Board Profile – Di Statham

A bit about you:

Name:   Di Statham

 

Current home town:  Leicester

 

Birthplace:  Leicester

 

When did you first support LCFC? 1968

 

When did you first join on the Trust Board? September 2009

 

Why did you join? I was invited to join and felt that I would like to get more involved with the work of the Trust

 

What is your main role? Trust Treasurer - dealing with the day to day financial affairs of the Trust

 

If you were to say one thing about why you feel other supporters should join the Trust, what would it be? We have the opportunity to speak directly to the Club about matters which affect our members. The more members we have the higher the importance  & significance of the Trust will appear. We are not just there to support the club in difficult times (ie administration) we are there all of the time.

 

Overview of LCFC:

Favourite thing about the ground:  The good views all around the ground with no obstructions by pillars

 

Favourite view and/or where you sit:  I sit in the Fosse Seating Area in the West Stand (alongside the Directors Box)

 

Favourite match & why:  City V Tranmere in League Cup Final in 2000. I was there with my dad and it was the first time we had seen the City win a Cup Final at Wembley. He had attended all of the 4 Leicester City Cup Finals since 1949 and also the League Cup Final V Middlesbrough which we drew and then won at Hillsborough. The look on his face when City actually lifted the Trophy at Wembley will live with me for ever.

 

Favourite player of all time who played for our club:  Steve Claridge

 

Our 15/16 Season:

At what stage did you think we would win the league? The game at Manchester City gave a good hint but to be honest I did not really believe we would until Spurs failed to be Chelsea

 

Where were you when the final whistle went at the Chelsea v Spurs game and how did you feel? I was at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium with some friends watching the Greyhound Racing. We watched the last few minutes of the game on the tv screens in the stadium. I just could not believe what had actually happened.

 

Where were you when we were presented with the trophy and how did you feel? I was in my seat at the ground. The whole day was just a dream - it was hard to believe that the trophy being presented was actually the PREMIER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. I think I just stood there in amazement even though I had had nearly a week to get used to fact we were champions.

 

How has Leicester winning the league changed the perception of the club?  The name is now recognised all over the world (even in Countries that do not really follow football). During our holidays last summer we have been approached by people of all nationalities wanting to talk about the Club because we were wearing clothes with LCFC logo on them.  Even Americans and Canadians know all about what Leicester City had done. 

 

Has it made a difference to you personally? YES,  I have had the opportunity to do a number of TV interviews & filming which has been really interesting. But I also feel really proud to tell people that I am a Leicester City fan.

 

Any other comments in relation to that incredible season? It is still hard to believe that we actually won the Premier League Championship no matter how many times you see that presentation or hear it said.  It was an amazing 12 month period which I will never forget. It has also provided a fantastic opportunity to go and watch MY team play in the Champions League, something I never believed would ever happen.

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Board Profile – Ian Bason

A bit about you:

 

Name:  Ian Bason

 

Current home town:  Leicester

 

Birthplace:  Leicester

 

When did you first support LCFC?  Well my first game was in the Double Decker prior to being born in 1960 (don’t know the score, or who we were playing as it wasn’t a good view).

 

When did you first join the Foxes Trust Board? I served on the Working Party when the Trust was set up in 2002, so I have been on the board since the first election

 

Why did you join? The initial aim of the Trust being set up was to combine small shareholder votes to call an EGM to find out the financial state of the club, that quickly changed to help save the club once it went into administration, however the key was that a Trust doesn’t just donate money, but invest it to ensure the Trust was represented at the highest level of the club (we attended every board meeting until Milan Mandaric took over the club)

 

What is your main role? Chairman, encouraging fellow board members who donate their time and energy for free into Trust work, so as a board we can handle any situation that arises. Up until the 15/16 season I mainly handled all the radio & TV media, however with the level of demand that season, nearly all the board members are experienced now.

 

If you were to say one thing about why you feel other supporters should join the Trust, what would it be? While we hope our current owners are around for a long time, we have experienced so many different situations since forming that you have to be prepared for every eventuality and the Trust is. However the Trust is also active at national level, joining campaigns for reduced ticket prices and greater consideration for match attending fans from TV re-arranged games, so we are looking after the interests of LCFC fans.

