Score just in…Integrity 0 Loyalty 0
So it’s official…the game has officially taken leave of its senses. That is the only feeling that remains after Leicester City’s Thai owners took the ‘brave’ decision to sack the man who delivered the impossible dream to a club previously threatened by perennial relegation and regular visits to the Championship.
The piece on the BBC website captures the story perfectly.
Gary Lineker admits to shedding a tear at the news. I think we should all shed a tear at the loss of the game’s integrity, where loyalty and decency are values that count for nothing in the face of money. Surely even the cost of relegation would be considerably less than the value- and not just in financial terms- of Leicester City winning the Premier League in 2016. Even when I write that I still can’t believe it actually happened. Perhaps the club’s owners feel the same way, and don’t quite believe it themselves.
OK I admit I’m not a big Leicester City sympathizer, for reasons owing to East Midlands rivalry, but I am a big fan of Ranieri, in terms of the job he did but more importantly the way in which he conducted himself and the values he brought to the Premier League.
I dug out this from a blog at the end of last season, when Leicester clinched the title, citing the ‘Ranieri effect’ as a major factor in this incredible achievement:
‘The coach or manager does not need to act aggressively, rudely or inappropriately to win. If this is true for the ultimate prize in the domestic game, surely it is also the case for the 10,000’s of teams around the country, be they adult or youth, who are striving to win but at the same time develop players, and play the game in the right way.
Claudio has been a credit to the game, protecting his players from the media hype- until the title was all but won! He is calm, dignified and thoughtful.
I look forward to seeing managers and coaches modelling this behaviour on the touchline in grassroots football next season…’ (Blog 29 15-16)
Claudio Ranieri should depart with head held high as Coach of the Year (if not century) having masterminded the (second) greatest story in the history of English football.