The ongoing search for Pompey’s next manager took a new twist today after bookies suspended betting following strong backing for West Brom’s first-team coach Michael Appleton.
According to Stan James bookmakers, the 35-year-old is now 4/7 favourite after a flurry of bets were put on him to take the Fratton hot seat.
Appleton is highly-regarded by the Baggies and has been tipped to be their next boss when Roy Hodgson decides to call it quits.
But the former midfielder has no managerial experience and does not fit the blueprint of chief executive David Lampitt, who said the Blues would like their new man to have Championship experience.
Despite that, the latest development adds more intrigue as to who will be the new man for Pompey.
Dave Jenkins, senior trader for Stan James, said: ‘We had an enquiry about a price on Michael Appleton getting the job, and we were soon bowled over with bets on him.
‘He got backed down to odds on and the punters were taking any price that we offered. We laid a four-figure bet at 1/2 and now we are as short as 1/5. It was a significant gamble. If this money is anything to go by then this looks a done deal.’
Bookies originally suspended betting on Monday when they believed Sean O’Driscoll was primed for the post, only to reopen it after Steve Coppell became a front-runner.
Despite the betting on Appleton, the former Reading and Crystal Palace boss remains the more likely option for Pompey, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and O’Driscoll also in the frame.