Odds Compilers 5
SUNDAY Each of the compilers does one Sunday in four and the day's main task is to update the long-term markets after the day's action. Even if I am off, I might ring up and have some input into the Premiership betting if there have been some key fixtures. Otherwise, I will go through all the Sunday papers, starting with Football First, which I read from cover to cover because it has reports and stats from all matches.
MONDAY In by 7.30am because there is a lot to do in a short space of time. I have until 1pm to finalise the prices for next weekend. I read The Game, the football supplement in The Times, plus as many other papers as I have time to get through and am back on the net, searching for meaningful news updates.
Apart from the main coupon, we have the handicaps, corners, half-time prices and first scorers to deal with. We price up 13 players from every team in the four divisions to score the first goal, which is quite an undertaking.
Once all the prices are finalised, it is all about checking, checking and checking again. A mistake on the coupon can be very costly. It happens about once a season that we have to do a reprint but that is expensive and can delay distribution into the shops so it is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
I often think how much easier the job would be if, like many online and telebet firms, we did not have coupons and could just our change prices as and when we felt it necessary.
I remember being in Australia to watch England in the cricket World Cup in 1992 and walking into a betting shop. I asked for some rugby league prices and the manager just pressed a button and printed me out the latest show.
In a sense it would be great to be able to do the same, but you can't just go changing things like that because the shop regulars would not like it. These guys are our bread and butter and if they are able to back a team at 7-4 on the coupon when I would love us to have cut them to 11-8 because their centre-forward and goalkeeper have been crocked we just have to live with it.
TUESDAY This is a less intensive day and, as far as I am concerned, the last day of the working week. It is a big European day as we sign off all the weekend Euro coupons on a Tuesday. We bet on eight divisions across Europe and will have all the tissues prepared in advance so we can just revise them according to the latest news and get them away.
European football is difficult to price up because we are up against people who know as much about, say, Dutch football as the average Englishman knows about the Premiership. But our European specialist is extremely good and we do well out of it. In fact, we do well out of football as a whole over the course of a season.
On a good weekend we can win 60 per cent of the total amount bet on football with us. On a bad weekend we can lose up to ten times our turnover, although hopefully that will remain a once-a-season occurrence.
WEDNESDAY A day off, although there is almost always at least one evening match to be watched. Then it's back into the office on Thursday morning to start the process all over again.