I’m from Derby, I’m a Derby County fan and I will always be so. However, I’ve lived in Leicester since 2009 and for the last few years, I’ve become actually quite proud to say this is my home.
That pride has come from all the amazing things that have been happening here, as well as the incredible variety of culture the city has always offered.
King Richard – who knew a city centre car park would be where a monarch was laid to rest?! It’s brought a great number of tourists to the area and raised our profile.
Kasabian – Lestah’s biggest music exports, even though they’ve never forgotten their roots and still live here.
Entertainment – fab theatre, Curve, plus the great Showcase Cinema De Lux. And we love the National Space Centre that brings in millions every year.
Shopping – erm hello, Highcross and Fosse Park, which has been particularly amazing since the arrival of giants Primark last year. I’m excited to see the plans for the future expansion, following the acquisition of the retail park by the Queens Estate.
Leicester City – the underdogs only went and won the League last year! 5000-1 to win it at the start of the season and the Foxes bloody did it. Mr J is not a crier but (he’ll kill me for this!) on that night Leicester won the league, he had a few tears in his eyes. Even I felt chuffed for the team, despite always remaining a Ram. The city was full to bursting with pride, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and the atmosphere has been genuinely buoyant ever since.
And the news that came out of King Power Stadium last night is what has prompted this post.
Claudio Ranieri has been sacked.
What!? Less than a year after his team won the League and got themselves into Europe?!
Now, I am a football fan – albeit I don’t get to go to matches anymore, thanks kids – and I know there’s way more to clubs these days than kicking a bag of wind about at 3pm on a Saturday. They’re businesses and brands.
Ranieri built the LCFC brand last year. Him, Vardy, Mahrez et al. They built the city’s reputation with every single game they won. They bought millions of pounds into the area with every goal they scored.
For once, people actually knew where Leicester was and, yes, I was *proud* to say “I’m from Leicester”.
And the board sacked him last night.
I know it’s highly unlikely they’d have won the League again, or even top five, and just like the team had a meteoric rise last season, they’re on a similar spiral downwards this season. The table doesn’t lie and the team are not performing. So, yes, something is not working there.
But arrrrgh, this is Ranieri! The Tinkerman! The man everyone wants as an uncle!
He’s done so much for the city of Leicester and I thank him for that and wish him all the best for the future.
I don’t know what is going to happen at King Power – I hope for Mr J’s sanity and mood, they don’t get relegated – but today, I’m sad for my city.
(Not my City, you understand, I’m a Ram, don’t forget!)