Man United win leaves UK bookies smiling
By staff
British punters are the losers as Manchester United yesterday won the UK soccer Premiership, coming from behind to pip early season favourites Arsenal.

Arsenal looked racing certainties to retain their Premiership title for most of the season, having held an eight point lead over Manchester United as recently as March.

But United's end-of-season form has seen them overtake their London rivals and Arsenal were forced to concede the title on Sunday after a shock 3-2 defeat to Leeds at Highbury.

William Hill's reported taking at least 92 bets on Arsenal in excess of £1000 ($1603), twice the number of five-figure bets placed on United.

Other leading bookmakers will also be celebrating United’s victory – with Arsenal backed heavily throughout the season, United’s title means money in the bank for the bookies.

'United's fans have talked a good campaign but did not back that up with the level of financial support for their team demonstrated by the Arsenal fans,' said Hill's spokesperson Graham Sharpe.

The two biggest bets Hill's took on Arsenal were one of £50000 ($80181) from a man in the London district of Hampstead, home to Arsenal stars Thierry Henry and Robert Pires, and one of £64000 ($102631) from a man who cashed in all his shares to back the Gunners.

Both will now be left empty handed, while United fans who backed their team in November, when they were on offer at 7-1, will be “quids in” this week.

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