Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

The Road to Riches Weekend of 8th-9th June

Posted on 7 Jun 2024 08:44 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Beverley, Catterick, Chepstow, Haydock and Lingfield and over the jumps at Bangor-on-Dee.
  • Football, Euro 24 begins next Friday in Germany.
  • Cricket, The T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA continues.
  • Formula One, the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal
  • Rugby Union, the Gallagher Premiership final between Northampton and Bath
  • Golf, the US Open next week at Pinehurst.
  • Tennis, ATP Libema and Stuttgart Opens.

2024 European Championship Football (from 14th June)

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Royal Ascot 18th-22nd June

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Free Tip

Premiership Rugby Final

Bath v Northampton, Saturday 3pm, Twickenham

Northampton and Bath, first and second place finishers respectively in the regular season table this season meet in the Premiership final this weekend. This season has represented somewhat of a changing of the guard with Saracens about to embark on a rebuild and Exeter further along that path, and this should be a great game between two very attacking teams.

This is Northampton’s first Premiership final in ten years, reached via a relatively low scoring win 22-20 over Saracens last weekend. Bath meanwhile beat last season’s finalists Sale in a thriller, 31-23 to reach their first final in over a decade. They are hoping to win the club’s first Premiership title in 28 years, since their era of dominance in the 1990s.

Northampton have been the best English club team all season, headlined by the half-back partnership of Alex Mitchell and Finn Smith and the back-line but with a very efficient high energy pack too, really the first year they have an all-round game where the attack is complemented by a forward pack that can give as good as it gets. Within that pack this is the end of an era with Courtney Lawes and Lewis Ludlam off to French rugby at the end of the season.

Bath were in the doldrums for many years and two years ago finished bottom of the league, albeit a league without relegation, but their new South African coach Johann Van Graan has engendered a recovery with huge investment from local owners taking them to competitiveness.

They too have a pair of top half-backs in Ben Spencer and Finn Russell (the object of a big chunk of that investment), back quickly from a recent torn groin with Ollie Lawrence outside and their pack dominated their semi-final.

This promises to be a close and potentially high scoring contest as both teams put the emphasis on attack.

At this distance, you would probably favour Northampton, especially if they get ahead early. Bath will miss the hemmed-in nature of their own small-ish ground that provides a sizeable home advantage, there is no way that even a capacity crowd in the wider spaces of Twickenham could possibly repeat the atmosphere at the Rec. Northampton also probably have more strings to their attacking bow to take an opportunity or two more after a tight contest up-front.

Northampton are 4/7 favourites for the game, Bath 6/4 underdogs. Northampton are -4 on the handicap. I’ve been waiting all week to see Northampton -3, but no joy. I still expect Northampton to win by a score or so.

11 points Northampton -4 points at 10/11 generally


All Academic

English football is producing better quality players and more of them. 12 years of a huge investment in Academy development has delivered winning England junior men’s teams and a senior team in Fifa’s top four.

Subject to the constraints of the Profit and Sustainability regulations (PSR) it has never been more important for clubs to produce home-grown players although that does not necessarily mean in order to play for the first team, as moving on these players represents pure profit for owners seeking to balance the PSR books. They are an important commodity different from players brought in from elsewhere who have transfer fees and sell-on obligations in their cost base.

Examples of these players and how PSR has altered their paths in the game are seen throughout Premier League football. Conor Gallagher was Chelsea captain through much of last season and yet is a prime candidate to be moved in the summer window. This would have been inconceivable pre-PSR, a former Academy player of that age and ability would have been a mainstay of the squad for years to come.

Mason Mount, Brennan Johnson and Anthony Gordon were all sold by their clubs, in part, to mitigate against spending elsewhere. Scott McTominay, Emile Smith Rowe might go the same way at their clubs, as well as Gavi at Barcelona. Cole Palmer and James Trafford were both profitable sales for Manchester City. So too Jaden Philogene and Cameron Archer once of Aston Villa, who left last summer with buy-back clauses.

The PSR compliancy dictates modern football strategy, from the richest clubs to the poorest. It has been the force in creating the multi-club system but for homegrown players they have never been more valuable, but the volatility of their situations has increased markedly. That volatility and mobility away from their Academy clubs has to be seen as a negative for the home club fans, who typically root for home-grown players to break through and succeed. They are “one of our own”.

