The businesses that had their Leicester City FC moment

posted by 5 years ago in Features

Leicester City FC have stunned football fans around the world with their epic achievement of winning the Premier League despite bookies putting their odds on at 5,000 to 1 to win at the start of the season (a move which Joshua Robinson of The Wall Street Journal calls “one of the most glaring mistakes in sports betting history.”).

It’s not just in the world of sport that David’s taken on Goliath… and won! Here’s our top business underdog moments – and if they don’t have you punching the air and hi-fiving your work colleagues (think Michael J Fox in The Secret of My Success) then nothing will!

Miller UK

Northumberland firm Miller UK took US construction giant Caterpillar to court in a battle over trade secrets and won, securing $74.6 million in damages. The trial lasted 7 years and siblings Gary, Keith and Jacqui finally got the news they were waiting for in December last year. They’d seen their workforce in Cramlington reduced by nearly 300 of its total 400 after the American firm pulled out of a partnership that had been mutually beneficial and then broke a confidentiality agreement by designing a rival product using Miller’s original designs.

The Newcastle Chronicle quoted Jacqui Miller as saying “This is a win not only for us, but for small business the world over.”


Whilst not necessarily a small outfit (Irn-Bru is exported around the world) the fizzy drink manufacturer has certainly held its own against larger rivals – most notably Coca-Cola which is the largest selling drink everywhere except in Scotland and the Middle East. Only three people in the world know the recipe of the beverage which is the number one selling soft drink in Scotland and the third top selling drink in the UK overall. The company is continuing to grow – most recently with the acquisition of cocktail mixers.


Source: Wikipedia

Not just one but several small businesses in the sleepy town of Crickhowell in Powys decided to take a stand over tax. Traders including the optician, bakery and book shop turned the tables on the world’s biggest companies including Google and Starbucks by employing the same offshore accountancy practices as them in a tax avoidance scheme.

The family-run businesses submitted their own tax plan to HMRC copying the global brands who, through their offshore arrangements, payed little or no corporation tax. They shared their plan with independent retailers nationwide in an effort to force the Treasury to close the loopholes which allowed companies like Amazon to pay just £11.9 million of tax last year on £5.3 billion of internet sales in the UK.

In the budget of March this year Chancellor George Osborne introduced rules to prevent multinational companies avoid paying tax in any of the countries they do business in.

So, there you have it, with courage, tenacity, teamwork and effective leadership David can beat Goliath off the pitch as well as on it. It’ll be interesting to see Leicester City FC’s odds to win next season!

Featured image source: Wikipedia