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Will Leicester Buy Their Way To The Premiership?


By Conor Diggin

With the new season fast approaching there are fears that it will be a one horse race for the title, with Leicester City the name on everyone’s lips.

Matthew Mills, Paul Konchesky, even Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester have beaten a host of clubs, the majority from the Premier League, to the signings of these stars.

These signings emphasise the ambitions of the club managed by Sven Goran Eriksson and that only promotion is acceptable next season.

This is a sign of yet another club trying to buy success, sculpted in the image of Manchester City who are hated and also envied due to their seemingly endless funds.

All summer an endless stream of players have been linked with Leicester and 9 times out of 10 they have got their man.

Whether they have signed because they believe this club are better than the Premier League clubs interested or because they are being paid more we do not know, although we can certainly take a guess.

I look forward to the season with genuine excitement, although with Leicester’s big-spending attitude as they will probably win this title with ease.

Even at this moment, Owen Hargreaves is being linked with a move. A player who, on his day, could easily break into the England set-up playing in the Championship? The idea of this is absurd.

Yet the worst thing is that he is actually considering it and that Leicester can pay the bumper wages he wants, wages which would make him the highest earner at a mid-table Premier League club.

Everyone else may not be pushed about this but I for one find it unsettling  and wish clubs such as Leicester could suceed by trying to earn success rather than buy it and make this sport pure again.

This was a guest post by Conor Diggin please let us know what you think of the article and/or follow him on Twitter

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  1. Alex

    July 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    As a Leicester fan I’m embarrassed by the majority of comments from Leicester fans. It is a perfectly fair article.

  2. ol

    July 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    One horse race?

    go down the bookies then, where Leicester are second favourites at 9/2

    good odds for a certainty

  3. Jia

    July 17, 2011 at 9:08 am

    After reading an article in the Star, is Conor Diggin aka Mr. Claridge.
    An ex LCFC who regularly negatively comments and writes about his old club.

  4. Dominic Roskrow

    July 16, 2011 at 8:18 am

    A great debate, but a couple of observations.
    Firstly, Conor talks about the good old days. Well older City fans may recall that in the mid 70s City spent heavily under Jimmy Bloomfield to bring in various London names and we won nothing. Indeed, success for little known local rivals Derby under Clough saw Bloomfield’s demise.
    Secondly, there’s the lesson. Ask a West Ham, Birmingham, Forest, Boro or even Ipswich fan if it’s a one horse race. We should know by now how tough this is going to be.
    Thirdly, can we have a sense of perspective? Our spending doesn’t cover even a third of a Premiership striker.

  5. cully

    July 16, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Conor, maybe Leicester should of employed you with all your years of experience?!

    All successful clubs pay the best wages and biggest transfer fees! Fact! Try doing some Market research before commenting?

  6. Martin Lewitt

    July 16, 2011 at 6:37 am

    I noticed that Conor says he is only 16 and his only Journalism experience was a week at a Press Agency on Work Experience.
    Maybe this isn’t the right field for you then Conor
    If you keep practicing “Would you like fries with that sir”, maybe McDonalds could offer you a new way forward !!!!!
    Obviously not a McDonalds near Leicester Citys ground !

  7. Jake

    July 16, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Connor, I am 17 and am hoping to attend either Nottingham Trent or Bournemouth University to do a Broadcast Journalism degree; therefore I understand your reasons for writing this article however, you have to be more sensitive to peoples feelings, you’re an aspiring journalist but you’ve not made it yet so therefore you’re a small fish in a big pond like me, until you’ve made it big time you can’t actually be so controversial because no-one knows what your opinions are worth…..just some constructive criticisms mate. LCFC 4 LIFE!

  8. Eleanor Nash

    July 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Don’t worry Conor, don’t let the haters get to you!
    You have my full backing and support during these troublesome times!

  9. theslyfox

    July 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I liked Connor’s piece. It seemed well written and whilst I don’t agree with it entirely I can certainly see the point. In the past I have been jealous of other clubs with money and quite frankly I am a little embarressed that the club with money is now Leicester. Yes it takes more than money to go up but I would have been infinitely more satisfied if we had been promoted under Pearson without having spent much. I also feel for the players we have moved on, some great players who could have become club legends. But that is football and to be honest after the turmoil we’ve been through in the last ten years I am pleased that things are looking up. There’s never going to be a level playing field and money will always come into it in a big way but that has always been the case. What really makes me laugh is the green and gold protesters at Man U. They hark back to the days of Newton Heath, a club which was on the verge of bankruptcy that had to be rescued by a rich benefactor. I do wonder if they see the irony in them supporting the regime of the early 1900’s, probably not.

  10. Jonjerry

    July 15, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Conor, you are a Charlton Fan. Haven’t they brought in eleven players since the transfer window opened? Would you not also agree that they are trying to buy League One?


