Elon Musk tweets he is ‘buying Manchester United'

Billionaire Tesla founder flagged the purchase in a short tweet on Tuesday, though it is unclear if his statement was meant as a joke

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Elon Musk said he is buying English football club Manchester United in a thread joking about his political allegiances.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur flagged the purchase in a short tweet on Tuesday, though it is unclear whether his statement was meant as a joke.

Musk, 51, tweeted to his 103 million followers: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!"

He added: “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.

It comes amid the Tesla founder’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.

Manchester United is controlled by the Glazer family in the US. Neither the family nor Musk immediately responded to a request for comment.

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.

Manchester United is one of the world's best supported football clubs. 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.

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Dissatisfaction among fans at the Glazers' perceived lack of ambition to bring in top players intensified after the club finished sixth in the English Premier League last season, while crosstown rivals Manchester City won a second successive title.

The football club had a market capitalisation of $2.08bn, as of Tuesday's stock market close.

Manchester United fans have in recent years protested against the Glazers, who bought the club for £790m in 2005, due to the team's struggles on the pitch.

The anti-Glazer movement gained momentum last year after United were involved in a failed attempt to form a breakaway European Super League.

Some fans have urged Musk to buy Manchester United instead of buying Twitter. The team are currently bottom of the 20-team Premier League table after defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and most recently Brentford.

Musk has a history of unconventional actions and comments, making it difficult sometimes to tell when he is joking.

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Updated: August 17, 2022, 6:28 AM