Elon Musk says his announcement that he planned to buy Manchester United was part of a "long-running joke" on Twitter and that he had no plans to purchase any sports teams.
Musk set United supporters' hearts racing on Tuesday when he flagged the purchase of the troubled Premier League club in a thread joking about his political allegiances.
The billionaire tech entrepreneur joked that he supported "the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!" in a tweet before adding, “Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome.”
The post quickly garnered a lot of attention, receiving almost 54,000 retweets and more than 300,000 likes within a couple of hours.
But the Tesla founder followed it with an update on Wednesday in response to a question over whether he was serious about buying the club, saying: "No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams."
Manchester United are one of the world's best supported football clubs and one of the biggest brands in all sports. They have been champions of England a record 20 times and have won the European Cup, the most prestigious club competition in the global game, three times.
The club is controlled by the Glazer family in the US though they are unpopular among the fanbase due to a perceived lack of ambition to bring in top players.
United finished sixth in the English Premier League last season, missing out on the lucrative Champions League, and have had a disastrous start to the new campaign, losing 2-1 at home to Brighton before being thumped 4-0 away to Brentford on Saturday, leaving them bottom of the 20-team Premier League.
British newspaper The Daily Mirror reported last year that the Glazers were prepared to sell the club but only if they were offered in excess of £4bn.
The football club had a market capitalisation of $2.08bn, as of Tuesday's stock market close.
It comes amid Musk's lawsuit with Twitter, triggered when he backed out of a $44 billion deal to buy the social media platform.
Last week it was revealed that Musk had sold nearly $7bn of shares in Tesla ahead of the legal battle, which is scheduled for October.