Developing players for sale rather than first team is not a new phenomenon. Chelsea pioneered it in the 2000s and the most successful development club of the era, Manchester City, followed. Across European football it is part of every club’s business plan. Clubs have long sold their best homegrown talent but now the dynamic is different. With every big move in the transfer market, the flipside is that the cost might eventually be the best academy talent.

Clubs are obliged to invest as much as ever in academies. The latest European Court of Justice ruling suggests that UEFA’s notion of homegrown players to include any produced by clubs in the same national association will have to be changed. Instead the homegrown quota, currently six in Premier League squads, will have to be filled by players who graduated from that club’s academy.

At the same time the old route to signing players at the age of 16 from academies in European Union countries, like Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique, who would then count as homegrown, has been closed by Brexit. In its place is the ‘elite significant contribution player’  effectively a work permit wild card to sign young players around the world. Those aged under 21 do not have to be named as one of the 26 in a Premier League squad.

The status of the homegrown player reflects the status of the modern English game. There is huge pressure to win, and to balance the PSR compliancy. Succeed and the rewards will come. If the club falls short and you will be sold. Or, in the cases of some, sold either way.


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The Road to Riches Weekend of 1st-2nd June

Posted on 29 May 2024 08:14 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Doncaster, Epsom including the Derby, Lingfield and Musselburgh and over the jumps at Hexham, Stratford and Worcester.
  • Football, the Champions League final at Wembley, Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid.
  • Cricket, The start of the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA.
  • Golf, the Memorial Tournament on the USPGA and the Scandinavian Mixed Event on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, the French Open continues.

Royal Ascot 18th-22nd June

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Free Tip

Cricket T20 World Cup starts Sunday

Just 16 months after the last T20 World Cup, won by England in Australia, comes the 2024 version the latest in the global merry-go-round of T20 ICC and franchise tournaments that have been ongoing since the end of the 2023 English domestic season.

This tournament is hosted by the West Indies and the USA from 1st-29th June. 16 matches are being hosted in New York, Texas and Florida. 8 take place on drop-in pitches in a new ground in New Jersey and there is no track record of international games in Florida, whilst in Texas 7 out of the 12 games in last year’s inaugural MLS T20 tournament had totals of less than 155. For Groups A and D in this expanded 20 team tournament there is an added element of variance in predicting ante-post and early single game outcomes, there simply isn’t much pitch and venue data to go on.

The group stage will consist of four groups of five teams, played as a single round-robin format in which the top two teams in each group will progress to the Super 8 stage, two groups of four leading to semi-finals. There’s an important wrinkle though. Teams are already seeded into Super 8 groups, so if India qualify there are into Group 1, and so are Australia. If an underdog qualifies ahead of India, say, they take their ranking in the Super 8.

We can see on the seedings these are the potential Super 8s:

India, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka

Pakistan, England, West Indies, South Africa

Furthermore if India, say, make it to the semis we know they will play in Guyana. We know Australia would play in Trinidad. Got all that?!

In 8 World T20 tournaments no home team has ever won it and this is the first major tournament since the explosion of scoring in the format, notably in this year’s IPL.

There are reasons why these trends won’t be replicated here, such as no impact players that changed the risk dynamic for batsmen so much and, you would think, an absence of very short boundaries plus the Caribbean pitches are typically on the slow side where spin plays an important role.

That said other trends, such as the strength and conditioning of the batsmen and the bat technology will very much be in play as well as the tactical developments that now see big totals routinely chased down with huge hitting in the second half of innings.

Putting all that together where a T20I par total might once have been 150 and in the IPL is now 200+ perhaps something like 180 will be a par score on these pitches. Note that even in the IPL towards the back end of the tournament scoring rates slowed, pitches were lower and match-winning bowling spells became more the norm. Expect this in the knockout stages of this tournament.

The draw for the groups produced the following amongst the leading teams:

A India and Pakistan

B Australia and England (in tourist-friendly Barbados and Antigua)

C New Zealand and West Indies. Note that New Zealand play spin-heavy Afghanistan, Rashid Khan et al, in slow/low Guyana which is a tricky draw.

D South Africa and Sri Lanka/Bangladesh, the fight between the latter two potentially the closest qualification battle of the four groups.

