On Thursday evening football’s own fairy tale came to an end: Ranieri, the dilly-dong Italian manager who inspired the impossible to happen, was ruthlessly sacked by the owners who supposedly had “unwavering support” for him 16 days earlier.
Of course when looking at Leicester nervously hovering one point above the relegation zone, especially given their first place spot this time last season, Ranieri’s sacking on paper is justifiable. The Foxes have been a mere ghost of the title-winning side who shocked the world when their counter-attacking tactics saw them fight off teams with squads worth hundreds of millions.
Indeed, the absence of N’golo Kante is clearly felt in the Foxes first XI, however Vardy and Mahrez, also vital to their success last season and courted by several huge clubs last summer, have decided not to show up to games this season.
But does the Leicester King not deserve more respect just nine months after lifting the trophy? Have the big men in the board room forgotten how Leicester finished a whopping 40 points worse off in 2015? The answer is no, they haven’t.
The brutal reality remains that football is a business. It doesn’t matter if you win the toughest league in the footballing world with a team that defied odds of 5000/1 – the magic of the game is often sacrificed in a results based business.
So what now for Leicester? Their reputation as the small midlands club who romanticised the beautiful game has seemingly now been tainted by their latest corporate decision. Part of their charm has been stolen by the need to stay relevant by following the footballing world’s ruthless laws. Football fans around the world have shown their sadness at Claudio’s dismissal, it is clear the football community aren’t happy with the decision – but will this feeling extend to brands and potential sponsorship opportunities too? We will have to wait and see.
One thing is for sure, the Leicester City bandwagon is looking less and less appealing by the week, However the board will be looking ahead, another manager to appoint and another game at the weekend, for them survival in the top flight is the must ….