Bookies Say Manchester City ‘Big Four’ Finish Unlikely
In England, the recent takeover of top-flight soccer team Manchester City by a group of Middle Eastern investors has done little to convince bookmakers that the side will be in the top four when the season finishes in May.
Manchester City was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment (ADUG) last week and the new investors immediately flashed the cash by buying striker Robinho from Real Madrid for $48.3 million. The Brazilian had seemed destined for Premiership rivals Chelsea but changed his mind at the last minute due in no small part to a rumoured $280,000 weekly wage.
ADUG has already set new City manager Mark Hughes the formidable task of finishing in the top four of the Premiership this season, an area dominated recently by Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and local rivals and defending champions Manchester United, the so-called ‘Big Four’.
While City are favourites at odds of 3/1 with online bookmaker Coral.co.uk to finish in fifth spot above Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at 7/2, these odds lengthen to 5/1 with Bet365.com to finish in the top four. Chelsea and Manchester United are listed at odds of 1/100 by Bet365.com to finish in the top four followed by Liverpool at 2/11 and Arsenal at 1/5.
Those who believe that the influx of money to the City of Manchester Stadium could propel the team to a top four finish can only do as well as 4/1 with both BetDirect.com and StanJames.com. These odds lengthen even more to 9/1 with Betfair.com for a top three finish while a final placing in the top two doubles to odds of 18/1. For those who believe that the added wealth will bring success, most online bookmakers including PaddyPower.com, BlueSq.com and VCBet.com are offering odds of 50/1 for Manchester City to be crowned champions.