Transfers, contracts and finances: What’s next for Leicester City after promotion back to the Premier League? | Football News


In the past ten years, Leicester City has won the Premier League, FA Cup and Championship twice. The King Power Stadium is never quiet.

But their return to the top flight this time around feels like a vital step. Without this promotion, Leicester City’s financial future is indeed worrying.

So amid the joyous scenes of celebrations with owners, fans and players following Monday’s 3-0 title win over Preston, there was also a palpable sense of relief among Leicester City’s ranks.

Leicester City have proven they are the best team in the Championship and Enzo Maresca hopes their possession-based style of football can be competitive in the Premier League.

Don’t forget, he learned it as a disciple under Pep Guardiola and he will relish the chance to test his tactical acumen against the best manager in the world.

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Sky Sports’ Michael Bridge, Dougie Critchley and Sam Blitz analyze Leicester City’s tactics and predict their Premier League fortunes next season

A year ago, relegation from the Premier League was not in Leicester City’s plans. Their payroll unit ranks among the top eight in the sector, and they have ambitious plans to expand their commercial base to compete more fairly with the “Big Six”.

Five consecutive top-10 finishes in the Premier League and two fifth-place finishes – a late-season fall meaning they just missed out on a Champions League spot – are testament to Leicester’s status in the league.

But then came the unexpected downgrade. The blow was huge. Leicester City must return to the top of English football as soon as possible or there could be a huge reshuffling of the team’s priorities.

Indeed, despite Leicester City’s promotion, there are still some major issues that need to be resolved. In particular, the threat of points deductions next season could be implemented before they even kick a ball back in the Premier League.

Of course, Leicester will fight it and provide relief. But Nottingham Forest and Everton did the same and were still punished.

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Highlights from Leicester City’s title win against Preston

The future of one of Leicester City’s greatest players, Jamie Vardy, hangs in the balance with his contract set to expire this summer.

However, now that Leicester are back in the top flight, Vardy is expected to agree a one-year extension in the coming days. At least this problem can be solved quickly. Financial matters will take longer.

This is not to say that Leicester City are in financial trouble. Quite the contrary, King Power and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha have some of the richest and most supportive owners in English football.

Rather, the problem stems from an ambitious club with a relatively small commercial base struggling to comply with football’s spending rules.

Leicester City have been accused of breaching the top flight’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) during the 2023 relegation season.

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Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca was ecstatic when first asked about his team’s return to the Premier League after being relegated last season.

Tight timescales and complex rule differences between the Premier League and EFL mean they will not be punished this season, but an independent committee is now expected to be convened to hear the allegations against the Foxes.

That would almost certainly mean sporting sanctions – the only real question is how big they would be and how much impact they would have on their return to the top flight.

Furthermore, in March the Championship side announced they wanted to impose commercial restrictions on Leicester City as part of a long-running dispute between the club and the EFL, with their accounts predicting they would also breach the EFL’s spending rules this season.

Leicester City argue that they still have time to ensure they do not breach the rules and to that end, some quick player sales are possible.

In order for Leicester City to achieve revenue growth in time and comply with EFL rules, they must sell assets before the end of the accounting period in June.

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Jamie Vardy couldn’t help but make a ‘Klinsmann’ dive after winning the title at Leicester City!

Prize money and future television revenue must be calculated as a share of Premier League prize money. When each revenue stream arrives – whether in this fiscal year or next – is also critical.

But player sales are inevitable and Leicester City are likely to offload their best player, Kiernan Dewsbury Hall, within the next two months.

As a graduate of Leicester’s academy, any transfer fee will be pure profit, which is why of all the members of the Leicester squad, Dewsbury Hall is the most marketable – and their easiest solution to the PSR problem method.

A number of Premier League clubs – including Brentford and Brighton – wanted to sign the midfielder in January, but Leicester did not want to sell him at the time. Despite timeline and balance sheet pressures, they are determined not to let him go on the cheap.

Selling Dewsbury Hall isn’t their only option – many of Leicester’s players have impressed this season and are attracting attention from other big clubs.

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Harry Winks and Conor Coady were delighted after winning the Championship

But selling Dewsbury Hall would solve Leicester’s PSR concerns in one fell swoop, while selling other players to cover the deficit could create bigger problems.

It should also be noted that Leicester City’s success over the past decade has all been built on clever recruitment and shrewd player dealings.

Clubs tend to sell one big-name player each summer in order to strengthen the squad elsewhere – think Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, N’Golo Kante, Harry Maguire Earl, Wesley Fofana and Harvey Barnes.

It now looks increasingly likely that Leicester will return to the formula that has served them well in the past.

Abdel Fataw is a typical example. One of the stars of Leicester’s promotion campaign this season, his rise has seen Leicester make clever signings.

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Jamie Vardy and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall share their joy after beating Preston

Now that they are promoted, Leicester are obliged to buy Fatau, making the winger’s loan move from Sporting Lisbon permanent for an estimated £14.5m. It’s a great deal.

The 20-year-old has attracted the attention of at least three Premier League teams and two Champions League sides, so Leicester need to decide whether to use him to strengthen other teams. Can Leicester City buy and sell Fatau in the same transfer window?

It remains to be seen how much Maresca can spend on his side to prepare for a return to the Premier League. Leicester City, as they have done so many times in the past, need to uncover some gems in the summer transfer market to get to where Maresca wants the team to be.

It could be a difficult baptism for the Italian in his first season in the top flight, given limited resources. After a tumultuous period in the club’s history, things may not be smooth sailing down the road.

But in the meantime, everyone at Leicester City will be celebrating a huge achievement, returning to the Promised Land in just one try.

For the manager and key players such as Harry Winks, Fatau, Dewsbury-Hall, Stephen Mavididi and others, it was their first taste of silverware. They will enjoy their moment. But they also know that greater challenges await.

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