Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Leicester City's 'good karma': the Buddhist monks behind the Foxes' divine play

Something unexpected  has arisen amongst all of the interesting issues that have been written about Leicester City's astonishing success in the Premier League this year. Most articles have focused on the team's manager Claudio Ranieri - and there can be little doubt that his positive attitude has made a huge contribution to the teams success despite his poor record immediately prior to taking the job - but who would have considered that 'good karma' would also play a role? 

The teams owner, Vichai Sriaddhanaprabha is a Thai and a devout Buddhist who has a group of monks flown in from Thailand for each game to give blessings to the players before each match starts. The monks do not watch the match but chant and pray whilst it is played.  Essentially they give spiritual support to the players which they believe helps them to perform in a positive manner, keep them healthy and avoid injuries. They believe Mr Vachai to be a good man - which allows them to help the team.

This is a refreshing departure from what is the usual formula for success - although certainly not guaranteed - where someone who has made their fortune through some business activity will use this fortune to buy the best players in the world. There is no doubt that it does take a while for a group of the greatest talents to begin to work together, but it has been seen, particularly in this season, that if a player plays just for the money - it is difficult for them to be motivated when a game has no particular glory attached to it. As a result, managers of the biggest clubs have found that players from the locality, or young players, perform well consistently - even if they have less talent.

Given that the ethics of business have declined in recent years and often the accumulation of great wealth has been achieved through sharp practice or has caused genuine misery - usually to the business's workers - lets hope that Leicester do win the title and other club owners begin to follow their example. If the accumulation of wealth by ever more unscrupulous methods does continue to be the norm - ever more employees and the unemployed lives will continue to be blighted.

The full Telegraph article can be read here.

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