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Can Soros Bend Man-U Like Beckham?

Monday, 20 Aug 2012 | 5:35 PM ET

Although it’s almost unknown in the US, the world’s most famous soccer club may have just scored an important victory.

In the wake of a disappointing IPO earlier in the month, Manchester United just scored a big win.

After the bell Monday, billionaire investor George Soros revealed a massive 7.85% stake in the sports franchise.

Can Soros Bend Man-U Like Beckham?
British soccer club Manchester United has fallen since its IPO earlier this month, but got a big defender after the bell Monday when George Soros filed a stake worth almost eight percent. The traders look at whether Soros can bend this IPO for the better.

The stake was considered meaningful by the pros because Soros is known for spotting opportunity in areas that otherwise don't seem profitable.

And historically publicly traded sports teams have not been profitable - at least for individual investors. The Boston Celtics went public in 1986 and the Cleveland Indians in 1998. But the stocks struggled, and both were taken private in the last decade.

However, Soros' involvement immediately triggered speculation that this franchise may be different - that is may have upside. "He may be betting that they sell a lot of jerseys," muses trader Josh Brown, author of The Reformed Broker blog. "But I'm not entirely certain this isn't simply a quick trade because this is an expensive stock to short."

In case you’re not familiar, founded in 1878 by railway workers, Manchester United has long been one of England’s most famous teams, with 19 league titles to its credit. Over its history, the team has changed hands several times, spending 14 years on the public markets.

Posted by CNBC's Lee Brodie

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Trader disclosure: On August 20, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Karen Finerman is long AAPL; Karen Finerman is long BAC; Karen Finerman is long JPM; Karen Finerman is long WMT; Karen Finerman is long TGT; Karen Finerman is long MSFT; Karen Finerman is long GOOG; Karen Finerman is long PAY; Karen Finerman is short SPY; Karen Finerman is short MDY; Karen Finerman is short IWM; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long MCD; Joe Terranova is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long CSTR; Joe Terranova is long CHKP; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long JPM; Josh Brown is long WFC; Josh Brown is long GCX; Josh Brown is long XLF; Josh Brown is long GLD; Josh Brown is long XLU; Josh Brown is long WMT; Josh Brown is long TGT; Josh Brown is long V; Josh Brown is long MCD; Jon Najarian is long AAPL CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long JPM CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GDX CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLD CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long SBUX CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long FB CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLUU; Jon Najarian is long CBOE; Jon Najarian is long CME; Jon Najarian is long S

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