 

Overview of LCFC:

Favourite thing about the ground:  Although I still have a nostalgic allegiance to Filbert Street, there really isn’t a bad seat in our stadium and in recent seasons we seemed to have generated the atmosphere missing from many new grounds

 

Favourite view and/or where you sit: I’ve always liked to be fairly close to the pitch, I sat in a few different places at Filbert Street, but have been in the same seat towards the centre of the East Stand since the stadium opened. I always think you get a good view of both ends sitting centrally

 

Favourite match & why:  Strangely it has to be the Swindon play- off final we lost, as it feels like it sums up being a Leicester fan all in one game (well until season 15/16). Obviously the euphoria of last season tops it, but prior to that, the greatest feeling of elation was when we pulled it back to 3 – 3.

 

Favourite player of all time who played for our club:  I think the choice of fans is often in your younger years, and mine would be Frank Worthington, I can remember ensuring I got to my position before the warm up commenced to watch him do his range of tricks was worth the entrance fee alone.

 

Our 15/16 Season:

At what stage did you think we would win the league? I wouldn’t let myself believe it until it was sealed. The Man City away result made me think we had an excellent chance and I kept saying to work colleagues, that we would never get a better opportunity, but I didn’t expect the London clubs to all get the jitters.

 

Where were you when the final whistle went at the Chelsea v Spurs game and how did you feel? Having tuned into two previous games of other title contenders and on both occasions the results turn against us as soon as I listened, I decided to watch a drama featuring Anna Friel instead and found out the result at 10pm. Obviously elated once I knew and quickly celebrated before 5 Live range me up for an instant reaction.

 

Where were you when we were presented with the trophy and how did you feel? Watching from my position in the East Stand, as Birch walked out with the trophy I thought back to 2002 and the meeting in the Great Hall when over 700 fans gathered all wanting to help save the club and Birch was leaning against a wall throughout proceedings and offering his help. It gave me an extra sense of pride and elation, that the hours spent over a 12 month period helping to secure the clubs future, which stabilised the club and built the foundations until the shareholders took the very difficult decision to sell the club to Milan Mandaric, who in turn sold to our current owners had eventually led to a moment in football history that no one present in 2002 would have ever dreamed of becoming reality.

 

How has Leicester winning the league changed the perception of the club?

Has it made a difference to you personally? We became everyone’s favourite club around the world that season and the level of attention from the world media was incredible and it was pleasing that we managed to build a team of 20 members who were willing to talk to the media, either in written form or in live interviews (radio & TV) and it gave me an extra sense of achievement that the Trust was able to respond positively to every media request received

 

Any other comments in relation to that incredible season? Even now I’m still not sure it has completely sunk in that we won the Premier League, it must be time to watch the DVD.

 

We now have to move on and from many conversations with fellow fans, the main ambition is to get our hands on the illusive FA Cup, that message has been fed back to the club, so I hope we field our strongest side to achieve it (I’m sure our League position in early January will determine if that will be the case)

 

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Board Profile – Dave Statham

Today we commence a series of articles where each Foxes Trust board member answers a set of questions about themselves, the things they like most about LCFC and having had some time reflect, their thoughts on the Premier League winning season

A bit about you:

Name:  Dave Statham

Current home town:  Wigston, Leicester

Birthplace:  Market Bosworth

When did you first support LCFC? 1960/ 1961 Season

When did you first join the Foxes Trust Board? 2009

Why did you join? I wanted to contribute and help make a difference and enhance the relationship between the Trust and LCFC and thereby serve the Membership, as well as working for the Trust in my specific role as Membership Secretary.

What is your main role? Membership Secretary and winding up the Vice Chairman.

If you were to say one thing about why you feel other supporters should join the Trust, what would it be?  To have the platform to make comments and raise issues via the Trust to improve relationships between Trust members and other supporters with LCFC.

Overview of LCFC:
Favourite thing about the ground:  First class facilities in the West Stand and Weller Lounge.

Favourite view and/or where you sit: West Stand. Close to Directors Box. Great view.

Favourite match & why:  1967? versus Man City in FA Cup replay. City came back from 2-0 down to win 4-3. Man Of The Match - Frank Large. A great performance under the lights.

