Tackling Brexit UK politics maybe in the doldrums, however, English football appears stronger than ever. Entering the final stages of the 2018/19 European football season, SBC gets the bookies lowdown in what some are calling an English football renaissance…
SBC: This season, we are witnessing a thrilling Premier League race, with English teams dominating European tournaments and a young English football team living up to expectations… Have we ever had it this good?
Amy Jones (PR & Mischief Maker @ Paddy Power): The thrilling, down-to-the-wire nature of the Premier League title race has certainly whet the appetites of football bettors across the UK and Ireland. Whereas last season, it was pretty much a one-horse race at this stage of the campaign, punters are still staking their claims on Liverpool and Man City.
In fact, despite the Blues being favourites, we’ve seen much more money on Liverpool to win the title – this is perhaps because their odds were longer at the start, and have fluctuated more, but it’s pretty exciting. Well, unless you’re a fan of those clubs.
English teams dominating in the Champions and Europa League, is, again only a positive for the bookies based in the UK. The level of interest is massive, with some fans more likely to root for a team from their country than a European giant. But, also, the likes of Ajax who are surprising us all and punters are ploughing into them at a big price!
When you say ‘have we ever had it this good’… well, I’m a Man United fan, so definitely not… But in terms of betting, and in terms of entertainment in football, we’re really lucky to be seeing what we are at the minute.
SBC: The Premier League title race appears to be going down to the wire… Out of Man City and Liverpool, who do bookies prefer…Is this end of season going to be ‘Squeaky Bum Time’ for bookmakers?
Harry Aitkenhead (PR Lead Coral): Yes it’s going to be a very exciting end to the season and certainly one that the bookmakers will be eagerly following. Despite City being the favourites before a ball was kicked in the Premier League this season, Liverpool were the best backed before it began and we cut the odds on them at the beginning of August to 4-1 (from 9-2). City were one of the shortest priced favourites at the start of a season we have ever seen and that, coupled with the fact that the Premier League is notoriously hard to retain, meant that punters were much happier to back Liverpool at bigger odds.
On the face of that, it means that if Liverpool do go on to win the title that it’ll certainly mean plenty of Coral customers are celebrating. A spanner into the works, however, is that Manchester City being on for the quadruple means that we have a heavy liability over us if they do manage it.
City were 150-1 back at the start of the season for the clean sweep and we’ve laid a number of bets on it at various prices since then. It was 33-1 when they qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League, 14-1 before the final of the Carabao Cup and 6-1 as recent as the end of March. It’s now a 9-2 shot, which will shorten significantly should they progress in the Champions League this week against Spurs, and we really are hoping for a slip up somewhere!
So in an ideal world, we will be hoping for Manchester City to win the Premier League but not the Champions League or the FA Cup. Although that might be asking for a bit much! It’s sure to be a fantastic end to the season and there will be plenty of twists and turns yet. Liverpool are still the outsiders but they’ve been cut into 11-10 in the last week and with their fixtures they’ll be confident. I wouldn’t be surprised to see both teams win every game between now and the end.
SBC: So What end-of-season football ACCAs, have punters been wager… will these beauties bust-up the bookmakers?