NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) -- Currency speculator and billionaire philanthropist George Soros ("The man who broke the bank of England") on Monday reveled his minority stake in the popular soccer club Manchester United (aka "The Red Devils").
Soros disclosed in a regulatory filing on Monday that he owns 7.85 percent of Manchester United's Class A shares. The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was made by Soros' hedge fund, Soros Fund Management LLC.
The 134-year-old English Premier League soccer club went public on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month.
The American family that owns the team, the Glazers, have voting control over it through Class B shares that have 10 times the voting power of the stock sold to the public.
The Glazer family also owns the American football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Malcolm Glazer is CEO of First Allied Corp., a holding company with numerous business interests. His two sons Avram and Joel are co-chairmen of Manchester United.
While Manchester United has rabid fan support, it did not receive as hearty of a welcome on the public stock market. Its debut over a week ago was considered disappointing, with enthusiasm for the celebrated team overshadowed by its debt load and financial track record.
Manchester United carried 416.7 million pounds ($666.2 million) in debt as of March 31. It had no debt when it was bought by the Glazer family in 2005.
"The investment is a surprising bet for a savvy market player like Soros. Shares in Manchester United pay no dividend and essentially carry no voting power," Forbes reports. "After heavy defense by the underwriters in its first day in the New York Stock Exchange, the stock has fallen 6.7% to $13.06 by the end Monday’s trading session."
Manchester United's stock closed at $14 on its first trading day, valuing the club at $2.3 billion, slightly higher than the record $2 billion paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team earlier this year.
The company's stock closed at $13.06 on Monday, down 7 percent from its debut.
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(H/T: R. Craig) All photos courtesy the AP.