Leicester fans chief calls for Ranieri to be honoured

Date published: Monday 2nd May 2016 10:47

Leicester fans: Celebrate their title triumph

Leicester fans: Celebrate their title triumph

Leicester Supporters’ Club chairman Cliff Ginnetta has called for boss Claudio Ranieri to be honoured and believes their shock title win is the start of a new era.

The 65-year-old wants Ranieri recognised after the Foxes clinched a stunning Premier League crown when Chelsea drew 2-2 with Tottenham.

It is Ranieri’s first top-flight title and completes an amazing comeback to English football after he was sacked by Greece less than two years ago.

The Italian returned to English football last summer following an 11-year absence following his exit from Chelsea in 2004 and was tipped to be the first manager sacked this season.

But Ranieri and Leicester have upset the establishment and Ginnetta wants the ex-Inter Milan manager to get a accolade from the city.

“He should be honoured in some way for what he’s done,” he said. “I know some people will say he’s only doing his job and is getting well paid anyway but we should, in some way, even if we only name a street after him, or even a park. We should do something and I hope we do.

“I was quite pleased when Claudio was appointed, we needed someone with a bit of nous, more tactically aware. Nigel Pearson had Plan A but I don’t think there was a Plan B. With Claudio there’s a Plan B and Plan C.

“We needed a foreign manager, they bring so much more to the game than English managers do. I was one of the few and it’s great to look at these pundits and think ‘what do you really know?’.”

The Foxes have qualified for the Champions League and will be top seeds because they have won the title and Ginnetta believes they will now become one of the country’s biggest clubs.

“Will we see Leicester carry on being successful? Yes, this is a stepping stone,” said Ginnetta, who has been going to the Foxes since 1959. “This is our time and for the next few years Leicester will be one of the clubs up there.

“I’m not saying we’ll win it every year but we’ll be up there challenging.”

Ginnetta has been fans’ chairman for almost 30 years after replacing Terry Croft, who emigrated to New Zealand, and believes Leicester’s fall into Sky Bet League One in 2008 was key to their rise.

Pearson won the league at the first attempt before clinching promotion to the Premier League when they sealed the Sky Bet Championship title in 2014.

He added: “It all turned for us when we got relegated to League One. I remember that day at Stoke (after a 0-0 draw) in the car park, people in floods of tears and arguments going on between the fans. Being relegated united the club and it was one of the greatest seasons.

“We are now fans of the most famous club in the world. We’re more famous than anyone at the moment and we’re certainly getting talked about than any other club.

“It’s daunting, everyone feels a bit taken back by it and we still don’t believe it. It’s a truly amazing story.”

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