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Volume 6 No. 192


Criminal proceedings "could be launched" against the owner of Premier League side Leicester City after it was accused of "failing to pay" £323M ($423.1M) to the Thai government, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. The Central Criminal Court for Corruption & Misconduct Cases in Bangkok was on Monday considering a lawsuit brought against King Power Int'l, which is owned by billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The suit, which accuses the duty-free retailer of "failing to pay that figure to the Thai government over the operation of the airport franchise it was granted" in '06, was filed in July. Srivaddhanaprabha founded King Power in '89 but it "really took off when it was granted an airport monopoly" under the government of then-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, the former owner of Man City. The family's empire also includes Belgian football club Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Accor's Pullman hotels in Thailand and a controlling stake in Asia Aviation, operator of low-cost carrier Thai AirAsia (TELEGRAPH, 11/13). In London, Conn & Jirenuwat reported King Power said in July that if the case was brought to trial, it would be "vigorously defended." The judge accepted that the case "should proceed against 14 Airport of Thailand officials, three King Power companies and one company official" (GUARDIAN, 11/13).

English football’s "first German owners continue their cultural revolution to bring the best practices of the Bundesliga" to League One side Bradford City, according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. This is the second season since businessmen Edin Rahic and Stefan Rupp took over and on Tuesday, the premiere of a "fascinating" behind-the-scenes documentary covering their first year in charge will be screened. The pair employed German filmmakers to document their first season, and the result is "Matter of Heart," a "no-holds-barred portrayal of the nitty-gritty of running a football club," which will have its first showing at Bradford’s national film museum. Perhaps "most intriguing is the clash of cultures that is immediately apparent." At one point, Manager Stuart McCall "looks pained as he admits to finding it difficult to accept he is simply the head coach." He said, "In the three clubs I managed before, I brought the players in and the owners and chairman let me get on with my job." The Germans "had other ideas." Rahic said, "I told Stuart straight away we are looking for a head coach and not a manager." Ultimately, "the Germans would like to have a sporting director, but until then it is a triumvirate" of Rahic, chief scout Greg Abbott and McCall "who decide on new players" (LONDON TIMES, 11/13).