Current tournament odds are:

India 11/4

Australia 7/2

England 9/2

South Africa 7/1

New Zealand 8/1

Pakistan 8/1

West Indies 10/1

Bar 33/1

It would be a huge surprise if the winner was outside the front seven in the market and a case could be made for any of them. After all any one of these sides is historically only 65% to beat the other in a single game in these tournaments, with variance as to toss, pitch and conditions in any game. It would also be a surprise if in a couple of the groups qualification didn’t come down to Net run rate.

My basic thoughts are that New Zealand and Pakistan are probably a bit humdrum in terms of scoring rates for a tournament like this in 2024, though New Zealand are the ultimate tournament team.

India, Australia and England are obvious favourites. India have only won one World T20 since 2007, clearly disappointing given their resources. Have a brilliant bowling unit but many of the batsman have performed quite poorly in the IPL. Not much value in the 11/4 here.

2020 winners Australia are experienced and settled with probably the best pace attack in the tournament but potentially a little light on spin on the tougher tracks with Agar and Zampa the only options, and Maxwell a potential weak link as a possible second spinner. Travis Head has just smacked the world’s best bowlers all over India in the IPL but the rest of the batting looks a little out of form.

England’s batting line-up looks tremendous but beyond Rashid their spin options of Ali/Livingstone/Jacks aren’t match-winners. The bowling attack as a whole probably falls behind some of the others.

South Africa never win these tournaments and on paper should always get close, a semi-final in the 50 over World Cup last Autumn was at least promising progress. This time round they have one of the most powerful top sixes in the competition, three front line spin options and pace bowlers to spare. South Africa’s bowlers (taking a composite of career figures) have the best combined strike rate in the tournament. Decent each way value at 7/1

The West Indies are two-time winners and again look an interesting option at 8/1 though the 10/1 has gone. The side is absolutely packed with T20 franchise specialists, with power batting all the way down, good spin options and raw pace. The loss of Jason Holder through injury is a blow, an important element of balance in the side at 7-8 and opening the bowling. Nevertheless a top seven containing Pooran, Russell, Powell, Hetmeyer and Shepherd is going to be a threat. In terms of career figures, the West Indies top six is a very close second to England for the best strike rate in the tournament.

I am going to split an each-way position on South Africa and the West Indies for value, hoping one upsets the front three in the market deep in the tournament.

5 points each way South Africa at 7/1 (1/2 1,2) with Bet365 and Coral/Ladbrokes

5 points each way West Indies at 8/1 (1/2 1,2) with Bet365, William Hill and BetVictor


Chargers

It has been more than 15 months since Manchester City were charged with 115 financial breaches taking place over a decade, and an independent commission is expected to hear the case in the next few months. Indeed in recent weeks it has been suggested/leaked that a date for the hearing is now set, the potential news coincident with Manchester City’s fourth successive Premier League title and sixth under Guardiola.

The 115 charges are 54 failures to provide accurate financial information between 2009 and 2018, 14 failures to provide accurate details for player and manager payments, 5 failures to comply with UEFA's rules including Financial Fair Play, 7 breaches of the Premier League's PSR rules and 35 failures to co-operate with the Premier League's investigations.

 

In the 15 months since City were charged Everton and Nottingham Forest have between them faced three charges, three independent commission hearings, one appeal board hearing, and been docked a combined total of 12 points. New cases against other clubs, Leicester City for sure, Chelsea possibly, are on their way too.

It only took the conclusion of the first of those hearings for Everton manager Sean Dyche to invoke the elephant in the room when he said: “Just like everyone else, we are all wondering what makes one rule for one and one rule for the other. I don’t know the ins and outs for every reason, but I think we are all asking that.”

It is now three years since Lord Justice Males said during a Court of Appeal hearing into a legal dispute linked to the case: “This is an investigation which commenced in December 2018. It is surprising, and a matter of legitimate public concern, that so little progress has been made after two and a half years during which, it may be noted, the club has twice been crowned as Premier League champions.”

It could still be much longer until what is undoubtedly a significantly more complex case is finally resolved with the prospect of an appeal from a club who have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and who overturned a two-year Champions League ban imposed for similar alleged offences. The latest judgment against Everton raised the likelihood of multiple hearings being required to consider different aspects of the case.

The Everton and Forest outcomes produced four written verdicts into profit and sustainability (PSR) rule breaches. The commission which heard the Forest case specifically highlighted the unlimited sanctions available to it, “ranging from a warning through to expulsion from the Premier League”.

