Misery For Leicester And Leeds As They Are Relegated From The Premier League

Leicester will play Championship football for the first time in 10 years next season
18:32, 28 May 2023

Leicester City and Leeds United have been relegated from the Premier League. The two clubs will be joining Southampton in the Championship next year. The Foxes gave themselves hope in their survival quest by beating West Ham United 2-1 at home, but Everton’s slender victory over AFC Bournemouth made their efforts redundant. Leeds fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur as Sam Allardyce couldn’t pull off a great escape.

The Foxes’ decline has been a sad one as only two years ago they lifted their first FA Cup as they defeated Chelsea and Wembley Stadium. They followed it up with a Community Shield victory over Manchester City a few months later. Leicester have enjoyed a historic spell in the top flight over the past nine years. From an incredible great escape in 2014-15 to the iconic Premier League title win the year after, the fans have experienced the greatest highs in English football, success many fans around the country can only dream of.

They’ve played in the Champions League, Europa League and also the Europa Conference League, making it to the semi-finals in the latter just last season. Ultimately the club has felt the pinch of the pursestrings in recent transfer windows  which has significantly halted the team from making progress. They have had their hands tied by Financial Fair Play regulations, something which former manager Brendan Rodgers said held back clubs like Leicester. Regardless of his protestests, the Northern Irishman’s coaching magic with the squad began to wear off last year and it carried on into 2022-23. 


With rival clubs able to strengthen around them, Leicester found it difficult to improve without much money to spend and fell behind as a result. Of course they should’ve done a lot better with the players they have. After all they were a top six side not so long ago and reached a European semi-final only 12 months ago. Many have wondered what might have been if Leicester had moved sooner to sack Rodgers, but the players themselves have been subpar for the whole campaign and they simply haven’t been good enough to maintain their Premier League status. And the appointment of Dean Smith to oversee the remainder of the campaign was not particularly inspiring.

Former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch
Former Leeds boss Jesse Marsch

For Leeds, they have been sleepwalking towards relegation ever since their first campaign back in top flight back in 2020-21. Marcelo Bielsa’s free-flowing attacking football was sussed out by opposition sides and their defensive frailties were enhanced dramatically. Their defensive structure and the quality of the defensive players has constantly been questioned as the Whites have regularly shipped goals. 

After Bielsa was let go and replaced by Jesse Marsch in 2021-22, the club failed to address the team’s troubling defence, once again prioritising midfield and attacking players. The constant overlooking of their defensive weakness significantly contributed to Marsch’s downfall, even though he should’ve been getting more from his attacking players. 

Poor recruitment has also been key to Leeds’ relegation and that blame lies at the door of former sporting director, Victor Orta. He may have been an instrumental figure in building the team that got Leeds back to the Premier League, but it was quickly proved he was out of his depth at this level as his decisions have largely contributed to Leeds’ return to the second tier. 

As already mentioned, he overlooked strengthening the defence when the team desperately needed it, in favour of bolstering other areas. In need of adding goals to the squad in January, Orta also sanctioned a club-record £40 million deal for striker Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim, who has failed to have an impact in Leeds’ survival bid. 

Orta was the man to bring Marsch in to succeed Bielsa and Javi Gracia to replace Marsch. Both were proven to be disastrous appointments. The failed Gracia experiment was the final straw as Orta was relieved of his duties around the same time as the Spanish coach.

Experienced Sam Allardyce was turned to in the club’s hour of need with four games to go. But even he couldn’t get a tune out of this poor squad. Even with the gravity of the situation heading into the final day, Leeds lacked fight. They conceded early in both halves which was not what the fans deserved. They turned up in their numbers to give their support and once again the players let them down.

This led to the supporters calling them out, along with absent owner Andrea Radrizzani, whose own poor management has put Leeds in this miserable situation.

Football can be cruel but that is how the sport works. Teams are relegated across the board every year. Both Leicester and Leeds are going to be downbeat for the next few weeks but they will quickly need to turn their attention to the Championship, where they will both be hoping that their parachute payments can play a huge part in securing them an instant return to the Premier League in 2023-24.

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