Leicester City started this season of the Barclay’s Premier League with a 5000 to 1 odd of winning the Premier League. Mathematically speaking, such an odd would be joke in professional sports. A 5000 to 1 odds meant Leicester City, should on average, have to play in the Barclay’s Premier League for 5000 seasons before they can win it once.
This makes the probability of Leicester City winning the league as being the same as getting a hole-in-one in a golf game, or planet Earth getting hit by a city-sized meteor (we certainly hope this doesn’t happen).
These analysts could not be more wrong.
In this article, we look at the dollars and sense of how Leicester city achieved its success.
Cheapest Team To Have Won A Premier League Title
Leicester City is the only Premier League champion since 1995 to have spent less on wages than the medium in the Premier League. With an annual wage bill of £64 million, Leicester City is the Premier League’s champion that has spent by far the least money on wages. This is even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Premier League has gone through “inflation” over the past decade since the injection of capital from rich Russians and Middle Eastern owners.
The table below shows a very clear correlation between how much you spend and where you finish in the league. Except for Leicester City, the rest of the blue sphere, which depict champions or top four teams are on the right hand side of the red dotted line. The grey sphere, which depict relegated teams are mostly on the left hand side of the dotted line. The conclusion is simple, if you spend more, you tend to do better.
Fourth Cheapest Team In The Premier League
Among Premier League clubs in the 2015/2016 season, Leicester City spent the fourth lowest in terms of wages for the season. In contrast, Chelsea was the highest at £209 million but yet did not even finish in the top 4 for the year.
Source: The Economist
In spite one of being one of the least star-stubbed football teams in the league, Leicester City showed to the world that football is a team sport. It leveraged on the collective effort of every player in the team. The burden of having to work within the limited budget and still form a team capable of pulling off such an incredible performance falls on the shoulders of manager, Claudio Ranieri.
Limited budget meant having to work with existing players who were already in the team. This was the same team that spent the bulk of last season near the bottom of the Premier League. From the investment perspective, what manager Claudio Ranieri did was similar to looking at the entire portfolio that he took over, researching it carefully, and then making simple but relevant changes to improve the overall portfolio by adding important pieces to it.
Efficient Addition To The Team At Low Cost
Football clubs should not be buying players for the sake of buying. Claudio Ranieri reviewed the strength and weakness of his team and added players to strengthen areas that were lacking.
His team had forwards that physically small but have frightening pace. He signed N’Golo Kanté for a mere £5.6 million, who went on to make the highest number of 152 interceptions. If that was not enough, the addition of Shinji Okazaki for £7 million added more pace to team, allowing them to play counter attacking more efficiently.
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