Season 2015/2016 : the end of a hegemony in the Premier League ?

Le club de Leicester est en train de réaliser un exploit au sein de la Premier League. Cet exploit pourrait renverser une hégémonie installée depuis longtemps, ce qui rend le parcours de Leicester encore plus attractif.

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This year, every specialist of English football is talking about a revolution. This year’s most famous football championship in the world will remain engraved in our memory. Since the 1994-1995 season and the victory of the Blackburn Rovers Football club, all the trophies have been won by only four teams- Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City- nicknamed “the Big Four”. Obviously, the Leicester City FC achievement is good news for the Premier League according to all those who follow the championship: it highlights the magic of football. Moreover, football is both a form of entertainment and a business; this spectacle will for instance generate 2.3 billion euros in television broadcasting only in 2016. This major shift in the hierarchy gives a new boost to the Premier League, which is more competitive than the other European championships. Indeed, the English league is one of the only football competitions where the twelfth ranked team can covet the first place in the first stages of the championship. That is what is happening to Leicester City: it is a dream.

     Moreover, Leicester has made an incredible comeback. In fact, one year ago, the club ranked 20th  and  ended the season with a few extra points compared to the last team thanks to a sensational season finish. This didn’t prevent Leicester’s board from dismissing Nigel Pearson (who had won the championship in 2014) in order to hire Claudio Ranieri during the summer 2015.

            This season has been crucial for the club, who recruited a few players like the Frenchman N’Golo Kanté, whose recruitment is considered by some specialists as the best signing of the season; or Robert Huth who has been one of the best defenders of the league since the beginning of the season. Leicester’s recruitments have been made at a lower cost compared to those of the other big Premier League’s teams. For example, Leicester managed to beat Manchester City 3-0 with a 30 million euro team against a 400 million one. If  Leicester’s transfers have definitely been a real success, the Foxes are led by two players who were already there last year: Riyad Mahrez, who was born in Sarcelles and had never played in Ligue 1 (the best French league) and had never attracted a big French club. The downright refusal of Vincent Labrune to have Mahrez in his team – Labrune is the president of the Olympique de Marseille ( a French team in Ligue 1) – illustrates well the poor attraction of R. Mahrez. Jamie Vardy’s story is even more incredible. He discovered the professional world at 26 and became three years later an international class striker, one of the best in the league. Today, the duo is without a doubt the best in the Premier League. Finally, if it’s hard to believe the failures of the biggest teams like Chelsea, Manchester United (or, on another scale, Manchester City) even after this incredible season Leicester is having, the achievements of the board and the staff have to be highlighted.

     Today, Leicester’s hopes have become real in winning the Premier League, but now they need to win the next one to show the world that it wasn’t a fluke.

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Fabrice ANDRIA, Issam HYJAZI & Romain CHAIX

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