The big news this week has obviously been Sir Alex's retirement and tributes have been flooding in from all around the globe as English football's most successful manager of all time is hanging up his hairdryer at the age of 71. I don't know if we will ever see a manager quite like him and it will be very sad to see him go, particularly as I have not been alive long enough to have ever seen anyone else manage Manchester United. I'm sure he doesn't need me to tell how good he is though so we will have a look at what this has done to the markets instead, along with the news that David Moyes will have the horrendously difficult task of succeeding the Great Man.
The United share price was reported to have dropped 5% after Ferguson's news hit the stock exchange, before recovering by the end of the week to finish around what it started the week as. Although the Betfair markets have been more ruthless and unforgiving to United's title hopes next season, we did see the price shorten a small amount after Moyes' appointment. I can't help but think that the praise and support he is being given by the majority of the media is having some impact upon this, as people are beginning to realise that possibly losing Ferguson is not the worst thing in the world. It is difficult to see what impact the 'Rooney out' stories are having on this price but I don't believe it would make too much of a difference unless he was sold to a Premier League club. As I write, City and United both sit on 3.1 for the title next season in a market which was only opened a few weeks ago by Betfair. United have been matched as low as 2 and as high as 3.25, with the latter during this tumultuous week. City, who started the week around 3.45 were backed into 2.7 before drifting back out to their current price.
It is Chelsea though who have been the biggest movers due to the Mourinho chat/Ferguson's departure/Moyes installment (ie not Mourinho)/Almost definitely securing their top 3 place. They are in from a high of 5.8 to 3.85 now, having been matched as low as 3.55 during this week. Needless to say the market already has this down as a three-horse race.
It would be interesting to see what the loss of Moyes has done to Everton's perceived hopes next season but there isn't really any data to show this so far. Sky Bet go 2/1 that they will finish top 6 next season but I have nothing to compare this to as I do not know the price before this week. One thing which has been affected for Everton is the potential loss of their top players and those of you who follow me on Twitter would have seen I tweeted Coral had Baines to go to United before September at a huge 16/1, before quickly altering this to 2/1. Luckily I was able to have a small dabble of £10 at the 16/1 price, although I normally don't get involved in markets like this I knew the price was not an accurate reflection of the situation and jumped on it accordingly.
Overall it is clear that the prices I am quoting now will not be the same by the season opener as there is still so much to be resolved. Chelsea and City look to be changing their managers and I imagine they and United will be spending big this summer too. The Rooney situation is unresolved and should he go to City or Chelsea it would really shake things up.
For now though, we should just savour the end of a brilliant career as Sir Alex bows out in style.