  11. Marie

    July 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    So those teams with huge parachute payments that drop down to the championship, are they on a level playing field? Or is that ok with you?

  12. Joe

    July 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Conor, clearly your post got some strong views and ignited some passion. I appreciate you were making a comment about money in the game in general, however I suggest in future you refrain from making such bold statements about a club without considering a more rounded view of the situation. If Leicester do win the title (and being a supporter I hope they do), people will no doubt hold up the ‘you bought the title’ card. However, saying things like we wouldn’t of earnt the title if we did win is mis-guided. We are consistently one of (if not the) best supported team in the lower divisions and when we dropped to Division One, we continued to have fans, managers (albeit a load of them!), back room staff and players who bust a gut on a low wage to get the club back to where everyone felt it belongs. If I supported Nottingham Forest would I be jealous to what is happening at Leicester, of course I would, however I would prefer these spikes to happen in football that encourages a higher class of players to come in and standards to be raised across all teams.
    Everyone is entitled to their view so fair enough you have yours and if you are 16 then you can articulate yourself very well for your age so good luck in the future!

    • tony court

      July 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm

      what on earth is going on here,everyone is allowed to say there views,long long way to go and we still havent bought a player who can score goals.

  13. FelixFox

    July 15, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Conor & Kristian are perfectly entitled to their opinion, Leicester fans have the right to disagree. I think your point Conor is valid it just didn’t need to be made in the way you have made them. Buying your way to the Premiership is impossible, you have to have the right combination of players, management and owners all pulling in the same direction. I think what excites Leicester fans is that this mix seems to be in place but they still have to deliver on the pitch and no one knows what that outcome will be until April / May 2012.

    • Conor Diggin

      July 15, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Thanks for your input and I appreciate where you’re coming from. I didn’t mean to cause such offence, I was merely expressing how clubs have too much freedom in the transfer market and how nowadays this is exploited by the wealthier club. I wasn’t having a go at Leicester personally, I was simply using them as an example. The best example to use, I believe, is Manchester City, however this is a website which focuses on the Championship so therefore tat is not possible.

  14. Conor Diggin

    July 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I’m not saying the Championship should be different and I agree that money does make the world go round, but what I am trying to say is that I believe the amount of spending should be limited in all divisions around the world to make it fairer for everyone else.

    • russ

      July 15, 2011 at 10:54 am

      You were having ago at Leicester personally without justification as you would love Charlton to be able to do the same.
      If you are a journalist then if at all capable write like one.

      • Conor Diggin

        July 15, 2011 at 11:20 am

        If you read my blog you will see that it isn’t just Leicester, I also have a go at Manchester City as well. If you want another excuse to get abusive I can send you the link if you like?

  15. kevin

    July 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Get real….money makes the world go round.
    Has for years in the prem. Why should the championship be any

  16. Conor Diggin

    July 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

    I’ve read all of your comments and taken the majority into consideration. I believe it is my job to highlight topics like this and ignite debates about them.

    I am merely stating my own honest opinion and no it is not just Leicester who are doing this, I know its not, but this is a website dedicated to the Championship and if it was dedicated to the Premier League I would write exactly the same article but regarding Manchester City or Liverpool or Manchester United etc.

    I am not condemning all of the spending they have done and I congratulate them on getting owners with such high ambitions, I am just trying to say that I believe Leicester’s spending does not match that of your average Championship club.

    I am a strong believer of the new Fair Play rules being introduced by UEFA and if this spending fits in with these new rules then I have no objections, however if they do not then I am against it.

    To those questioning who I support, I support Charlton Athletic, my local team, and I have seen the damage big-spending can do to a club when they do not have the right owners or managers to watch over this, so therefore I am always pessimistic about big-spending clubs.

    I am merely trying to say that people need to look back at what football used to be like in the 60s, 70s and 80s when teams did earn success and relied heavily on home-grown players who came up through their own systems.

    Transfers have been a part of football for just under 100 years and I believe this should not change, however changes should be made to prevent one team from buying all of the talent and make it harder for honest, hard-working teams.

    • russ

      July 15, 2011 at 10:43 am

      Conor,you are right something should change your own job ,you wrote utter rubish and if you do describe yourself as a journalist then dont because you are not a very good one as every replying posts suggest.

  17. Grant

    July 15, 2011 at 10:16 am

    GOOD GRIEF!! He actually agrees & even SHARES these views!!

    Enough said…….last time I will be visiting this site!

    • Kristian Downer

      July 15, 2011 at 10:32 am


      I do not actually agree with Conor as you have to adapt to the scenario are in, obviously we all wish that there was a level playing field, but that is not the case and clubs need to adapt.

