For old footballing romantics like myself, Leicester City’s Premier League title victory is a heart-warming tale; a throwback to an era long since gone, where a provincial club with limited resources could win English football’s grandest prize.
At a time where the gap between rich and poor has never been greater, Leicester City’s cheaply assembled team of lower-league journeymen and lesser known imports have trumped the Russian Rouble and Sheikh petro-dollars.
Given the vast differences in revenue, Leicester City’s title win will arguably go down in history as English football’s greatest underdog story – perhaps even surpassing the Crazy Gang’s FA Cup win back in 1988 and Cloughie’s miracles at Derby and Forest.
England and Europe’s footballing oligarchy will view this as an affront. Even worse for them, Leicester will participate in Europe next season, sullying the carefully crafted Champions League “brand” and its stupid official anthem. Man Utd v Chelsea, Barcelona v Bayern Munich, Real Madrid v PSG. The big-money matches are the only ones that matter. The natural order will soon be restored by any means necessary. Talks of an “invitation only” European Super League are ongoing and will gather pace. Leicester City and their ilk will not be allowed to gatecrash the party.
But for the here and now, Ranieri’s band of merry men have given us a glimpse of hope that the glass ceiling can be permanently shattered, in whichever world you live. Maybe there isn’t a secret formula after all. Courage, unstinting self-belief and hard work (together with a sprinkling of cosmic dust) can go a long way.
So despite the pain of seeing Spurs come so close to winning the title, I tip my hat to Leicester City. I hope you get found out for match-fixing, are stripped of the title and are demoted to the Vauxhall Conference (or whatever it’s called now). And then receive winding up orders from the courts. I hope your manager goes back to making wooden dolls that want to be real boys. And I hope Gary Lineker loses his Walkers Crisp endorsement for presenting Match of the Day in his underpants (Not really Gary. I still love you. Call me). And I don’t care about that stupid snooker player from Leicester that won either. Nobody’s watched snooker since that bloke with the upside down glasses beat Steve Davis. Congratulations Leicester you title-thieving b*stards