One of the most enduring and popular forms of book-making comes in the form of betting on football. In many other countries, the sport is known as soccer. Where book-making is concerned, a better definition used to entice and initiate hedging against the outcomes of matches is simply gambling. Now, for this time of the British and European football season, reaching its climax as we speak, bookies offers 2016 are all the rage.

There are huge gambles that could potentially pay off this time around and, of course, there’s always money to be made. Even the who’s who of the sport are in on the act. Smart money usually goes to the regular front-runners and for one manager, not averse to the noble but devious arts of gambling himself, this was familiar territory. Usually, his beloved Red Devils would be making yet another magnanimous leap for the finish line.

It was the great Sir Alex Ferguson who referred to the closing stanzas of the EPL as squeaky bum time. Most times his team would finish top of the heap, but on those rare occasions that they didn’t, the gaffer would still come out on top anyway. No prizes for betting why, this time around, I’m afraid.

Ferguson knew how to gamble. And, of course, his years of experience in the game paid off handsomely for him. Today, his beloved United are no longer top of the heap. But, if you spot him at one of your favorite stadiums, take a closer look at the legendary Scotsman and you may just catch him gleefully warming his hands at the prospect of winning big from one of the most open seasons for a while.