Favourite player of all time who played for our club:  The great Gordon Banks. The best goalkeeper in the world.

Our 15/16 Season:

At what stage did you think we would win the league? When we were presented with the trophy against Everton at the last game of the season ! When City won away at Man City I was convinced they would finish in a Champions League position at least.

Where were you when the final whistle went at the Chelsea v Spurs game and how did you feel?  Celebrating City winning the title at Nottingham Greyhound Stadium.

Where were you when we were presented with the trophy and how did you feel? Standing up in front of my allocated seat in the West Stand, celebrating with all City fans.

How has Leicester winning the league changed the perception of the club? It has raised the profile of the Club worldwide and also the profile of the city of Leicester.

Has it made a difference to you personally? Made me feel more proud of my team but I'll be there supporting City even if we were to be relegated. They are my team no matter what.

Any other comments in relation to that incredible season? - The season was one I shall never forget. Still dreaming. A great achievement by my team Leicester City.

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End Of Season Review 2016-17 Part Seven

To conclude the series of articles from our match reporting team, today we read the views of Paul Weston on last season and looking forwards to the fast approaching new season

Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve?

I hoped for comfortable mid-table and not disgracing ourselves in The Champions League

So on that basis out of 10, how would you rate last season overall and why?

In the end I would give it a 7. The Champions League performances (apart from the fiasco against FC Porto which I witnessed) exceeded all expectations and, indeed, we were very close to going even further in the competition. The eventual League position was just about OK but there was a feeling that it could have been so much better.

Why do you think we had relative success in the Champions League while struggling in the Premier League ?

I think our style of play caught out some teams initially in the Champions League. All the team played to their potential and were comfortable with tactics. In the league confusing formations and tactics just did not work, also combined with players’ loss of form.

When it was announced, did you agree with the sacking of Claudio Ranieri ?

It had to happen otherwise we were heading towards relegation for certain. It was a very sad ending to a wonderful period in City’s history and we should always be grateful to Claudio.

And now with the benefit of seeing the results, were the owners proved right ?

Business is sometimes brutal and it was the right decision. Time will tell whether Shakespeare is the right long-term solution. I hope so but assistant managers rarely turn out to be good managers.

What was your personal highlight of the season?

I think it is a tie between the home match against Sevilla when the atmosphere at the KP was just awesome and the home match against Liverpool when City turned the corner in the league season by returning to their title-winning style.

Kasper won the Player of the Year Awards, would he have been your choice and who else do you think deserves praise for their performances

Kasper was the most consistent throughout a patchy season for the team. He has improved his command of the box but still needs to improve his distribution, which ranges from brilliant to woeful.

Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why?

It would have to be N’Didi who just slotted into the team quickly and looks a real find. Too many other players did not progress as much as they should have.

Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why ?

I am not going to pick Mahrez because he seems too often to be the scapegoat. He was often marked by 2 or 3 players so other players should have benefitted by the gaps created. Yes he underperformed often but my vote would go to Slimani.

Our style of play may not suit him but I fail to understand why we spent so much on a player who cannot run fast, head the ball in open play, tackle effectively or remain fit! The jury is out as far as I am concerned and it will be interesting to see the strikers pecking order if Iheanacho joins us as rumoured. I would rather keep Ulloa than Slimani.

What were your views on the signings made during last season ?

Ndidi: the best signing and lots of potential still. Effectively tackler and dangerous when going forward.

Musa: he seems to have lost confidence and is very lightweight. I cannot see how he fits into our playing style.

Mendy: looked overweight and slow before he got injured and, even when he returned, contributed little.

For match reporters who attended away games, which ground gave you your best away experience and why ?

I only managed to get to the away match at West Ham’s new stadium. It was a rather different football atmosphere but I will take going 3-1 up in 45 minutes as my best away experience any day!

Moving onto next season

What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad?

We still need another centre back signing and back up right back. If Mahrez leaves then we need a replacement. I am not sure whether Gray is as good as he thinks he is and he will have to improve his overall game and team contribution to gain a regular place.

We need a better back-up goalie. Zieler was a real disappointment. I cannot remember any game changing save that he made and he did not lead the defence with confidence. Let’s hope that the Jakupovic rumours are true.

