Is it time for Leicester City to ditch the clappers at the King Power Stadium?

On good days, the clappers at the King Power Stadium can sound like an invading army marching in lockstep over gravel.

On bad ones – and there have been plenty of them of late – they sound more like a bored giant, listlessly popping outsized bubblewrap.

Love ‘em or loathe them – and if you do loathe them, this next line may well make your teeth itch – the clappers are woven into the extraordinary recent history of Leicester City.  

Although the club had dabbled with clappers at the ground before, the story begins in earnest back in April 2015, when Nigel Pearson’s malfunctioning Leicester City were adrift at the foot of the Premier League table, without a win in eight games, and nailed on for the drop. The atmosphere, needless to say, was gloomier than a goth’s jumper drawer.

When fans streamed in to the King Power Stadium for the match against West Ham – braced for yet more misery, no doubt – they found a cardboard clapper jammed into each home seat. The game started, the noise levels rose sharply, and a suddenly reanimated City bagged all three points.

Everyone City fan knows what happened next. The team went like the clappers for the rest of the season, pulling off the greatest of great escapes to stay in the Premier League. And everyone with even a passing interest in sport knows what happened the season after that: the 5,000-1 outsiders stunned the sporting world to become champions of England.

And whether it was correlation rather than causation, the dramatic switch in fortunes coincided with the introduction of the clappers. For the club, the clappers had turned into a version of lucky pants. They weren’t going to get rid of them now. Whatever the cost.

The financial cost, that is, not the potential environment one. At the time it was reported that the clapper bill for each home game was £12,000. In the unlikely event the price hasn’t changed in the subsequent seasons – and allowing for the lockdown which kept fans out of the stadiums – a hasty estimate suggests Leicester City have now spent more on clappers than they splashed out for Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy combined.

Maybe that didn’t matter when the clappers seemed to be helping to work a little magic on the team … but the spell appears to have been broken. And while there may be far bigger issues facing the club at the moment – not least the calamitous defence – is it finally time to make a clean break and ditch the things? Leicester City fans James Kendrick and Jayden Whitworth have their say. And you can have yours too in our poll, below.  

James Kendrick: ‘What makes Leicester City so special is its uniqueness. There’s no other club like it and that includes the clappers’

Since Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester City in August 2010, no other club in English football has been on the journey the Foxes have. From being promoted back to the Premier League, the Great Escape, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, and Community Shield to our opportunities to experience European football … all this was down to Vichai and his son Top. 

And I think that this almost unbelievable rise can be symbolised in one object, the clapper. Which other owner in world football would pay to have one put on every seat in the stadium before every home game? The Leicester owners have been clear from the start, they wanted to become a top six Premier League Club and the clapper was one of their ways of getting there. 

Without 30,000 people banging away on their clapper every game, motivating the players and pushing them forward would Leicester fans have had all the amazing moments that we have?  While this is a question to which we will never know the answer, I’m inclined to believe the answer is no.

What makes Leicester City so special is its uniqueness. There’s no other club like it and that includes the clappers. They make Leicester stand out from the crowd and they help to provide a unique matchday experience that everyone will enjoy.  

Yes, they have their downsides and critics, but they help create an atmosphere that gets everyone involved including young children.  

The clapper doesn’t prevent fans from singing their normal songs and chants or prevent a natural atmosphere from being created, clappers just help everyone else get involved, pick up the beat of the songs and join in.  

Sitting near the family stand in Leicester City’s crucial Europa League home game against Legia Warsaw and seeing people of all ages able to join in around the stadium by clapping along will have been a big boost for the players in their push to win the game and the benefits were seen in the way the team performed. 

Used properly, clappers can be a real force for good. They’re not a magic bullet that ensure you win every game, but they encourage the crowd to get involved and back their team for the full 90 minutes and that can only produce more positive results. 

There’s still a long way to go on this incredible journey for Leicester City and I’m looking forward to backing them all the way and having a lot more clappers to add to my collection. 

