Just so we’re all clear about this, Leicester City cheated to win the Premier League.
|''Think anybody will notice?''|
It’s not up for debate either. In full context it’s glaringly obvious what they did. What’s not clear is why only a couple of publications are tackling this. I suspect it’s due to threats of litigation.
However, yes, Leicester achieved Premier League glory by cheating. What level of cheating are we talking about here?
In short, Leicester are paying their group of players much more than they are bringing in as legitimate revenue. They are hiding this fact behind fake loans, fake sponsorship of advertising space they have already sold and other financial theatricality and deception.
Again, none of this is up for debate. They aren’t even denying it. These are facts.
Let this sink in for a second. Leicester flat out cheated to win the league, and basically no one, or at least very few people, are calling them to task for this.
Digging a little deeper to illustrate, the Foxes shirts are sponsored by their owner's company (don’t you love where this is going already?!), but of course not directly. Instead, that company buys the sponsorship through a marketing company, with the end effect being increasing Leicester's sponsorship income significantly. The point of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules are that clubs should not be spending money they are not actually earning or creating themselves. The wheeling and dealing with the sponsorship alone increased Leicester's sponsorship revenues from £5.2 million to £16 million. This money directly built their current squad.
All of this information is freely available in the public domain. There is nothing convoluted or tweaked to make Leicester look bad. This is what they did, they cheated the game in order to build a squad which could win the Premier League. Sure, they then went out and did the harder part, actually winning the thing, but they flat out cheated to put themselves in position to do same.
The Guardian had covered this extensively in this article however they, nor anyone else, has brought out much on this lately. Again, I would highly suspect this is due to the threat of litigation. Perhaps we’ll see more in the coming weeks, but for now, it is what it is.
The natural reaction to this is 'Well, everyone is doing it', and that's just false. The Premier League is in flux right now, open up to clubs like Leicester winning it, because of the very fact the clubs are adhering to FPP. With the exception of Leicester. Arsenal are a great example of a well run club that only spends what they legitimately bring in. Arsenal could easily manufacture the cash to bring in a couple more players to push them over the edge. However, they don't, and it comes back to bite them when their own fans turn on them.
Personally I was brought up to root for the Under Dog, and I will do so most of the time. Not, however, when that dog cheats to win its prize.
Leicester City cheated to win the Premier League.
In sporting terms they didn't cheat. They spent a fraction of what other teams did and deservedly won out over a 38 game season. Their hallmark is team spirit, collective effort and no little skill. I could see the point if there was a salary cap that applied equally to all teams I.e same budget for all, but this system favours the established teams. The FFP misnomer, anti-competitive on the European stage and probably more, (think Platini) is now a dead duck following court action. It prevents investment to protect the establishment rather than ensuring clubs are on a sound financial footing. There is nothing 'Fair' about it. It will all come down to a matter of opinion, one from those with vested interests. Ordinary fans of the game can see this and recognise them as bona fide champions that have put teams with vastly superior outlays to shame. I doubt they will be remembered as anything other than worthy winners with a true gentleman at the helm. I hope...lol