After the usual daily nonsense yesterday surrounding whether Charlie Austin and/or Aleksandar Mitrovic are coming to Newcastle, there was a ‘development’ in the afternoon.

Excitement levels ramped up as supporters believed that the latest news meant Charlie Austin had all but signed.

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The basis of the raised levels of excitement was that various bookies reported that they had taken a lot of bets on the QPR striker coming to Newcastle, the odds dramatically falling, then some of the bookmakers suspending betting altogether.

Amongst the media reports, this appeared in the Chronicle:

17 July 2015

‘SkyBet have also suspended betting on Austin coming to Newcastle.

SkyBet’s Chris Spicer:

“It has come as somewhat of a surprise to see such interest in Charlie Austin’s future amid a lack of media reports surrounding his future.

“The size of the bets also imply that they came from sources that know something that we don’t, forcing us to cut the odds significantly and eventually pull the market.”

However, if you go back only a month then you would have seen the following across the media, this typical from The Mirror:

20 June 2015

‘Bookmakers have suspended the betting on Charlie Austin’s proposed move from QPR to West Ham going through.

A flurry of bets saw the odds cut significantly, before the market was closed altogether.’

Whether Charlie Austin does eventually sign for Newcastle, or anybody, who knows?

What I do know is that the bookies are having a laugh here.

To understand what they are doing, you first have to understand betting.

If you wanted to put £100,000 on a horse to win the Epsom Derby then the bookies would happily take your cash. Indeed in the past, high rollers have at times staked a million or more.

Or how about casinos, our very own loveable owner notoriously placed £1m on the spin of a roulette wheel, whether it would fall on red or black.

When it comes to betting on who will be the next manager or which club Charlie Austin is going to, you are talking seriously low amounts of money, in terms of what the bookies deal with on other betting markets.

Try to get much more than £100 on a player or manager signing and the odds are likely to then fall and if you are betting online then very quickly the bookie won’t take any more bets from you.

The point being that the difference between a premium horse race or a spin of a roulette wheel, compared to which manager will go where, or which club will sign Charlie Austin, is that in the first two examples nobody can know the outcome. Whereas people can/could find out Charlie Austin is signing for whoever and so the bookies aren’t going to leave themselves open in any way to losing serious money.

The bookies of course though love the attention and publicity that these next manager or next club for a player markets drive.

They don’t seriously expect to make big amounts of money on where Charlie Austin is going, it is just a bonus. It is pretty much just a cheap form of advertising to draw people in to gambling on more regular stuff with each particular bookmaker.

So when the bookies suspend the market, they might have taken a decent number of bets but they stop taking them just as a precaution when they see a pattern forming.

Charlie Austin was only a little better than even money before yesterday and when the betting ‘surge’ happened, the overwhelming majority of punters will have backed him at odds on (which to non-gamblers, means you are risking more money on the bet than the bookies).

In this case it is a dream for all the bookmakers, they took all the bets on Charlie Austin going to West Ham and the resultant publicity at the time. Now they have got the same with Newcastle.

Charlie Austin may well come to Newcastle (I hope) but don’t take a bookie’s word on it.



  • 1957

    Bookies don’t do or say anything unless it is of benefit to their business along with those highly ethical purveyors of fact the media. SkyBet have been on Sky Sports a least twice before having suspended the betting on Austin, once when he was going to Chelsea and then West Ham, what next they suspend betting on him staying at QPR or going to some other London based club. In simple terms if there’s no news create some.
    Eventually they will get it right and will claim they told us first.

  • BillytheFish

    I know I have said this before, but when we were at QPR back end of last season I was in the QPR family end and they were pretty sure he had already agreed to join the Toon…

  • mrkgw

    I suspect that we need to move fast on this one now. Liverpool have met the Benteke release clause of £30m+ and Villa will be on the lookout for a new striker. Dithering is certainly not the answer. Get the lad signed up and move onto the next target.

  • NottsToon

    The rumour began through an agent who announced it on Twitter. Same bloke who broke the Van Persie and Schneiderling stories before they happened.
    Not saying I believe him, just quoting the facts jack !

  • Jimmywayhay

    Who would you rather have in your team ? Austin at 15 million or Benteke at 35 million ? We need to get a move on ,if where serious ,or I can hear the excuses coming any time now .There are no excuses they’ve targeted this guy for more than long enough now , you either want him or you don’t !

  • wor monga

    You’re not wrong there…it’s just them trying to jump start
    something that had stopped moving for so long it had gone off the boil.

    …They also know that QPR need to move Austin sometime in the
    next few weeks, and therefore in a day or so the bet will be kick-started up
    again.

  • magpie9

    2 ways to complete a transfer, approach club, get a price, offer very close to asking price, agree on price, have player get medical & set terms, player signs all within max 7 days. Ashleys way, spread false rumors in favoured press, 3 weeks later make a joke of an offer, spread more lies to press, accuse selling club of holding toon to ransom, make offer to player of half going rate, after player stops laughing & signs for the likes of a big club like Stoke toon issue a statement that they wouldn’t be held to ransom & therefore couldn’t get the player over the line. Injured players on books recovering & will be like new signings.