It added: “Where a PSR breach is ‘minor’, then it will be for other commissions to determine if any points deduction is necessary, appropriate or proportionate.But if the breach is properly described as ‘major’ then it may be the case that even a very severe sanction such as expulsion is more appropriate.”

If one breach is deemed worthy of a points deduction, what price 115? We might be much closer to finding out.

There is an almost unquantifiable factor though, an issue of potential government involvement. Political and trade relationships with Qatar are in play as well as the PSR rules, highlighting for the Premier League the risk of sovereign owners of its clubs as well as risks from potentially unfit owners it recognises in a separate test.


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A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £73,601, a 1740% increase.

 

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 25th-26th May

Posted on 24 May 2024 08:50 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Chester, Goodwood, Haydock, Salisbury, Windsor and York and over the jumps at Cartmel.
  • Football, the FA Cup Final, Manchester City v Manchester United.
  • Formula One, the Monaco Grand Prix.
  • Cricket, The IPL final and a T20I between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston.
  • Rugby Union, the Champions cup final between Leinster and Toulouse at Tottenham
  • Golf, the Canadian Open on the USPGA and the European Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, the French Open begins

Royal Ascot 18th-22nd June

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Free Tip

European Champions Cup Final

Leinster v Toulouse Saturday 2.45pm, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

This could and should be a classic final given the level of talent on display within two sides who are 4-5 time winners of this competition. Five of the last six finals before this year’s game have featured one of these two sides. They’re the dominant forces, the powerhouses, of European rugby.

Leinster beat Toulouse in semi-finals in each of the last two years, both in Dublin, scoring 40 and 41 points but haven’t won the European Champions Cup since 2018 (they lost both of the last two finals to La Rochelle) which is disappointing for a side at its peak throughout, the vanguard of the IRFU’s provincial system with a terrific pipeline coming from the academy system and a squad that makes up the majority of the Irish national team.

This year Leinster made light work of topping Pool D, winning all four matches en route to finishing 2nd in the overall standings. As Pool winners, the Irish team got a home draw in the Round of 16, where they defeated Leicester Tigers 36-22 before beating La Rochelle comfortably in the Quarter-final.

In the semi-final against the Northampton Saints, Leinster made hard work of things. Coasting at 20-3 with just over 20 minutes to go they coasted allowing the Saints back into the match. In the end, they hung on for a 20-17 win.

In the URC this year they are currently only  3rd winning 12 of 17 games but have been consistently resting players for big European ties, such as in last weekend’s 23-21 loss to Ulster in Belfast and two recent games in South Africa.

An already strong squad is strengthened for this match by the return from injury of Hugo Keenan and James Ryan.

With South Africa’s World Cup winning coach Jacques Nienaber on board since November their defence is solid but for all their squad depth it is the individual brilliance of scrum half Jamieson Gibson-Park and winger James Lowe that have seen then through tight spots this year. They’ll need more to match the firepower of Toulouse.

Toulouse last won this tournament in 2021, a real “Galacticos” squad headlined by Antoine Dupont but with a team containing many current French internationals such as Mauvaka, the storming hooker, Meafou, Flament, Cros. Ntamack and Ramos. Blair Kinghorn and Jack Willis have also played major roles this season. Willis is particular will have a major role at the breakdown which will be a key battle in deciding the game. Paul Costes, a 21-year-old centre with an exciting future, is worth looking out for.

Toulouse have looked ominously potent in the tournament this season with an average winning margin of 25 points in their seven matches. They won Pool B with four wins from four. They also scored the most points of any team in the Pool section and, as a result, entered the knock-out stages as the No.1 seeded team.

In the Round of 16, they defeated Racing 92 31-7. The margin of victory was even greater in the quarter-final, with Blair Kinghorn’s 23-point haul helping them to a convincing 64-26 win over the Exeter Chiefs. In the semi-final, Toulouse were made to work for their 38-26 win over Harlequins having led 31-12 at half-time.

They are top of the French Top 14 having won 16 of 24 matches.

It promises to be a great final and a slight contrast in styles. Toulouse look to keep the ball alive and Leinster have more structure to their game. The game might hinge on the respective defences. Toulouse’s defence will have to be much better in the final than it was against Harlequins because they won't get as much loose ball/turnovers against Leinster.

