Foxes out run the hounds
Having watched football for nearly fifty years I can safely say Leicester City winning the Premiership title is the most extra ordinary upset I have ever observed. Until it actually happened nobody could really believe it. But it has. For once the Foxes have out run the hounds of Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea all paying vast fortunes for their squads of players. Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season. Former Leicester, Everton and England striker Gary Lineker described his hometown team’s achievement as “the biggest sporting shock of my lifetime”. Lineker was sceptical at the start of the season, on Leicester’s new manager saying in a tweet Claudio Renieri, Really’? – and even in December promised to present Match of the Day in his underwear if Leicester did win the league, as tweeted by Comicus. Now he must be planning a visit to Marks & Spencer.
Tottenham Hotspur laying second in the league needed to beat Chelsea to keep the title race alive. Having gone 2-0 up it looked like it would go to another weekend. Second half Spurs lost their heads and in a bad tempered game the pressure got to them allowing Chelsea back in the game and level things up. Causing party’s and celebrations all over Leicester and thousands turning up at the ground to celebrate, to be amongst it all on a night few will forget.
Leicester have lost just three league games all season in what has been described as a “fairy-tale” and the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport”. Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer said Leicester’s achievement was “the biggest thing ever in football”.
“In terms of domestic football, Leicester City winning the Premier League is the greatest achievement ever and I think it will never be surpassed,” former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage told BBC Sport. Indeed, Jamie Carragher on Sky TV said similar describing it ‘as the greatest football achievement ever’. Pundits and football fans seem in a daze and almost complete disbelief that this has happened you would have got worst odds on the Lockness Monster being found (500-1) or Piers Morgan becoming the next Arsenal manager (2,500 -1) than Leicester winning the title. Friends have cashed out their hopeful bets on Leicester months ago as very few thought they could sustain their early form. All this firmly proves you don’t necessarily need money to win the Premiership. As the great Johan Cruyff once said “Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal”. The sugar daddy owners of Chelsea and Manchester City should hang their heads in shame at such an event.
Leicester’s top striker Jamie Vardy has been chosen as the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year and his colleague Riyad Mahrez the Players player of the year by the PFA. It was a Leicester double tonight as home town boy Mark Selby won the Snooker World Championship beating China’s Ding Junhui 18-14 to win his second World Championship title. Showing his support for his team when receiving the trophy and the news of their title win. Does Leicester have any Tennis players ?
It is estimated that the UK’s leading bookmakers face paying out more than £10 million now Leicester City have won Premier League title. If Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United would have won, the total pay outs would have been in the few hundred thousand. Now look at the estimated pay outs.
William Hill: £2m
Paddy Power: £2m
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan said ‘Leicester City. You just proved dreams & fairytales do come true. What a team, what a manager, what a story!’ Talking of fairytales – Two firefighters who mistakenly backed Leicester City to win the Premier League are celebrating after winning £20,000. Jordan Wright, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, thought he had placed a £5 bet on Leicester to win their first match of the season against Sunderland, at odds of 2,000/1. He roped in friend Mitchell Baldock to do the same, neither realising it related to the team winning the league. The pair each won £10,000.
According to analysts at sports data and marketing firm Repucom, Leicester City are set for a potential £150m boost for winning the Premier League title. The sum comprises Premier League prize money, Champions League participation cash, and increased match day revenues from ticket and hospitality sales. Can Leicester now take a permanent seat at the top table of English football?
The Telegraph believes Claudio Ranieri will be handed £5m bonus after steering Foxes to historic Premier league title. Ranieri will land a substantial reward for guiding Leicester to the first top-flight crown in their 132-year history, as part of an agreement written into his contract by agent Steve Kutner. Leicester are also set to offer Ranieri a new deal later this month, doubling his salary to around £3million a year.
Such figures being thrown around, we must not forget the Leicester fans who saw their side in the sixties come so close to silver wear and then under Martin O’Neil winning two League Cups, but none of them could have expected this. Also a thought to former Foxes manager Nigel Pearson who assembled a lot of the squad, working tirelessly to keep Leicester in the premiership last year. How must he be feeling? What a night !
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.