As football fans, we may all be a bit quick to label a success in football a ‘fairytale’. It is like the use of the word legend, bandied about with abandon without really giving a great deal of thought into what it really means or who is in actual fact deserving of the title. The truth is that there are a lot fewer fairytales in football and even fewer legends living amongst us.

Manchester City’s title-winning season in 2012 has often been referred to as a fairytale, and while it was a thrilling end to a ten-month campaign that was decided with virtually the last kick of the season, a closer look at what went on in the background makes it less of a fairytale. City had spent hundreds upon hundreds of millions of pounds on players in a pursuit of the Premier League trophy. Sheikh Mansour’s tunnel vision was supported by a blank chequebook and desire to finally topple Manchester United at quite literally whatever cost. If it didn’t happen then, it would have happened very soon afterwards.

FAIRYTALE COMES TRUE!
Leicester City are officially confirmed as the Barclays Premier League champions.#BPL pic.twitter.com/kLYug0FqvB— SuperSport (@SuperSportTV) May 2, 2016

It is this type of blind spending that has seen a massive inflation in the transfer market. Roman Abramovich lit the fuse when he bought Chelsea in 2003 and ever since then the market has suffered from an acute case of hyperinflation. In the last ten years Manchester United, Man City, and Chelsea have spent almost three and a half billion pounds on players between them. If you’re looking for some context on how things have got out of hand at a frightening rate, in 1989, anyone with a spare £20m could buy Manchester United.

It’s no surprise then that these three clubs have shared nine of the last ten Premier League titles between them and continue to dominate. A quick look at the premier predictions from Betfair and you will see City and Chelsea in the top three favourites again for Premier League glory. Once in motion, it’s very hard to stop the model these bigger clubs adopt as they bulldoze their way to the title.

Leicester City, however, defied the odds at 5000/1 when they won the league in 2016 and regardless of the battle a hyperinflated transfer market poses to clubs without the wealth of the top four, everyone can take hope from the courage they showed as they went on to win the title. The season under Claudio Ranieri was without a doubt the epitome of a fairytale.

What a moment.#OnThisDay in 2016, Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions after Spurs’ draw at Chelsea. pic.twitter.com/hT2BofNF2X— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 2, 2018

The Premier League often looks like quite a straightforward concept these days with the winner being the club that outspends the others. In 2016 we were reminded of a time where the team with the most belief, skill, bravery, and unwavering desire to win ended up being crowned champions.

Late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the vision he had left the football community with a lasting belief that the impossible can be done despite the odds being stacked against. The 60-year-olds life may have been tragically brought to an end but the fairytale he orchestrated will live forever as clubs begin to dare to dream once more.