Newcastle’s Odds To Be Relegated Shrink After Benitez Blow
Newcastle United’s chances of staying in the Premier League next season have decreased following the announcement of Rafael Benitez’s impending departure.
The Spaniard will vacate the managerial role on June 30 when his contract expires, and Newcastle have confirmed their search for a new boss has already begun.
A conflicted market sees several sportsbooks identify different candidates as the favourite to be the next Newcastle boss.
For example, Betfair and Betway currently have Jose Mourinho as the 9/2 (+450) favourite, but Coral have Mikel Arteta as their market leader at 5/1 (+500).
Others, such as 888Sport, are sticking with initial favourite Garry Monk at 6/1 in a wide-open marker.
But what the bookies can agree on is that Newcastle’s chances of surviving another campaign in England’s top flight have been dramatically reduced.
The Magpies were as long as 6/1 (+600) to go down next season before news of Benitez’s departure surfaced, but they are now widely available at 7/2 (+350) to go down.
Only BetVictor have taken a more measured approach, trimming their relegation odds from 6/1 (+600) to just 5/1 (+500).
That said, Newcastle still have five rivals who are considered more likely to go down, with the oddsmakers expecting the Magpies to fight it out with Sheffield United (8/13), Norwich (10/11), Burnley (7/4), Brighton (2/1) and Aston Villa (7/4).
In the meantime, Newcastle must find a manager willing to work with notoriously tight-fisted owner Mike Ashley, who fans hope will finally sell the club having flirted with the idea for a number of years.
Former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso and Arsene Wenger are surprise names in the mooted mix at 14/1 (+1400) and 33/1 (+3300) respectively, while Alan Pardew is also 33/1 (+3300) to lead the Magpies for a second time.
A spokesman for online traders SportNation said: "Despite big names being mentioned for the top spot at St James' Park, our odds suggest Garry Monk is favourite to replace fan favourite Benitez.
"Mourinho, Wenger and Gattuso are all appealing names but will come with a price that may well put off the money-saving Mike Ashley."