Odey Shorts Manchester United

Dec 12 2013 | 11:58am ET

England's most storied soccer team has fallen flat this year, and one prominent hedge fund manager expects its shares will do the same.

Manchester United Football Club, which last year won the English Premier League, is now mired in ninth place, out of 20 top-tier teams. That's apparently not good enough for Odey Asset Management, which has opened a $5 million short bet against the team.

ManU shares have traded in New York since their initial public offering last year. Last year was also the final one for the team's manager of 27 years, Alex Ferguson. New manager David Moyes has thus far failed to continue Ferguson's success.

Not every hedge fund thinks that things are so dire at Old Trafford, ManU's famed stadium. George Soros owns at 5.3% stake in the team, which reported record revenue this year, and Man Group's GLG Partners unit owns 2.2%.

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