Saturday, 27 October 2012

Conclusions from the Eagles

Leicester City1-2Crystal Palace
(HT 0-2)
King 90Delaney 23
Ramage 28

King Power Stadium, attendance: 23,646
BBC Match Report

Kasper would snub Real giants to stay at Leicester

Number 1: Schmeichel is happy at Leicester
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel would snub a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid to stay number one at Leicester City, the 25-year-old has said.

Having been linked with a move to the world's richest football club, Schmeichel - son of Manchester United legend Peter - has rubbished speculation linking him with Jose Mourinho's Galacticos.

"Being mentioned in the same sentence as Real Madrid is an honour but that's as far as I've heard," he told Sky Sports, "I'm very happy here and have a year and a half on my contract where I'm playing week in week out and can't ask for more than that."

Schmeichel is a man in form, having helped Leicester City to a 100% home record and the top of the Championship season after eleven league games.

"Leicester is a very happy place," he added, "I've been very impressed by the set up and the whole way the club has run is very good. We have some great owners who back us and a manager who is very good."

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Conclusions from St Andrew's

Birmingham City1-1Leicester City
(HT 1-0)
Lovenkrands 45Marshall 86

St Andrew's, attendance: 18,271 (3,752)
BBC Match Report

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Are Leicester playing fair with their finances?

As the financial fair play rules come into force, it seems the Leicester City are one of three Championship clubs to be caught-out by the new rules.

Having posted a loss of £14,299,000 for the last financial year, the club has some work to do if it is to avoid Football League penalties in the coming years.

Popular freelance blogger Mike McCarthy - who authors the FoxBlogger blog - believes that the best way for he Foxes to avoid penalties is to be promoted this term.

"All spending from 1st June 2013 will count towards the new Financial Fair Play limits. Therefore the quickest and best way for Leicester City to avoid Financial Fair Play penalties is to get promoted this season," writes McCarthy, "At the moment the signs are promising. City have made an excellent start and look to be settling in to a side both difficult to beat, and capable of scoring plenty of goals."

With promotion, then, Leicester's future would be all but assured and a foray into the Premier League would yield a huge increase in television rights money enabling the club to, perhaps, compete at the top level. However, without promotion there are a number of factors to consider, with the club's Thai owners holding the key to unlocking this particular quandary.

Leicester City's Income, 2011-12
Match Receipts – £6m
Other Football Income – £6m
Retailing and merchandise – £1.4m
Conference, catering, etc. - £0.9m
Sponsorship, advertising & other – £3.1m
"Let’s start with what the club takes in," continues McCarthy, "In 2010/11 the club received income [to a] total of £17.4m.

"How much scope is there for that income to rise? Attendances have been patchy, so match receipts are unlikely to have increased significantly despite increased ticket prices. The Championship TV deal which started this season is worth 26 per cent less than the old one, meaning the club will have less TV money to play with. The recession is also likely to have impacted on the club’s attempts to expand significantly on its retail business.

"The club say they’ve signed sponsorship deals with Air Asia, Amazing Thailand and King Power which “provide for a significant increase in the commercial income of the club” but contracts were signed some time after 1st June 2011 so the accounts give no details as to how large these deals are."

The question of whether Leicester City can meet the Financial Fair Play rules rests, then, on their performance on the pitch. The answer will only be known at the end of the season.

Quotes in this article are taken from the Foxblogger blog. For more information on Financial Fair Play and how it affects Leicester City, see this entry.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

BBC reveal true price of football

The latest results of an annual survey into the cost of watching football matches across 166 Premier League, Football League, Conference Premier, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League clubs have been published.

The headline statistic - that the cost of the cheapest adult ticket in the four top English leagues has risen by 11.7% - has set media tongues wagging and bought criticism from the Football Supporters' Federation amongst other supporters' groups.

Fans of Arsenal have the most to be concerned about - they hold the record for the most expensive match ticket (£126) and the most expensive season ticket (£1,995) - whilst the Gunners' cheapest season ticket is also more expensive than any in the survey, other bar the most expensive from Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

In the Championship, the cheapest 'day out' - combining the cost of the cheapest match ticket, cup of tea and pie - is at Blackburn Rovers, where a grand total of £22.50 is accrued for an adult. An indication of the most expensive day out - replacing the cheapest match ticket with the most expensive - puts Ipswich Town as the dearest club to visit (£51.70 for ticket, tea, pie and programme).