      I also disagree that Leicester will waltz to the title as experience shows that this is the hardest league to escape from given the style of play and inconsistency of many teams at this level, which means even some of the smaller sides can overcome the more fancied teams on any given day.



      • russ

        July 15, 2011 at 10:49 am

        Kristian did Coner put that post up to cause controversy because that utter rubbish ,i Now know when i see his and or your name on an article then i would be wasting my time reading it,if you dont want your readers to read what your site has to say then get rid of Coner as i think he knows more about the teletubbies than football matters.

        • Conor Diggin

          July 15, 2011 at 11:12 am

          Seriously Russ, who do you think you are? Yes, I did write this to get a reaction, however I didn’t write this to cause an excuse for a pathetic thug such as yourself to get abusive over nothing. Unless you have anything constructive to say I believe you should refrain from taking further part in this discussion because frankly, you are looking like one of those middle-aged keyboard warriors who are living in their parents’ basement.

          • russ

            July 15, 2011 at 11:28 am

            Coner,judging by your resonse i take it you have just been sacked.Talking about the pot calling the kettle black,as EVERY post on here agrees with me even your boss,20 different posts and there,s you alone with your views.
            By the way i am not a pathetic thug living in his paerents basement i am a disabled person who has just touched a nerve,again as with every other person that has replied.
            As for me saying something constuctive please read all my posts again and you might learn more than you realise.

          • Conor Diggin

            July 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

            I don’t think that’s any of your business Russ.

            Touched a nerve?
            Its an opinionated article which was meant to cause a response, bad or good, I don’t mind, all that matters is that I succeeded.

            I have read all of your comments and again, I do not see anything constructive.

            Yes I know no one who has commented agrees with me and to be honest it doesn’t bother me as this is only my first post and I know I still have a lot to learn, after all I’m only 16 and my only experience in journalism before this was a week at a press agency on work experience so forgive me for my so-called amateur post.

            If you think you can do better then please, feel free.

  18. KJB

    July 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

    ”a one horse race for the title” well,there’s a naieve statement.Nobody can buy a Championship.Yes you may be able to get some decent players into your club,but it still means that the Manager and coaching staff have to get the best out of them.Yes the investment is being made,but what club would refuse a large amount of money being offered.Leicester have had their lean years scince dropping out of the Premier League,almost going out of business themselves.So dont deny us the chance to have ‘our dream’ just because of a little bit of rival jealousy.

  19. Kristian Downer

    July 15, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Hi Everyone

    As lead writer I published Connor’s article as he had a viewpoint which although controversial represented his views.

    Money in football is as it is in life divisive creating jealously and creating barriers that give others an advantage over others.

    The role to which money impacts upon our nations sport is a valid topic of conversation and I welcome his view no matter how controversial or whether I agree with it.

    Connor has not been online since I published this but I am sure he will be in due course to reply to your comments.

    If you wish to discuss the content of ChampionshipTalk or want to contribute you can email me at kristian_uk @ or add me on twitter @kristiandowner

    Many Thanks

    Kristian Downer
    Lead Writer ChampionshipTalk

  20. 'Disgraceful'

    July 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    The ‘About’ page of this website says:

    “…Kris­t­ian Downer is cur­rently the lead writer sup­ported by other writ­ers who aim to pro­vide unique in-depth cov­er­age of the Championship…”

    @Kristian – as lead writer, you may also want to step in as an editor to prevent cr*p like this being published on your site if you want to be taken seriously.

    The BBC Football site’s blogs are the probably a simple benchmark to apply, and this falls way below. Opinion in blogs is great – but if Conor is to use words like ‘disgraceful’ he HAS to be able to back them up with concrete facts. Actually, something more fundamental is to understand the meaning of the big words he’s trying to use…

  21. Ed

    July 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I’m a Leicester Fan and have been for about 20 years and I’ll give you a bit of the big picture. The new owners aren’t just investing in the players, they’ve invested in the ground, the pitch, we have a new academy in Thailand and better training facilities. The players Sven is bringing are young and ambitious and not clapped out. So yes the investment is being made and we’ll probably get promoted but it’s not a done deal there are a lot of good clubs in the Championship and they’ll all be hard to beat. Role on the new season I’m just going to enjoy the ride

  22. Jake

    July 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Connor, your opinions on my club are both insulting and incorrect; yes Leicester are spending a lot of money but we’re only trying to do the same as the other 23 teams which is reach the promise land…..the fact that Leicester are a big club counts for nothing then?? Do you think the likes of Coventry could attract the level of investment that City have, no probably not. The Leicester owner ‘top’ shared his memory of watching his first English football match, the match involved Leicester, thats one of IF not the main reason why he and his farther decided to buy our club. Leicester are a club that deserve this break, we’re only buying better players like any other club in the league, it’s just that we have more money to do so. Leave us be.

