As the nation recovers from a giant hangover celebrating Leicester City’s fairytale Premier League title, sober reality is starting to kick in thanks to the bookies.
Perhaps getting revenge for a title win which has cost bookmakers a total of £15 million, betting chains think it’s more likely that Leicester City will get relegated in 2016-17 than win they are to retain their Premier League crown.
Famously, bookies all offered odds of 5000/1 at the start of this season that the Foxes would win the title. It’s cost William Hill £2.2m, whilst of the 47 punters who backed Leicester with Ladbrokes to triumph, 22 held their nerve and didn’t cash out.
The payouts range from just £250 to an Edinburgh woman who gambled just 5p to £100,000 to a Manchester gambler who staked £20 on the men from the King Power Stadium. The biggest William Hill payout was actually £112,500 to a Surrey gambler who placed a hefty £75 near the start of the season at odds of 1500/1, when it started to look as if Claudio Ranieri wasn’t such a joke appointment after all.
Despite being caught out by Leicester City this season, bookies believe they are just 16/1 to be relegated next season. Compare that to the slightly more generous odds of 25/1 for Ranieri’s side to win the title again in 2016-17.
The payouts smash the record sporting odds which bookmakers have had to fork out to delirious punters.
The previous biggest William Hill sporting odds were half that of Leicester City’s triumph. In 2013, when Liverpool winger Harry Wilson made his debut for Wales, his grandad Peter Edwards had double cause for celebration. In 1999, when Wilson was just 18-months-old, Edwards placed £5 at odds of 2500/1 that his grandson would one day become an international.
Ironically, Wilson’s debut against Belgium – when he came on as an 87th-minute sub for Hal Robson-Kanu – is the winger’s sole international appearance so far. Aged 16yrs 203 days, it made Wilson Wales’ youngest ever international, beating Gareth Bale’s record.
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn