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Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 13:43 UK

Leicester drop to an all-time low

By Russell Barder

Milan Mandaric
Mandaric had vowed to return Leicester to the Premier League

Leicester City chairman and owner Milan Mandaric has said he will consider his future at the club following their relegation from the Championship.

The club's fate was confirmed after a 0-0 draw with Stoke but Mandaric told BBC Radio Four's Today Programme he will not be rushing into any decisions.

"I need to assess everything and come up with who's going to be there and who's not.

"I don't even know if I'm going to be there as a chairman."

Mandaric took over the club in February 2007 and this season alone the 69-year-old Serbian has overseen three changes of manager.

Martin Allen left after just four games in charge, Gary Megson was lured to Bolton after six weeks at the helm and the future of current manager Ian Holloway remains uncertain after he oversaw their plunge into the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.

Many observers believe that this instability is a major factor for Leicester's relegation and Mandaric himself admits he has not been without his faults.

"When a club goes down it's the chairman that should be responsible," he said.

We've got to look at the situation and see how we get out of this now.

Milan Mandaric
"But at the same time I'm not sure what more I could do as a chairman. I don't think I can look at myself and say what more can I do?

"Unfortunately it did not work, simple as that.

"I'm not blaming any one individual, I'm not pointing the fingers, now I think we've got to look at the situation and see how we get out of this now. How do we become a stronger club?

"I will do whatever is best for the club. If the best thing is for me to continue to be chairman and give the support that is needed then that is what I will do.

"If there is something else, like stepping down, then it remains to be seen."

Mandaric has invested around 13m of his own fortune and with the club's wage structure and whole way of working geared towards the Championship, life in League One without him could prove to be a struggle.

In the past, they have suffered financially, with the club entering administration after relegation from the Premier League in 2002.

A move to a new 32,500 seater stadium following their relegation helped point Leicester in the right direction.

However, the costs of a new ground and the collapse of ITV Digital - which had struck a lucrative deal with Football League clubs - put the future of the club in doubt.

It was not until they were bought by a consortium led by former player Gary Lineker in October 2002 that their immediate future was secured.

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They returned to the top flight at the first time of asking, but it proved to be a false dawn as they were relegated back to the Championship the following season.

But despite the chairman's willingness to back his managers in the transfer market their decline has continued.

It culminated at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday as the visiting players, staff and fans came to the realisation that Leicester had sunk to the lowest point in their 124-year history.

A season of success in League One would no doubt bring renewed optimism and confidence to the side, but relegation will also bring a new set of challenges on and off the field.

With reduced income from television rights and the possibility of lower attendances, a swift return to the Championship is a must if the club wants to return to the highest level and avoid another spell of uncertainty.


see also
Stoke 0-0 Leicester
04 May 08 |  Championship
Holloway admits Foxes job fears
04 May 08 |  Championship
Mandaric committed to Leicester
24 Apr 08 |  Leicester
Holloway accepts fans' anger
14 Mar 08 |  Leicester
Mandaric dismisses Davies rumours
14 Feb 08 |  Leicester
Holloway appointed Leicester boss
22 Nov 07 |  Leicester
Mandaric ties up control of Foxes
09 Mar 07 |  Leicester
Mandaric seals Leicester takeover
13 Feb 07 |  Leicester
Mandaric steps down from Pompey
21 Sep 06 |  Portsmouth
Leicester plan for future
13 Feb 03 |  Leicester City


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