A visit to Portman Road also works out as the most expensive on average, whilst a game at the King Power Stadium to watch Leicester City would dig a hole £31.50 deep in the average pocket, ranking them mid-table. The Foxes do have, however, the third most expensive 'dearest ticket' match day cost but this is offset as the £22.80 cheapest day out ranks them as the third cheapest on their day.

The data - which in the Championship is incomplete for four clubs - gives a sound indication of the cost of watching football and should reassure Foxes' supporters whose club are doing a fair job of managing costs at either end of the scale. Compared to last season, Leicester have jumped five places in 'cheapness'.

What this survey also demonstrates are the vast differences in the costs of Championship football: there is a difference of £503 between the most expensive and cheapest season tickets in the league. The scale may not be the same in the Championship as in the top flight, but the gap between those clubs charging the most and the least remains vast.

For more information on the BBC's Price of Football Survey, including full datasets, visit the BBC Sport website. Compare also the data from last season's survey, published on this blog.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Smiling Nugent leaves Foxes with plenty of reasons to be cheerful

A smiling David Nugent is on fine form for Leicester City and with the Foxes recording five wins on the trot for the first time in three years, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate at the King Power Stadium this month.

Whatever the outcome at the end of the season, Leicester can proudly say they have broken their recent form of inconsistency. Not since Nigel Pearson was last in charge have the Foxes won five games in a row and this current run is City's best in a decade. At this stage, Pearson's youngsters and nobodies have far outclassed the big-guns of the Sven Goran Eriksson era, undermining once more the ethos of big-spending in football. Pearson's team - in the making since January - has taken shape and it is becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The Foxes were just too good for Bristol City, who could hardly put up a fight in a 2-0 victory for the East Midlands outfit in their last fixture. It was hardly the most dazzling of performances from this season's Leicester City, but it was as professional and clinical as they have been in years. From the off, City applied high pressure and prevented the Robins from playing; Kasper Schmeichel had just one shot to deal with throughout the entire game and he goalscoring problems of seasons past have been dealt with. Nugent is a man on fire and even Lady Luck is smiling on the usually unlucky Foxes, with refereeing decisions and the ball's bounce falling nicely to aid Leicester towards the promotion places for the first time in ten years. They say you make your own luck; Leicester are building a factory.

Despite the money, the reputation and the players it is Pearson's down-to-Earth attitude that is winning games for Leicester City this year.

Defender out for four weeks; Hopper extends loan

Leicester City defender Sean St Ledger will be out of contention for at least four weeks following his injury sustained against Bristol City, it has emerged.

The Republic of Ireland international - who missed his country's 1-6 reverse to Germany at the weekend - sustained a hamstring pull against the Robins. Leicester went on to record a 2-0 home win without St Ledger.

St Ledger's injury, which sees him also ruled-out of the Boys in Green's match against the Faroe Islands tonight, leaves Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni with a defensive headache.

Meanwhile, young Foxes striker Tom Hopper has extended his loan deal at Bury and will remain in Lancashire until January. The 18-year-old has made seven starts for the Shakers and scored twice and will continue to be involved at Gigg Lane as Bury look for their first win of the season.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Conclusions from the Robins

Leicester City2-0Bristol City
(HT 1-0)
Nugent 19
Foster OG 74 

King Power Stadium, attendance: 22,529
BBC Match Report

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wellens signs month's loan at Ipswich

Leicester City midfielder Richie Wellens had agreed a one-month loan deal with Ipswich Town.

The former Doncaster man is continuing his recovery from a significant knee injury and has been allowed out on loan by Nigel Pearson in a bid to speed up that process.

"I've been looking to go out on loan and when the opportunity arose to come to Ipswich, I didn't have to think twice," said Wellens, "Leicester wanted me to go out on loan and when they showed me the list of clubs that I could go to, Ipswich stood out."

Wellens is expected to go straight into the Tractor Boys' matchday squad.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Conclusions from John Smith's Stadium

Huddersfield Town0-2Leicester City
(HT 0-1)

Knockaert 30, 60

John Smith's Stadium, attendance: 13,821
BBC Match Report

Goalden: Anthony Knockaert (@stringersport)