“In addition, I like to buy Manchester United,” Musk told his 103 million followers Twitter
without giving details.
Hours later — and after several news articles were published about his bold claim — Musk clarified that it was all a joke.
“No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I don’t buy sports teams,” he said after a user asked if he was serious about the purchase.
Asked about Musk’s tweet, a Manchester United (MANU) A spokesperson told CNN Business that “we are not commenting on rumors and speculation.”
Shares of Manchester United, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, initially rose after hours of the tweet on Tuesday, but pulled back from their gains. However, the stock was still up about 3% in early trading Wednesday.
According to Forbes, Manchester United is worth $4.6 billion. Managed by the Glazer family, who also own the NFL franchise Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Manchester United is one of the biggest football clubs in the world, but has not won the English Premier League title since 2013.
In his 13 years on Twitter, the platform has become an important part of Musk’s personal brand. It’s a place where he communicates about his business ventures, lashes out at people he considers adversaries, provides market-moving commentary on cryptocurrencies and occasionally shares a meme.
He even joked in a 2019 tweet, “Some people use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter.”
Musk’s tweets about Tesla, however, have thrown him into hot water several times with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. His feud with the SEC dates back to his now infamous 2018 tweet stating, “Consider taking Tesla private for $420. Financing secured.”
The nine-word tweet made Tesla stock soar at the time, but the SEC then accused him of misleading investors. Musk and regulators eventually reached a deal that included, among other stipulations, a requirement that Musk obtain prior approval from other Tesla executives before tweeting about the company.
The billionaire’s tweets about Manchester United come as he seeks to end his $44 billion takeover of the social platform. Twitter has sued him for attempting to end the deal.
— Robert Mclean contributed to this story.