Testing loyalty: the Foxes' unwavering support

Amidst turbulence, including two legal proceedings against the Premier League and EFL over its controversial point deductions this season, Leicester fans celebrated their loyalty. As celebrations continue throughout the city, we look back at a rocky season.

LCFC fans wave a flag in front of a building with LCFC banners. Fans watch from the balcony.
Fans remain loyal to LCFC despite points deductions. Photograph: Aarini Mehta / Great Central Gazette

Leicester City Football Club (LCFC) have won the Championship for the record-breaking eighth time and have been promoted back to the Premier League. From an emphatic 25 wins in their first 32 games to a sudden run of poor form to eventually winning the second division, it is safe to say that it has been quite a turbulent season for the Foxes. But they may face a possible points deduction next season.

Points deductions have taken the Premier League by storm this season. With the chaos of Everton’s points deductions, ten to six to eight, and Nottingham Forest’s four points, the question here is: what exactly is causing the Premier League to hand out points deductions? Of course, those who keep up with football know a lot about Financial Fair Play (FFP), but how does this system work in the Premier League with teams spending millions every transfer window?

The Premier League has come up with the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) allowing clubs in the league to make ‘allowable’ losses of up to £5 million per season, averaged over three seasons. After being charged as the fourth club to breach the current PSR regulations, Leicester City could very well be facing a points deduction next season, after their recent promotion to the Premier League. 

In a statement released by the Foxes, the team expressed their extreme disappointment, stating: “[We are] surprised at the actions the Premier League has taken.” They continued: “[We are] extremely disappointed that the Premier League has chosen to charge LCFC now, despite the club’s efforts to engage constructively with the Premier League in relation to the matters that are the subject of this charge, even though LCFC is not currently a Premier League club.” 

After these charges, the English Football League (EFL) placed the club under a registration embargo, meaning they cannot sign any new players as of now, preventing them from strengthening their team. Leicester City responded by issuing two legal proceedings against the Premier League and EFL. 

The LCFC bus driving through the parade.
Fans find the alleged violations "disappointing" but remain loyal. Photograph: Aarini Mehta / Great Central Gazette

There are mixed emotions among fans right now. A club supporter, Taiwo Taiwo said, “Of course, we are excited to be back and competing in the Premier League next season and are looking forward to the challenge. There have been some ups and downs this season, but there is trust in the team to do well for the remainder of this season and next season.

“The alleged PSR violations are disappointing, nevertheless, we hope that the team will be able to make the best out of the situation and remain positive as they have the last few weeks. The promotion is very proof of that. Now there are some fans who are perceiving the negatives, and they believe it will be a challenging next season — which it will, but it is important to support the club no matter what.”

The club announced losses of £89.7 million

For the 2022-23 season, Leicester City announced a loss of £89.7 million. The main reasons of this include no participation in European football as the team failed to qualify in the 2021-22 season and the sacking of ex-manager Brendan Rodgers and his staff. 

Fans let off blue smoke flares in support of the Foxes.
Despite the financial losses, LCFC is reaching for success. Aarini Mehta / Great Central Gazette

But perhaps, the biggest reason for their losses was their relegation in the 2022-23 season, where they lost about £30-35 million in revenue. According to the club’s CEO Susan Whelan, the impact of the relegation “[would] be felt for some time.”

However, according to hospitality staff in Leicester, it seems fans are remaining loyal to the club during this turbulent time.

Joseph Long, the general manager of the Local Hero pub, said: “On match days, our pub sees a fantastic turnout of Leicester City fans gearing up for the game. The crowd here is electric, full of dedicated supporters who bring an incredible energy and passion to every match. The spirits are always high, win or lose.

“There was no significant change in our pub's crowd size or atmosphere after last season's relegation. Our loyal guests continued to show up in full force to support Leicester City, demonstrating unwavering dedication to the team.”

Elaine Ner, the general manager of the Counting House pub said: “We get an amazing crowd for Leicester City home matches, as a designated away fan's pub, the crowd changes with each game, and we look forward to welcoming guests from all around the country.

“The away fans have all been awesome and when Leicester are promoted, it will be a shame not to see some of these lovely people again, however we are always looking forward to welcoming the next crowd of dedicated fans.”

Talking about expectations for the next season, Taiwo said, “My expectations for the next season would be for Leicester City to comfortably stay in the Premier League despite the points deduction. I would love the team to show grit and determination towards staying in the division.”

The spokesperson from the Local Hero mentioned, “Currently, the spirits among our fans are soaring as Leicester City continues to show resilience and determination on the pitch. There's a palpable sense of hope and excitement for what the future holds.”

Following the promotion, Manager Enzo Maresca said: “I feel so proud to see the hard work of everybody associated with Leicester City throughout the entire season rewarded with our promotion to the Premier League. ” He went on to say: “We’re determined to end this season in first place and lift that trophy in front of our supporters at King Power Stadium on the final day.”

The last time the Foxes were promoted to the first division, they lifted the Premier League trophy two seasons later. Could their Cinderella story have a sequel?

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