BACKGROUND to "The Greatest Footballing Story Of All Time" submitted by
England's Leicester City (LC) and King Richard III share a very special bond, based on the fact that Richard III was buried there following the Battle of Bosworth. His remains were entombed in Greyfriars church which was demolished after 1536. A story circulated that Richard's bones were thrown into the River Soar by the nearby Bow Bridge after the demolition. For a long time this was believed to be nothing more than legend. However, by the end of the 20th century, "aided by a plaque near the Bow Bridge", this account was deemed historically correct.
All of this is worth mentioning because of an excavation that took place at the site of the old church in 2012. A complete skeleton was uncovered, that of a male showing severe scoliosis and major head wounds. On February 4th in 2013 the University of Leicester confirmed that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III. This discovery, of the remains of a major
English king, made world headlines.
Richard's remains were reburied in Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015, and here is where our story gets interesting... At the time Leicester City's soccer team was in last place in the English Premier League, (EPL). The EPL does not impose player parity as three of the four major North American major sporting leagues do with 'salary caps' (basketball, football and ice hockey). The Daily Mail later wrote about the gross inequity, writing that, "The combined cost of Leicester’s probable starting XI will be £21m. To put that into context, David Silva is the eighth most expensive player in [Manchester] City’s side, and he cost £24m. In total, City’s team cost £292.9m to assemble."
When Richard III was buried the EPL was well into the 2014-15 season, and it was increasingly looking as if the last-place Foxes would be one of the teams to face relegation or demotion from the EPL. But LC's collective fate began to turn in the match which immediately followed Richard III's burial. On April 4th LC won their first match in three months. Their 2-1 home victory over West Ham, at 'King Power' Stadium was won on a goal by Andy King, his 50th with the Foxes.
LC then won six of their eight remaining matches and avoided relegation. By any club's standard it was a very solid way to finish the season. Yet despite their very strong finish, nobody expected Leceister City to continue their winning ways the following year. Bookmakers famously gave the Foxes a 1-in-5000 chance to win the championship in 2015-16. The long odds meant that the bookies considered such an outcome virtually impossible and, by the way, perceived to be less likely than Elvis Presley being found alive that same year, or Kim Kardashian becoming US President in 2016.
Nonetheless, LC continued their winning ways and a series of improbable comeback victories in the fall of 2015 saw them rise to the top of the EPL standings. APRIL 4-15, THE TURNAROUND DATE ..
To some, the longer Leceister City stayed atop the Premier League, the more significant King Richard's burial seemed to be. After all, the Foxes' run began in their very next match, after literally months of losing. Given the 'King' Richard connection, it became noteworthy that Andy 'King' had scored the winning goal in that turnaround game against West Ham who was also the only 'King' to see playing time
during the EPL's 2014-15 season, in a league that lists 500 players the member teams' rosters. With all due respect to Richard III, as far as the soccer pitch is concerned you couldn't get a better 'Leicester City' King than Andy, who has played his entire career with the club. He was also a very unlikely-improbable hero, as this was just one of two goals that King would score all season, and the 50th of his career.
So, in hindsight April 4th proved to be a very significant date, adn from the start of the turnaround there was this 'King' twist to what The Sun and other major media sources described as "the greatest footballing story of all time."
And April 4th was also the 58th birthday of Leicester City's owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha is also the CEO of Thailand's mighty 'King Power' International Group which is why the Foxes' home field is called King Power Stadium, with the Thai brand having been founded 1989.
So, King Richard's connection to Leicester and that of the King Power corporation's are entirely unrelated considerations. And as this story evolved 'King Power' took on a folklorish meaning. Was King Richard III lending good vibes to the Foxes? asked the British media lightheartedly
. After all, their turnaround did begin in the 4/4 match that immediately
followed his proper burial.
Make of that what you will, but the idea of spiritual support was taken very
seriously by Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Seriously enough that for some time he had been sending a revered Thai monk over from Thailand in order to 'purify' King Power Stadium. Later on the King Power CEO began having Thai monks attend home games, to bless the players before the kick-off, before spending the match deep in meditation in a specially designated room at King Power stadium. For these efforts, and thanks to the Foxes concurrent success, LC became Thailand's adopted EPL team and eventually a story of global interest.
