There’s something going on in England that I don’t think many people are paying attention to. Leicester City, one of the smallest soccer teams in the English Premier League, is currently sitting atop the table with 13 games left in the season.
Let me put that into context, because if you don’t know anything about the EPL, or soccer in general, you probably don’t realize how crazy this is.
In most soccer leagues around the world, there is no salary cap. Teams are allowed to spend whatever they want. Because of that, the teams with the wealthiest owners and the largest fanbases generally get the best players and win the most games. Yet, in the EPL, at least for this year, Leicester City is turning the soccer world upside down.
Leicester City have never been the kings of England. The closest they’ve ever come to being named champions in England’s highest league was when they were named runner-up in 1929.
Since then, they’ve bounced around the lower leagues of England with the occasional appearance in the country’s highest league.
The current iteration of Leicester City re-entered the EPL for the 2014-2015 season. In their first season back in the EPL, they finished in 14th place and just six points out of the relegation zone.
Because of their mediocre finish in 2015, and because of their low spending budget relative to other EPL clubs, when odds were released for chances at the EPL title, Leicester City were given 5000-to-1 odds. In comparison, the worst odds for an NFL team to win the Super Bowl belonged to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were 500-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl. Those numbers are crazy in their own right, but then you realize that the NFL has 12 more teams than the EPL.
Bottom line, there was nobody, literally nobody, who predicted that Leicester City would win the EPL.
Now, there are still 13 games left, and it’s entirely possible that Leicester City could choke away their potential title, but there’s also a good chance they could win it, and it would legitimately be the greatest upset in soccer history.
For the current season, Leicester City is ranked 17th in terms of player wages, only ahead of the three teams who were promoted for the current season. Leicester City’s player wages add up to $48.2 million. The top six spending teams in the league are all over $110 million.
I’m not saying you have to watch soccer because I know it’s not everybody’s favorite sport, but if you get the chance, read up on what is happening over in Leicester.
It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. We could be in the midst of the greatest sports upset in history.