"Are Leicester City top of the Premier League thanks to Greyfriars Dicky?" asked the Leicester Mercury last week, just before Jamie Vardy's regal performance against Liverpool.
As is not unprecedented, the Mockery is spouting gibberish. However, this time it's not for the Betteridgian reason you might imagine.
What they have FAILED TO ASSESS in their correlation-equals-causation hypothesis is that the dead king's powers have not only caused the remarkable rise of Leicester City. They have also acted in the OPPOSITE MANNER against the city that engaged in hostilities with Leicester over who would get to keep his exhumed bones.
For whilst the Foxes of Leicester have gone on the up, the Minstermen of York have not. And THE ONLY POSSIBLE EXPLANATION can be the influence of Richard III. The Mercury hypothesis did not go far enough.
Let's look at the evidence:
March 2011 - Greyfriars Project begins
Leicester City lose all their league games that month and are 11th in the Championship.
York City are in the middle of a 7-game unbeaten run, and moving into Conference play-off contention.
July 2012 A Leicester City XI draws 2-2 with York City in a pre-season friendly.
August 2012 - Body dug up in Leicester car park
Leicester City lose to Blackburn Rovers, and lie 17th in Championship.
York City, having been promoted from the Conference, win 3-1 at Barnet, and lie 12th in League Two.
February 2013 - Body identified as that of Richard III
Leicester City have just beaten Wolves to go 2nd in the Championship.
York City have just lost 1-4 at home to Morecambe, in middle of 16 game run without a win, plummeting them from 14th to 23rd in League Two.
August 2013 - Permission granted for judicial review over where Richard should be buried.
Leicester City end the month with their first defeat in five league matches.
York City win the first match of the season, and sign Leicester player George Taft on loan.
March 2014 - Judicial review begins
Although top of the table, Leicester City draw with Blackburn and Yeovil, at the start of a run of just 2 wins in 7 League games.
York City, meanwhile, record six wins and a draw during the month, reaching the playoff positions, and Nigel Worthington claims the manager of the month award.
|This probably cross-plots perfectly against something royal or other.|
May 2014 - Legal bid to claim Richard's body for burial in York rejected
Leicester City are Football League champions for the 7th time, with 102 points.
York City are knocked out of the League Two play-offs by Fleetwood, having finished 7th.
December 2014 - Nature paper confirms mitochondrial evidence that body is Richard III
Leicester City win at Hull on December 28th, their first league win in III months.
York City lose at home to Wimbledon and draw with Bury to drop to 22nd place in League Two.
March 2015 - Richard III buried in Leicester Cathedral
Leicester City draw 0-0 with Hull City, beginning their TRULY RIII-MARKABLE escape from certain relegation.
York City lose to Wimbledon and Bury in a four-match run without a win, pushing them close to relegation.
February 2016 - the Mockery proposes its hypothesis
Leicester City are top of the Premier League by 5 points.
York City are bottom of the Football League, 4 points adrift of safety.
So there you have it. Without the slightest hesitation, it can be clearly stated that there is a ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PERFECT correlation between the fortunes of Richard III's bones and the fortunes of the two football teams. It is therefore WHOLLY APPARENT that Leicester's success and York's failure is what the humpback king wanted, and that he would only find peace - and bequeath his trans-medieval football match-fixing gifts - by being buried in Leicester.
You can look forward to the peer-reviewed Nature paper in due course.