People waited for Leicester City's virtually impossible run to end, but end it did not. On May 2nd - or so it appeared - LC clinched the Premier League title. The news of the Foxes' ultimate victory spread across the planet
However, when all was said and done it turned out that the Foxes had quietly clinched the title on April 10 in Week 33. The surrounding details should be mentioned in a presentation like this, as the details add to the narrative of things all coming together in what must be a very improbable (non-random?) manner for LC.
On April 10 LC earned their 72nd point in a match against Sunderland, which would be all the points they'd need, as second-place Arsenal would finish the season with 71. This means that the winning goal in the Sunderland was also the EPL season-clincher: and Jamie Vardy's goal in the match's 66th minute
proved to be apt timing for this great English
story) (i.e. 1066).
Although this goal's EPL-season implications would have to wait before being made fully known, when Vardy scored LC fans were well aware that goal represented a significant one for the franchise, as Vardy had just become the first Leicester player since Gary Lineker in the 1984–85 season to score 20 goals in English football's top division. And here, given our overarching "King Power" narrative, I will add Lineker, born in Leicester and one of England's most prolific international goal-scorers, had accomplished this feat a very tidy 500 years after the death of Richard III in 1485 (which may in turn recall Andy King's historic 50th goal in this storyline). Jumping ahead to 2015 Richard, the last English monarch to die in battle, was buried in Leicester on 26 March, the 85th day of the year.
So, Vardy's first goal against Sunderland on April 10 matched an old club record of consequence while clinching LC the EPL title in this transcendent story. But there was more thing: With this same goal, scored by the Barclays Premier League Player of the Season and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, also secured LC its first invitation to the UEFA Champions League, the European club championship tournament which dates back to 1955.
As mentioned, the story of Leicester City's success made the news worldwide and for very good reason: This may be the only time, in any major sporting league across the planet, that a team has gone from being in last place one season to being champions the next.
Here is what Leicester City's two-year turnaround looked like, up to and including the championship clincher against Sunderland, in Wins, Draws (d)and Losses: dLdWWLdLLLLdLLLLLLWdWLLLLdLdL--burial Richard III 26 March 18 --- 4 April 18: WWWWLWWdW --end 2014/15 ,avoids relegation -- 2015/16 WddWdLWdWWWWdWWWLddWdWWWLWdWWWWW
'King Power' indeed. SyncGuy44
The web site BetSafe.com shared the predictions below. What do you think? I personally would not trust predictions sent over by a bookmaker. submitted by
Aston Villa vs Man City Man City finally looked like the team that on paper they should be last weekend in a massive 4-1 victory over rivals Manchester United. I believe the confidence taken from this match will be enough for City to make easy work of Aston Villa. Bet is Man city (3-way handicap) 2.27. Bet on correct score and if Yaya Toure scores the last goal we’ll refund losing bets as a bonus. Check out more of this week’s last goal scorer cash back offers here.
Swansea vs Arsenal Arsenal were running riot over a stoke side that had the previous week held Man city to a 0-0 draw. With the addition of Mesut Ozil Arsenal have looked even stronger as a team and currently sit top of the table. Bet is Arsenal to win 2.24 La Liga
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Atletico sit above Real in the table and remain unbeaten so far this season including when they played away at Barcelona. It is always brave taking on Real Madrid but this week I feel it’s justified, bet is Atletico Madrid +1 (3-way handicap) 2.32. If you want to go for correct score in this match we will refund your stake as a bonus if Karim Benzema scores the last goal.
Torino vs Juventus In this hot derby I think both sides will look to get out of the blocks strong and both sides have averaged over 2.5 goals in their respective fixtures for the season so far. I think picking a clear winner here at the prices offered is too tricky, my bet is both teams to score 1.90. We are also offering last goal scorer cashback in this match if Fernando Llorente scores the last goal.
Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg It is still early in the season and as such volatile but Bayern Munich has had 4 of their opening 5 matches finish under 2.5 goals. Wolfsburg are a side full of inconsistency in their results so far this season but if we look at last season they conceded only just over 1 goal on average for away games last season. Bet is under 3.5 goals 2.01.