8 October 2020
By Roger Jones
One of the leading sportsbooks in the UK, Paddy Power, has made one of the earliest settlements in its history. After just three games of the new season, the sportsbook operator has paid out Fulham to be relegated from the Premier League.
Paddy Power, which operates live casino gaming as well as sports betting, decided to pay out on both single and multiple bets made on the football team being relegated. This comes after Fulham performed particularly badly as the season kicked off.
A Terrible Start to the Season
It has certainly been no walk in the park for Fulham this season, and it has lost all three of its games, with the latest one involving a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa. The team has not only performed badly during the start of the season but has also conceded the goals.
The early payout from Paddy Power is its second earliest one in relation to relegation. In the 2008/2009 season, the operator paid out early on Stoke City being relegated after just one match. After the latest defeat for Fulham, Paddy Power made the decision to pay out early again based on the team’s performance so far.
An official from Paddy Power said that it appeared that Fulham’s fate with regard to the Premier League was already sealed. They said they feel sorry for Scott Parker and Fulham, however, their race seems to be over.
The End of the Premier League Dream
According to a spokesperson from Paddy Power, it is already the end of the line for Fulham based on their performance this season. So, the bookie obviously believes there is little point hanging around, choosing instead to pay bettors early on the team being relegated. Even the co-owner of the team, Tony Khan, felt compelled to take to Twitter after the Aston Villa defeat to apologise to fans.
Another sports professional who believes that it’s all over for Fulham is the former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher. He apparently described Tony Khan as a ‘clown’ after reading his apology on social media. In fact, so confident is Carragher that it is the end of the line for Fulham that he said the team was more likely to be relegated than Liverpool was to retain its title.
In his apology, Khan tried to blame the poor performance of the team on struggling to get centre-backs on and two team members having COVID-19. He also promised to get reinforcements as soon as possible and said that supporters could expect a much-improved performance from the team. Khan also accepted that the team needed to do a far better job in his social media post.
However, it appears this may have come too late, as many are already convinced that Fulham is as good as relegated already.
Historical Early Settlements by Sportsbook Operators
While this is the second early relegation settlement in Paddy Power’s history, many other bookmakers have paid out early on Premier League bets in the past. In fact, the co-owner of BetFred, Fred Done, lost a cool half a million when the operator made early pay-outs on Manchester United winning the title in 1998. It was actually Arsenal that went on to win.
He was stung once again for a similar sum of money in 2012. Again, he paid out on Manchester United winning the league, but the title actually went to Manchester City.
While sportsbook operators do take a big financial risk by paying out early on outcomes, Paddy Power seems pretty confident that it is making the right decision.