Arch Creative has recently been working with Leicester City Football Club to create a brochure detailing their current crop of LCFC Academy players. It features the likes of young hopefuls Jeff Schlupp and Ben Chilwell. It got us thinking about the great City we live in and why it’s an exciting time to be alive if you’re a Leicesterian… Leicesterite?… Leicesterfarian? … Person from Leicester.
An academy is a football club’s way of investing for the future, of nurturing and showing a belief in a young talent. We feel this is a great comparison to make to Leicester as a city at the moment – there’s never been a better time to be investing in Leicester, to be backing us for greatness.
A bit lofty, you might say. But, it’s true! It started a few years back with the discovery of King Richard III’s bones in a city car park. Historian/Screenwriter Philippa Langley chanced upon the remains based upon some research she’d carried out several years prior. Allegedly, she felt a chill upon stepping into the carpark and, sure enough, that’s exactly where King Dick’s wonky skeleton was unearthed on the first day of her excavation. She even claims to have found him under an ‘R’ symbol, ‘R’ for ‘Reserved’ typically, but this time it stood for ‘Richard’.
Richard’s bones created widespread media attention for Leicester. The King was notoriously immortalised in Shakespeare’s Richard III as a “poisonous bunch-backed toad”. However, Richard received nothing but adulation once he resurfaced in 2012 – thanks largely, in part, to societies like Philippa Langley’s: The Richard III Society, which is dedicated to improving the monarch’s reputation. He was given a royal procession (which passed right outside of Arch’s office) and a reburial ceremony at Leicester Cathedral. The fanfare created by King Richard’s exhumation and interment was worth a reported £45 million to Leicester’s local economy.
Council incentives such as the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership mean it’s easier than ever for businesses to flourish in Leicester. Giants IBM and Hastings Direct moved bases to the county, creating approximately 1000 jobs – meaning there’s more incentive for other companies to join the fun in LC. Leicestershire’s already burgeoning industrial scene is to grow as well with the expansion Magna Park Industrial Estate meaning it will become bigger than nearby Lutterworth.
And, even bigger and better for Leicester, is LCFC itself. After a fantastic rise to the Premier League a few years back, a dramatic end to the 2014-15 season which saw them escape the jaws of relegation by the skin of their teeth thanks to Nigel Pearson, they’re now experiencing something most of us thought we’d never see. With Claudio Ranieri at the helm, at the time of writing Leicester City Football Club are top of the Premier League. With the current form of players like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater we seem almost certain to qualify for the Champions League. And some of us, some of us who dare to dream, who still believe in Santa Claus, who look on the brighter side, have a more intoxicating vision: we might win the league. The money that an achievement like that would bring to the City is, without a doubt, unheard of until now.
Leicester are alledgedly the 24th biggest Football Club in the world, according to a recent article. Surely, after this season, we’re likely to shuffle up a couple of places on that list too. Lastly, for the first time since records begin (admittedly not that long ago) Leicester recently overtook our old rivals, Nottingham, in Google searches for East Midlands Cities. OK, so it didn’t last, and was likely a quick fire response to King Richard’s popularity, but, again, if our league performances continue and we become the home of English football as well as rugby, then surely we’ll overtake Notts for good? The next step, surely, is annexing Derby and then on to world domination!
So there you have it – the Leicester City Academy Brochure is a microcosm representing Leicester as an investment. The only way is up as far as Arch is concerned when it comes to the beautiful city of Leicester, and we’ve got our fingers crossed for those Tuesday away games to Barcelona as well!