Elon Musk tweets ‘I’m buying Manchester United’

(Reuters) -Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, tweeted on Tuesday that he bought English football club Manchester United Plc, without giving details.

Musk has a history of being unconventional and posting irreverent tweets. It was not immediately clear whether he intended to make a deal to take over Manchester United, one of the most famous names in world football but currently in crisis on the pitch amid angry calls from fans for a change of ownership .

“I buy Manchester United ur (sic) welcome,” Musk said in a tweet. The Northern England-based team has more than 32 million followers on its main Twitter account, and Musk’s tweet had racked up 220,000 “likes” on the platform within two hours.

Musk’s post was a follow-up to an earlier tweet: “Just to be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!” The left half and the right half are football formation positions.

The comment from the chief executive of electric car giant Tesla comes as United, champions of England a record 20 times, suffer a nightmare opening on the pitch into the 2022-2023 season.

United, one of the world’s best-known and most supported teams, are bottom of the English Premier League after losing their first two games, having failed over the summer to take on a side that performed relatively poorly last season. rebuild.

Its New York-listed stock is down 24% in the past 12 months, valuing it at just over $2 billion.

Manchester United is controlled by the American Glazer family. Neither the Florida family nor Musk immediately responded to requests for comment.

Calls from fans and pundits for a change of ownership among the three-time winners of the European Cup, the most prestigious club competition in the world, are mounting amid an ever-lengthening run without winning any major titles.

In its annual rankings this year, Forbes rated Manchester United, with its massive global fan base, the third most valuable football club in the world, worth $4.6 billion, behind only Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The British newspaper The Daily Mirror reported last year that the Glazers, who have faced widespread fan opposition to their management since taking over the club in 2005 for £790 million ($957 million), were willing to sell, but only if they are over 4 billion pounds.

Fan dissatisfaction with the Glazers’ perceived lack of ambition to bring in top players increased after the club finished sixth in the English Premier League last season – while city rivals Manchester City won a second consecutive title.

Musk has a history of unconventional actions and comments that sometimes make it hard to tell when he’s joking.

“Then I’ll buy Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in,” Musk tweeted on Aug. 27, two days after Twitter’s board accepted its unsolicited offer – announced on its Twitter feed – to buy the company. Musk is currently trying to end a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company, which has sued him

Musk’s tweets about possible takeovers have caused him trouble with US regulators in the past.

In 2018, he tweeted that “funding was secured” for a $72 billion deal to take Tesla private, but fell through with an offer. Musk and Tesla each paid $20 million in civil fines — and Musk stepped down as chairman of Tesla — to resolve the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allegations that Musk was defrauding investors.

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

Forbes estimates his fortune at $270 billion.

($1 = 0.8258 pounds)

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Writing by Peter Henderson and Michael Perry; Editing by Aditya Soni, Neil Fullick and Kenneth Maxwell)

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