A fanbase divided, a team in crisis: Leicester’s current issues explained

Leicester City's King Power Stadium (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
Leicester City's King Power Stadium (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Leicester City Director of Football, Jon Rudkin (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images) /

Leicester City are a team in crisis

Leicester City are set to enter game week 27 just three points above 20th position in the Premier League, something that fans thought they had left behind after the club’s recent success. Nevertheless, the club is where it is, and one Twitter account superbly sums up the key issues faced by the club currently.

Whilst the blame cannot be apportioned to one person, the role of Jon Rudkin has certainly played a part in the club’s recent demise, as is highlighted by 1884DT’s thread. As director of football, Rudkin has been responsible for the shambolic management of player contracts, culminating in the current situation where the east Midlanders have seven players out of contract this summer (including Tête).

The fact that former stars such as Caglar Soyuncu are set to leave for free is nothing but diabolical. Granted, the value of players such as ‘Cags’ has dropped for various reasons outside of Rudkin’s control, but he could well have commanded a fee of at least £10-15m if sold last summer. For a player who was not long ago in the Premier League team of the year, it seems ludicrous a once £50m player is walking away via the Bosman ruling.

Youri Tielemans is another example of the management’s delusion when it comes to squad management. What should have been done was to sell the Belgian when his stock was high, and when it was clear he would not agree to sign a new deal. Instead, the club decided to persist with negotiating a new deal for two years when it was clear he had no interest in signing one. Now, Tielemans, the record signing, will leave for free, meaning he will have to be replaced with an already limited budget.

This then leads into the next summer, where players such as Wilfried Ndidi and star man James Maddison will also walk away for free if their contracts are not renewed. With regards to Maddison, the club’s predicament makes it very unlikely that he will want to sign a new contract, therefore he is likely to be sold as the most valuable ‘asset’ this summer. Even so, the fact his contract has run down suggests that the club will not be getting his market value and other clubs will likely play hard-ball due to knowledge of LCFC’s predicament.

Finally, a word must be said about Rudkin’s offering of contracts to certain players. The fact that players such as Jannik Vestergaard and Ryan Bertrand were given nearly £80,000 a week contracts is criminal. His mismanagement has also led to the wage bill spiralling out of control, to the point where the club’s wage bill is comfortably the seventh highest in the division.

It also must be added that the club itself is increasingly making a mockery of its ‘well-run’ reputation. Posting £92.5m losses is never a great look in itself, but the small things such as ID checks at away games really do add up. For a club that has traditionally been renowned for its fan engagement, Leicester City seem to be doing all they can to throw away this good reputation.