If ever there was an occasion when I wished I had placed a measly one pound bet on a truly outrageous punt, it has to be of course, the 5000-1 odds against Leicester City winning the Premier League this season. Even lifelong fan, former player and most famous citizen Gary Lineker, said he thought it would have been a “waste of a quid” and will now forever be remembered as the man who may or may not present the first edition of next season’s Match of the Day in his pants.
The PR value alone of this situation, when it comes to increasing the audience figures of one of Britain’s most loved TV shows, is surely enormous and utterly unique.
All that aside, I have watched with amazement, how a team that cost a mere fraction of the typically hundreds of millions that is lavished on the usual, chequebook contenders for the title have defied all the odds, (yes, all 5,000 of them!) and gone on to cause arguably the biggest shock in the history of football, perhaps even world sport.
I lost count of the amount of times a commentator would mention that “this time last year, Leicester were trying to avoid relegation; now they’re trying to win the Premier League…”
So, what can we all learn from the remarkable story of Leicester City? Here are four ideas for starters:
Never, ever give up – Leicester City Football Club were in administration as recently as 2002.
Do the best with what you have – their most celebrated player, Jamie Vardy was playing for non-league side Fleetwood Town until May, 2012. Now he has broken a Premier League record by scoring in eleven consecutive matches, been awarded the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, and made his England debut less than a year ago. I remember him coming on as a substitute and wondering who on earth he was.
Stay humble – Leicester’s manager, Claudio Ranieri (who only joined the club in July, 2015) refused to get carried away with any premature expectations throughout the season – especially as it became more and more possible that the impossible was actually going to happen. He has reportedly asked the stars of his side to stay with the club for another year instead of succumbing to the temptations of agents brandishing large payouts as the big clubs come knocking on their door. He refers to his players as “sons” and by all accounts (not least Mr. Lineker) he is a genuinely lovely man.
Create a system that works for you – whilst it is and always will be remembered as a truly astonishing achievement, there is a lot more to the success of Leicester City than simply some random, unheard of players suddenly waking up with some new-found footballing genius in their boots. For a fascinating insight into some of the behind the scenes activities that have been instrumental in the creation of the incredible story that is now Leicester City, including egg roulette and beetroot juice Click Here.