As a long time follower of Leicester City Football Club I still can’t believe what has happened – Leicester are the Premier League Champions – and they won by a country mile. One of the most satisfactory thing about this all has been watching so called experts, usually ex players from more successful clubs turning themselves inside out trying to come to terms with what has happened. Schadenfreude I know but well deserved given their condescending attitude to ‘little’ Leicester.
However, this condescension also masks something that should worry football agents around the globe – what happens if the team is actually better than the individual? What happens in fact if Leicester repeats next season with a collection of middle ranking players who reject the notion of the need for a ‘world class’ player instead accepting the importance of the team over the individual. Suddenly the stupid transfer fees may well start to collapse because clubs, and more importantly their owner’s realise that they don’t need to fund the insulting spectacle of very rich players getting even richer without delivering. Already the likes of Chelsea and Man. City are looking really stupid because, much as they might not like this to be pointed out, but without their oil sugar daddies they are nothing and these daddies must be wondering whether the world has changed and that their model for buying success is not the way forward. Instead perhaps they could start to develop their own talent who will surely buy into the team ethos far better than over paid nobodies who fail to deliver. Perhaps?
Perhaps if Leicester do repeat next season then the owners might realise that the people who fill the stands are just as important as the need to chase the next big corporate deal and perhaps they might make it cheaper to attend a game than it is now. Perhaps that might happen but what I suspect will happen is that the owners, instead of ploughing some of the money they might have saved from inflated transfer fees/wages into cutting prices will instead just pocket the money for themselves. If that is the case then all this will be for nowt.
Football in England is deeply embedded and the identification with your team is absolute. You might not go to the games, suffer the highs and lows of the more hardy fans but come 4.45pm on a Saturday you’ll be looking at the BBC Final Score or BBC Sports website to see the results coming in and then trying to work out what it means. This is the first time in such a long time that the results have actually meant something more than 3 points, promotion or relegation. Leicester have opened the door just a fraction to let some sanity back into the game. The insanity that says paying £50m for a player is lunacy if you don’t have a properly constructed and motivated team. That destroying any continuity their might be at a club just to indulge the ego of some ‘superstar’ manager who needs his coaches and staff over what is there is no longer the way forward. Instead, build the team, develop the young players and give some of the money back to the fans who have been ripped off long enough. Will it happen? Well Leicester could well repeat yes, as for the rest I’m not too sure. But I do live in hope. Team One superstars Nil in front of full houses. We can live in hope.