As Likely As Zombie Elvis

Leicester City hoists the Premier League Trophy, celebrating the teams unlikely victory

Photo courtesy of http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/07/leicester-city-fans-fall-silent-as-the-team-lifts-its-first-ever/

Leicester City hoists the Premier League Trophy, celebrating the team’s unlikely victory

Lauren Snyder, Sentry Staff Reporter

Miracles do happen, and Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) winning the Premier League is proof of that. Celebrating their win on May 7 with a score of 3-1 against Arsenal, this team’s victory upset the entire Premier League system.

The Premier League is the United Kingdom’s primary soccer competition and is the most-watched soccer league in the world, broadcasted to 643 million homes with  a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. Within the Premier League there are 20 soccer clubs, but few come out champions. Out of the 48 different clubs that have competed in the Premier League over the years, only six hold the title.

From the beginning, LCFC was not likely to win. They were the club that was “too good for the bottom but not good enough for the top.” Bookmakers put the football club’s odds at 5,000-1, some of the longest odds in the league.

LCFC itself was founded in 1884 and is the home team of Leicester. They are now owned by King Power International Group, Thailand’s leading travel retail group, making their sponsors the Royal Family of Thailand. The team itself is beloved by the residents of Leicester, many who have stuck with the team their whole lives.

Key players on the team include Algerian midfielder Riyad Mahrez, who was named Player of the Year last month, defender Robert Huth, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and top scorer Jamie Vardy, who was just named as the Football Writers’ Player of the Year. At the beginning of the season, the players had little idea of what was to come.

The season for the Premier League starts in August and runs until May. Each team plays a total of 38 games. This is made up of two games against every team in the league, one away and one home. For every game a team wins, they earn three points–they earn one point if the match ends in a draw. Whichever team has the highest amount of points at the end of the season wins the Premier League.

This underdog team steadily won games while the other, more well known teams won more sporadically. After Tottenham Hotspur F.C.(aka the Spurs) and Chelsea F.C. tied 2-2 on May 2, the competition was over. No other team could beat LCFC’s points total, and they won the Premier League.  

It was the biggest payout in British sporting history with a total £25 million (around $36,022,500) in winnings. The longest running bet was £20 (~$28) that grew to be £100,000 (~$144,490). These odds were not just the longest odds in league history–they are some of the largest in betting history. In comparison, it is the same odds that the famous singer Elvis Presley will be found alive this year.

The payout was not just in terms of money. A few British celebrities made some promises to fulfill if LCFC won the league and had to uphold their end of the bargain. Former Spurs striker Mido shaved his head on live television, and a sports news reporter promised to do his daily sport report in his underwear if the team won.

So, after all of the fame and glory, what’s next for the winning underdogs? Well, the owners promised the players a trip to Thailand, where their popularity has surged since their success. However, soccer never stops and neither do the players. While the Premier League soccer season may be finishing, the Euro Cup is starting this summer. This is a similar competition to the World Cup but only includes the top teams within Europe. LCFC will have six players participating this year that will play for the teams of England, Wales, Switzerland, Austria and France. There are great things in store for this team, beyond the borders of England.