While you were sleeping, a miracle happened that signals the end of the world as we know it. Yes, Leicester City Football Club became the champions of England by winning the Premier League.
It’s such an impossible feat that bookmakers actually thought the world ending was more likely, with Ladbrokes having once offered 2000 to 1 odds that the zombie apocalypse would happen on Christmas Day 2013. Leicester, by contrast, was at 5000 to 1 to win the Premier League.
And while this triumph is celebrated by football fans worldwide (yes, even Tottenham fans), this victory should matter to even those who think that offside refers to a ska band in Sussex. Indeed, Leicester’s fairytale isn’t just about football, but it’s really about sticking two fingers squarely at the two things that has had a stranglehold on this world – money and power.
Since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovic bought the London football club Chelsea in 2003, the Premier League has been an exclusive playground of the rich clubs. In the 12 years hence, the winners have been rotated among three uber rich clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.
This has perpetuated the idea that money is power, or as we say in Singapore, no money, no honey.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the three clubs’ spending sprees could have fed a small country, or Donald Trump, for a year.
You see, the rich clubs are the 1% – a term made popular by the Occupy movement a few years ago to describe the ultra rich and powerful. Yes, those guys who believe that when you work hard, they get richer so that they can start more businesses that lets you work harder, and then they get even richer so that they can start even more businesses that lets you work even harder … you get the picture.
They sell the dream that if you work hard enough, then some day, you too shall be a winner. It’s round about the 700th time you’re singing Someday My Prince Will Come that you start wondering if there’s even a prince.
And then comes Leicester City Football Club, the Prince in shining armour whose entire team cost less than Sun Ho’s music albums. That might be an exaggeration, because to actually find out how much her music albums cost, I will have to Google “Sun Ho’s music albums” and I don’t want to accidentally watch China Wine again while doing my research.
While that may or may not be true, what is legit is that Leicester has done something which Sun’s Crossover project could not do – they made a believer out of me.
They made me believe that sweat can triumph money.
They sold to me that passion and a sense of duty can be a better motivator than wealth.
They showed that just because you’re a winner, you don’t have to be arrogant.
They not only proved that the wealthy and powerful are not too big to fail, but also that we are not too small to succeed.
They stood toe to toe with money and power and spit it in the eye. If you’ve ever had saliva in your eye, you know just how much that hurts.
Leicester didn’t just win a football tournament, they brought hope to the little guy, the underdog, the marginalised and the disenfranchised.
You just need to look through their team and you will see a patchwork of players who never made the big time, have been discarded by their previous clubs and largely ignored by the rich teams. Somehow, when they came together and worked for each other, they became champions.
Until this week, that’s something that happens only in movies, but hardly ever in real life. That Leicester has shown that it can be done is hope renewed, and the idea behind the success will make someone somewhere start challenging the status quo. Maybe it’s kids from the city, or maybe it’s the new fans globally that the club has won, or maybe it’s you reading this.
Or maybe it’s me.
The Leicester miracle is being touted as the greatest story in sports ever told.
I beg to differ. I think it’s the greatest story ever told.
Edwin knows that Leicester City Football Club, which cost £53.5m to put together, isn’t exactly poor. But when you consider that’s how much Manchester City paid for one player, Leicester is like the Bernie Sanders of the Premier League.