Brendan Rodgers exclusive interview: Leicester City manager on transfers, targets and his most difficult summer

Brendan Rodgers breezes into the room, hurriedly adjusts the air-conditioning and is all smiles as he sits down for his interview at the club’s training ground. Leicester are bottom of the table but there is a sense that the season starts now.

It has been the most challenging summer of his managerial career with players wanting to leave and without the funds to bring in replacements. “It is like going into a shop and walking around with no money,” he tells Sky Sports. “You cannot buy anything.”

But before all that, he wants to clarify the comments that caused something of a media furore on Thursday evening following the defeat to Manchester United. Headlines suggesting that he ‘took a swipe at the board’ do not reflect his true feelings.

“I always know there is a spin on words. I have a huge respect for the board. There is no way that I ever had a notion to expose them. They have been honest enough to say how it is. Top’s notes have made it clear in terms of the thinking behind the why of the situation.

Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha's programme notes

First and foremost, Leicester City’s overall financial
position is entirely secure and underpinned by my ongoing personal commitment and that of my family.

The club is as safe in our hands as it has been every day for the last 12 years.
It’s our commitment to that responsibility that drives every decision we make.
Sometimes, that commitment means making difficult, short-term decisions that protect the club’s long-term interests, such as our approach to this summer’s transfer window.

Due to an increase in our net spend over recent seasons, some measures were necessary to ensure we manage our compliance with the game’s sustainability regulations. While we continue to build our wider revenue streams to compete with the established elite in the long-term, our short-term means of offsetting such expenditure is generating profits through player trading.

We did that successfully for five straight summer windows before 2021, where we opted to make further investments in the squad without a significant sale. This summer, we couldn’t risk unbalancing that equation further, so we decided space would need to be made in the squad before new additions could be brought in.

“It has clearly been a really difficult market for us. But the bigger picture was the club. For me, it is a non-story from today. Now, it is about everyone coming together. We bring on the fight and have this collective common goal of winning games and being a team.”

It is unusual to see Leicester like this. The club were champions of England six years ago and that first FA Cup win came as recently as last year. The pause on spending means an adjustment for everyone – fans, players and the manager who came here to compete.

“Where we have been in the table for the last few years, that is where I want to be challenging. Everyone wants to keep pushing. But for that we have to improve our squad and we have not been able to do it. Of course, that will be difficult for the supporters.”


Title: Brendan Rodgers exclusive interview: Leicester City manager on transfers, targets and his most difficult summer
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Published Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2022 21:13:00 BST

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