Leicester City FC defied odds of 5000/1 to win the Premier League on Monday, but doing it twice in a row will probably take a lot more money than they have, Stefan Szymanski, author of “Money and Football: A Soccernomics Guide,” told the Financial Times.
The sports economist said that wage expenditure was still the biggest indicator of a club’s potential success, and Leicester City’s player expenditure remained way behind its rivals on that front:
“It took Chelsea and Manchester City approximately £1 billion [$1.47 billion] each to cement their position at the top.”
Referring to a Deloitte report that the club could make almost £80 million from the league win, Szymanski said it may not be enough, adding “I do not think it even gets close to doing it.”
Leicester spent £57m on staff in the 2014/15 season, according to the Financial Times, which was the third-lowest wage bill in the league at the time. Chelsea spent the most, at £216m, and won that year.
A quick look at the football club rich-list also suggests there’s a strong correlation between club spending and league success.
“The basic relationship is that talent is something you can buy in a market fairly reliably,” Szymanski told the Financial Times. “We know Messi [of Barcelona] commands the most money because he is the world’s best player. Broadly speaking, we know money equates with success, and success generates more revenue.”
However another sport analyst, Repucom, has said that Leicester’s future earnings could rise to £150 million thanks to increased sponsorship deals and match day attendance — particularly with its participation in the next Champions League.
Leicester City’s vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said that the club won’t be selling any player in a bid to keep the winning team together, according to The Guardian.
One bookmaker is also offering odds of 200/1 on Leicester retaining the League, while Skybet has even better odds of 33/1, suggesting that despite the difference in club earnings, not everyone’s prepared to write off the team’s chances of a second miracle in the row just yet.