Former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson said he “could not have wished for a better boss” than late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Pearson was in charge when Leicester earned promotion to the Premier League by winning the Championship in 2013-14 – less than four years after Srivaddhanaprabha purchased the club.
The 55-year-old was dismissed after masterminding a magnificent escape from relegation in the Foxes’ first season back in the top flight, with Claudio Ranieri guiding them to the title in astonishing fashion the following term.
However, in September 2017 Pearson was appointed as manager of second-tier Belgian side OH-Leuven, which was purchased by Srivaddhanaprabha’s King Power International in May of that year.
Following the death of the Thai businessman and four others in a helicopter crash outside Leicester’s stadium on Saturday, Pearson published a letter on OHL’s website.
“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 wrote.
“The tragic and shocking events of Saturday evening have impacted the football world in such a profound way with the news of Khun Vichai’s passing. 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.
“My regret is that he will not see the fruition of his vision. It is an important point to remember that, with both clubs, he chose to invest in clubs with potential, to nurture a club with a soul and culture founded on sound values, rather than achieving a ‘quick fix’.
“He has invested not just substantial financial support, but invested in the people and communities of these clubs. We here at Oud-Heverlee Leuven are still at an early stage, but the dual investment has been substantial.
“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’.”
The match OHL were scheduled to play against Lommel on Wednesday has been postponed until December 4.
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