Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Leicester City Wins Premiere League Title at 5000:1 Odds

"Leicester City were taken over by Thai owners in 2010, and the stadium has been renamed after King Power, owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's travel retail firm. The 596,000 people who like the club's official Thai page on Facebook were in celebratory mood when the result came in. One user, Anantawat Jhansubin, replied: "Don't forget to bring the trophy to Thailand!" Many other Thai people writing on the Facebook page gave credit to Buddhist monk Phra Prommangkalachan, who is revered by the club's owners. He gave blessings to the team at the start of the season, and has created banners to pray for the club's success."
Leicester's unprecedented title triumph "made mugs of all of us", according to Premier League chief Richard Scudamore.

The Foxes were crowned Premier League champions on Monday, when nearest rivals Tottenham drew 2-2 at Chelsea. The 5,000-1 outsiders beat bigger rivals Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea to land their first top-flight title.

"It's probably the biggest sporting story ever and the biggest sporting achievement ever," Scudamore said. "Nobody saw it coming and even when it was halfway through the season nobody said it could be sustained."

It marked the culmination of an incredible run for the East Midlands club, who were only spared relegation last season thanks to a brilliant sequence of results over their final nine games.

"Of course, you can't compare it with other stories," said Scudamore. "You can't compare it with all Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements, you can't compare it with the Sergio Aguero moment, you can't compare it with the Arsenal unbeaten season because they're different things."

Ferguson won the Premier League 13 times while managing Manchester United, Aguero scored a stoppage-time winner as Manchester City took the title in 2012 while Arsenal were unbeaten in the 2003-04 top-flight season.

"You're comparing apples with pears. But in terms of an overall story, as an overall achievement, it is absolutely the best."

Leicester are set to make £150m next season from prize money, Champions League participation cash, and increased match-day revenues from ticket and hospitality sales. The Foxes have spent just £57m on their squad - compared with the £320m Manchester United have spent on player transfers in the past three seasons.

Leicester's triumph will mean English football is an even more successful global product, says Sheffield Hallam football finance expert Rob Wilson. He said the story of Leicester, owned by Thai billionaire businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, would increase the Premier League's popularity in South East Asia.

Wilson told BBC Radio 5 live: "In August they had absolutely no superstars in that side. This summer is arguably more challenging as they try to hold on to some of those players and renew some of those contracts to maintain this next year."

Manager Claudio Ranieri said the club would "continue to build" next season.

"When I came here the objective was to create a solid foundation and build together," Ranieri told Sky Sports. "This season is out of our project but our foundations are very solid and we want to do our best. "We don't want to sell anybody. If some player doesn't want to stay with us, I don't want unhappy people. We are looking to add to the team but with the same mentality. Who comes must know we are working hard."

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