Fred Done is at it again. This time the Betfred boss has paid out early on Manchester City to win the Premier League as the Citizens sit pretty with a six-point lead at the top of the table over title rivals Liverpool and Chelsea. That means punters that backed Pep Guardiola’s men at the start of the season will be enjoying a financial boost heading into the new year, even if City don’t end up actually lifting the trophy in May.
City have certainly been on flying form and have won their last nine domestic matches, while scoring 17 goals in just their last three outings. A 7-0 win over Leeds was followed by a 4-0 win over Newcastle, and City won 6-3 against Leicester last time out as they asserted themselves as the best team in the country, yet again.
However, this is a big risk for Fred, who is paying out around £3m-£4m to winning punters as we have played just half of the Premier League season, and an awful lot could change over the next 19 matches. With a match against Brentford tonight, their lead could be a healthy nine points over their title rivals, a gap the Betfred boss believes comfortable enough to secure them their fourth Premier League title in five seasons as we head into January.
Fred has been stung twice before by his generosity, however. Back in March 1998, he became the first bookmaker to give his punters an early pay-out when he paid out on his beloved Manchester United to win the Premier League only for Sir Alex Ferguson to be pipped to the title by Arsene Wenger by just a point. That decision cost him £500,000 but despite that, and a warning from the Scottish boss, he didn’t learn his lesson. In the famous title race of 2012, when Manchester City won thanks to Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp winner, Fred had already paid out on United to win the league when they were five points clear.
“Believe it or not, football is always about the heart with me and not the wallet,” he said back in 2012, and it seems as if his heart is saying that Guardiola’s men have got this one wrapped up.
If you are as confident as Fred about Manchester City’s chances this season, you can back them to win the Champions League at 11/4.
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