‘That’s not sustainable’: Leicester facing ‘very severe’ situation if relegated – finance expert

Jason Soutar
Leicester City players Jonny Evans and Youri Tielemans warming up before a match against Liverpool

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire says Leicester will be in a “very severe” situation if they are relegated from the Premier League.

The Foxes are in the bottom three and face in-form Liverpool on Monday evening.

It has been a bitterly disappointing campaign, which saw Dean Smith replace Brendan Rodgers in April.

Everything is not all doom and gloom, however, as Maguire insists Leicester could replicate Burnley’s 2022/23 campaign by coming back up at the first time of asking.

“It’s going to be very severe,” he told BBC Radio Leicester’s When You’re Smiling podcast.

“Leicester particularly potentially are going to be going down to the Championship with the most expensive squad and the biggest wage bill in Premier League history for a side that could be relegated.

“They are looking at a potential reduction of two thirds in income compared to the most recent accounts. There is going to have to be a lot of belt-tightening, but it won’t be bad news for the players. Some of them will have to take modest wage cuts, some of them will move on given that Leicester’s revenue was £215m in 2022.

“If it was in the Championship, realistically we would be looking somewhere in the region of £70-80m. The wage bill was £180m. Clearly that’s not sustainable and that would impact upon people.

“Nobody wants the players to go but I think there would have to be a retrenchment. It doesn’t mean the club can’t bounce back. We’ve seen Burnley sell their best players at the end of last season and they have been worthy champions of the Championship this season.

“What the club will have to do, and fans won’t like it, but the main focus will be getting players of value away first in the transfer market. There’s no reason why you can’t get fair value for players.”

Speaking before the game at home to Liverpool, Leicester boss Smith discussed the topsy-turvy relegation battle.

“We were written off six games ago and all of a sudden Leeds and Everton were written off and now Everton aren’t,” said Smith. “The game can change very quickly.

“Not one of the players wants to be in the position we’re in. They are searching for answers themselves. All the lads care, they just show it in different ways.

“I’m expecting fight, but I’m expecting better quality than we showed in decision-making opportunities [against Fulham].

“We need points and it’s a home game for us, hopefully Jurgen [Klopp] is not disappointed in the fight he sees.”

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