The world’s richest man has a habit of posting provocative remarks on Twitter for fun, and Musk was back, telling his more than 103 million followers: “Also, I’m buying Manchester United, welcome.”
The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the comment in response to another of his tweets about supporting America’s two main political parties.
The 51-year-old, who is embroiled in a legal battle over his bid to buy Twitter, was later asked on the platform if he was serious about owning Manchester United.
“No, it’s an eternal joke on Twitter. I don’t buy sports teams,” Musk replied after his original tweet received nearly 500,000 likes within hours.
“Although if it was any team it would be Man U. They were my favorite team when I was a kid.”
Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in world football but which has suffered a sustained recession, is owned by the Glazer family. They were targeted by angry fans.
There was no immediate response from United or its owners to Musk’s tweets.
Shares of the team, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, have been down year-to-date but ended unchanged on Tuesday with a market capitalization of $2.1 billion.
Although Musk calls it a joke, Musk’s tweet could get him in trouble with US regulators.
The Glazers are at the center of fan fury after the team’s dramatic fall.
The Americans also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFL franchise in Florida.
United fans have protested against the team’s poor performance in recent years and their involvement in a plan to create a new ‘Super League’ of Europe’s wealthiest teams.
The Red Devils finished last season in the English Premier League in a weak sixth place.
United have had another poor start to the season under new manager Erik ten Hag, at their lowest after two defeats in as many games.
Further protests against the Glazers are planned ahead of United’s next game, which faces fierce rivals Liverpool on August 22.
Musk, who recently sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock, is locked in a major lawsuit in the state of Delaware over his failed plan to buy Twitter.
- Editor / additional report by AFP