Fearless Fred Done is at it again – inviting all who backed Man United to win the Premier League to come and collect, even though the Reds have yet to cross the finish-line.
When I told this to Democrat soccer writer, Gavin McLaughlin, he said something that can’t be put in print. See, Gavin is thinking of naming his new drum in Ard Easmuinn ‘Trafford Towers’, or maybe ‘Stretford End House’. He knows only too well that Fred can be a jinx.
The British-based bookie, one of the biggest in the game and trading under the name of BetFred, is not the only one who thinks Sir Alex’s team is home and hosed. Paddy Power, never ones to miss a publicity trick either, are also settling bets, despite there being still 11 series of matches remaining.
This is the third time Fred has gone heavy on the largesse. He did it last season when there were just six rounds remaining and United were five points clear of the team from down the road - and also back in 1998, Arsenal then filling the chasing role. On each occasion the team he supports got caught, last season in the most dramatic of fashions.
You can still back United to win the title, but at odds of 1/25. However, if you think they’ll be more than 16 points clear of their nearest rivals you can get 2/1. They were just under 3/1 before the competition began.
The record number of points to divide the top two since the introduction of the Premier League is 18; odds of 7/1 are available about United bettering that this time.
With the Premier seemingly ties up, United can now go heavy on the Champions’ League. Last week’s first leg joust with Real Madrid was a corker, the two goals in a 1-1 draw rightfully earning widespread plaudits. The replay’s in just over a fortnight, and if you fancy United to clinch a place in the quarter-finals playing in front of the home crowd, you can get evens, and maybe even a half-time pay-out from Fred if they’re ahead.