Leicester City’s unprecedented Premier League success will change the face of sports betting forever.
David Williams, the spokesman for betting company Ladbrokes, admitted the 5,000-1 odds offered on the team winning the league will never be repeated, after it cost the nation’s bookmakers a record payout of £25million.
“Leicester winning the title was in the realms of the ridiculous, and it has cost us the biggest anti-post payout in our 130-year history.”
David Williams, Ladbrokes Spokesman
Ladbrokes reported that 57 people took up the incredible 5,000-1 odds with the bookmaker – the longest odds of any bookmaker on the market – of which all but a faithful 21 accepted early cash-out payments for lower odds.
The highest remaining bet yet to be cashed is for a £20 stake, set to earn the winner £100,000.
For the few punters bold enough to put cash on the season’s rank outsider, Leicester’s success has spelt jubilation – for the nation’s bookmakers however, there is a far more solemn atmosphere.
Marking the biggest loss in British history on a single sporting market, the £25million lost by the nations bookmakers is a truly remarkable figure…
For £25million, bookmakers could’ve bought Leicester’s FIVE star players… Twice.
With an accumulative squad value of just £54.4 million – by note, the same amount of money their title rivals Manchester City spent on a single player – Leicester’s sole aim at the beginning of the campaign was simply to avoid going down.
Claudio Ranieri assembled a squad on a shoestring but is now hailed as the manager responsible for the club’s staggering reversal of fortune. Leicester’s squad is worth less than a quarter of the value of other title challengers.
With the £25million the Leicester fans have stripped from the bookmakers, they’d be able to buy the Foxes’ biggest stars twice over:
JAMIE VARDY – Transfer Fee: £1m
Leicester’s 29-year-old top scorer, Jamie Vardy had never played league football before he reached the age of 25. Credit to Nigel Pearson, who took a gamble by signing him for £1 million from Fleetwood Town in 2012. The permanent transfer enabled Vardy to give up his job as a technician making medical splints and become a professional footballer.
RIYAD MAHREZ – Transfer Fee: £400,000
The Algerian midfielder has set the Premier League alight. In 2014, Mahrez was spotted playing for French second division side Le Havre, and was later signed for the relatively measly sum of £400,000. The Premier League’s player of the year later admitted he had never heard of Leicester City at the time.
KASPER SCHMEICHEL – Transfer Fee: £2m
Kasper Schmeichel, son of the former Manchester United keeper Peter, arrived at the King Power stadium after rivals Manchester City released him. Before winning Premier League glory, the agile shot-stopper had played on loan for small clubs across Europe including Darlington and Falkirk.
N’GOLO KANTE – Transfer Fee: £5.6m
N’Golo Kante’s energy has epitomised the spirit of Leicester City in their title winning season. The Frenchman has earned high praise and has attracted the attention of football’s biggest spenders for his consistently impressive displays. In April, Kante made a season-record 149 tackles, good value for his £5.6million transfer fee.
DANNY DRINKWATER – Transfer Fee: £1m
Danny Drinkwater’s Manchester United career may not have panned out as the English midfielder would have wished, but having made his international debut as a result of his strong performances with Leicester this season and soon to collect a Premier League medal, Drinkwater has certainly had the last laugh.
In January 2012, Drinkwater joined the Foxes on a permanent deal from United for the princely sum of £1million after loan spells at Cardiff, Huddersfield, Watford and Barnsley.
TOTAL TRANSFER VALUE: £10million
Not a bad investment by any means… with room to add Huth and Morgan at centre back and buy them twice over too!