This article was written in July 2008, however you can still bet on the next premier league manager to be sacked, as most bookies kleep this market open throughout the season (apart from when it is obvious that a sacking is minutes away). You can usually bet on the premiership sack race with Paddy Power.
As the days count down towards the start of the 2008/09 football season (we start to think of these things now Euro 2008 ended all of two days ago!), thoughts turn to the usual football betting markets: Who will win the Premiership?, Who will be the Premiership’s Top Scorer? Who will be relegated? etc, etc. However, a market exists that is influenced by fan pressure, tabloid grudges and nervous chairmen all over the country – And that’s the Premiership Sack Race: Betting on who will be the first Premiership manager to be sacked (or to be pedantic “leave his job”, as most managers leave by “mutual consent” these days!).
Few would have thought that the first Premiership manager to be sacked in 2007/08 would have been Jose Mourinho, but in the early hours of 20th September, the Special One left Stamford Bridge, costing bookies who were laying his departure at 25/1 at the time an absolute packet. Will this season see such a surprise first departure? Or will one of the “lucky survivors” from last season’s time finally run out? At the moment, only Skybet are offering odds on the first Premier League manager to be sacked in 2008, but more bookmakers will surely follow suit and offer odds very shortly.
At the time of writing, there are five “favourites” to get the chop early doors at 7/1 – West Ham’s Alan Curbishley; Relegation Battle Survivors/Miracle Workers Roy Hodgson and Gary Megson; and two of the Championship’s automatically promoted managers, West Brom’s Tony Mowbray and Stoke’s Tony Pulis. They’re followed by Hull’s Phil Brown and Newcastle’s Kevin Keegan at 8/1 – With Denis Wise looking over his shoulder, Keegan needs to get off to a good start to the 2008/09 season, or he could find himself pushed upstairs.
Steve Bruce and Roy Keane look fairly stable at 12/1, which is also the price for Gareth Southgate to get the sack as Middlesbrough boss first. Having come under a bit of pressure last year before steering the Teesiders away from the relegation zone at the business end of the season, Boro fans will be looking for better from his side this year, and the pressure will be on Southgate, who is still very much an inexperienced manager, and therefore, our tip for the chop – Gareth Southgate at 12/1 (Skybet).
Keep your money in your pocket for new Man City boss Mark Hughes, Blackburn Guv’nor Paul Ince, ‘Arry Redknapp and Arsene Wenger at 20/1. Likewise Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes at 25/1. The safest Premiership managers in their jobs according to Skybet are currently Luis Filipe Scolari, Martin O’Neill and Juande Ramos, who are all priced at 33/1.
So will there be another “Mourinho-like” shock departure? Well, it’s unlikely but if you were to bet on a manager who has publically fallen out with the club owners and came within a whisker of being sacked last season until fan pressure changed the owners (who even interviewed and lined up a replacement) minds, then you might like to have a few quid on Rafael Benitez at 20/1. Liverpool’s owners know there’d be a pubic lynching if they got rid of Rafa, but it’s amazing what a few bad results and puzzling team selections can do to a Premiership Manager’s job prospects!