Leicester City chairman: 'We will be back' after Foxes relegated from Premier League

The Foxes beat West Ham 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, but Everton's win meant they dropped to the Championship. Credit: PA Images

The chairman of Leicester City has told fans "we will be back", after the club's relegation from the Premier League.

The Foxes beat West Ham 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, but Everton's 1-0 win over Bournemouth ensured their nine-year stay in the top flight was over.

Leicester City Chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, issued a message to fans after the club's fall to the Championship.

He said: "We started this incredible journey together back in 2010 when we came to Leicester City – a much loved Championship club with great tradition and such passionate fans. Back then, we held an ambition – an ambition to bring the Club back to the Premier League. It was an ambition which took us four years to realise, as we steadily and deliberately built the Club up, investing in our playing squad, staff and infrastructure to make sure we were Premier League-ready. We had some setbacks, but we kept pushing together, believing that what we were building would eventually take us to where we wanted to be.

Leicester City Chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, tells fans "we will be back". Credit: Leicester City FC

"Promotion was only the start, and we went on to achieve things and share experiences together that nobody will ever forget. In our first season back in the top flight, everyone thought we were down, but we showed immense resilience and character to come back and produce one of the best recoveries the Premier League has ever seen.

"A year later, we’d completed an ascent nobody thought was possible – from relegation favourites to Premier League champions and one of the greatest sporting stories ever told. We took Leicester City into the UEFA Champions League, giving our supporters those amazing Wednesday nights, under the lights in Porto, Brugge, Copenhagen, Seville and Madrid. We used the fruits of that success to keep reinvesting in the Club, strengthening our squad, improving the experience for our fans and starting plans for major projects like Seagrave and a stadium expansion that would give us long-term strength and growth."

Leicester City won the Premier League trophy in 2015/16. Credit: PA Images

In his statement, the chairman also paid tribute to his late father and former chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash at the King Power stadium in 2018.

He praised the love and support received from 'our Leicester city family':

"In 2018, we shared the loss of my father, Khun Vichai, our late Chairman. It was the most painful experience for me and for my family, but the support and love we received from our Leicester City family made our bond even stronger. I made a commitment, as Chairman, to continuing to pursue the ambition my father and I shared for the Club, to ensure that the realisation of his vision for Leicester City would ultimately become his legacy."

Former chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, died in a helicopter crash at the King Power stadium in 2018. Credit: PA Images

The chairman also reflected on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic: "Like many clubs, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard. We lost revenue and had to adapt, but we continued to support the Club, continued to support our communities through an unprecedented period of hardship and continued to deliver success on the pitch.

"We broke into the top six, we returned to Europe, we launched LCFC Women, we lifted the FA Cup for the first time in our history, added the Community Shield and reached a European semi-final after more memorable nights in Moscow, Rennes, Eindhoven and Rome. Of course, these milestones place our situation today into quite stark context, but I reference them to highlight the progress we have made as a Club in the last 13 years, which gives me confidence that we will build again."

The chairman says Leicester City must convert lessons learned into action to prevent future relegation. Credit: PA Images

"Relegation is undeniably a significant setback, but it will not define us. This past season has been the most difficult for all of us to endure, ultimately resulting in relegation from the Premier League. We gave everything to turn it around yesterday and the atmosphere in the stadium after we’d gone in front and looked on course for survival was absolutely incredible. But relegation is a consequence of 38 games and over that period, we haven’t been good enough.

"Over the coming days and weeks, we need to reflect on the processes and decisions that have brought us to this point. What we learn from this experience must convert into action that makes us stronger and prevents this happening to us again in the future. Today we share the loss and the pain together. But we will be back.

"This responsibility that I continue to live is one of the greatest responsibilities in my life and I will continue to put everything into it – my passion, that of my family and the entire King Power community."

Leicester City's James Maddison and manager Dean Smith after the Premier League match at King Power Stadium on Sunday. Credit: PA Images

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha addresses the "offensive and thoughtless" messages he'd received, following Leicester City's relegation.

"I have received a massive number of messages from our fans – both positive and negative. Some want me to sell the Club, some using offensive and thoughtless words, and some have been outright abusive. But for every hurtful message I have received, I have also received messages of support, of appreciation, of unity – both remotely and from people I have met anonymously in public, who always come to say hello to me and to my family. It means a lot to us.

"We want to thank you and let you know that we still have the same ambition for Leicester City that we had 13 years ago. The incredible support we had in our stadium yesterday, the positive messages we have received from our fans and the constructive comments we must take on-board – we will gather all this support and use it to power our recovery. Power to justify our fans’ belief in their Club. Power to take us back to the Premier League.

"Next season is going to be tough, but it will be a year for collaboration and unity. We will come together and fight to return to the Premier League. Thank you for your support."