By winning the coveted English Premier League (EPL), Leicester City have broken all the rules. How could a team valued at less than just one of the big-club footballers snatch the greatest prize of all? It has been hailed by some as a miracle, and 24 hours later the celebrations were continuing.
“What a team, what a triumph, what a day! The whole of Leicester is bursting with pride, thanks to our fantastic football team, and our congratulations go out to all concerned,” Leicester’s Mayor Peter Soulsby was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.
“Over the past year Leicester City Football Club has shown the world what can be achieved through great teamwork, determination and self-belief,” he added.
The mayor said he would announce, in due course, an official celebration to mark the achievement, and added: “They can rest assured that Leicester knows how to throw a party, and that everyone will be invited.”
Meanwhile, the man regarded as the architect of the “Leicester Miracle”, the team’s Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri spoke with pride after his Leicester City side became champions of England for the first time in the club’s 132-year history, reports Xinhua.
He said: “I’m so proud. I’m happy for my players, for the chairman, for the staff at Leicester City, all our fans and the Leicester community. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so happy for everyone.”
“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible. Every game they fight for each other and I love to see this in my players. They deserve to be champions.”
A report by sports and entertainment market research group Repucom says Leicester’s unprecedented win could bring a boost to the club worth more than $220 million.
The research group says the cash bonanza will come from EPL prize money, Champions League participation fees and increased match day revenue from ticket and corporate sales.
Repucoms’ Spencer Nolan also predicted that European football would bolster Leicester’s global fan base.
“While it is too early to really evaluate the rapidly growing fan bases, we are starting to see across Asia for example, social media provides us an opportunity to start to quantify this surge,” he said.
Cash generated from sponsorships is also likely to increase along with revenue from match days.