Biggest sports upset of the past year?

Forest winning the league directly on promotion and then winning the European cup the season after is the closest I can think of. And I’d still rank that a way below Leicester in terms of upset - just based on things being a bit more even in those days and Forest having a superb manager at his absolute peak.

I agree here, it’s a close analogy that Barkis is Willin’ brings up … but not quite spot-on …


I suppose what is so remarkable is the stratified nature of teams even within the Premier League and the teams in the top strata tend to pretty much have their pick of the players from the teams with the lower strata and Leicester pretty much inhabited the lowest stratum as a recently-promoted team who had struggled the previous season.

Trying to compare it to American sports is difficult due to the measures taken to create parity in American leagues, but I’d guess the nearest comparison would be a minor league baseball team with players, none of whom (except maybe the odd one) thought likely to make the majors, sprinkled with a couple of MLB journeymen winning the World Series.

Nottingham Forest is similar in some respects, but as you say the title race was more open in those days and in fact Brian Clough at the point had already done a remarkably similar thing with Derby County a few years previously when they won the title 2 seasons after he got them promoted and then he got them to the European Cup semi-final.

Talking of great managers, as I have said previously, Alf Ramsey’s Ipswich in the 50s winning the title at the first time of asking, having only made the 2nd tier for the first time in their history 7 years previously, is probably the nearest thing to Leicester in English football. Again though the league was more open and the talent wasn’t concentrated as much as it was.