Jayden Whitworth: ‘I can’t understand why the club are so hell-bent on keeping them – bin them off’

In an era where Leicester City have got things spot on and have continuously set an example for the rest of the league, the clappers have been a rare occasion when we have perhaps got things slightly wrong.

Now I’m all for a clapper on special occasion (granted they’ve been more frequent over the last few years) whether that be when we are holding our first FA cup aloft; being crowned Premier League Champions or the dizzy heights of that remarkable Champions League campaign back in 16/17. They prove to be great filler for my box of ever-growing Leicester City memorabilia – we all have one, don’t we? But I draw the line there. There is no need for them anymore. They’ve run their course.

If I cast my mind back to when they were introduced at the home match against West Ham, the game that kickstarted the great escape, I remember thinking they were quite a novel, inventive idea. A great way of boosting the atmosphere at the King Power. As seasons past their effect dwindled. They even lost the biweekly clap along to Uptown Funk – something I’m certain all Leicester fans miss, right? They now must be binned off. There is no rhythm to them anymore, they just create a right racket. Come the end of the game, they are just discarded in and around the stadium and the streets of Leicester. Most of all they are having an adverse effect on the atmosphere in the stadium.

What I fail to understand is why the club are so hell-bent on keeping them. If the club are so set on boosting the atmosphere on matchdays, it baffles me as to why time and time again the club were so set on constantly rebuking any notion of introducing safe standing or an organised singing section, one not too dissimilar to the one up at Celtic Park.

I pity the poor sods that every week have to fold them, clamp it together with a rubber band and then stick one on all 30,000 odd seats. Only for the full-time whistle to sound and then have to go and pick them all back up again. In the current climate as well, you’d think they’re a COVID super spreader. The less things for people to get their fingers on the better.

Get rid. Use your hands – it’s what they’re for.

Historical hatred added extra Polish fervour to Foxes’ win over Legia in Leicester

Many Poles living in Leicester and Leicestershire turned out at the King Power Stadium to support Leicester City in Thursday’s game against Legia Warszawa, just because they have a fierce dislike of Legia. Maciej Wojcik finds out why.

It is not surprising that Leicester City has Polish people among its fans. For real fans of the game, it is just impossible to live without attending matches, so at some point after moving to a new country, some will change the club they support as well.

But last Thursday, in the King Power Stadium stands, Polish could be heard much more often than usual, even without counting the away support sector. There are historic reasons that some people came to watch the game perhaps a bit more as ‘anti-Legia’ rather than as fans of the home side, cheering on the Foxes.

Eryk, 23, a food production operative, said: ”My favourite team is Pogon Szczecin. I will attend LCFC against Legia hoping as much as possible to see Legia lose the game. To say I don’t like them is to make an understatement.”

Warehouse operative Mateusz, 33, shed a bit more light on the reasoning: „Lech Poznan are always in my heart! You want to know why we hate Legia? First, see YT clip titled ‘Legia Kurczak’, where a toddler is holding Lech’s scarf and chanting: ‘This is how we were brought up to hate this team, and without cause, and for no reason we sing to the whole world today: Legia the chicken, Legia chicken, Legia Warsaw is an old chicken!’ Originally there should be another word instead of ‘chicken’, but, you know, it’s the kids’ version. This is a very, very old tradition to hate Legia, every Lech fan follows that. Why? Perhaps because they are from the capital city. Maybe because of their fans, who are known for very ugly behaviour. Of course I will be there!”

Lorry driver Pawel, 45, said: “Me and my two friends support Wisla Plock. Everybody knows that Legia was stealing young talented players from other clubs. People remember that and that is the main reason to hate that team. We will support LCFC!”

Marek, 48, a delivery driver) added: “My club is GKS Katowice. I am mad enough to order my club flag with the statement ‘LEICESTERSHIRE’ on it for one purpose: to display it in front of Legia fans. I hope that will make them upset, because we hate each other. One of the most famous GKS players was Jerzy Wijas, who played for the Polish national team as well. He was brave enough to refuse to play for Legia. They used their connections in PZPN [Polish Football Union] to make it unable for him to play at central level. For a couple of years he had to play for very local teams because his licence applications were rejected one after another. There are more stories like that one. Nothing is strange that we hate Legia!”

