econscius

George Soros, Me and our Cayman Islands Soccer Team

In George Soros on May 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm
Manchester United annual report

Manchester United annual report

Annual reports fail to bore when the famous red and yellow Manchester United soccer team logo adorns them.  What I hadn’t contemplated was the uber-rich Lefty George Soros and I have something in common: partial ownership in a Cayman Islands-based company.

You may be familiar with Manchester United, the most commercially successful sport team in the world.  It is, as usual, in first place in the English Premier League.  So why does the annual report and the proxy statement state this British sport super power is domiciled as a Cayman Islands company?  The following quote explains:

There is, at present, no direct taxation in the Cayman Islands and interest, dividends and gains payable to the Company will be received free of all Cayman Islands taxes. [1]

So, does Mitt Romney own the team?  No.  The principal owner is the Glazer family.  But, the largest outside owner, holding a cool 3,114,588 Class A Ordinary shares is none other than Soros Fund Management, LLC. [2] 

That goes down less smoothly than a pint of Singha, global beer sponsor of ManU.  Did Soros not back the Super PAC that ran the most anti-Romney ads, the ones vilifying the Governor for being rich – and having offshore investments in tax havens like… the Cayman Islands?  Yes, it’s that George Soros.  The one who gave millions to Obama Super PAC’s. [3]

For good measure, one of the Glazer family directors, Bryan Glazer of Florida, is a Democratic Party donor, too.  A Tampa Bay station found, “$54,600 in political contributions from the Glazer family since 2007, more than 90 percent of which went to Democrats.” [4] 

George Soros and me, investors in a Cayman Islands-based English soccer power.   What do you think?  Is there a foul smell to Soros investing so much in a “Cayman Islands” company even as he funded anti-Romney/pro-Obama campaigns that attacked these very sorts of offshore tax dodges?  Please feel free to comment below.

 The words "Manchester" and "United" surround a pennant featuring a ship in full sail and a devil holding a trident.

[1] page 93 of Manchester United, PLC’s SEC Form 20-F, 2011-2012 annual report

[2] Ibid, pg. 84.

[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/george-soros-super-pac_n_1920491.html

[4] http://www.wtsp.com/investigators/article/235368/34/Athletes-and-politics-Following-the-money

Photo by author; ManU logo from Wikipedia Commons.

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