WITH people still buzzing over Leicester City's unexpected English Premier League title win, Reading Football Club – one of two English clubs owned by Thai companies – is looking to take a leaf out of the Foxes' book by seeking spiritual inspiration.
It was widely publicised that Leicester regularly sought blessings from Thai monk Phra Prommangkalachan on its way to what is arguably the biggest sporting achievement to catch the imagination of sports fans around the world.
With praise from across the globe still pouring in for the Foxes, who completed a fairytale journey from rank outsiders to become the English Premier League champions early this week, it was reported that second-tier side Reading, nicknamed the Royals, will follow suit and ask a Thai Buddhist monk to bless the team.
The Royals' promotion hopes are already over as they are languishing in 15th spot in the 24-team Championship league, with just one game remaining.
Reading's Thai owners, though, will reportedly invite Phra-achan Wara Phunyawaro, a revered monk at Wat Poh Thong, to perform a blessing ritual at the English club.
Sheffield Wednesday – the other Thai-owned club playing in the second-tier league of English football – have a chance of returning to the top flight, as they are assured promotion playoff spot.
Should the Owls – owned by the Thai Union Group, the world's largest producer of canned tuna – earn promotion through the playoffs, the joy of Thai fans would be doubled with two clubs with Thai owners in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Phra Prommangkala-chan, the assistant abbot of Wat Traimit, and national coach Kiatisak Senamuang are in the travelling party from Thailand to join Leicester's Premier League title-winning celebrations when the Foxes entertain Everton in their last home league match of the season on Saturday.
The East Midlands club's unlikely run to their first-ever top-flight crown culminates after the late kick-off game, when they lift the coveted trophy in front of cheering fans at the King Power Stadium.
Kiatisak, 42, said he would seek advice from his Leicester counterpart Claudio Ranieri during the trip, to help preparations for the Thailand team ahead of the decisive last-12 stage of Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"After the title-celebrating party ends on Saturday, we'll have a chance to talk with Claudio as well as his scouting team to ask for their assistance before we begin our campaign in the last-12 round in September," the former Thailand national striker said. - The Nation/Asia News Network