Elon Musk tweets ‘I’m buying Manchester United’

Aug 16 (Reuters) – Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, tweeted on Tuesday that he was buying English soccer club Manchester United Plc (MANU.N), without providing any details.

Musk has a habit of being unconventional and posting irreverent tweets. It was not immediately clear whether he planned to agree a deal to acquire Manchester United.

Just four months after announcing he would buy Twitter (TWTR.N), Musk is now trying to get out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media company, which has sued him.

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Manchester United are one of the most famous names in world football but are currently in crisis on the pitch amid angry calls from fans for the club’s current owners, the American Glazer family, to step down.

“I buy Manchester United ur (sic) welcome,” Musk said in a tweet. The north of England-based team have over 32 million followers on their main Twitter account and Musk’s tweet garnered almost 320,000 likes on the platform in three hours.

Musk’s message followed an earlier tweet: “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 alignment positions.

Some disgruntled United fans had previously urged Musk to consider buying the club over Twitter. In early reactions on Tuesday, some users mockingly compared Musk’s latest tweet with his run on Twitter, or seemed to take it only as a joke, while others expressed hope it was true. .

A user with the handle ‘DavidQ1987’ said, “If Elon saves us from the Glazers, I’m buying a Tesla in his honor!”

‘Crk_NFT_’ tweeted: “Like buy, buy? Or the same way you bought Twitter? Honestly Man U fans would probably be happy anyway.”

NIGHTMARE

The comment from Musk, chief executive of electric car giant Tesla (TLSA.O), comes as 20-time English champions United suffer an opening nightmare on the pitch for the 2022-23 season.

One of the best-known and most-supported sides in the world, United are entrenched at the bottom of the English Premier League after losing their opening two games, having failed in the summer to adequately rebuild a side that have performed relatively poorly. last season. .

Musk, who is worth $270 billion, according to Forbes, can certainly afford to buy the New York-listed soccer club, whose shares have fallen by a quarter in the past 12 months, valuing it at just over of $2 billion. The stock has rebounded over the past month, gaining 16% to close at $12.78 on Tuesday.

Last week, documents revealed that Musk had sold $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock, which he said could be used to fund a possible Twitter deal if he lost a legal battle with the platform. form of social media.

In total, Musk has sold about $32 billion worth of Tesla stock in less than a year, partly to pay tax liabilities and fund a Twitter deal.

Musk and his attorney did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. The Florida-based Glazer family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

WIDESPREAD OPPOSITION

The clamor 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, is intensifying amid a lengthening race without winning major titles.

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.

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.

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

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

“Then I’m buying Coca-Cola to get the cocaine back,” Musk tweeted on Aug. 27, two days after Twitter’s board accepted his unsolicited offer — advertised on his Twitter feed — to buy the society.

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 about the acquisition of another U.S.-listed company outside of 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.

($1 = 0.8258 pounds)

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

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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