It should be very close. Outright odds for the game are Leinster 8/11 Toulouse 6/5 and  +1 underdogs on the handicap.

I am happy to take Toulouse outright odds-against.

10 points Toulouse at 21/20 Bet365 and Betfred


Replayed

FA Cup replays have been scrapped from the first round onwards from the 2024-25 season as a result of the expansion of European competitions next season and the resulting pressure on the football calendar.

The move was widely criticised, with more than 100 clubs sharing statements voicing their position against the move. For example a joint statement by 16 football league said

"This decision has become totemic for how the game is being run. Decisions are being made behind closed doors. There is a lack of transparency, a lack of consistency, and a lack of fairness."

"The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world and the decision to remove FA Cup replays from the first round proper further undermines its prestige and does nothing to help protect our cherished football pyramid.

“The Premier League’s influence in this decision is yet another example of football’s growing divide that has seen the gaps between and within divisions grow at all levels.

“Participating clubs in the FA Cup were not consulted. Our clubs as well as the fans have been let down."

Meanwhile it was pointed out that the four Premier League clubs who reach the Champions League next season will play a minimum of 50 matches, while League One and League Two clubs will play a minimum of 51. It was also highlighted there have been fewer than 10 occasions in the past 10 years when a club playing in European football has faced an FA Cup replay.

Football campaign group Fair Game has issued five demands to reform the FA Cup following the decision to scrap replays.

The body, which represents 34 men's professional clubs, has called for an amendment to the upcoming Football Governance Bill that would mean replays could not be scrapped without a majority vote from all eligible clubs.

Further demands include Champions League qualification being awarded to FA Cup winners to "regain respect for the competition". It also wants the planned football regulator to rule on any financial changes to "ensure it protects the whole football pyramid". Fair Game wants replays to be played on Monday nights for clubs playing in Europe, reform of voting structures to "one member one vote" and for fans to be consulted to changes to football competitions.


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Betting Emporium results

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If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £69,601 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £73,601, a 1740% increase.

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 18th-19th May

Posted on 17 May 2024 08:31 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

 

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Goodwood, Gret Yarmouth, Newmarket and Thirsk over the jumps at Hexham and Uttoxeter.
  • Football, the final weekend of Premier League fixtures this season.
  • Formula One, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.
  • Cricket, The IPL continues.
  • Golf, the Charles Schwab Challenge on the USPGA and the Soudal Open on the DP World Tour.
  • Tennis, ATP Geneva and Lyon Opens

Free Tip

IPL Rajasthan Royals v Kolkota Knight Riders Sunday 3pm

This is the final game of the group stages, with the play offs beginning next Tuesday and the final next Sunday in Chennai. It’s already been a record-breaking tournament, with 14 centuries this year, and 26 in the last two years out of the 101 centuries in the competition’s 18 year history. With a few group games to go at the time of writing there have been a record 1133 sixes hit in 128 innings. Last year was also record, 1124 sixes in 147 innings.

The reasons for the have been well-rehearsed, good pitches, small boundaries, stronger players, bigger bats and the new impact substitute rule have all contributed. It remains to be seen whether this type of scoring carries over to the T20 World Cup next month in the Caribbean and the USA.

As the tournament reaches it end this week there have been signs that pitches are becoming more tired and scoring has been coming down Pitches are slowing down and it’s not as easy for the hitters.

KKR are finishing top of the group stage table, settled with a game to spare with 9 wins from their 13 wins to date. Rajasthan are in a mini-slump having lost four games in a row and slid to third in the table with 8 wins and five defeats after their exceptional start to the competition.

With reference to this game it’s worth a look at next week’s Play-off format, as it impacts on motivations here. First and Second in the group table play on Tuesday in the Qualifier game with the winner going straight to the final. A huge advantage to the winner, as the loser goes onto the second Qualifier on Friday against the winner of the 3rd v 4th game on Wednesday.

Rajasthan know they need to win this game to stand a chance of the top two. KKR will hope to win this game to keep Rajasthan, over the tournament as a whole their most dangerous opponent alongside Sunrisers, out of the Qualifier. KKR are 8/11 for the match Rajasthan 11/10.

Both teams go into this game and the rest of the competition without their English players who have bene major contributors. Salt and Buttler have been called back to England to prepare for the World Cup in a series against Pakistan.

