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Sports Personality Of The Year Betting: Rashford drifts amid rumours he won't be shortlisted

Marcus Rashford's odds to win Sports Personality of the year have drifted from 8/13 to 3/1 over the last few days
Marcus Rashford's odds to win Sports Personality of the year have drifted from 8/13 to 3/1 over the last few days

After his phenomenal work off the football field bidding to end child hunger, Marcus Rashford has been tipped by many to win this year's Sports Personality of The Year Award. The winner will be announced on the 20th December, however there are rumours that Rashford is set to be omitted from the shortlist, despite just a few days ago being the odds-on favourite for the award.

At the start of June the Manchester United and England frontman was priced as big as 150/1 to win the award in the Sports Personality Of The Year Betting Market. After continuous support in the market, Rashford’s price has continued to shorten and on October 25th he was priced at just 8/13, an implied probability of 62%.

With rumours rife over the last 72 hours that Rashford will be omitted from the shortlist, his price has now drifted out to as big as 3/1 with bet365. That’s just a 25% implied chance of the 22-year-old winning the award, compared to the 62% just a few days earlier. 

Lewis Hamilton is now the favourite with the bookmakers for this year's prize, priced around 10/11. The six-time World Champion, broke Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins on Sunday with a victory at the Portugese Grand Prix. Hamilton looks set to also equal Schumacher’s record of seven World Championships as he currently sits 77 points clear at the top of the drivers standings. 

Why could Rashford miss out?

Several tabloids have reported that Rashford could miss out on the award based on the current criteria which says the shortlist of candidates must ‘reflect sporting achievements’. 

The topics surrounding Rashford’s off the field actions are a divisive subject for the BBC and they could face a backlash if the 22-year-old is not nominated for the award.

Only this weekend, we heard commentator Guy Mowbray say during United’s game with Chelsea “Whether you agree with Rashford’s causes or not, there’s surely only admiration for his continued support”.

The long-serving commentator then went on social media to explain his comments saying how ‘impartiality broadcast rules mean things have to be phrased a certain way’. Mowbray then later deleted his social media account. 

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Current criteria?

The shortlist of candidates for the award is normally announced around the end of November, however in 2018 the BBC did not state the shortlist until the evening of the award. This could be an option they choose again this year to avoid controversy and debate.

The shortlist is normally created by a panel of usually 12 people. The selection of representatives for the panel included members of the BBC, sports industry and is chaired by Barbara Slater who is the current director of BBC Sport.

The conditions for SPOTY currently say: The panel will select a shortlist using the following criteria:

  • ‘Reflects UK Sporting achievements on the national and/or international stage; 

  • ‘Represents the breadth and depth of UK sports; and takes into account ‘impact’ of the person’s sporting achievement beyond the sport in question’

After being given a list of the top sports people, which is created by the SPOTY production team, the panel then creates a shortlist based on a consensus view. 

What happens next?

Over the coming weeks a judging panel will meet, where not only will they decide the shortlist, but they also have the opportunity to make any changes to the current criteria for the award. The criteria has been the same for many years but in these unprecedented times that we are living in, it could feel fitting to break tradition and consider the further impact sportsmen and women are having in society. 

Several politicians have also had their say on the matter with ‘King of the North’, Andy Burnham stating, “Marcus is the first sportsperson of recent times to use the full power of his personality and experience for the benefit of others”

It remains to be seen whether or not Rashford will be shortlisted for the main SPOTY award. One alternative though could be that the BBC choose to commend the Manchester United starlet with the Helen Rollason Award. This is given for ‘outstanding achievement in the face of adversity’.

In the past this award has been given to people such as Bradley Lowery, Paul Hunter, Billy Monger and amazingly in 2008, Oscar Pistorious for his fight to race in both the Olympics and Paralympics. This is an option for the BBC with another potentially being creating a new award to recognise Marcus’ heroic efforts to end child hunger

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