Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

The Punter: Golden Boot leaves punters tied in knots

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Fernando Torres (R) of Spain holds the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy aloft while celebrating with fellow players as they parade the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Layers have been forced to rethink their top goalscorer market for the Olympics and the 2014 World Cup following a six-way tie in Euro 2012.

Spain's Fernando Torres was Uefa's Golden Boot winner by virtue of spending less time on the field than Germany's Mario Gomez. The pair each had three goals and one assist but Torres played for only 189 minutes compared to Gomez's 281 minutes.

But that had little bearing on the Top Goalscorer market which was also shared by four others (Dzagoev, Russia; Mandzukic, Croatia; Balotelli, Italy and Ronaldo, Portugal). Dead-heat rules apply and punters who would have backed any of the six, are on a winner at one sixth of their stake.

But the problems emerged with those who backed Spain to win and Torres as top scorer in a special double.

It seems bookmakers didn't learn from the 2010 World Cup when a similar situation arose with Spain and David Villa which meant punters were due less of a return than if they had backed Spain in a single.

Most firms two years ago, compensated customers by settling on full stake at the odds on Spain as outright winners.

And that's what has happened again - although not in all cases. Some have stuck to dead-heat rules, unlike Hill's who have paid out in full on the winning double.

If the double had been marketed as Golden Boot winner with Spain, it would have been clear cut. And that's likely to be the case for the Olympics and World Cup, with the top goalscorer market being removed.

It eliminates confusion, arguments and different settlements by different firms. BetVictor paid out on half the odds on all six players who tied for top scorer while Ladbrokes in the double, have applied dead-heat rules but topped up to the price on Spain to win outright if winnings are less than the latter amount.

Boylesports and Betfred settled the double as a six-way dead-heat on top scorer and then multiplied that by Spain's outright price.

Paddy Power and Coral settled as per dead-heat rule which means the stake being divided by six and settled at full odds for the double.

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