Final day heartbreak sees return of fierce local derby 

By George Kirk

Following Leicester’s relegation on Sunday from the Premier League, the 2023/2024 Championship season will see the return of the heated M69 derby between the Foxes and Coventry City. 

The fixture will mark the first time that the two teams have faced each other since 2012, in a game which saw Leicester come out victorious with a comfortable 2-0 win, seeing goals from Jermaine Beckford and David Nugent. 

A lot has changed since the last time the teams met, with Leicester City making history winning the Premier League, FA Cup and also having a stint in Europe. 

On the other hand, Coventry fell all the way down to League 2 in 2017 and had to fight their way back up to the second tier, which only adds to the anticipation for this ferocious Midlands derby. 

Dilly ding, dilly gone: the five fateful failings that sent model club Leicester City to the Premier League scrapheap

They were the club revered around the world for overcoming the 5,000/1 odds to win the Premier League. The team of upstarts who lifted the FA Cup and the Community Shield. The underdogs who came within a whisker of the semi-finals of the Champions League. The footballing punks who shook up the established order, and threatened to establish themselves as an annual thorn in the side of the ‘big six’. And now Leicester City have gone from the giddy highs of European football to the crushing lows of relegation in a little more than a year.

Make no mistake, City deserved to be relegated this weekend. But how did it go so very wrong for the Foxes? DMU Journalism student Alice Wright picks out the unforced errors that sent the former champions of England spinning into the Championship.

The inspirational Kasper Schmeichel is allowed to leave

Kasper Schmeichel’s exit was strange and sudden: a true legend of the club never really got to say goodbye to the fans, and the supporters didn’t get a chance to say thanks for all the golden memories. Rumours of the Dane’s departure had been ongoing during the summer transfer window in 2022, but nothing came of it until August 3, when he announced his move to OGC Nice. Leicester City were left with four weeks to find a replacement. They decided to stick with long-term bench-warmer Danny Ward.

Kasper Schmeichel in action against Spartak Moscow in the Europa League Антон Зайцев

But Schmeichel was more than a shot-stopper: he was also a leader, someone you could count on to rip into the players if they weren’t putting in a shift. That leadership, passion and responsibility is something Leicester City have sorely missed this season.

Brendan Rodgers stubbornly refuses to change tack

Banking on a big summer rebuild, Brendan Rodgers made it publicly known there were players he didn’t see as part of Leicester’s future. When the club tightened the purse strings, he was left with players who knew their manager didn’t rate them.

His reluctance to play Caglar Soyuncu in defence and obstinate decision to stick with leaky Danny Ward in goal for too long compounded the issues at Leicester City. After shining in cup games, Daniel Iversen finally got his first-team chance against Brentford. He impressed in the games he played, despite his poor distribution, with fans questioning why Rodgers stuck with Ward for as long as he did.

Dean Smith obviously saw something in Soyuncu that the Northern Irishman didn’t or couldn’t. The Turkish defender started his first game under the former Norwich manager and reminded fans what they’d been missing. Rodgers’ unwillingness to play Soyuncu surely forced his move away from the East Midlands, which is a crying shame.

The board sleepwalk towards disaster

Ultimately most of the blame has to lie with the board. They took far too long to sack Brendan Rodgers. In mid-September, City suffered a heavy defeat at Tottenham, their sixth defeat in a row, having shipped 11 goals in two games and … nothing happened. Leicester City had an uplift in form before the World Cup and it felt like the team had turned over a new leaf, but a hammering at home to Newcastle on a cheerless Boxing Day brought everything back to reality. After been given far too much time in charge, Rodgers was sacked following a last-minute defeat at Crystal Palace in April.

But the board, it seemed, had no concrete plan for replacing him. Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell were temporarily put in charge for two vital games, and lost both of them. Initially it seemed Jesse Marsch would take over at the King Power, to the alarm of many fans, but eventually Dean Smith was appointed as manager. He brought with him John Terry and Craig Shakespeare. There were hopes that Terry could transform the fortunes of a defence unable to keep a clean sheet and Shakespeare was a familiar face who knew the club. Was it the right appointment? Well, it didn’t work. Was it the right appointment, but at the wrong time? We’ll never know.

Another poor decision from the board was agreeing to play Liverpool and Tottenham, in Singapore, a week before the start of the Championship season. This was most likely agreed months ago, which almost shows the club’s blindness to how quick Leicester were spiralling towards relegation.

❌ Players’ contracts are allowed to fizzle out

One massive mistake that the club will be kicking themselves over is allowing good players’ contracts to run out. Caglar Soyuncu and Youri Tielemans, two highly valued players, are able to walk away for nothing this summer. Jonny Evans, Daniel Amartey, Ayoze Perez, Nampalys Mendy and Ryan Bertrand are others out of contract in June. Soyuncu and Tielemans, along with Mendy, could’ve brought in a lot of money for the club to help them with their inevitable Championship squad rebuild. This seems like a massive failure to secure extra funds at a time when they’re needed most – not to mention the fact that City’s future was partly in the hands of players who knew they would be leaving.

Complacency sets in

Leicester City are the most expensive squad, with the highest wage bill, to get relegated from the Premier League, according to sport finance expert Kieran Maguire. To the pundits who didn’t watch them week in week out, they were a team packed with internationals who were too good to go down.

And maybe the players believed it too. ‘Play like that and we’ll be absolutely fine’ Leicester’s star midfielder James Maddison said back in March.

