Musk’s tweets about buying Manchester United are no joke for weary fans

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Having seen eight managers come and go in less than 10 years, Manchester United fans know their false dawns. Wednesday shed a different light on the conflicts within the giant soccer club: Elon Musk said he was buying it – then said it was all a joke.

Musk, the world’s richest person, said early on Wednesday he hadn’t been serious when he tweeted hours earlier that he was going to buy Manchester United Plc, which is now languishing at the foot of the English Premier League as weary fans urge the current owners, the American Glazer family to resell.

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« No, it’s a longtime joke on Twitter. I don’t buy any sports teams, » Musk said when asked by a user if he was serious about buying the club when he first posted, « I buy Manchester United ur (sic) welcome. »

« Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U, » he added, putting salt in the wound for some: « They were my favorite team (sic) when I was a child. »

Some Manchester United fans had previously urged Musk on Twitter to consider buying the club, complaining about what they see as underinvestment in one of the biggest football clubs in the world. United have not won the Premiership since the days of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson last of his record 20 victories in 2013, despite the efforts of a cast of eight permanent and temporary managers since then .

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In the initial reactions before Musk said he was joking, some users mockingly compared his tweet with his troubled run to buy Twitter, or seemed to take it only as a joke.

The North of England-based team have over 32 million followers on their main Twitter account and Musk’s first tweet about the club garnered over 500,000 likes on the platform in six hours .

After Musk said he was joking, Manchester United Fanatics Club Hungary said: « This is just a tweet from someone who doesn’t always think twice before writing something (sic). »

Manchester United Fans Club Kolkata said: « It has once again reinstated the fact that Elon and his tweets are just gimmicks. Although it would have been great if he really invested 1/10th of what he has paid for Twitter to own this legendary club…the whole fan base is fed up with the Glazers.

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At the start of trading in the Frankfurt-listed club’s shares, the stock was up 2.5%.


Musk is now seeking to exit a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter just four months after announcing on the platform that he would buy the social media company, which has resulted in him being sued.

He has a habit of being unconventional and posting irreverent tweets, which sometimes makes it hard to tell when he’s joking.

« Then I buy Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in, » he tweeted on April 27, two days after Twitter’s board accepted his unsolicited offer to buy the company. company.

Referring to that post, he tweeted on Wednesday, « And I don’t buy Coca-Cola to hand over cocaine, despite the extreme popularity of such a move. »

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Musk’s tweets about potential acquisitions have gotten him in hot water with US regulators in the past.

In 2018, he tweeted that there was « secured funding » for a $72 billion deal to take Tesla private, but didn’t move forward with an offer. Musk and Tesla each paid civil fines of $20 million – and Musk resigned as Tesla chairman – to resolve US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allegations that Musk defrauded investors .

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk’s tweet that he was buying the club outside normal business hours.

Musk’s ambitions range from colonizing Mars to creating a new sustainable energy economy, and in the process he’s built the world’s most valuable auto company, electric vehicle maker Tesla, rocket company SpaceX and a host of small businesses. One is a tunnel maker called the Boring Company.

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Claims from fans and pundits for a change of ownership at the three-time winners of the European Cup, the most prestigious club competition in the world game, have intensified.

Britain’s The Daily Mirror newspaper reported last year that the Glazers, who have faced widespread fan opposition to their management since acquiring the club in 2005 for 790 million pounds ($957 million), were ready to sell but only if they were offered at more than 4 billion pounds.

In its annual rankings this year, Forbes ranked Manchester United, with its huge global fanbase, the world’s third most valuable football club, worth $4.6 billion, behind the Spanish giants alone. of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

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But shares of the New York-listed soccer club have slipped by a quarter in the past 12 months, valuing it at just over $2 billion. The stock has rebounded over the past month, gaining 16% to close at $12.78 on Tuesday.

Musk and his attorney did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on his original Twitter post ahead of his message that he was joking.

The Florida-based Glazer family did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and Manchester United themselves declined to comment.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco; Writing by Peter Henderson, Michael Perry and Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Aditya Soni, Neil Fullick and Kenneth Maxwell)



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