Bookies facing big losses if QPR are docked points and Norwich City claim title
The bookies may be predicting doom and gloom for Norwich City's prospects in the Premier League next year – but many of them have already been proved wrong.
Some local bookmakers have been left feeling the pain of Norfolk's faith in its football team. Everstowe Sports Betting, in Suffolk Square, Norwich, were paying out to lots of happy punters yesterday morning.
There was one man who even came in to ask for odds on City finishing second next season, and was quoted a huge 1000/1 for the prospect. It is whether Lambert will still be in charge come the start of next season that Everstowe are currently focused on though.
With Aston Villa's manager Gerrard Houllier currently unlikely to resume his role because of another health scare, that high profile role could soon be up for grabs. Everstowe are currently quoting Lambert as 8/1 to be Villa's new boss this summer, as Rob Annable explained: 'Lambert is fairly fancied for that job at the moment but what could also happen is Villa turn to David Moyes at Everton and then Everton goes to Lambert. I suppose it depends how far Lambert thinks he can take Norwich. We had a lot of happy fans come in yesterday morning to claim their winnings and everyone seemed to think Lambert has been the key.
'I would think he's the most popular man in the city.'
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The local bookmaker is now hoping that Norwich do not become champions by virtue of QPR being docked points, as they had several people take a chance on their 20/1 odds of Norwich being champions at the start of this season. If it happens they will make a four-figure loss.
Turning attention to next season, Everstowe are currently offering 4/7 for City to be relegated next season and 5/4 to stay up. They are also offering a special of Grant Holt, pictured, and Simeon Jackson scoring 25 goals between them at 4/1.
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National bookmaker Bet365 are offering 6/4 that Lambert will not last the 2011/12 Premier League season as Norwich manager, and 1/2 for him to still be in the Carrow Road hot seat on the final day of the season.
They have Norwich at 10/1 to finish in the top half of the table, as 11/10 shots to avoid relegation and 4/6 to go straight back down to the Championship, while they have set Grant Holt's chances of being the Premier League's top scorer at 250/1.
Spokesman Steve Freeth said: 'People questioned Grant Holt at Championship level but he's recorded another 20-goal haul and he'll relish the battle with Premier League defenders next season, although our 250/1 Golden Boot quote suggests he'll do well to challenge the likes of Rooney and co.'
William Hill are equally pessimistic. To finish in the top half they are quoting 7/1, in the bottom half 1/16, to finish between 11th and 17th place 5/4, to be relegated 8/11 and to finish rock bottom as 9/2.
Media relations director at William Hill, Graham Sharpe, added: 'Lots of people maybe regard Norwich as the Blackpool of next season as they play a similar attacking style. History seems to show that teams who do well in the first nine or 10 games then drop down, like Blackpool have done, as well as Hull and Reading in recent years.
'I think most neutral fans will say good luck to Norwich and hope they can survive with the same sort of style that has seen them promoted two years in a row.'