From hero to zero
Having won an unlikely Premiership title for Leicester City, Cladio Ranieri was peremptorily sacked as manager yesterday, a fortnight after winning the dreaded vote of confidence.
His dismissal reaffirmed two clichés of contemporary football. First, it's a results business. Leicester are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship.
Second, he had 'lost' the dressing room. Senior players expressed their concerns to the owners at a meeting after the Champions League game in Seville. There were complaints about training routines and last minute switches of tactics and personnel. Player power is a real force in contemporary football.
A lot of the additional money generated by the title win and Champions League participation will have been absorbed by better contracts for players, some of whom have failed to deliver this season. When all the dust has settled, Ranieri's achievement will remain.
Leicester spent £57m on staff in 2014-15, the third lowest wage bill in the league at the time. Its revenues last season amounted to £128.7m, a figure that may rise to as much as £200m this season with participation inthe Champions League.
Net transfer spending was just £17.6m this season. By comparison, Manchester United earned £515m in revenues last season with net transfer spending of £117m this season.
Relegation would cost the club £100m. An additional consideration is that Leicester helps project King Power's brand in Thailand and across Asia. Relegation would remove the club from TV schedules.
An interesting essay from 'The Ugly Game' which suggests that Leicester have destroyed their own fairy tale.