Ex-Canary offered City job, say bookies
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's managerial chase took a new twist when bookmakers suspended all bets after higher-than-usual interest in former Canaries midfielder Peter Grant.
Norwich City's managerial chase took a new twist today when bookmakers suspended all bets after higher-than-usual interest in former Canaries midfielder Peter Grant.
Ladbrokes reported that Glasgow - where Grant once plied his trade for Celtic - as a location for specific interest over the previous 48 hours, although they were among the last to close their book, at around 11.30am today.
By then the domino effect had begun, although it is not clear which bookmakers pulled the trigger by closing down first.
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Coral closed their book at 10.50, just five minutes after Skybet had done the same.
“It has been suspended,” confirmed a Skybet spokesperson. “The reason is because we have had information that Peter Grant has been offered the job.”
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Coral were offering odds of 7-2 on Grant, currently number two to Alan Pardew at West Ham, at start of business today morning, but within less than two hours those odds had come in to 5-2.
“Our betting was suspended because a lot of people were putting bets or wanting to put bets on Peter Grant,” said a spokesperson. “There wasn't really any money going on anyone else. It was just getting too busy on one person, Peter Grant.”
Coral confirmed there were no significantly big bets on Grant, but it was the quantity that drew attention.
Ladbrokes spokesman Robin Hutchison said the company had observed a growing interest in Grant in the previous two days.
“We made a decision this morning, when the rest came down, to come down as well,” he said.
“Our understanding is that he has been offered the job. We started him at 12-1 a while back, then it move to 8-1, to 5-1, 9-2, 7-2 and then 9-4 this morning.
“Quite a lot of money went on in Glasgow, in our establishments and through the Internet - obviously he has a Glasgow connection.
“It is not a great result for us if he does get the job so we thought it prudent to avoid any future losses.
“It's now suck it and see - we'll wait for a good steer from inside or outside the club before we decide what to do next. It's a damage limitation exercise really.”
Grant has always been considered among the favourites, although he appeared to be behind the likes of Mark Bowen, Kevin Blackwell, Ian Crook and caretaker boss Martin Hunter.
But while today's swing towards Grant would suggest a decision is imminent, Norwich were sticking to their guns and refusing to make any comment.
“We won't be commenting on speculation from bookmakers or anyone else, until such time as a decision is made,” said head of media, Joe Ferrari. “As soon as we have any information to give out, we will do so.”
There was a similar reaction from West Ham, where a spokesperson said they had been told not to discuss Grant's link with the vacancy.