For KKR Sunil Narine has had one of the best IPL seasons ever with to date 461 runs at a strike rate of 183 and 14 wickets at and economy rate of just 6.6. He is only the second player, after Shane Watson in 2008 to post this strike rate and economy with over 400 runs and 12 wickets.

It’s no surprise to see him top of the KKR batsman market at 3/1 ahead of the Iyers, Russell and Raghuvanshi the other KKR top scorers in the tournament in the absence of Salt. Salt will be a big loss to KRR, he’d hit 435 runs at a strike rate of 180.

There is another option though. Nitish Rana scored 413 runs in last year’s IPL when KKR captain and top scored in a quarter of the KKR innings.

This year, as vice-captain, he scored nine in the first match suffering a hand injury that kept him out of the next ten games. On his comeback he scored a 23 ball 33 batting in the middle order and with Salt missing is going to be back in the side for the play-offs.

A dangerous customer he can be backed at 11/2 to be KKR top scorer here, a value price with Betfred.

10 points Nitish Rana Top KKR scorer 11/2 Betfred, 5/1 William Hill


Capped

 

American investors have increasingly crossed the Atlantic to acquire equity stakes in the Premier League’s top clubs. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester United, West Ham, Fulham, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and Burnley all now have some element of American ownership.

The NFL currently brings in more than $20bn in annual revenue more than annual revenue than the world’s top five football leagues combined, despite the latter having a much larger global fanbase and many American Premier League investors have talked about the under-utilisation of the league’s financial potential.

They have though tended to underestimate the Premier League’s unique challenges, including ever-escalating salaries due to sovereign-owned competitors and annual expenses that routinely surpass 70% of a club’s total income, in addition to promotion/relegation, an alien concept in American sports.

Many American owners have spent years campaigning for changes across the Premier League which runs on a shareholder model, with potential rule changes requiring the support of at least 14 out of 20 clubs, to be passed and as yet there aren’t 14 American ownership influences.

The Super League would have boosted valuations by implementing a closed-league structure similar to the NFL and NBA and a salary cap structure was always going to be  on the table.

A majority of Premier League owners are finalising a proposal that would place a hard spending limit on annual wages and transfer fees across the league with a vote expected next month with the cap expected to be calculated based on a 5x multiple of the annual TV revenue earned by the Premier League’s poorest club. Approximately with last season’s bottom club earning £120m from the TV deal that means a £600m salary cap incoming. Last season only Chelsea would have exceeded that threshold.

The salary cap is one of the main reasons American sports produce such parity with smaller market teams capable of winning leagues in a fairer playing field for recruiting talent.

A salary cap system does have some negatives. In its simplest form it places a limit on player earnings and the Premier League competes for talent against Europe’s other top leagues, unlike in the United States where the NFL, NBA, etc., are only competing against themselves.

The Premier League will probably deduct points from clubs that breach the annual salary cap threshold, similar to the system used today for clubs that violate Profit and Sustainability Rules. The league might be better off with a luxury tax system (as seen in the NBA and MLB), allowing bigger clubs to spend more money if they choose and then redistributing that money to smaller Teams. Otherwise, a salary cap system could actually worsen parity, as it would effectively lock in financial advantages for the league’s biggest clubs.

The Professional Footballers’ Association has also said they would challenge any hard cap on player wages, claiming it violates European competition law.


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Betting Emporium results

The detailed results page has been updated on 1st January 2024. They can be found by clicking RESULTS

If you bet £10 per point on every recommended bet since launch you would be winning + £69,601 All bets have an ROI +2.97%

A £4000 bank betting £10 a point on all selections would now be worth £73,601, a 1740% increase.

 

The Road to Riches Weekend of 11th-12th May

Posted on 10 May 2024 18:59 in Weekly Articles "Road to Riches" by Rich 'Tighty' Prew

Coming up this weekend

 

  • Horse Racing, On the flat at Ascot, Haydock, Leicester, Lingfield, Nottingham and over the jumps at Hexham and Warwick.
  • Football, Premier League fixtures include Manchester United v Arsenal.
  • Cricket, The IPL continues.
  • Golf, the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
  • Tennis, The ATP Italian Open.

Free Tip

IPL Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals Sunday 11am

Here five time and defending champions CSK host the long-time leaders of the 2024 IPL table the Royals.

