Brendan Rodgers laments Leicester’s lack of spending power

Brendan Rodgers Leicester

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers believes his club are fighting an uphill battle against English football’s financial heavyweights and suggested that is becoming a “real challenge” to compete.

Speaking ahead of Leicester’s trip to play Saudi Arabia-backed Newcastle in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, Rodgers insisted he isn’t a “magician” as he tries to find way to keep modest-spending City relevant in the top flight.

The Foxes signed just one outfield player last summer in Belgian defender Wout Faes, however, with the rest of their squad left unstrengthened, the 2023/23 campaign has been one of toil so far for Leicester.

Rodgers says Leicester are struggling to compete

In his pre-match press conference, Rodgers spoke at length about Leicester’s lack of financial clout compared to most of their rivals, saying, “I think I’m a decent coach, but I’m not a magician. If you look at our net spend since I’ve been here, it’s about £10m, in three-and-half years.

“Compare that to our competitors, like Aston Villa, West Ham, Newcastle. It’s over £250m. It’s a big difference.

“If you look at Newcastle’s net spend in the last year, along with the fantastic coaching of Eddie [Howe], plus the infrastructure from where they were to where they are now, they’re looking to build and create something.

“They’ll do it wisely and sensibly, but they have the resources to do that. So that’s the modern game and there’s no doubt they join that bracket.

“Look at some of the other teams – Aston Villa’s net spend over the last few years, West Ham too. It’s becoming a real challenge.”

Big cups go to the big teams says Rodgers

Leicester have designs on winning the Carabao Cup this season, however, only two of the tournament’s last 18 winners (Swansea and Birmingham) have come from outside England’s financially-powerful “big six” and Rodgers rues the reality of the situation.

“You have to look at the reality of it”, he said. “It’s so important for every club that supporters can dream, but there is a reality to it and a reason why the trophies have been won in the main by the biggest clubs with the biggest resources, that’s natural.

“It does not stop us trying any harder or working any harder and we’ve proven in the two games at Wembley [FA Cup and Community Shield] we can take a trophy home.

“That will never cease while I’m here because that’s what we want to do and I know the players are very keen to do it as well.”

Leicester’s meagre spend

Leicester recouped nearly £80m in transfer fees when they sold Wesley Fofana to Chelsea last summer, though they spent just a fraction of that to replace the centre half when they signed Wout Faes from French outfit Reims.

Last season, Leicester loosened the purse strings a little when they spent around £60m on Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Janik Vestergaard, though they broke even the year before and had a small net spend 12 months before that.

The knock-on effect of their modest transfer window spending has been a regression in performances on the pitch and Leicester are currently 13th in the Premier League table having pushed hard to make the top four as recently as the 2020/21 campaign.

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