Liu Shilai has been appointed as a Director at Leicester City.
Documents released on Companies House tell us little other than Liu Shilai is Chinese, 40 and that the appointment was made on 26th October, the day before City met Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium.
Liu Shilai’s role at the club is unclear. Leicester City have yet to make any statement regarding his appointment.
So who is Liu Shilai?
CNN describe him as a “prominent businessman in Beijing and grandson of one of China’s former vice premiers”.
His connection to the Raksriaksorn family appears to be a polo one. Liu Shilai is one of China’s leading polo players. The China Daily report he began playing in 2005, and his love for the game is clear. Last year he told the paper, “If I continue playing polo, I will never get depressed my whole life.”
According to the Independent, Liu Shilai set up Tang Polo Club in 2010, with memberships starting at around £100,000.
He clearly impressed the Raksriaksorns. This is part of the report posted on their Siam Polo website;
“The King Power Expeditionary Polo Team was in action once again. This time, it was the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. The team was a guest of Shilai Liu, owner of Tang Polo Club, and it was a red carpet treatment all the way. This was the first time that a Thai Polo Team ever played in China, and the weather was perfect. TPA Chairman, Khun Vichai Raksriaksorn, was the honored guest of Chairman Shilai and Nan Liu, and no expense was spared in making the expeditionary polo team welcome.”
Liu Shilai’s business background is much harder to nail down. He is named in various sources as Chairman of the Jing Hung Investment Co Ltd or the Jing Jung Investment Company (Limited). There is little information surrounding either.
What this means for the club is unclear. Liu Shilai could represent new investment into the club in the future, but equally his involvement in Leicester City could be wholly unrelated to the affairs of the club. Leicester City fans will have to wait to find out.