Rajasthan now sit second in the table with 8 wins from their 11 games (each team plays 14 league games, so we are getting close to the play-offs) having lost successive games when with a chance to seal a play-off berth, latterly with a defeat in another high-scoring match in Delhi on Tuesday.

CSK are fourth with 6 wins from their 12 games after their heavy defeat to Gujurat on Friday, so now 4 points behind the Royals, and one of four teams likely fighting for just two play-off spots with just two league games to go.

CSK are at home in this match in Chepauk, traditionally one of the more spin-friendly IPL venues and we are getting later into the tournament, with CSK playing one of the most powerful batting line-ups, and there must be a chance that this is played on a used pitch to benefit CSK’s Jadeja and (recently introduced into the side) Santner and leave the Rajasthan batting line-up hamstrung.

First innings scores at Chepauk so far in this tournament are 173,206,137,210 and 212, note none are the 250-260 scores that have become commonplace elsewhere with great pitches, small boundaries and impact substitutes all notable features of the 2024 IPL.

I wanted to feature the CSK team here. With one exception CSK’s batting line-up has been disappointing this year. That exception is the 2024 captain Ruturaj Gaikwad opening the batting who is near the top of the batting charts this year with 541 runs, second only to Kohli’s 634. He’s unlucky to be left out of India’s T20 World Cup squad for next month’s competition in the Caribbean and USA.

Gaikwad has a hundred and four fifties in the tournament so far with a strike rate of over 140, so he’s produced about 50% of the time he’s gone to the wicket. His last three scores in Chennai home games are 108*,98 and 62.

The next beat CSK batting performers are Dube, batting 4 with 391 runs at 170 and New Zealander Mitchell batting 3 with 293 at 130, vut with only two fifties. The rest of the batting line up sees veteran Rahane open and the middle order and finishers Jadeja, Moeen and Dhoni.

CSK’s batting stats present a contrast with Rajasthan’s where Parag, Samson, Buttler and Jaiswal have all scored over 300 runs at strike rates of 150+.

Gaikwad is the obvious bet in the top batsman market, though if we knew for sure the pitch wasn’t a fresh one then Jadeja with 8 wickets in the tournament at under 7.5 per over would obviously appeal in the top CSK bowler market. On the fresher pitches seen to date in the tournament Mustafizur with 14 wickets and Deshpande with 13 have been more effective than the spinners. Mustafizur has now left to join up with the Bangladesh national team ahead of the World T20.

10 points Ruturaj Gaikwad Top CSK batsman 12/5 William Hill, 9/4 Ladbrokes/Coral, 21/10 Betfred


Summer dreaming.

Cole Palmer can expect to be included in England’s squad for Euro 2024 if he's fit, but how can Gareth Southgate get him in the starting XI? Palmer sits alongside Haaland at the top of the Premier League scoring lists, with Watkins top if penalties are excluded. Palmer has scored nine penalties in his 30 goal involvements, only the third player in Premier League history to reach 30+ goal involvements in a single season while aged 21 or younger. However, whether Palmer will make England's starting XI remains to be seen.

Palmer was to the senior squad for the first time in November, making his debut against Malta and used as a substitute days later against North Macedonia. Palmer, though, has yet to start a full international and played no minutes in last month's two friendlies at Wembley, a minor injury had prevented Palmer from training.

At the age of 21 and without much international experience though, Palmer’s route into a first-choice team at a major tournament is tricky. Whilst England clearly have issues and weaknesses in their back five positions, they have quality and strength in depth throughout midfield, and Southgate is a notoriously conservative manager.

Perhaps the most likely option to fit Palmer in is to drop Bellingham back and play him alongside Rice with an attacking midfield three of Saka-Palmer-Foden behind Kane.

However Bellingham has scored 23 goals and made 11 assists so far this season in a No 10 role. Palmer would also be playing out of position, playing centrally rather than his preferred option wide right.

An alternative would be to play Foden centrally and Palmer in a preferred wide position, this time wide left. That would get Foden into the position he has been so successful in for Manchester City this season.

A third option would be to play Palmer ahead of Saka wide right, alongside Bellingham at 10, and one of Gallagher or Mainoo (I suppose I have to mention Jordan Henderson too) alongside Rice. This puts Palmer in his favoured position, but Saka has 18 goals and 13 assists for Arsenal this season.

Assuming all the players make it to Germany fit and in form, it looks a nice problem for Southgate to have.


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