Bookending Leicester City’s story of triumph and disaster are two seven-year cycles. From 2008-09 to 2015-16, they went from League One to winning the Premier League, a feat so incredible that then manager Claudio Ranieri had said ET landing in Piccadilly Circus was more plausible than Leicester City retaining the title. Seven seasons on, Leicester City have been relegated to The Championship.
That it would happen around one year after they were playing in the semi-final of the Europa Conference League makes this even more of a free fall than Leeds United who went down in 2003-04 after playing the Champions League semi-final in 2000-01.
Like with Leeds United then (who have gone down this time too along with Southampton), Leicester got singed by the sun for aiming too high. So dire was Leeds’ financial situation then that it led to points deductions twice, in The Championship and in League One. They had gone into administration, a situation Leicester too have found themselves in till help came from a Gary Lineker-fronted consortium.
Things may not be that bad now and chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has promised “to come together and fight to return to the Premier League” but fans know that it took the club nine seasons to do that when Leicester were last relegated, in 2003-04. Champions have gone down faster in English football’s history –Manchester City were relegated one season after winning the league in 1938 and Liverpool were in second division in three years after doing that in 1904 – but among the seven who have won the Premier League, Leicester City are the second after Blackburn Rovers to be demoted. And Rovers haven’t been in the Premier League since 2012.