Friday 21 July 2017 / 12:49 AM

LEICESTER CITY: A TRIUMPH OF CHARACTER OVER CASH

Those who’ve been to Stamford Bridge will be familiar with the Chelsea anthem, ‘Blue is the Colour’, but after Monday night, the anthem took on an entirely different meaning as the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham confirmed the most unlikely of Premier League title victories.

The shared spoils between the two London clubs confirmed what we’ve all been waiting for: Leicester City, a 5000-1 long-shot at the start of the season, are now Premier League champions.

And they deserve it.

It’s fair to say that not a single sports journalist, broadcaster or pundit who tipped the Foxes to win the whole thing at the start of the season, and even as Leicester continued to win games, most of us were still of the opinion that a collapse was just around the corner.

But the collapse never came.

Leicester should relish this moment. Claudio Ranieri and his side have been magnificent, playing a high-tempo, old-school 4-4-2, working hard for each other and grinding out results even when the chips are down.

They are the embodiment of grit and determination, and the perfect example that those characteristics sprinkled with some class can overcome anything – even money.

And that’s the headline story for Leicester’s triumph. The shoestring budget, the rise through the lower leagues.

It’s an important narrative. Because since the Premier League’s formation back in 1992, it’s been the richest clubs who’ve thrived, again and again and again.

Blackburn Rovers stand out as an anomaly among the list of Premier League winners, but when you delve into that title win, it becomes clear that money was the key cause there, too.

The long and short of it is that Claudio Ranieri and his players have proved that money isn’t everything. Their team cost £82 million to put together – £2 million less than Gareth Bale on his own.

And in an era where clubs are shelling out £40 or £50 million on players in the blink of an eye, and in an era where Chelsea and Man City have bought titles, that means a lot.

It gives football hope. So Leicester, thank you for that hope. Enjoy the celebrations.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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