Sports hedge fund backs Chelsea as 2017/2018 BPL winner

The football season is back in the UK and other countries across Europe. This Sunday has seen Arsenal taking over last season’s Barclays Premier League champion Chelsea during the traditional pre-season Community Shield game.

It is another former champion, Leicester – 2015/2016’s BPL winner –  the Gunners will face for the opening of the season on Friday 11 August.

Winners, relegation, first games of the season, InvestmentEurope has collected the views of Brendan Poots, CEO of Melbourne-based sports hedge fund Priomha Capital, who runs strategies that invests in various sports events including football.

Poots first notes the usual suspects top the markets for the 2017/18 Barclays Premier League with Manchester City favourite in the betting world at $2.90, followed by Chelsea ($4.70), Manchester United ($4.90). Behind the trio remain three other contenders : Tottenham ($11.00), Arsenal ($13.00) & Liverpool ($16.00).

“Our ratings have Manchester City and Chelsea sharing favouritism at around $3.50. Given the current markets City are not value but we do not want to oppose them… our only BACK (long position) pre-season is Chelsea.

“Manchester United, by our ratings are closer to a $7.00 chance, consequently we have taken a position against them pre-season. Tottenham, Arsenal & Liverpool all look fairly priced,” Poots explains.

Tough fight to stay up

Priomha Capital’s CEO says that a solid season can be expected from West Ham, Everton and to a lesser extent Southampton as they should finish in the top 10 this season.

“We expect West Brom to drop a few places from last season, and we expect Newcastle to be very competitive in their return to the Premier League,” he argues.

The sport hedge fund’s ratings see Newcastle outperforming the two other promoted teams Huddersfield & Brighton and place the Magpies close to mid table at the end of the season. “We are heavily in Newcastle’s corner,” comments Poots.

“Huddersfield are expected to go straight back down. We cannot disagree with that. Burnley are strongly favoured by the market to be joining them. We do not agree with the market’s opinion. Burnley was very solid at home last season and there is nothing in the key indicators to expect this to change.

“Their home form alone will be enough to keep them up. Our ratings expect improved away performances and this should be more than enough to keep them safe. We will be backing them to stay up. Newcastle will have no issues staying up, now that they are back. This leaves Brighton, Watford, Crystal Palace and Swansea to be fighting to stay up,” Poots argues.

The opening six

Priomha Capital’s CEO pinpoints that apart a couple of pre-season positions taken in the Priomha Cloney Multi-Sport strategy, the hedge fund will look to trade the opening six rounds as their own separate competition.

“Manchester City have a relatively easy opening to the season. Their potentially tricky matches (including Liverpool) are all at home. They are very likely to have at least 16 points after the opening six rounds. If this is the case then they will be trading close to $2.00.

“Last year, after a solid opening they were trading sub $1.60 (I pity those that took that price). We will take a small piece of the current $2.90 on offer with a view to trading this during the opening stage of the season,” says Poots.

He pursues: “In the first six weeks, Chelsea has Tottenham (away) and Arsenal (home) as their toughest tests. We have them dropping points at Spurs but beating Arsenal. They will be on at least 15 points after the first six rounds. Their price will probably firm during this period but given that we already have exposure to them we will not be actively trading.

“Manchester United have a relatively easy run to open the season. They are a strong chance to be undefeated. Consequently, given that they are already very popular in the market we can expect them to be trading around $3.00 or lower if they start as we expect. A strong start has been accounted for in our pre-season ratings of Manchester United. We already have exposure to them pre-season. We will increase that exposure should they trade in the $3.00 range by LAYING (short position) them again.”

Poots suggests that Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool will have harder starts to the season and anticipates they will be all in the 12-15 point range.

“Should this be the case their prices will not drastically move. We will not trade any of these sides during the first six weeks,” Priomha Capital’s CEO says.

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is deputy editor and French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

Read more from Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

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