If ever there was a type of market which brings football betting into question, then it’s the next manager one.
Fans ask for odds, often via social media, relatively small bets then see the odds lower, that then leads to other punters thinking something is on, so they place bets and the odds lower further, and all the while it can be for absolutely nothing.
Then media outlets, especially when it’s a quiet non-transfer-window time, will publish articles with titles like ‘odds collapse as Everton close in on manager’, and clicks will be harvested, and more bets placed. And often the whole thing is for no reason at all.
That’s been happening with Everton, with the focus on Sky Bet a lot, which is fair. Sky’s Jim White makes no secret of having a relationship with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, so when ‘Sky sources’ are credited with news then such a link adds to the supposed credibility.
Odds go up, odds collapse, and some fans understandably think they’re being taken for a ride.
When Sky Sports decided to start pushing Simeone this week, the odds tumbled, just like them pushing Sam Allardyce, also this week. Yep, it’s only Wednesday morning, and Sky’s potential losses on an Everton manager appointment have been spread more thinly than cheap margarine on the cheapest of toast.
Anyway, over in Spain, Simeone to Everton isn’t being laughed at. Not yet, anyway.
Sport report the claims without so much of a fit of giggles, and, to be honest, the Spanish press are growing more confident in dismissing some English media stories as nonsense. It’s a two way street.
It could be that Simeone’s difficult Atletico season makes the unlikely prospect of him moving to Everton a little more possible, or maybe they’re saving the laughter for a later date.
Back to the betting. It may all be perfectly above board, but surely it needs to be seen to be, and right now it’s not.