The Foxes’ great escape gives last-gasp Premiership chance

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

foxes

If you think running a duty free retailer is stressful, try being the CEO of a football club.

As many readers will know Leicester City Football Club in England is owned by Asian Football Investments, a Thai consortium led by Vichai Raksriaksorn, Chairman of one of Asia’s leading travel retailers, King Power International Group. King Power’s Senior Executive Vice President Susan Whelan, below, also doubles as Chief Executive of the club, popularly known as the Foxes.

The Moodie Report has adopted the Foxes this year and vice versa. The Moodie Report is donating US$50 to The Moodie Report Foundation (dedicated to funding cancer research) for each goal Leicester scores during its 46 Championship games this season. If the team wins promotion to the Premiership (where they’ll meet the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs and Arsenal), we’ll add a bonus of US$5,000.

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Leicester City Football Club Foundation also announced in December that The Moodie Report Foundation is one of its officially supported charities for 2013.

Last time we reported on the Foxes’ progress, things were going brilliantly. The team was placed second in the Championship, well-set for automatic promotion or, at worst, a guaranteed play-off position (involving knock-out games between the third-to-sixth finishers in the league).

Then, as they say, the wheels came off. The Foxes run went into reverse during a disastrous spell of nine games without a win.

As they headed into the final game of the season last Saturday, away against fellow promotion chasers Nottingham Forest, Leicester had fallen away into a seemingly disastrous eighth position on 65 points, one behind Forest and two behind Bolton on 67 points. When they kicked off on Saturday, the team had earned only eight points from a possible 26, including just two wins.

If things seemed bad, they soon got worse as Nottingham Forest took the lead after just three minutes. Somehow the Foxes clawed their way back into the game, taking the lead 2-1 before the home side scored a second half equaliser.

As the minutes ticked by, all seemed lost. Then, in the 91st minute, “a miracle happened” as the local Leicester Mercury reported, when French forward Anthony Knockaert scored the unlikeliest of winners. With Bolton only drawing 2-2 with Blackpool, Leicester had sprung from eighth to sixth – and a play-off place.

Now the Foxes must beat Watford in a home and away contest (beginning this Thursday at the King Power Stadium), where overall victory would take them to Wembley for a winner takes all chance to win promotion to the Premiership.

One can only imagine Vichai’s and Susan’s contrasting emotions between, say, the 89th and 91st minutes. All that matters now, however, is that the Foxes have another, wholly unexpected chance at Premiership glory. With apologies to any Watford supporters but here’s to a clearcut Leicester City win – hopefully for the respective health of Khun Vichai and Susan not in extra time.

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  • Tense times in the Pawson household on Saturday!

    Mother & Father Pawson returned home from Nottingham absolutely buzzing.

    Well done LCFC.