Despite West Ham announcing on Tuesday (20th May) that they are backing Big Sam, there is still a couple of active markets available that suggests that not everybody out there believes all is rosy in the West Ham garden.
BetVictor and Paddy Power still have active Next Manager markets, and on Betfair’s betting exchange, they are running a ‘Next West Ham Manager By August 16th’ market.
Both BetVictor and Paddy Power (£50.00 Free Bet) make Gus Poyet the favourite, with BetVictor offering him at 11/10 and Paddy Power at 2/1. Second favourite is David Moyes, which on the face of it makes no sense whatsoever.
The fact that markets remain suggest that punters are still showing an interest, which indicates not everyone is convinced by the club statement ‘backing’ Allardyce.
The ‘Next West Ham Manager By August 16th’ market on Betfair is still fairly active. There is an option in the market to bet on ‘No Managerial Change,’ which is currently the favourite.
You can back ‘No Managerial Change’ at 1.07, but only for a couple of quid. There is over £1000 waiting to be laid at 1.05 though, which is effectively a 20/1 bet on Big Sam not being in the West Ham job at the start of next season.
Looking at the statement, it seems a bit insulting to Allardyce. Telling him he has to play more attractive football and appoint an attack minded coach is a bit like telling him he’s not doing his job properly.
Is Big Sam really going to stand for such demands from his bosses? After all, he has been there and done it many times before and he doesn’t need telling how to do his job.
Or the alternative view is that this is just a sop to the West Ham fans, and that Allardyce, Sullivan and Gold, etc, have all just decided to carry on as you were, but release this statement to make sure season ticket sales don’t fall off a cliff.
After all it is a delicate balancing job for the owners. On one hand they want to keep the fans onside, but on the other hand they know it is imperative to be in the Premier League when they enter their new ground, and that Big Sam represents the best chance of this happening.
This is surely the bottom line for Sullivan and Gold, who may well be West Ham fans, but are businessmen first and foremost.
Personally I couldn’t back Sam to be there on August 16th at 1.07 (in the Betfair market), but I would certainly be trying to lay him at those odds. Chances are he will still be there, but it is a cheap low risk lay, with little payout if it loses (you can open a Betfair account and get a £50.00 Free Bet here).
Looking further ahead, and if Sam does stay, and fans get even more disenchanted and make their feelings clear from the terraces, what price West Ham imploding and maybe going down?
West Ham to be relegated next season is currently a best price of 6/1 with William Hill.