As Leicester City were awarded the Premier League trophy for the first time on Saturday, plans were stepped up for next week’s tour of Thailand, the home of the club’s owners, King Power.
The newly crowned English champions have confirmed that they will visit Bangkok on May 18 and 19.
King Power vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha announced last week that the trip is to reward Thai fans for their growing interest in the Foxes.
While no game or open training session is planned, a meet and greet with the local Leicester fan club is scheduled for May 18 ahead of a visit to the Grand Palace the following day.
Any fears that the champions might not bring their stars have been quashed by Aiyawatt.
“We have scheduled to bring over the full Leicester City squad, led by their top striker Jamie Vardy, star Riyad Mahrez and team manager Claudio Ranieri to Thailand,” he told the Bangkok Post.
“This is to thank the Thai people for their support, which played a role in the team winning the Premier League this season.”
As Claudio Ranieri’s men celebrated their achievement by beating Everton 3-1 on Saturday, a viewing party was held at the King Power complex in Bangkok. There was a raucous cheer from a packed venue as Aiyawatt and his chairman father Vichai led the team onto the pitch for the trophy presentation.
“Thai fans have fallen in love with many players like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Maharez and N’golo Kanté because of all their contributions to writing this amazing story,” Thai news reporter Ditsayut Thanaboonchai told ESPN FC.
“Even though some fans, like me, have just decided to root for Leicester, it is because of the spectacle that they have put on this season, the story of the underdog and the fairytale that proves that dreams can come true.”
Mark Llaramendi, a 20-year-old student and Buriram United supporter, predicted that England striker Jamie Vardy will the player most sought after by Thai fans on next week’s visit.
“James Vardy is the most famous player in Thai football circles,” he said.
Leicester City players are expected to visit Wat Traimit, the temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown district from which Buddhist monk Phra Prommangkalachan offered spiritual support to the club owners and players.
It is likely that Vichai will ensure tighter control on the players’ movements after a goodwill trip last year turned into a public relations disaster that ultimately led to the sacking of former manager Nigel Pearson, plus three of his players.
Vichai has called on the squad to watch its behaviour on the upcoming trip,while paying tribute to Pearson and another former manager in Sven-Goran Eriksson for their contributions to the club’s success this season.