It is with enormous delight that I congratulate Leicester for becoming Premier League Champions 2015-16.
Like most people, I have been watching Leicester all season and wondering when the “wheels would fall off” and there have been a few periods of the season which have tested the new Champions with a serious run of fixtures but they came through them all with flying colours.
Even “squeaky bum time” appears to have eluded them as they have racked up 24 points in their last 10 games.
Claudio Ranieri deserves enormous credit for his achievement this season. When he took over from Nigel Pearson (who had just about saved Leicester from relegation last season), there were some murmors of discontent from the Leicester faithful who thought Pearson had been harshly treated: after all… Leicester weren’t exactly ever going to actually WIN the Premier League and so survival was as good as a cup win for the “minnows”.
However, Ranieri seemed to have something Pearson didn’t have when it came to managing a bunch of players whose combined “value” was less than the “Big Teams” usually spend on a single player.
And this is why seeing Leicester winning the title is so satisfying for me.
I have become increasingly disillusioned with football in recent years. The sheer amount of money coming into the game over the last twenty years or so has really torn the heart and soul from the beautiful game.
The corruption at the very top of the game was not very difficult to predict, nor was the concept of “player power” with young men who’d barely started to shave suddenly commanding salaries that made their managers look like paupers. That shady (and, in some cases, canny) businessmen would come along looking to help themselves to a slice of the pie was also not a surprise. Some have done well by the clubs they have bought whilst far too many have driven them into oblivion.
The Financial Fair-Play rules brought out by UEFA, whilst seemingly introduced with good intent, actually seemed to make it almost impossibe for any team outside the established elite to ever break into it again in the way that Blackburn, Chelsea and Manchester City had crashed the Premier League party down the years thanks largely to a Sugar Daddy owner.
But Leicester have just done it.
While the “Big Clubs” in the Premier League have been busting their wallets, waving their financial willies and generally indulging in all kinds of self-destruction, Leicester have quietly gone about the good old-fashioned business of playing great football as a team and winning football matches.
The end result being that the best TEAM won the League title.
I have no affinity with Leicester City whatsoever – it might as well have been Wycombe Wonderers for all I care – but, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU LEICESTER CITY.
Thank you for restoring my faith in football, thank you for showing the rest of the footballing world that a bottomless wallet isn’t always necessary to achieve success and thank you for the way you shoved two fingers up at the “Elite” and beat them.
Everyone connected with Leicester City this season has just created history, achieved footballing immortality and has perhaps started a revolution in football for which the rest of us should be eternally grateful.