Now the Trust does not endorse betting – we’d far prefer you gave your money to #OperationPromotion of course.  One way of looking at this is that Chris may show us all how much or how little he knows about English league football.

Worth a Fortune? by Chris Parker

Many years ago I worked with someone whose father had a yankee bet on the winners of the four English divisions. You will be able to tell how long ago it was because they had Liverpool to win division one, Sunderland division 3, Wolves the 4th tier and the one that really boosted the winnings was Millwall to finish top of division two. For a few pounds invested they won over £22,000.

Since that distant day I have tried to repeat their performance but fell well short. Maybe, just like Town, this is the year.
Here are a few suggestions;
Premiership; Chelsea are favourites but you have to go back 7 years since any team have won back to back Premiership titles. Will Costa be fit throughout? If not the back-up of the injury prone Falcao and Remy don’t strike me as Title winning forwards. Arsenal probably have their best chance for years and I think Man United aren’t quite ready yet and although City will trounce some of the lesser lights, I think they will be found wanting defensively against their title rivals. TIP Arsenal 4/1with SkyBet

At the other end I just can’t see the League of Nations (Watford) surviving. They did amazingly well to withstand the revolving door at their manager’s office to gain promotion but I just feel they will be found well short come next May. I think the spirit that Nigel Pearson installed in the closing months of last season at Leicester was nothing short of fantastic but with the loss of their on pitch talisman in Cambiasso, I’ll go for :Leicester to be relegated 3/1 with SkyBet and Watford to be relegated (Nap) 4/5 with Corals

Championship; Over recent years the Championship has been the most difficult division for punters as shown by Bournemouth winning the title and Brentford making the play-offs. Derby fell away alarmingly last season and I really hope Paul Clement proves a great choice, mainly because he is English and has learnt his trade as a coach with differing footballing philosophies. Middlesbrough look capable of going one better than last season but sometimes a play-off hangover kicks in. As both are best priced at 6/1 I am seeking better value elsewhere. For me one of the best managers around is Kenny Jackett and at 18/1 with Corals they are well worth backing. If you are looking for a rank outsider I expect Milton Keynes at 20/1 (I refuse to call them Dons!!) to go well despite losing some of their goal threat; Tip Wolves to win the title 18/1
At the other end the hot favourites for relegation are Rotherham but Steve Evans always has a trick up his sleeve and at 4/1 Huddersfield could well face the drop. As a big outsider I think Sheffield Wednesday may not go too well and at 10/1 for the drop may well be worth a few quid.

League One; Sheffield United are favourites and with ex Scunny boss Nigel Adkins in charge I can see why. Money seems to be pouring in and their odds have been slashed to 9/2. I can see relegated Wigan and Millwall pushing them but for a crazy outside bet I, cough cough, suggest Scunthorpe at a best priced 28/1 (Betway). Tip; Sheffield United to win the title 9/2
Leading scorer bets are always a bit of a gamble because you don’t know if injury will strike &I hope I didn’t anger too many Town fans by suggesting Scunthorpe will do well, and I am not rubbing it in, but suggest Paddy Madden for top scorer at outstanding value of 20/1.
League Two; As in most divisions money talks and the shortest price teams include Pompey & Luton. I thought Luton would have done better last season but for some reason don’t fancy them this time. Again looking for value, I go for Michael Appleton’s Oxford remembering the way they dismantled us at Blundell Park last term. A best priced 9/1 with most bookmakers Tip; Oxford(8/1) to win the league.   The bookies take the easy line in tipping the Football League Paupers for the drop but I reckon Wayne Burnett’s Dagenham & Redbridge will have enough to survive along with Accrington. The two who to me look likely to be in trouble are Newport (5/1 with Bwin) and Mansfield at 7/1 with SkyBet.

SUMMARY;

I’m going for a Yankee of Arsenal (4/1), Wolves (18/1), Sheffield Utd (9/2) & Oxford (8/1). A £2e/w yankee would win you up to £7,928.
Sheffield Utd to win League One and Paddy Madden to be top scorer. £10 win double returns £1,155
Continental; Bayern Munich (2/17), Juventus (8/13), PSG (1/6) Celtic (1/25)& Grimsby (5/1). £2 Super Yankee returns £318.84
Relegation; Watford (4/5) Huddersfield (4/1) Blackpool (2/1) Mansfield (7/1) £2 yankee pays £1172
Outsiders; Milton Keynes (20/1) Scunthorpe (28/1) Notts County (18/1) £2 e/w patent returns £14,472

Just a bit of fun but it would be good to review these tips come May.