Leicester City for the league

Leicester City for the league?

Regular readers must be wondering if I’ve lost my dobbers. Have I gone over to the soccer dark side?

leicester cityWell, actually, I always had one foot in the soccer dark side. I’m one of the sad triumvirate who not only support Scunthorpe United but actually travel there to shout for that most mediocre of clubs, who have disappointed us yet again this season by threatening to get into the play-offs for promotion. It’s not right. They should know their place in League One, or as all right thinking people know it, the Third Division, or as some people call it, the future home of Aston Villa. Stay there at mid-table, going neither up nor down but remaining dour, miserable and stolid.

That’s what we love about Scunthorpe. They’re useless, but not bad enough to disappear forever. With any luck, they won’t try to improve, although this season they show a troubling inclination to get into the next highest division where, of course, they will experience only humiliation and defeat. Much better for our heroes to remain drab and only defeated occasionally.

On the other hand, who doesn’t love the underdog?

Well, it appears that everyone in the whole wide world loves Leicester City, including the clubs they’re trying to beat and that’s why I’ve been following them for a while, though not as long as the man in the UK who put a £30 bet on them at odds of 5,000 to one.

I don’t know how accurate  this is, but someone on the radio said it, so it must be true. Apparently, these odds are the biggest any bookie has ever offered. (Or something). Apparently, the next-longest odds are 2,500 to 1 and that’s the odds against the Pope playing for Italy. Now, to be honest, provided that’s not a contradiction in terms, if I happened to be the Pope and saw those odds, I’d be straight on the phone to the Italian manager.

Hey! I see those odds. Why you not let me come on for two minutes? We split the money. Ok?

Ok. He’s the Pope and they never do anything dodgy with money.

Isn’t that right?

Of course it is, Mr Calvino.

You agree, Archbishop Marcinkus?

Sure thing. Leave the bag on the steps of the church and walk away.

We could yet see the Pope playing for Italy. Who’s to say he won’t, if the money is good enough? But if the odds against the Pope playing for Italy are 2,500 to one, what on earth was going on in the mind of the bookies who offered 5,000 to one against a Leicester win?

Answer: greed. That’s what was going on in their minds, and panic is what launched them into a stampede of ticket-buying over the last few weeks, offering anything up to two-thirds of potential winnings for Leicester bets.

Don’t you love it? And don’t you love the idea that somewhere out there is an ordinary bloke, much like you or me, holding a ticket that will be worth £150,000 if Leicester win the League? An ordinary lad who didn’t cash it all in for a sizeable inducement but who decided instead to ride that wave wherever it takes him.

It’s for him we should all be shouting over the next few weeks. For him, for the fans who have never won anything before now and for the players who somehow have created a cohesive team, beating the best in spite of the difference in price-tags.

Who doesn’t love an under-dog? Especially when that dog is just about to piss against the biggest lamp-post on the street.


Stop Press!


Leicester have just won the League after Tottenham drew with Chelsea 2-2 and nobody anywhere is sorry. Not even the Tottenham crowd, although they must be feeling a little sick.

Nobody begrudges Leicester this title.

It can only be good for sport.