  23. russ

    July 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Conner,where are your reply,s,suddenly have nothing to say?.

  24. Wigstonfox

    July 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

    back in the not too distant passed Lionel Pickering ploughed £10m in Derby in a bid to win promotion, They lost in the playoff final to Leicester, so proving the point that you can’t buy success, it has to be earned. Your comment about being disrespectful, is laughable, as that is exactly what you are being to every other Championship club with hopes of reaching the Premier league. If your argument is to be followed to its logical conclusion then, no one need bother trying next season. When Derby spent thier £10m, a few years ago, it really was big buck, rewind the 10 or so years to today, & Leicesters £10m, doesn’t quite carry the same clout as back then. Another & final point, apart from Paul Koncheskey ( a Liverpool reserve player) all Leicesters news signings hae come from the Championship, or lower. So buying the league ? no i dont think so, spreading the money around the Championship, as we have has given other clubs to also invest & be better prepared for next season. Jealousy is not a very attractive trait, but when its coupled with purile i’ll thought out comment, it just becomes embarassing.

  25. russ

    July 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    To Conners Boss,Replace this man,he is an embaressment to you.

  26. russ

    July 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Conner,find another job that is not football related because its obvious that you know nothing about football,Try News International.This is the worst post i have read.

  27. James

    July 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Conor.I have a sneaky feeling you might be a forest supporter,every club in the championship would do exactly the same as leicester if they had the money,just a touch of sour grapes mate

  28. Henry Smith

    July 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Arguably one of the most jealous reports I have ever come across.
    ‘fears that it will be a one horse race’
    With regards Owen Hargreaves ‘The idea of this is absurd’
    ‘find it disgraceful’

    Leicester is a club that (unlike your club by the sounds of things) is too big to be in the Championship and should be BACK in the Premiership.
    It has a massive fan base, great manager and backing staff and owners that are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
    Players are joining Leicester and rejecting the likes of Wolves etc because it is now an exciting club to be at that is going places. The club will no doubt soon be an established Premiership side.
    They have a world class manager who attracts the calibre of players that even money can’t. (if Hargreaves joins a massive factor would be Sven)
    The type of players Leicester are bringing to the Championship is going to make it far more exciting for small teams like your own.

  29. Martin Lewitt

    July 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I cannot understand comments like this form Conor Diggin. When a Club is on the verge of going out of business, the owners are critisised for not putting enough money into the club and yet when owners with ambision put money into a club they receive the same abuse.
    Leicester are buy decent players, but in no way are they buying the Championship. Its a long hard season and nothing is certain in football. Will they be there near the top next may, probably, will they win the title, who knows.
    Anyway, why is he having a go at Leicester, what about man Utd buying the Premier League, if you want to get funny about it, 800 odd Million in debt. I don’t sell them being slagged off or told to curtail their spending !!!!

  30. johnfallen

    July 15, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Is this a joke? where have you been mate? ask any fan from any other club in the championship if they would refuse the investment..they would think you mad…believe me it ain’t the taking part that counts and the corinthian spirit, its the bottom line on and off the field…grow up and wake up mate, smell the coffee…

  31. Grahame Burrows

    July 15, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Is Leicester the only club in the football league to “buy” players? Do all the other club’s owners/board members contribute money? Well of course they do, QPR last season. Leicester have been a gracious club, remember the abandoned cup tie and letting the goalkeeper score to restore the other team’s advantage, and deserve success just like anyone else. The club has good owners, a classy manager and a vision. I don’t think it could have happened to a nicer club, but then I’m biased. There, now you admit your bias. Peace and happiness.

  32. Rickolos

    July 15, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Do not agree that it is ‘disgraceful’ – its the way football works now. Clubs without money have no chance unless very rarely a manager can sign really great players from the lower leagues and then eventually they get to the premier league and come straight back down again.

    There have been plenty of clubs that have thrown money around and not been successful. It taken a fair few years for QPR to reach the premiership and they were the richest side. At the end of the day Leicester are a well supported championship side and although they have been splashing money around I doubt that so many of the players would end up at Leicester if it wasn’t for Sven’s influence and contacts in the game.

    Money is just one of the things needed for a club to be successful. A good chairman, manager and a good support are also essential

    • John

      July 15, 2011 at 8:11 am

      I agree with Rickolos. Football has long been a sport where teams with money dominate. It’s no coincidence that the country’s wealthier clubs are the most successful. Does anybody believe that teams like Man Utd would keep on winning trophies year in year out without spending large amounts of cash on players. Yet I don’t hear people moaning about their spending or Arsenal’s or Liverpool’s (who have been spending a fair bit themselves this summer).
      Just out of interest Connor – who do you support?

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