They are a firm notorious for getting egg on their faces when it comes to settling betting markets early.
But that hasn’t stopped Paddy Power from risking a huge liability by paying out on Celtic to win the Scottish Premiership after just one round of matches of the new campaign!
After witnessing the Hoops wrap up a comfortable 3-1 victory over Livingston, while Steven Gerrard’s Rangers revolution got off to a limp start in a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, the Irish firm felt compelled to pay out on the Glasgow outfit to retain the title for an eighth straight year.
A rather tongue-in-cheek spokesman said: “One game into the Scottish league season and Steven Gerrard has already slipped up.
“On the face of it, a draw with Aberdeen isn’t a bad result, and we’re sure Stevie G will emphasise the positives of that display, but we do also think the title race is done.
“It’s only one game into the season, but Celtic’s lead already looks unassailable.”
Will Anyone Halt the Hoops?
If you want to prove Paddy wrong, you can still pick up odds on Celtic’s main rivals, with Rangers priced at 9/1 to end their Glasgow neighbours’ dominance and Aberdeen at 20/1.
Rangers were actually being quietly backed to challenge Celtic this term. The appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager brings with it plenty of experience, and some of his signings, including Scott Arfield, Jon Flanagan and Connor Goldson, look live savvy business.
But the bookmaker has paid out early on Celtic before – before a match had even been played last season, in fact – and lived to tell the tale.
So will Paddy’s trousers be pulled down on this occasion? Perhaps not, but as we know there are enough surprises in sport to suggest the Irish brand has been a little hasty.
Stoke Stoked and Clinton Trumped: Paddy’s Premature Miscalculations
Of course, Paddy Power has a history of paying out early on markets that, well, didn’t quite pan out as planned.
Back in the 2008/09 Premier League season, Stoke were wide-eyed new boys given little hope of survival by the bookmakers.
Indeed, so confident were Paddy that the Potteries side would be demoted after their opening 1-3 defeat to Bolton, they decided to settle up bets on them to be relegated after just one game.
In fairness, it looked a fair call with Stoke losing six of their first ten league outings, but they found their feet from March onwards when a run of form reading W7 D3 L5 guided them to mid-table safety; costing the bookies plenty of cash and helping to start the ‘are you watching Paddy Power?’ chant sung by Stoke fans thereafter.
Fast forward eight years and they hadn’t learned their lesson; this time paying out early on a Hillary Clinton victory in the US Presidential election of 2016.
The vast majority of us are aware how that result panned out, with Donald Trump’s finger now poised ominously above the red button.
Threat of Doomsday aside, Paddy Power also lost more than £1 million courtesy of their early payout jape, and so really it was a double-loss for the Irish firm.