While watching Premiership games during the 2016/7 season, which player from another club would you advise Shakey to sign?

Sigurdsson would be ideal although it is looking more likely he will move to Everton who are splashing the cash.

Any other observation you would like to make

I hope that any new signings get the chance to bed in early before the season starts. We must start the season well and get some points on the board early otherwise immediately the pressure will build on Shakespeare. Let’s have a really good go at a Cup run this year too.

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End Of Season Review 2016-17 Part Six

As many of the players have returned for pre-season training, we continue our series of articles gathering the thoughts of our match reporting team on both last season and looking ahead, today we feature the views of Stuart Dawkins.

Before the season started what were your hopes on what we could achieve?

I hoped for a creditable performance in the Champions League, and was intrigued as to how European clubs would handle the Leicester style of play.  I would have liked a top-6 (or so) performance in the league.

So on that basis out of 10, how would you rate last season overall and why?

Tricky question!  Maybe a 7?  The team did well in Europe – even including the manner of the defeat against Atletico.  The final few games of the league season showed that we still have a competitive Premier League team, but the overall position in the league was less good than I hoped.

Why do you think we had relative success in the Champions League while struggling in the Premier League?

No idea!  Clearly, there was an element of the team being ‘up for it’ for Europe.  I can’t, however, believe that they were not also keen to do well in the league too. 

When it was announced, did you agree with the sacking of Claudio Ranieri?

Reluctantly, yes.  The club and its fans owe Claudio a huge debt of thanks, but at the time of his sacking I did think there was a significant chance of the club being relegated.  The turn-around in results from that point on suggests that – for whatever reason -  the decision was correct.

And now with the benefit of seeing the results, were the owners proved right?

Yes.

What was your personal highlight of the season?

My personal highlights are not really football ones.  They were the feeling in Leicester city centre on lunchtime and early afternoon of Champions League home match days.  The away fans wandering around looking at our city, the feeling of being part of something big.  I hope we experience it again soon.

Kasper won the Player of the Year Awards, would he have been your choice and who else do you think deserves praise for their performances

Kasper was a good choice.  Probably the most consistent outfield player was Simpson.  Most other players did not show the consistence required of a ‘Player of the Year’.  Ndidi is settling in well, however.

Which player do you think made the most progress last season and why?

As above, Ndidi has settled in well.  Chilwell is looking to be a great prospect – his substitute appearance against Atletico transformed the game, despite wing back not being his normal role.  Benalouane has been worthy of his first team place – and would be very solid indeed if he could erase occasional rushes of blood from his play

Which player did you think underperformed the most last season and why?

Mahrez.  No idea why.  Clearly, he is still capable of being brilliant at times, but across the season as a whole his play was too inconsistent.

What were your views on the signings made during last season?

City won the Premier League playing with a particular style that was moulded around the attributes of key players (notably Vardy and Mahrez).  It was never going to be easy to recruit to continue that style.  I felt that the signings made were an attempt to build for the future, moving on from the current style.  In general, that has not worked particularly well.

Ndidi, however, is now looking a good buy.  Slimani tries hard and is probably in that ‘if only he scored a couple of goals his confidence would rocket’ position that many strikers seem to fall into. 

For match reporters who attended away games, which ground gave you your best away experience and why?

Away at Atletico is going to be a highlight of any season!  That aside, I always think the fanzone works well at West Brom, I like the eagles and the engagement with both sets of supporters pre-match at Palace (shame you can’t see the whole pitch though). 

On the negatives: West Ham’s new home ground really does not feel like a football ground.  I also went to the Emirates for the first time, and was under-impressed with that too.  These feelings were not helped by the number of empty seats as many people turned up late and left early at each.

Moving onto next season

What changes do you think are necessary to improve on this year’s squad?

Central defenders, extra cover in central midfield, a strike partner for Vardy … and Gray to learn that whilst he is a brilliant player, sometimes the easy pass is the right option.

While watching Premiership games during the 2016/7 season, which player from another club would you advise Shakey to sign?

I would happily trade Mahrez for Oxlade-Chamberlain and (say) £15m. 

Any other observation you would like to make

My overwhelming ‘gut feeling’ looking back on the past season is not really about that season itself, it is still more like ‘how on earth did the club do what it did the season before?!’

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