The Barclays English Premier League, a league dominated since 1992 by some of the worlds most renowned football clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and more recently Manchester City. Only in 1994-1995 has an “outsider” won the worlds toughest football league, the Blackburn Rovers.
Now meet the Foxes of Leicester City. Who are they you ask? Led by the Premier Leagues number two goal scorer Jamie Vardy (#9) this was a football club who 12 months ago in April 2015 was at the very bottom of the table and facing relegation to the Championship League. Since then, the Foxes have won more matches and acquired more points than any other English football club. Leicester (pronounced Lester), a preseason 5000 to 1 to win the Premier League, is on the brink of history and arguably the greatest season of any professional sports team ever.
Lets look at some team salaries in nonexistent salary cap of the Premier League. Chelsea is #1 spending £215.6M ($311.3M dollars), #2 is Manchester United for a low price of £203M, and #3 is Manchester City at £193.8M only £1.8 million more than #4 Arsenal. The bottom four teams in the EPL are as followed: #20 Bournemouth £25M ($36M dollars), #19 Watford £29M, #18 Norwich City £37M, and the top of the table Foxes of Leicester City spending £48.2M. Of those listed, only Norwich City is facing relegation with 4 games to go in the season. Going into the season, the top 10 paid players in the Premier League were all on the rosters of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and reigning champions Chelsea. The highest paid player in the league is Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (#10) for a price of £260,000 ($375,000) a week. Just recently Leicester City resigned Jamie Vardy for £80,000 ($115,000) a week.
Leicester City has three games remaining on their schedule with a “comfortable” (ask 2013-2014 Liverpool about comfortable lead in May) eight point lead over Tottenham. Note, this article was written before the Monday night football matchup of Tottenham v West Bromwich Albion (2pm CST on NBCSN call your local pub to find out if the match will be on and have a pint). I expect Tottenham, led by the best player in the league 22 year old #10 Harry Kane, to beat West Brom, so lets just say the Foxes have a five point table lead over the Hotspurs. With a five point lead with and available nine points to claim, Leicester can win the league with a win at Manchester United on May 1st and a Tottenham loss against West Brom tomorrow or Chelsea on May 2nd.
I am rooting for Leicester City to win the championship because this would be refreshing to the world of football. This championship for LCFC would give clubs in different leagues around the world hope that they too can beat top flight clubs who have money to spend on the most expensive players and “buy” championships. However, let’s not forget if Leicester does stumble and does not win the league the current 2nd place Tottenham Hotspurs, owners of a four point lead over 3rd place Manchester City, would win their first English top division championship since 1960-1961. Either way, WHEN we crown the Foxes or Hotspurs there will be an “outsider” champion for the first time since the 1994-1995 Blackburn Rovers.
As the fans of Leicester would say: “WE’RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!”