Another winter and another round of calls for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be sacked. The underfire boss is not without his critics, even when the team are playing well, but when things don’t go according to plan for the Red Devils, the angry mob complete with pitchforks descend on Old Trafford. Critics want to see the Norwegian out of the hot-seat and a new, more experienced man in before the club hands over any more cash in the winter transfer window.
Bookies everywhere, from the top bookies in the United Kingdom to the best sports betting sites in Canada, offer a market that is affectionately known as the sack race. It’s a race no manager wants to win, but bettors have the chance to bet on their predictions at eye-catching odds. The aim of this market is to successfully predict the next English Premier League manager to lose his job.
An exciting bet that’s always live
The reason for his departure isn’t important to this bet. He could exit on the back of a run of poor form, it could be a decision by mutual consent, or the gaffer could depart for another job in football. It doesn’t matter when the boss you pick leaves – it could be at any point during the season – as long as they depart before any other manager in the top tier of English football loses their job. It’s an exciting bet that can land at any time.
The Premier League is nothing if not unpredictable. That covers all aspects of the competition, from results to league positions, scorelines and even manager sackings and appointments. Bets can be placed on the next Premier League manager to leave before the season has begun or at any stage of the fixtures. The odds are updated and refreshed after every round of results.
As we have seen in the league many times before, even a decent run of results doesn’t guarantee a manager’s safety. Claudio Ranieri won the league title for Leicester City but didn’t see out the next year. The board at top clubs are ruthless in their pursuit of glory. Bottom club Norwich City recently secured their first win of the season to boost their chances of beating relegation back to the Championship, only for Daniel Farke to be relieved of his duties a few hours later. No one is safe, and that adds a little extra spice to this bet.
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Ole is favourite for the exit door
With Norwich City and Aston Villa sacking their managers and replacing them in November, the market has been re-shaped, and Man Utd boss Solskjaer now finds himself as a favourite. Traders at all major betting apps chalk up Ole as the most likely next boss to go, and many are so convinced he’s for the high jump they are offering short odds, discouraging bettors from having a go. Those wishing to bet on this market who were hoping for a bet at decent odds must look further down the list.
Why is the industry dead against Solskjaer after leading the Red Devils to second place in the Premier League and Europa League last season? The young boss has been trusted with millions of pounds in transfer fees, and the names brought in haven’t found the success that was expected of them, not yet anyway. That may suggest it’s not the players that is the problem but the guidance they are being given. In their first 11 league games, Man Utd has just five wins with 17 points on the board. That’s nine less than current leaders, Chelsea. United have won one of their last five league starts with a 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool and Manchester Derby loss to Man City included in that drought.
If the next manager to leave isn’t Ole, who will it be, and where will punters find the value? The second favourite at the time of writing is Claudio Ranieri, the leader of London club Watford, who is dangerously close to the relegation zone after failing to win eight of 11 league starts. Others facing the chop include Rafael Benitez at Everton, who are bottom half and Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, despite the heroics of the last two seasons.