The late Ukrainian coach Valery Lobanovskyi once said that all life is a number. This might make sense for the former Dynamo Kyiv manager, recipient of the Medal of Honor in Mathematics, but it might be a little frustrating for most people who follow football, who want to believe in heroes and glories, fantasy and genius, fate and curses and misfortune. Even if we admit that numbers and data are very important, the idea of treating football as a series of huge interlocking spreadsheets seems a bit dry and boring.
And every day we want ready explanations, and we want to know that this match was won or lost by the team, because this striker or this goalkeeper was in good shape, or because the match referee made a wrong decision, or because the left back was injured, or because the winger He did not carry out his defensive duties as he should, or because the defender does not have the capabilities and techniques that help him shine in a defense line consisting of only two players, or because the midfield was unable to close the empty spaces that the opponent exploited to pass through balls.
But football fans don’t look at matches through statistics and numbers. All this brings us to the fact that there are plenty of short-term reasons for the decline of Leicester City, who won the Premier League title in 2016. But equally, a crowning season or relegation season should not come as a huge surprise. When Leicester City twice failed to qualify for the Champions League qualifying places in the final round of the season, some criticized Brendan Rodgers for his inability to continue the challenge, but most people accepted the idea that finishing the season in fifth place in the Premier League standings table was good given the resources and capabilities. club. It is clear to everyone that fatigue has exposed the fact that Leicester City do not have a strong list of players to help them remain competitive for long periods.
But what would happen if this balancing act was not limited to one season? What if it continued over a much longer period? An expert at All Souls College, Oxford, once calculated that for a season to be completely ‘fair’, and to account for fluctuations and changes in level, a season would have to last for 35 years! Figures and statistics indicate that during the period between Leicester City’s promotion to the English Premier League in the 2013-2014 season and the end of last season, Leicester City obtained 56 points per season on average, which is the number of points that would have made the team occupy eighth place during the season. the past. This may seem true given that last season the team actually finished eighth!-
The levels and results of Newcastle and Aston Villa have improved significantly due to the large spending on new signings in recent times, while the brilliant signings policy in Brighton has helped the club, so far, to make optimal use of its financial resources. However, according to Deloitte’s 2023 Football Finance Report, Leicester City were the eighth richest Premier League club by revenue for the previous financial year. And in 7 of the last eight Premier League seasons, Leicester City have been 12 points, or 4 games, short of the 56-point mark previously indicated. In the eighth season, the team scored 81 points and won the league title. And what happened that season was seen as something exceptional: smart signings, about 6 players presenting the best levels in their football careers ever, and all the other competing clubs are suffering severely and abnormally.-
It may not be entirely true to say that the season as bad for Leicester City is as good as the season in which they won the title, but just as that success was the result of a multitude of factors, the decline the team has suffered this season is the result of a lot of things going wrong at the time. One, which had a multiplier effect due to the decline in trust between the players. Perhaps the beginning of the decline was the Corona epidemic, which had a huge economic impact on the Srivaddhanaprabha family, which owns Leicester City, because its main business is duty-free shops at airports. There were concerns, however, that salaries were rising faster than revenues, which is why wages accounted for 85 per cent of revenues in the 2020-21 season, while UEFA’s cost control regulations indicated that figure should be reduced to 80 percent by the 2024-2025 season, and 70 percent the following season. Consequently, Leicester City had to cut costs.
However, this did not mean that the club did not spend money at all, just that it was spent not very well. In the summer of 2021, the club spent nearly £60m signing Batson Dhaka, Bubaka Soumare and Yannick Westergaard, and also signed Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer. However, none of these players have presented the levels expected of them so far. Bertrand, who has been cursed with injuries to full-backs such as Timothy Castagne, James Justin and Ricardo Pereira and kept them out for much of the season, has only started four times since joining the team, while the last time Johnny participated was Evans was in the starting line-up for his league team last October. And if the team concedes any goal against Newcastle, this will be the 22nd consecutive match in which the team fails to score a clean sheet, which reflects the size of the problems and challenges that the team faces.
In addition to the departure of Kasper Schmeichel and Wesley Fofana, age has finally begun to affect veteran striker Jimmy Vardy, and Rodgers has begun to lose much of his energy and dynamism, and it seems that the club was not financially prepared to find a replacement for him, and perhaps there was an unjustified feeling that the team that Accustomed to finishing the season in the first half of the standings table will not face the problem of relegation. It is always easy to identify the causes of any change, whether it is negative or positive, but sometimes this may not be important, because what is the use of identifying the causes if you are not able to pump the necessary funds to treat the real problems?