After Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea yesterday, Leicester City are the 2015-16 Premier League champions. Yes, you read that right, it has actually happened. A club in the Championship two years ago, the Foxes have defied the odds (more on that below) and won the top division title. It’s been a crazy season and this remarkable achievement personifies it. I was going to write an article on the miracle, but it would probably be incredibly generic and not do Leicester enough justice. So instead, these ten stats show just quite how remarkable the rise of Leicester has been…
All stats correct as of 3rd May 2016
1. Leicester have won their first ever top division title – they were runners-up in 1929, missing out on the trophy by a point. They are are the first new winners of the first tiers since Nottingham Forest in 1978.
2. Their tally of 22 league wins this season is a top-flight club record, and the same as they managed in their previous three Premier League campaigns combined.
3. The largest transfer fee paid out by Leicester in the transfer window–£7 million for forward Shinji Okazaki—was only the 41st largest fee paid out by Premier League clubs in the last year. Every one of the clubs in the current bottom seven paid at least the same for its most expensive transfer than Leicester – Norwich (Robbie Brady £7m), Aston Villa (Jordan Ayew £9m), Sunderland (Fabio Borini £10m), Bournemouth (Benik Afobe £10m), Crystal Palace (Yohan Cabaye £10m), West Brom (Salomon Rondon £12m) and Newcastle (Georginio Wijnaldum £14.5m).
4. The Foxes were relegated three times in their nine previous seasons in the Premier League, and never finished higher than eighth.
5. Across Europe’s top-five leagues, only Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich have more points than Leicester.
6. Five years ago, N’Golo Kante was playing for Boulougne in the French third tier, Riyad Mahrez was in the French second division with Le Harve and Jamie Vardy was playing non-league football at Halifax Town. Leicester City were 11th in the Championship.
7. Leicester have won the title with 77 points after 36 Premier League games, 40 more than they had at the same stage last season, when they were 15th in the table.
8. Manchester United have spent more money on transfers in the last two years than Leicester have spent in their entire 132 year history.
9. At the beginning of the season, Leicester were 5000/1 to win the Premier League. That’s less likely than Piers Morgan getting the Arsenal job (2500/1), Sir Alex Ferguson winning Strictly Come Dancing (1000/1), Kim Kardashian to become US President (2000/1) and Elvis Presley to be found alive and well (2000/1).
10. Since Liverpool last won the league in 1990, Leicester have been relegated four times and promoted five times. Peter Schmeichel has won the title five times, retired, and now his son Kasper had lifted the trophy. (sorry Liverpool fans!)
So there you have it. Those ten stats show what an unbelievable feat Leicester have achieved this season. For neutrals like myself it has been fascinating to watch, and is unlikely to ever happen again. Congratulations to Claudio Ranieri and co who can now look forward to playing Europe’s elite in the Champions League. They couldn’t win that as well could they? No, surely not…..But Ladbrokes have the Foxes at 80/1 to do just that!