Last season, Leicester City completed one of the greatest accomplishments in all of sporting history, winning the Premier league, going from relegation fighters to champions. At the heart of this monumental triumph was Claudio Ranieri, a man who had never won a division title, suddenly winning one in the most improbable fashion - at 5000-1 odds. Yet now he’s been sacked.
In one sense it was a huge injustice, to achieve something so extraordinary, then just to be sacked nine months later; one could argue that he had merited the chance to keep his side up. However, the board of Leicester City felt they couldn’t afford to take that chance, couldn’t afford to be relegated. Both Hull City and Swansea City had sacked their managers and had a significant uplift in their fortunes, with Swansea winning 4 of their last 6 games since hiring Paul Clement, including an impressive win at Anfield.
It was this so called ‘new manager bounce’ that the board had decided to take their chances on, because Leicester need to turn around their season. They have failed to score a single goal in the Premier League during 2017 and are one point above the relegation zone; for the defending champions this is inexcusable. The players were publicly rebelling against the managers and, without the backing of the players, any manager's position becomes untenable. In a way Ranieri follows a pattern stretching back the last five years, with a manager leaving the season after winning the league, demonstrating the fiercely competitive nature of the Premier League.
Many Leicester fans have been indignant at the sacking, with Gary Lineker admitting he ‘shedded a tear’ when hearing about the sacking, and the league will be a worse place without his joviality and wit, but, while it was a ruthless, almost callous, decision, it was necessary due to the money-driven mentality of the league; results and money come before sentimentality and loyalty. Ranieri wasn’t delivering, Leicester have been underperforming since October and so, as tragic as it is, Ranieri had to go.