However, not only ‘anti-Legia’ Polish spectators were present inbetween the Leicester City fans. Lukasz, a 40-year-old self-employed welder, said: „For me it is just a family day out. I am not about being a fan who attends every match of the team he has chosen. We are just hoping that we are gonna see good football in a good atmosphere created by fans. And yes, we will support LCFC, because we are living here.”

The claim Legia Warszawa’s fans are also known for ugly behavior was shown during their stay in Leicester. Graffiti with „CWKS” (an abbreviation from „Centralny Wojskowy Klub Sportowy” [Central Military Sports Club]) or a capitalised “L” letter within a crowned circle, the Legia fans’ logo, remains on their route to the stadium and back.

Graffiti on the wall next to the Royal Infirmary Hospital in Leicester. RKS is probably from RKS Radomiak Radom – a club whose fans are friendly with Legia fans

Leicester City fans were disgusted with some Legia fans’ behaviour, such as setting off flares and clashes with police, with 12 officers injured and seven Legia fans arrested, as reported by the Leicester Mercury.

Legia fans set off flares in the King Power Stadium – YouTube

But what of the claims about „stealing young talented players”? Back in the 1970s and 80s, when Poland was under communist rule, Legia Warszawa belonged to the People’s Army of Poland, and it was mandatory for every man to serve at least two years in the army. It was possible, however, to have playing for Legia Warszawa counted as service for the army. This created an unfair advantage for Legia Warszawa, because other clubs had to train players or pay for them, but Legia did not. This is very common knowledge among Polish football fans, and is confirmed not only in leading press titles about sport, but is mentioned on the official Legia website as well. Whoever refused, got into trouble, as Jerzy Wijas found out. The story about him also has media coverage.

Will ‘anti-Legia’ fans who watched Thursday’s match be converted into proper Leicester City supporters? After they saw the Foxes’ 3-1 victory over Legia, there is a chance of that. Time will tell.

Is Brendan Rodgers coming to the end of his Leicester City tenure?

By Luke Williamson

Brendan Rodgers’ future at Leicester City Football Club has come under question, following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

Rodgers took over from Claude Puel at the King Power Stadium in February 2019 and took the Foxes back into European football in his first full season in charge.

This season has been a struggle with The Foxes floundering in 12th place in the Premier League – compared to third after 12 games of the last campaign and second at the same stage a season before.

DOWNWARD SPIRAL: Comparison of Leicester City’s form this season compared to the previous two. PICTURE. Luke Williamson using Microsoft Excel

City are underperforming in a number of categories – winning four fewer games meaning the Foxes have picked up nine points fewer than at this stage last term, and 11 compared to two seasons prior.

Foxes fan Sam Bettany, a digital marketing graduate from UCFB, said: “Rodgers has struggled with making the next step with this group of players.

“Yes, we have had some injuries to contend with but it feels like we’re changing our system too often and it feels like our identity has been lost this season.”

Goals have been hard to come by, too, with the usually potent strike force only finding the net 16 times so far this season, compared with 24 last season and 29 the one before that, with the style of play again the root of the concern for supporters.

Rizwan Narma, another City fan, added: “Rodgers has tinkered with the team too many times.

“Why [James] Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho aren’t starting every game is absolutely beyond me, especially considering our lack of creativity and the fact that Kelechi’s goals and assists have carried us the whole of 2021.

“Rodgers has been too stubborn in his tactics and set up – when something isn’t working, he rarely changes it or leaves it too late.”

Defensively, the side has looked shaky at the back, with the loss of Wesley Fofana before the season started and new signing Jannik Vestergaard not living up to his £15 million price tag.

The side has conceded six more goals at this stage compared to last season – 15 to 21 – and considerably more than the eight they conceded after 12 games in 2019/20.

