Is something sinister afoot at the King Power?
Leicester City’s rise to the top of the Premier League may be less about hard work and more about pound notes according to one sports conspiracy theorist.
Brian Tuohy, author of The Fix is In, says the “Cinderella story” Foxes unlikely title run could have been “manipulated” in order to benefit the whole of the league financially.
And Tuohy, who has been sceptical of professional sport for two decades likens Leicester to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors – with Jamie Vardy playing the part of Stephen Curry.
“Perhaps the question fans should be asking is how does Leicester’s success benefit the Premier League overall? A follow the money type of answer likely would follow.”
“To make a comparison [from the Premier League] to US sport look at the NBA. Since the 1980’s the league has basically consisted of about six to eight teams of note, with 24 filler teams.
“I believe fans grew tired of the same teams- even if lead by superstars – in the hunt year after year. With the rise of underdogs though it seems like a changing of the guard.”
“It could just be that the league has relented on its stranglehold over who wins or loses because it’s finally time to spread the wealth. After all, when hasn’t money played a role in soccer?”
“The Premier League has only had three different champions in the past decade, which goes all the way up to four in the last twenty years and Leicester have never won a [top division] championship. So their story is the very definition of a Cinderella story and a story like Golden State and Steph Curry in the NBA or Leicester and Jamie Vardy in the Premier League not only breaks the stranglehold but also aids in the league’s overall well being too.”
Leicester is not the first example of “manipulation” Tuohy has examined in the Premier League. While he admits to not watching a lot of football, the 2012 season’s final day also stands out, with an article on his website (thefixisin.net) pointing to several theories, including “gambling syndicates”, and the “FA itself” being behind its breathtaking finish.
Tuohy says it wouldn’t be a push to say that fans are being fooled into believing that the Premier League is pure sport.
“Even though the Premier League’s construction doesn’t match the likes of the NBA or NFL, you cannot deny that each league offers the same thing: entertainment. Fans want to see this as pure sport. They project themselves in to the athlete’s role and in many ways, believe in all the cliches that are attached to it.
“But athletes recognise that they are entertainers and they have a role to fulfill. I’m certain everyone else – from coaches to owners to trainers and referees – see their roles in light of sport as entertainment. That’s why they try to put the best product possible on the pitch.”
One of the athletes pointed out is 20 goal Jamie Vardy, whose incredible story has seen plans for a movie – one more reason for suspicion says Tuohy.
“It is possible that Vardy’s situation is exactly as it seems. Players do get hot and unexpectedly put together amazing runs late in their careers. But perhaps there is more going on behind the scenes in the Premier League than we are privy to.
“The fact that a movie is in the works should make you look at the situation differently, because again, there’s money at stake and let’s be honest where there’s big money, involved corruption soon follows.”
The sceptic, who has also penned books on sports gambling also predicts that a repeat of the underdog story could be in the pipeline next year.
“It depends on how profitable Leicester City’s season was to the League. If the powers that be made lot of money, then we’ll likely see another lesser team rise to the top. If the story didn’t generate enough profit, then next year some stalwart team will again be crowned champions. I truly, unfortunately believe money has become the motivating factor for sport the world over and it’s foolish to believe the Premier League is immune to such influence.”