Elon Musk said on Tuesday he was buying British football club Manchester United Plc. in a Twitter thread joking about his political allegiances. The Tesla Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and world’s richest person made the claim in a tweet thread where he said that he supported the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democrats. “I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome,” Musk said in the tweet. The billionaire later said that he was joking when he said he was going to buy English soccer club. “No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams,” Musk said, when asked by a user if he was serious about buying Manchester United.
Manchester United is one most popular and best supported football clubs in the world. They have been champions of England a record 20 times and are three time winners of the European Cup, the most prestigious club competition in the global game. The club, who has won a record 13 Premier League titles, is controlled by the American Glazer family, who did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment on Musk‘s tweet. The football club had a market capitalization of $2.08 billion, as of Tuesday’s stock market close.
According to reports, Manchester United fans have in recent years protested against the Glazers, which also owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who bought the football club for 790 million pounds ($955.51 million) in 2005. The anti-Glazer movement gained momentum in 2021 after the club was involved in a failed attempt to form a breakaway European Super League. At their opening home game of the season — a 2-1 loss to Brighton — several fans walked towards the stadium with a banner which read, “Fight greed. Fight for United. Fight Glazers” with another stating, “We want our club back”, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
Amid these protests, some fans have urged Elon Musk to buy Manchester United instead of buying Twitter. Twitter is currently suing the Tesla chief over the cancelled $44 billion buyout. Musk has argued that Twitter checks only 100 accounts a day when trying to calculate the number of spam bots on the service. He has accused Twitter of misrepresenting the size of its user base to distort its value and has cited the issue of fake accounts as a main reason for abandoning the deal to buy the company.