O'Neill and Mourinho are favourites
with Capello coming up on the rails
Those who, at half-time in
England's 3-2 loss to Croatia, took the 13-8 William Hill were offering that
Steve McClaren would be sacked within 24 hours may have been able to collect
their winnings at around a quarter to nine last night but that will be scant
consolation for punters and bookmakers alike who have now been deprived of a
home nations side at the European Championship finals..
With England and
Northern Ireland following Scotland and Wales out of the competition, all firms
are certain to see the amount gambled on the action in Austria and Switzerland
fall. "At this stage we don't know how much England's absence will affect
turnover next summer, as the football betting landscape has changed
dramatically in the years since England last missed out on a major tournament,"
said Coral's David Stevens. "However, it would be naive to think there will not
be some shortfall, as we won't have the custom of the patriotic fan that likes
to back England whenever they are in action."
Coral were convinced McClaren's tenure was
over immediately after Wednesday's defeat, issuing odds of 1-40 that the former
Middlesbrough manager would fail to last the year in the job. That price
disappeared overnight as it became clear his position had become
McClaren's departure has led to a flood of interest in who
will be the next head coach of England, with Martin O'Neill and Jose Mourinho
the two names that have caught the punting public's eye. "We have a lively
two-horse race on our hands at the moment" said Graham Sharpe of Hill's. His
firm have seen a "stream of three-figure bets" on the current Aston Villa
manager, and one client has staked £1,000 on O'Neill, forcing Hill's to
cut him to 5-2. Elsewhere, 4-1 was available.
Other firms have
shortened up Mourinho. Sky Bet's PR director, Dale Tempest, said: "The phones
are hot this morning with customers clamouring to back the 'Special One' for
the job." Sky Bet offer just 5-2 whereas Coral and Paddy Power were also
fielding calls wanting to back the former Chelsea manager. Boyle Sports were
best at 9-2 yesterday afternoon.
After that, Fabio Capello, who
apparently declared an interest, is 6-1 (general), Luiz Felipe Scolari 20-1
(Hill's), Alan Shearer 20-1 (Coral), Marcello Lippi 25-1 (Betfred), Guus
Hiddink 25-1 (general), Harry Redknapp 20-1 (general), Stuart Pearce 25-1
(general) and 33-1 bar those.
You may have noticed six of the first
seven names in the betting are not English. Although there was a clamour from
sections of the press to employ an Englishman following the announcement that
Sven-Goran Eriksson would leave after the 2006 World Cup, it seems unlikely
that that will happen again. Taking the 4-7 Totesport are offering that the FA
appoints a foreign coach could end up paying dividends.
fancy, it is worth remembering three runners (McClaren, Scolari and O'Neill)
traded at odds-on the last time the England job was up for grabs and three
others (Sam Allardyce, Hiddink and Alan Curbishley) were backed at 5-1 or
shorter. With the FA set to take their time about an appointment, do not expect
to get paid any time soon.
VC Bet have issued a market on McClaren's
next job. They offer 11-8 he will become manager of a Premier League club. Two
of the last three England coaches (Eriksson and Glenn Hoddle) returned to
football by taking charge of a top-division side, so McClaren's chances make
those odds worth a look. And while you might have to wait a while to collect,
there seems little reason to suggest McClaren will not get a chance sooner or
As for England, Totesport offer 8-11 it will be another 40 years
before they win a major trophy. Hill's go 5-4 they win a home nations
tournament should one arise next summer, and England are 10-1 (general) fourth
favourites for the 2010 World Cup.