Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha says it would be “impossible” for a leading football club to allow decisions at board level to be influenced by the squad
Leicester City vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has strongly refuted claims suggesting input from senior players influenced the club’s decision to part with Claudio Ranieri.
The Foxes opted to part with their Italian coach in February, just nine months after he guided them to a remarkable Premier League title triumph.
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An inability to build on that success cost Ranieri his job, with Leicester sinking to the opposite end of the table and into a relegation battle.
A tough call was made to go in another direction, with Craig Shakespeare having been handed the reins on a short-term basis in an effort to steady the ship.
Srivaddhanaprabha insists that the decision to relieve Ranieri of his duties was taken at board level, with there no opinions sought from the playing staff before wielding the axe.
He told reporters in his native Thailand: “Not a chance. The news that some players come in and ask the owner to fire the manager – impossible.
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“If you run the business you should understand that, if employees or a director come and ask if you will fire that manager – if I’m that kind of owner – that’s lame. They talk about this because they just don’t have anything else to pick on us.”
Pressed further on the thinking behind parting with Ranieri, Srivaddhanaprabha added: “We want to ensure that we’re 100 per cent staying (in the Premier League), but his new method (changing tactics) to improve the team was not working.
“Players don’t understand how to play and need time to adjust. The results were not what this town and also the world were expecting.
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“I spoke since last year that Leicester could be in relegation battle this season because this is football, always uncertain. But certainly I made this team to be ‘a team’ and try to make it the best. We knew that some change will shock the players and lead them to fight more.
“In my view, the manager has to rely on his results. Some were champions last year, then ended up sixth and got fired.”
Leicester also had to deal with the exit of N’Golo Kante to Chelsea last summer, with Srivaddhanaprabha aware that changes in personnel disrupted a settled squad.
He added: “We lost our important player from last season, obviously Kante. We have to admit that he’s hard to replace. We tried, but it’s very challenging to do.
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“The other things is, our players are still human beings. They won the unexpected championship, which cooled their passion, their determination.
“Newcomers also had to adapt to old players as well. We used to play the same 14-15 players through the relegation battle to winning the league. This season we added a lot of players for Champions League and it turns out that the harmony declined.”