16-1 Newcastle ease to RP Handicap honours
THERE’S still much to be decided on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday, but the Racing Post Handicap is already done and dusted with Newcastle crowned the inaugural champions.
Alan Pardew’s surprise package were available at 16-1 in receipt of a 37-point start and they now sit on 102 handicap points with the Magpies still in with a fighting chance of claiming a Champions League position if they can overcome Everton at Goodison Park.
The handicap is often a sign of which teams have overachieved during the campaign and Pardew admits even he is surprised by Newcastle’s outstanding season.
“To be competing for the Champions League is more than we imagined,” said Pardew, yesterday named Barclays manager of the season. “To have that chance doesn’t come along often.”
Champions-elect Manchester City are certain of one each-way place but the other two are open with Norwich, Fulham, Swansea, Manchester United and West Brom jostling for position.
Down at the bottom it has been a dismal handicap performance from Champions League finalists Chelsea, who are currently joint-last with relegated Wolves.