Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 in the Community Shield, a result that prompted Paddy Power to pay out early on The Reds getting crowned 2022-23 EPL champions. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Dublin-based sportsbook Paddy Power is up to its usual cheekiness after it announced it would pay out on Liverpool winning the 2022-23 English Premier League (EPL) a week before the season kicks off.
decision came just before the final whistle
Paddy Power’s decision came just before the final whistle in Liverpool’s 3-1 Community Shield win on Saturday. The traditional curtain-raiser saw The Reds totally outplay the disjointed current EPL title holders, Manchester City. The sportsbook took to Twitter with an ad featuring a beaming Liverpool manager flanked by disgruntled looking peers entitled “The Kop Out”:
To rub salt into the wounds of the Manchester City faithful leaving Leicester’s King Power after the Liverpool defeat, digital ad-vans placed outside the stadium displayed the impertinent ad.
Known for its disruptive marketing stunts, the sportsbook said unlike others, it didn’t see the Community Shield as a “glorified friendly.” It said it took the match “so seriously” that it decided to be “ultra-generous and hit the big red button marked ‘Pay Out’.”
Crystal ball time
UK radio station talk sport said Paddy Power was paying out “ludicrousely early” and that Reds’-backing bettors would receive their winnings nearly nine months ahead of time.
While Paddy Power admitted it “could end up with egg on [its] face,” it told Liverpool-backing bettors that “your winnings are already winging their way to you without a ball even being kicked in the top flight.”
Sky Blues are favorites to take the title at odds of -175
The sportsbook had Liverpool as the second-favorites for the EPL at a general +200 shot. Pep Guardiola’s Sky Blues are favorites to take the title at odds of -175. According to reports in the UK media, The Kop Out payout has cost Paddy Power a six-figure sum.
Season of change
While Liverpool was impressive against Manchester City, scoring through Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, and Sadio Mane’s £85m ($104m) replacement Darwin Núñez, they did lose 4-0 to Manchester United (+2500) in a July pre-season friendly in Thailand.
With United embroiled in a Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga and Chelsea (+1300) yet to convince their own manager they’re ready, a revitalized, super-fit Tottenham Hotspur (+1400) and an increasingly effective Arsenal (+3300) could be worth a wager.
All in all, it’s a significant season of change for the EPL amid an ongoing wrangle over betting sponsorships. At least Paddy Power always sees the funny side, even if the joke might ultimately backfire.