Trust Paddy Power, arguably Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, not to be outdone by Fred Done, said to be Britain’s biggest bookmakers.
A number of times in recent years, Fred, one who knows where there’s cheap publicity to be had, decided to pay out on Manchester United winning the Premier League long before the winning-post had been reached. It cost him once. United were a mile in front, but faltered late on, and Fred was left to make a return to those who had supported what was at the time Sir Alex’s team and the one that actually got the trophy.
Fred, an Old Trafford supporter – maybe even a box-holder - took a bit of an ear-bashing from Al; don’t try that again, said the son of Govan. But Fred did, and this time didn’t have a double pay-out. Man U won in a hack canter.
Chelsea are comfortably in front in this season’s main English league, and even though the competition is only one-third completed, Paddy Power, who know a thing or two about where there are free column inches to be had – remember the huge sign they’d planted high in the Cotswolds when the Cheltenham Festival was in progress? – have called on all who have backed Jose Mourinho’s side to come in and collect.
The multi-national side Jose has pieced together were best-priced at 15/8 – which, to those who are lucky enough to have only a vague knowledge of what odds are all about, is slightly below 2/1 – before the season began, are now 1/6 to take the title.
What does 1/6 mean? Well, you would have to lay down, say, six euro to win just one. Certainly not a working man’s price, or even one the some professionals would want to avail of.
PP claim this gesture will have them making a £400,000 pay-out, the biggest part of which will go to the punter who laid out £16,000 on the Stamford Bridge side. Maybe, but it’s been mentioned in the trade papers and on Sky – and now comes the ultimate, a slot in Inside Track.
Before leaving the game that some regard as ‘beautiful’, a question, taken from a recent edition of the Racing Post: Which five current Premier League managers who have also played in the competition?
Answer: Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes, Nigel Pearson, Garry Monk and Gus Poyet