Tom Hoegger, content creator for Leicester Fan TV, added: “Zonal marking this year just has not worked at all.

“The loss of Wesley Fofana in the last pre-season game to a broken leg has been a massive loss to the defence.”

PICTURE. Luke Williamson

When Solskjaer lost his job at the helm at Old Trafford, Rodgers’ name reportedly found its way onto United’s shortlist.

Sam added: “It doesn’t surprise me, it’s only right he gets linked with a job as big as Manchester United.

“He came back into the Premier League and proved to a lot of people that he is one of the best coaches in the country.

“I think fans would be disappointed if he was to make the switch, but I don’t think he is irreplaceable because our owners are that ambitious that I would trust them to work quickly and replace Rodgers with a coach of similar quality.”

Rodgers seems to be staying at Leicester for the time-being, ahead of tonight’s Europa League game against Legia Warsaw at the King Power Stadium.

DMU basketball First Team reach cup quarter finals

By Joshua Solomon

The De Montfort University men’s basketball first team have advanced to the quarter-finals in the Midlands Conference Cup.

The Pitbulls defeated the University of Warwick in the third round at home in a close game 68-75.

Delighted: the DMU Men’s team.

Small forward Daniel Obiapuna, a 21-year-old third year student, said: “This result means a lot because we worked hard as a team, it was a close game and the opposition were very good but we were calm down the stretch and we made good plays.”

Daniel explained how the team missed some of the first year and the whole of second year due to Covid-19, so for many of them, this is their last year playing.

He said: “For many of us in the team, this will be our last chance at a trophy or to take a memory with us as we leave. We are in our third and final year and our university experience has been up and down so we are going to try our best to win the competition.”

The De Montfort basketball first team coach, Igor Mirkovic, has been the head coach since 2016 and is well liked by everyone who is within the basketball society.

The program at the university is one of the most popular with three men’s teams, a women’s team alongside a recreational social league team.

The basketball team is not just for competition but inclusivity and that’s why the aim of the DMU Pitbulls is to be a friendly, hardworking team and fully support new team members whatever their skill level, who want to have fun playing basketball and keeping fit.

Men’s Basketball

Monday 19:10- 20:40 at Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Leisure Centre

Thursday 20:50- 22:00 at QE2

Women’s Basketball

Monday 17:30- 19:00 QE2

Thursday 18:30- 20:00 at Morningside Arena

Social Media:

Facebook- De Montfort University Basketball

Twitter- @DMUBasketball

Instagram- @dmu_basketball

DMU Lions win season opener

By Rian Fearnehough

Thanks to a particularly strong performance the De Montfort University Lions American football team started the campaign with a win as they took down the opposition of Staffordshire Stallions 50-6.

The display was impressive after all the problems created by COVID, injuries before the game and the numerous new faces in the team. Despite this the team put out a strong performance proving they are going to challenge any team this season.

Coach Stuart Franklin said:”there were positive steps taken by the whole team today”

Despite the strong team performance the defence stood out as they completely dominated the Stallions not allowing their offence to put their stamp on the game.

MVP for the game Jordan Raheem had a particularly dominant performance as he stopped the offensive line of the Stallions having an impact on the game helping the Lions control the game.

Josh Seybert showing his passion for the game in celebration

International scholarship student Josh Seybert was a constant leader for the Lions during the game. Josh played a huge role in the success the Lions had in all three stages of play, offence defence and special teams, this helped the team perform at the level it did and helped make the game that much easier. 

Coach Franklin said: “it’s a great result but the team still has areas to improve and can become even stronger as the season progresses.”

This gives the Lions a good foundation and helps the coaches understand what can be improved before the next game against the Huddersfield Hawks have had a troubled start to the season with a loss and were unable to field a team for the second game. You can join the pride once again at Beaumont park on Sunday 5th of December.

The DMU Lions would like to thank everyone who came out to be part of the pride as this really helped spur the team on to victory, If this was your first taste of the sport we hope you enjoyed it and we hope to see you more throughout the rest of the season.