Leicester City win their first Premier League title

Leicester City win their first Premier League title after 132 years as the club makes anything between $220 million and $365 million.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Leicester City's Wes Morgan celebrates scoring their first goal on May 01, 2016. [Reuters]

Updated May 3, 2016

Leicester City's Premier League title dream finally became reality as nearest pursuers Tottenham Hotspur squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in a thrilling game at Chelsea on Monday.

With Leicester's players watching on television 160km away in the East Midlands, first-half goals from Tottenham's Harry Kane and Son Heung-min looked like extending the title race to the penultimate weekend of an unforgettable season.

But after the break Gary Cahill gave Chelsea a lifeline and Eden Hazard's superb equaliser effectively handed the title to Leicester and their former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri.

With two games left, Leicester are an unassailable seven points of second-placed Tottenham with their title triumph sparking joyous scenes across the East Midlands city.

Leicester City fans celebrate winning the Premier League on 02 May, 2016.

Leicester, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, are champions for the first time and the first team to win a maiden English title since Nottingham Forest in 1978, having left the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their wake.

Strangely the biggest match in Leicester's history was one they were not involved in as the final act of an absorbing title race was played out in west London between last year's champions and a Tottenham side who have refused to give up the chase.

But Claudio Ranieri's intrepid Foxes had already done the damage, churning out consistent results to stay on top of the table since Jan. 23 as their rivals fell by the wayside.

Gifts from Premier League triumph

Leicester City have the chance of making anything between 150 million pounds ($220 million) and 250 million pounds ($365 million) from their sensational Premier League triumph, according to sports marketing experts.

The city of Leicester in England's Midlands should also expect to enjoy a huge commercial boost after its hometown team wrote the unlikeliest of sporting success stories, one that has captured headlines around the world.

The club that had never won the top-flight crown in its history will cash in through the 90 million pounds in prize money from the Premier League, and money from competing in Europe's Champions League next season, as well as increased TV and match day revenue.

Leicester City celebrate winning Premier League title - Leicester - 3/5/16 Leicester's Robert Huth leaves San Carlo restaurant where the Leicester team are having lunch. [Reuters]

With Leicester's increasing attraction to sponsors as the champions of the Premier League, which possesses remarkable global appeal, it could all be worth as much as 150 million pounds to the club, said the sports and entertainment intelligence firm, Repucom, on Tuesday.

"Leicester City FC's real commercial potential will become clearer in the season break as brands vie to associate themselves to the club," Spencer Nolan, head of consulting at Repucom, said.

Leicester's TV audiences have soared by over 23% globally this season and because of the excitement inspired by their run to the title, audiences in the UK have grown from 785,000 to over one million per game.

In Italy, the numbers watching Leicester's games have doubled, largely thanks to the interest generated by the club being managed by Italian coach Claudio Ranieri.

As well as increased TV exposure, it will generate increased revenues from group stage fees, a proportion of the competition's market pool and a participation bonus, totalling 33 million pounds, as well as 3 million pounds performance bonus.

So, much will depend, in the mid to long-term on how successful the club, owned by Thailand billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, are in developing their fan base.

Though their victory was greeted enthusiastically in Thailand, where Srivaddhanaprabha's family runs the duty-free empire King Power, their fan base is still not in the same league as the historic elite of the English game like Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Leicester itself hopes for an economic boon, with the local newspaper, Leicester Mercury, reporting that financial experts believe the overall economy in the city could benefit to the tune of 49 million pounds.

The numbers of visitors to the city have grown rapidly since the discovery of the remains of King Richard III in 2012 and now tourism chiefs hope that being the home of England's football champions will prove a draw card for Leicester too.

TRTWorld, Reuters