves and shirts to the ever-growing shrine which now extends down one side of the stadium.
At 8am this morning the club opened a specially-erected marquee where fans and people from the wider community in Leicester can come and write their messages in the book of condolence.
Nigel Pearson won the Championship at Leicester under Srivaddhanaprabha, before performing a successful rescue mission in their first season back in the Premier League.
He left the club in the summer of 2015, Claudio Ranieri coming in to win the title, while Pearson now manages Belgian side OH Leuven, also owned by Srivaddhanaprabha.
In a statement on Leuven’s website, Pearson paid tribute to someone he says had “an immeasurable influence on English football”.
“It is with extreme difficulty that I write to express and offer my sincere condolences and support to the Srivaddhanaprabha and wider King Power family,” Pearson said.
“His quiet yet authoritative aura, presence and personality have had an immeasurable influence on English football.
“The leadership and managerial processes he instilled and encouraged within Leicester City over a sustained period of time has borne fruit in such a way that people throughout the world witnessed the impossible by seeing a club win the Premier League in the most incredible circumstances.
“This most definitely ensured the belief that sporting miracles can happen. I have been privileged to manage both clubs owned by King Power, and at Oud-Heverlee Leuven in Belgium, have the task of building a club which can emulate King Power’s success in England.”
Pearson added: “My regret is that he will not see the fruition of his vision.
“On a personal level, a manager could not have wished for a better boss. I have, through both good and difficult times, been afforded an unwavering support which has been a huge motivator and, in personally difficult times, a huge comfort.
“His warmth, humour and generosity have always been extended to my own family, something for which we will all be eternally grateful for. I will miss his guidance and wisdom – and certainly his mischievous sense of humour and singular chuckle!
“Our thoughts, of course, must now be with Khun Vichai’s immediate family, as well as the King Power family, and I’m sure the wider football world will offer some solace for his loved ones. I will miss ‘The Boss’.”
Leicester were due to play Southampton tonight at the King Power Stadium but that Carabao Cup tie was postponed on Sunday.
The statement concluded: “An announcement on the rearrangement of the club’s EFL Cup fourth round tie against Southampton, postponed earlier this week, will be made in due course.”
Cardiff’s executive director & CEO, Ken Choo, said: “Following Saturday evening’s terrible events at King Power Stadium, the thoughts and feelings of Leicester City FC are at the forefront of our minds.
“As such, we will be offering our support to Leicester City in any way necessary in respect of this weekend’s fixture.”
Leicester have followed the example of its sister club OH Leuven, who have postponed their midweek fixture – but the Belgian club will play at the weekend.
Leuven were taken over by King Power last year, with Srivaddhanaprabha operating as chairman.
Leuven, managed by former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, were due to host Lommel on Wednesday evening but the second division fixture will now take place on December 4.
Their match against Tubize on Saturday will go ahead.
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