Betfred boss Fred Done believes that football coming home is “nailed on” when England take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, even if England’s first win at a major tournament in 55 years could cost the bookmaker between £4-5million.
“I am really looking forward to this game. I think the manager [Gareth Southgate] has put a wonderful team spirit in there. I’m really pleased with what he’s doing, I think he’s doing one fantastic job,” he told The Sportsman.
“I’ve got to say, I fancied them, this is not after the results, because I hate the ‘after the results merchants’, but I fancied them right from day one because I think he’s just put a good team together and it’s going to be massive for the nation.”
“You need a leader and I think he’s been a good leader, and I look at the team spirit, even for the kids who are not playing, they look excited about it, they’re all pleased for one another.
“I think we’ve got every chance in this game, I think we’re nailed on for it.”
Sunday’s cup final has been a long time coming for England fans, especially for those who can recall the heroics of 1966. Done still remembers that 4-2 win over West Germany in the World Cup final at Wembley, a victory that, thanks to some shrewd betting, helped kick off his career as a bookmaker.
“Incidentally, that was a big part of my career that competition. I had £200 on England at 8/1. Just to put that in context, I was on £20 a week, and I put £200 on, so it’s ten weeks’ wages. It was a bit of a bet for me in those days.
“I won £1,600 on it, and that went towards my first shop in Salford, so it was a good leg up on the ladder.”
Betfred are set to make a big loss should Southgate’s Three Lions triumph over Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri but it’s something that Done is more than willing to accept.
“Betfred, my company, will lose between £4-5million on Sunday if England win this competition, and I hope I lose £4-5million.
“Why? Because England owe me nothing - they paid towards my first shop. Secondly, I think it's a great boost for the country after the 18 months we’ve had with this pandemic. I think it’ll be a great booster and come on England!”