Last night, as you’ll probably know by now, Leicester City FC became champions of the Premier League.
It is, by all accounts, the most remarkable story to come out of the world of football in years. Just seven years ago, Leicester were in the third division of the English football system (which, for reasons not entirely clear to CityMetric, is called League One). Now they’re the best team in the country – and without the help of a helpful oligarch willing to blow millions on new players.
Anyway, Zac Goldsmith – the Tory candidate for mayor of London, who polls show trailing his Labour rival Sadiq Khan by as much as 20 points – decided he fancied a bit of this underdog glory.
Zac Goldsmith says “I’m hoping to do a bit of a Leicester City, zoom in from behind and win” https://t.co/ccRUGeu5ZW pic.twitter.com/OuMlLVeSxm
— LBC (@LBC) May 3, 2016
Presenter Nick Ferrari was a bit cynical about this.
Nick Ferrari’s response to Zac Goldsmith: “The polls say you’re Aston Villa, not Leicester.” https://t.co/ccRUGeu5ZW
— LBC (@LBC) May 3, 2016
But not half as cynical as the internet.
Whereas really, he’s done a bit of a Chelsea, i.e. spent a fortune, got nowhere, and nobody likes him. https://t.co/mxxrKKtrbQ
— Andrew Mueller (@andrew_mueller) May 3, 2016
Some questioned whether someone of Goldsmith’s background could ever really be counted an underdog.
@LBC yeah cos multimillionaire old Etonian who never needs to work again is a plucky underdog outside the elite. Puckered!
— david oliver (@mancunianmedic) May 3, 2016
Others pointed out that he’d totally misunderstood what actually happened to Leicester this season.
@LBC Zoom in from behind and win? They were ahead most of the season.
— Tom Hughes (@hertstennistom) May 3, 2016
Which implies he doesn’t know any more about football than he does about, say, the Central line.
Though that interview did, at least, inspire this joke
“Who’s your favourite Leicester City player?”
“Erm, I can’t think of a favourite, I… er… love the colour…” https://t.co/okPzcEDKh2
— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) May 3, 2016
Others pointed out that “doing a Leicester City” could mean more than one thing.
Sadiq presumably also hoping to do a Leicester City, and have Labour control the Mayoralty & 96% of council seats: https://t.co/QeUp5Edux4
— James O’Malley (@Psythor) May 3, 2016
We’re supposed to write about cities round here, so:
At the time of the 2011 census, the area covered by Leicester City council had a population of around 330,000, while that of the wider urban area had 509,000. It’s the 13th biggest agglomeration in Britain, and something like the 942nd largest in the world.
It’s also one of the most diverse cities in Britain, and at the time of that census, less than 51 per cent of its population was classified as white.
So, now you know.
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