Odds Compilers 2
THURSDAY The week effectively begins today, when I start the preparatory work for the following week's matches. To begin with I will collate a definitive fixture list for the period covering next Tuesday to the following Monday. That involves checking various websites to ensure I have all the fixtures right as well as the kick-off times and I also try to find out if there have been any changes of venue. It has happened in the past that I have priced up a particular Uefa Cup game unaware that it has been switched to a neutral venue.
Obviously, this is a major problem for a company like us, which produces coupons for our betting shops. We are extremely reluctant to change prices once they have been printed and distributed so it is crucial to try to get them right before they go to press.
At busy times I can be pricing up in excess of 200 matches and to an extent you live and die by your worst price, so the importance of checking absolutely every detail is obvious.
Once I have finalised the fixtures and worked out how many coupons we need to produce, I then get my suspensions list up to date. This is a vital task.
There are certain teams whose price can alter significantly depending on whether a player is suspended or not, and the easiest thing to miss is if a lower-league player has had an automatic red card reduced on appeal to a yellow, thus meaning his ban is shortened or rescinded. I might be 5-4 a team on the understanding that a player is banned, but if he plays they are a 10-11 chance. And then it is just a case of checking on team news after the midweek games just played. I would say 85 per cent of my research is done via the net with the rest being daily newspapers and magazines like World Soccer. We are lucky that one of our compiling team is fluent in Spanish and Italian so he can trawl websites like Marca for up-to-the-minute news. Finally I am ready to start pricing up the matches, a process that takes me right through until Friday.