A Guide To Football Transfer Betting
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The pre-season transfer window is one of the most exciting periods of the football year. With ever more money streaming into the big clubs from TV licencing, corporate sponsorship and overseas investment, managers continue to smash previous spending records in a bid to lure in the world’s best players.
The top dogs are splashing out like never before, with eye-boggling exchanges such as Neymar’s record-breaking move from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain for an incredible £198 million.
Top players and their agents are negotiating higher wages, more lucrative contracts and more perks from their prospective employers. This creates a tug-of-war between clubs that really builds up the excitement ahead of the new season.
Yet the transfer market is far from predictable. Relished by sports fans and the media as a period of intense gossip and rumours, it can be a headache keeping track of who’s making offers and who is set to move.
Here we shed some light on the transfer process and how you can share in the profits.
What Exactly Is The Football Transfer Window?
The transfer window is a biannual registration period overseen by FIFA, in which players can move from one club to another through sale or loan.
In England the pre-season summer transfer window opens on 9 June and lasts up to 12 weeks, while the mid-season exchange is usually no longer than four weeks. However, managers often begin scouting for talent and initiating negotiations well in advance.
|Competition||Pre-season window||Mid-season window|
|English Premier League||9 June – 31 August||1 January – 31 January|
|French Ligue 1|
Italian Serie A
Spanish La Liga
|1 June – 31 August||1 January – 2 February|
|Dutch Eredivisie||11 June – 2 September||3 January – 31 January|
It’s worth noting that players can still move from a league with a closed transfer market to an open one, but not the other way around.
Football Transfer Specials
A lot of soccer punters don’t realise that many of the bookies offer an interesting array of ‘special bets’. These can range from the outright winner of the next FIFA World Cup, to this year’s Oscar nominations, to who will be the next German chancellor.
You can also wager on the outcomes of transfer negotiations between clubs, as many of the more established bookies cover transfer activity across all the major leagues, including the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga, MLS and the immensely wealthy Chinese Super League.
This presents a great opportunity for savvy sports bettors. If you have a knack for analysing the latest gossip and predicting player movements, you should be able to cash in on the latest transfer action.
Basically, one club makes a bid to another for a player they’re after. If accepted by the club and player in question, the three parties plus agent begin negotiating a contract. Standard transfer betting is staked on the likelihood that the transfer will take place. You win the bet if it all goes through and the player switches club — unless you bet on him staying.
Loan deals are also negotiated during the transfer period, where a player spends some time at another club to get more games in, before returning to his home club to play in the starting line-up. Be sure to check whether loan deals count or not before placing your bet.
Some bookies offer more advanced transfer market specials, particularly if a player is headlining the newspapers. These include betting markets such as whether the player will stay at his current club, who the player will move to, when he’ll move, and even how much the buying club will end up paying. They sometimes even include multiple transfers on a single bet.
How To Research Transfer Betting
For football transfer specials, it really helps to know as much about the players and teams in your chosen market as possible.
You’ll need keep track of when the transfer windows open and close for each league, so make sure the dates above are in your betting calendar.
Also keep an eye on the transfer deadline day. There’ll be a sudden surge of activity as clubs scramble for players still on the market.
You can keep up to date with the latest transfer headlines through mainstream, alternative and social media. Over time you’ll develop an eye for the more reliable sources.
The Sky Sports Transfer Centre and BBC Football Transfer Gossip are two of the most popular sites to keep track of the latest transfer activity. Also check out Paper Talk, which will give you the all the latest reports coming out of the press.
There are a few news curating sites that will save you trawling through the sports pages of every news outlet. News Now: Transfer Talk gathers transfer information from every imaginable online source and updates every few minutes. Transfer Site is similarly up-to-date with the latest media reports, which you can subscribe to receive by email and Twitter notifications.
Official club websites are a great place for extra information not covered by all of the mainstream resources. They’ll also help you to research what clubs are in need of what positions and who the manager and scouts might have their eye on.
Twitter is an essential resource for news and clues in real time. You can create lists that include individual clubs and their associated fan sites. It’s definitely worth following each player’s personal Twitter account, as they often beam out their own thoughts on events before the story makes it into mainstream media.
Lionel Messi: “It was an enormous pleasure to have shared all these years with you Neymar. I wish you luck in this new stage of your life.”
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) August 2, 2017
What Are The Best Transfer Betting Sites?
Sky Bet is currently the most popular site for betting on transfers, largely thanks to its TV coverage agreements and comprehensive online transfer portal.
The Sky Bet website and app don’t offer multiples on player transfer specials as yet, but they do provide the widest range of transfer markets. These usually include odds for players to relocate, odds to stay on at the current club, contract renewals and player loans. You can even bet on the manager’s next destination.
William Hill also provides a range of detailed football transfer specials. Most adopt the ‘Which club after summer window?’ format, but there’s a good selection of prospective clubs to choose from.
Another top offering for betting on transfer markets is Paddy Power.
Similar to its rivals, the Irish bookmaker offers a wide selection of markets for the top players, as well as some lesser know ones. The site is easy to navigate and provides very competitive odds.
A great feature of Paddy Power is that it also enables accas on player transfers, which can result in some seriously big wins if you can predict the upcoming moves of a few players at once.
There’s no doubt that if you have a shrewd eye for the next major club sales, transfer specials are a great way to enhance your betting portfolio.