They did continue to play like that. No passion or desire, at times not looking interested. Everyone knows how it ended. They weren’t fine, and Rob Tanner deserves an apology.

Clearly the number 10’s infamous tweet isn’t a direct reason for Leicester’s downfall, but it feels like a telling insight into the team’s mindset. It appears the ‘too good to go down’ mentality infected them and they didn’t wake up to Leicester City’s true fate until it was too late.

So what now? The future looks very uncertain for the Foxes. A big summer reset lies ahead, and it won’t be easy. Valued players like Maddison and Barnes will move on. Soyuncu, once linked with a reported £38m move to Manchester City, is heading to Atletico Madrid, on a free transfer. The club will start the Championship with a new squad, and maybe a new manager, and a very old feeling of footballing exile. The bookies have already installed them as 6/1 favourites to win the league, considerably shorter odds than that 5,000/1. But it took City a decade to return to the Premier League last time round. An instant return is by no means guaranteed.

Leicester Ultimate Frisbee Club encourages community to try it out

By Michal Okonski

Leicester’s RED Ultimate Frisbee team hopes to increase awareness of their sport through inviting the community to play.

Got it! Team member Nick Towner leaps in the air to grab the frisbee in the New College sports hall

The team, founded in 1996, plays Ultimate, the competitive strand of the common frisbee pastime.

“It’s a non-contact sport, similar to a mix of netball and American football,” Pippa Abbey, president of RED, said. 

Last year, they finished mid-table, but Jacob Peace, development co-ordinator, said the results are not important to them. 

“I think it’s about the way the sport develops you. It’s a self-identifying journey with personal growth,” he said.

The first three sessions are given for free so newcomers can play. 

Loving it: Club president Pippa Abbey (second right) with some of the other club players

“I think that if you are the slightest bit interested, you should try it out. Even if we don’t finish first, we have an awful lot of fun,” Pippa added.

Whilst the last taster session was in April, more will be held throughout the year. 

“It’s not a difficult sport to pick up, so we encourage everyone to sign up!” Pippa said.

More information about the sport and RED can be found at: and the club trains bi-weekly, both at New College in Glenfield Road, Leicester, and in the city’s Mandela Park. 

Heather St John’s FC relegated after only winning four games in the season

By Jess Bourne

Heather St John’s FC have been relegated into the Midland Football League after a disastrous season.

During the 2022/2023 season, the football club, based near Coalville, were playing in the United Counties League Premier Division North, and finished in 19th place above Selston FC.

In the season, the team played 38 games for the league; won four, drew nine and lost 25.

Only last year, they finished sixth in the table but after the manager left the club with most of the players, and the arrival of a new chairman, the club had to rebuild itself.

Phil Owen, media officer at the club, said: “There is no single reason for the club’s relegation season; the appointment of an inexperienced manager, who only had a few weeks to bring a new squad and a backroom team together.

“At the same time a new chairman started.”

He added: “The new players, mainly inexperienced at the level, found it tough against established teams.”

Neil Costello, Shaun Hession and Stuart Beniston have been appointed as the new management team ahead of the upcoming season.

The club are hoping to bring in more local talent and unite the junior and senior team together.

Bill Nally, director of Football at Heather St John’s FC said: “I want to build the reputation of the team on and off the pitch.”

Ahead of next season, the annual Simon Blyth Memorial Charity Match will be held on Saturday, July 8 at St John’s Park, Ravenstone Road, against Hinckley AFC with a 3pm kick off.

The new season will commence at the start of August, and you can find their twitter page here:

From Champions to Championship for Leicester City?

by Aiden Slattery

Leicester City go into the final game of the season this Sunday with their Premier League survival looking increasingly unlikely.  

With a 0-0 finish in their previous fixture against Champions League qualifying Newcastle United, Leicester have given themselves a lifeline going into the last game of the season as they levelled Leeds on thirty-one points.  

Equal on points with Leeds United, but sitting in eighteenth in the relegation zone, the only statistic that may work in Leicester’s favour is their significantly better goal difference in comparison to Leeds. 

To retain their Premier League status for next season, not only must they beat an in-form West Ham United, but Leicester fans are also relying on Bournemouth to come out with a win against Everton. 

If Leicester win, and Everton lose, it will be Everton who will finish eighteenth instead and make the drop to the EFL Championship with Leeds and Southampton.

As West Ham prepare for The Europa Conference League Final in Prague next month, players will be competing to impress manager David Moyes for a starting place for their upcoming cup final, which could spell bad news for an underperforming Leicester City squad. 

A life-long Leicester City fan, Samuel Wheddon, shared his disappointment with the current state of Leicester city, saying: “I haven’t enjoyed this season at all, it’s been a pain to watch, but I’m still proud of what this team has done, never thought I’d see us win the [Premier] League”

Holding on to hope however, he said: “I do think we’ll beat West Ham this weekend, they have bigger things to worry about, it’s down to Bournemouth to beat Everton at this point if we want to stay up.”

The final match-day presents three established Premier League teams fighting relegation, Leeds, Leicester and Everton, with two of them guaranteed to make the drop to the Championship next season, joining already relegated Southampton.

Leicester City’s potential drop from the topflight of English football is made even more surprising considering since their promotion from the EFL Championship almost a decade ago they have pulled off what can only be described as a miracle, lifting a Premier League trophy, an FA Cup and a fairy tale run to the quarter finals in the Champions League.  

With a top-half finish in six of their previous seven Premier League campaigns, the Foxes enter the last game of their 22/23 season with the odds of maintaining topflight football stacked against them.