No one could have called it at the start of the season, but with just 6 games to go before the end, Fred Done, owner of Betfred, paid out on all bets for Leicester to win the Premier League.
Their fairy-tale journey to the top was one of the biggest upsets in British footballing history, and it cost Fred Done millions of pounds to do it, bur his firm has a history with early payouts, and he no doubt wanted some of the publicity surrounding their amazing achievement.
Not to mention that loads of people probably placed a bunch of long odds outrights on the following season once they heard this news.
Despite being close to the end, their was still a fair amount of risk attached for Betfred.
Leicester were 7 points clear at the top when Betfred made the call, with Tottenham their closest rivals in second; but with 6 games to go it was not beyond the realms of possibility that Leicester could be caught.
That said, Leicester’s final opponents were:
- Sunderland (Away)
- West Ham (Home)
- Swansea (Home)
- Man Utd (Away)
- Everton (Home)
- Chelsea (Away)
Four of these teams finished in the bottom half of the table, so it was unlikely Leicester were going to drop too many points considering their form and their opponents. In the end, they came away with 12 points from their six remaining games, while Tottenham only managed a further 8 points.
Arsenal actually ended up coming second in the league that year with 71 points, but Leicester took the trophy with a solid 10 point lead, finishing on 81 points.
Punter Wins £40,000 on £20 Bet After Early Payout
— Betfred (@Betfred) April 6, 2016
Leicester might have had to wait another 6 weeks to lift the trophy, but those bold punters who had laid down their cash earlier on in the season didn’t have to wait to collect their winnings from Betfred.
One man who had backed Leicester to win the Premier League at 2000/1 odds, and who did so in one of Betfred’s shops, walked away with a very tidy £40,000 for his £20 stake.
After The Fox’s 1-0 win over Southampton, Betfred boss, Fred Done, announced the early payout and said;
“Today was a very significant win and Leicester have impressed me all season. I have a number of punters who incredibly backed the Foxes for fivers and tenners at very fancy prices and it will cost me a million pounds.”
“I want those punters to get their dough now. I am delighted because Leicester have been an absolute breath of fresh air this season.”
Betfred were the first bookie to pay out early in 1998, famously doing so incorrectly on Man Utd, only to have to pay out again when Arsenal nudged ahead to clinch the title on goal difference. The bookie made a similar clanger in 2012 when Man City came from behind to steal the title from their nearby rivals.
Fred was right in his predictions this time around though, so didn’t have to pay out twice.