FAI Leakathon is Dream for Online Traders

February 7, 2008 at 1:36 am Leave a comment

So Ireland lost to Brazil, despite (as this photograph suggests) playing the game not in Croke Park, but in the middle of Drumcondra Road itself.

Football Signs Drumcondra

As one small measure of the FAI’s comic mismanagement of Irish international football, I was much more emotionally involved watching Bohemians play Monaghan United on Saturday than I was with a visit of Brazil, the iconic international team of anybody who was a child in 1970, to a world-class stadium around the corner from my house.

Admittedly I am biased, as I have applied for the job of Ireland manager and I have yet to hear back from the interview panel of Paddy Irishman, Paddy Englishman and Paddy Scotsman. But there is a disturbing side effect of the marathon selection leakathon – and that is the massive amount of money that is being won and lost by people betting on the ever-changing favourites for the job. >>>

Four Odds-On Favourites

In a race with almost unlimited runners, it is unusual to see one contender being such a favourite that you would would win less than you risk losing if you bet on him. But the leak-fuelled race for Ireland manager has seen four different odds-on favourites.

On the Betfair website alone, over half a million euro has been bet on these four favourites, at times when their odds were either evens or less than evens:

  • Over €100,000 on the first odds-on favourite, Terry Venables
  • Almost €3,000 on the short-lived odds-on favourite, Liam Brady.
  • Over €200,000 on the next odds-on favourite, Gerard Houllier
  • Nearly €200,000 on the next odds-on favourite, Giovanni Trapattoni.

Other Rapidly Changing Odds

At one stage you could have bet on Kenny Dalglish at odds of 200-1 (and at least one person did). When news leaked of him being the alleged favourite, his odds dropped to just over evens.

The odds on Sam Allardyce dropped from 150-1 to 7-1 when he was sacked by Newcastle, and news leaked that he had been in touch with the selection committee.

This pattern repeated itself over and over again.

  • Steve Coppell dropped from just over 600-1 to 7-1.
  • Lawrie Sanchez dropped from just under 700-1 to just over 5-1.
  • Philipe Trousier dropped from 1,000-1 to 6-1.
  • Kevin Keegan dropped from 1,000-1 to 4-1.
  • Billy Davis dropped from 1,000-1 to just over evens.

Most dramatically, Paul Jewell dropped from 1,000-1 to evens when news leaked that Johnny Giles had been talking to him to try to get him to consider the job.

How Online Trading has Changed the Face of Gambling

Before online trading websites like Betfair existed, you could bet against a bookie that your favourite would win. If he won, you won money. If he lost, you lost money.

  • But now, with sites like Betfair, you can either be the punter (by betting that somebody will win) or you can be the bookie (by betting that somebody will not win).
  • Or else you can do both – by betting that somebody will win when the odds are high, then betting that they won’t win when the odds drop lower.

If you get this right, you can balance your bets so that you win money irrespective of who wins the race. You can make a lot of money doing this if the odds are changing dramatically.

And you can do this with very little risk if, by some miracle, you were to know – before the general public does – that the odds on somebody winning are going to drop dramatically.

The Tumbling Odds on Giovanni Trapattoni

Naturally, nothing like that could possibly happen in the race for the new Ireland manager.

So the best of luck to the Betfair punters who, before the odds on Trapattoni tumbled, have between them bet almost €11,000 at odds of between 10-1 and 20-1, over €1,000 at odds of between 20-1 and 50-1, over €1,000 at odds of 50-1, and another €1,000 at odds of between 50-1 and 350-1.

Of course, they don’t need any luck if they have already traded that bet, by betting against Trappatoni at much lower odds, thus guaranteeing themseles a winning bet regardless of who gets the job.


Entry filed under: Ireland, Sports.

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A blog by Michael Nugent

Welcome to my blog about living in the maddest country on earth. Please feel free to leave a comment.

I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohemians football club in the 1970s.


February 2008
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Bionic Bohs

As mentioned above, if you like Irish football and/or cultural nostalgia, I also write Bionic Bohs, a blog about following Bohs in the 1970s.

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