The Manchestarian and the Irish bookmakers have decided to pay out now on all single bets on Chelsea to win the Premiership this season, just seven matches into the campaign.
A spokesman for Paddy Power said “Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have all shown their fallibility” and it seemed sensible to admit the title race is over.
“We know and the punters know the Premiership race is already over so the winnings are better off back in people\’s pockets,” he added.
Betfred and Paddy Power are taking a big risk as they could suffer a huge loss if Chelsea are beaten, which happened when the Irish bookmaker paid out early on Arsenal winning the 2002-03 season only to pay out again when Manchester United won the title.
Earlier in 1998, Manchester bookmaker Fred Done had to pay out on both Arsenal and Manchester United, after he decided to pay out early on United, which was overtaken by Arsenal.
On the other hand, Ladbrokes said they will continue to take bets on Chelsea to win the Premiership.
“We\’re more than happy to let people have a bet on Chelsea if they want one until it\’s mathematically impossible for them to be caught. In fact we layed a £20,000 cash bet this morning in a shop in Northumberland,” said a spokesman for the company.