What does history tell us about Leicester’s survival prospects?

If we look at the past, Leicester’s survival prospects this coming season don’t look impossible. However, there is no precedent for a club entering the top-flight with the disadvantages the Foxes will face next season.
Leicester need another Jimmy Bloomfield
Leicester need another Jimmy Bloomfield / Robert Stiggins/GettyImages
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Just looking at the historical evidence, then, LCFC’s chances of avoiding an immediate return to the second tier are reasonable. However, no Foxes team has ever had to face the problems the current group of players will have to tackle. At the time of writing, the club has no manager and Enzo Maresca took the bulk of his backroom staff with him too. That, however, is the least of the club’s problems. Indeed, losing a manager just after winning promotion is not new. In 1971, Frank O’Farrell was poached by Manchester United and that didn’t stop Leicester from appointing a good replacement (Bloomfield) and, as we saw, staying in the top-flight for seven years. If Leicester are able to attract Graham Potter to the role, which is reported to be now more likely. I, for one, would go into the new season with a great deal of optimism.

More significant are the constraints the club is currently operating under. The financial gap between the Premier League and the Championship is now greater than it has ever been. On top of that is the prospect of a terrifying bunch of sanctions. A points deduction for breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules (PSR) in the three years up to the 2022/3 season is extremely likely. Also on the cards, too, is at least a hefty fine from the EFL for spending more than is allowed up to the end of last season. And, last but not least, the club are going to have to be extremely careful to avoid a further charge from the EPL for breaching PSR in the coming season. What this all means is that, far from investing in the squad, it is likely that a few key players will have to be sold. In that context, no wonder the bookies have Leicester as their favourites not only to be relegated but to finish bottom.

Ever the optimist, though, along with other members of the Blue Army, I will be back at the King Power next season to roar the team on. As all Leicester fans know, we have been underdogs before and achieved outcomes nobody expected.