The curious story behind Brentford & Midtjylland

20/08/2015 | By | Reply More

Midtjylland meet Southampton this evening in the Europa league. When Saints drew Vitesse in the last round I wasn’t pleased they had drawn the top seeded side. As the draw came out for the next round I had have an eye on Midtjylland. Sods law dictated that they were immediately paired with Southampton. Why my interested in this club? For that you need to look to Matthew Benham.

Benham is an Oxford gradute turned pro gambler. He has fingers in many pies, but has sprung into the limelight for his involvement in football; particularly with his acquisition of Brentford.

I first came across Benham at Smartodds. As I have spent a lot of time modelling sports over a number of years there were of interest to me. We effectively compete in the same markets. I started modelling football markets back when I was young so I understand it really well and Football has long been a passion of Benham.


Over time Benham has made a good deal of money on Footy and that led to him acquiring his childhood club Brentford. I once considered getting involved with a football club from the ownership side, it was a bit of a blue sky moment. I would have needed to raise funding and I was also put off by the adage that the fastest way to be a millionaire, is to be a billionaire and buy a football club! I decided to do it by proxy, but that’s another story……

Since arriving at Brentford Benham has reshaped the team to one with an approach involving analytics. Lots of clubs do this now, but visibility is high at Brentford but a little quieter at competing clubs with the same approach. There in lies a problem, as soon as an edge is known the edge is reduced, so I think visibility of it may reduce its effectiveness as well as encouraging others to follow suit.


Benham started to get involved with Midtjlland after a meeting with ex-player Rasmus Ankersen, who is now also at Brentford. The club was only formed in 1999, but really hit the headlines last season winning the Danish title against the odds. Is this a portent to Brentford’s progress? I doubt it, the English game has a lot of money floating around it and as I pointed out in another blog post, money talks!

However, if Southampton want to close out their play off and progress to the group stages of the Europa league they will need to watch out at set pieces.  Midtjylland have become set-piece kings, averaging a almost a goal per game from dead-ball situations, which is very high.

I’m trusting that Southampton will have done their research! 


If you are Brentford fan then you couldn’t have failed to notice that they picked up a new sponsor in the form of Matchbook. The sponsorship was a generous amount and should help Brentford in the coming season.

The link? Guess who owns Matchbook, yep, Matthew Benham.

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Category: Football trading strategies

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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