False takeover of Manchester United: Elon Musk’s “joke” sets Twitter on fire

The billionaire is used to unpredictable and provocative statements on the social network, which he had planned to buy before throwing in the towel.


Elon Musk, September 3, 2020, in Germany (AFP / Odd ANDERSEN)

“It’s a joke”: billionaire Elon Musk, boss of Tesla and SpaceX, denied on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday wanting to buy the English club Manchester United, a few hours after a first tweet went viral in which he made from such an intention.

“No, it’s a joke (…). I did not plan to buy any sports club, corrected the wealthy South African entrepreneur,

after his initial tweet had aroused in a few hours nearly 500,000 “likes” on the social network.

A football giant in disarray, the “Glazers” in the sights

In this first tweet, Musk, accustomed to unpredictable and provocative statements on Twitter, said: “And I’m buying Manchester United, you’re welcome”. When questioned, neither Tesla nor the management of the English club, controlled by the Glazer family, had immediately responded to this first tweet.

“ManU”, listed on the New York Stock Exchange for ten years, has a market capitalization of 2.08 billion dollars. The action which had closed stable Tuesday at 12.78 dollars (+0.08%) lost 2.11% in electronic trading after the close.

Although no shareholder holds a majority of the capital, Manchester United is controlled by

the six children of American businessman Malcolm Glazer, who took over the company in 2005.

ManU is one of the most famous clubs in the world but it is going through a severe results crisis, and is under the wrath of its many fans on social networks.

Last Saturday, the Reds Devils were humiliated in Brentford (4-0), and appear in an unworthy last place in the English Championship after two defeats in two matches.

The club’s management had already come under vehement protests from supporters in April last year when they wanted to take part in a breakaway European Super League plan, which was eventually scrapped.

The Red Devils wanted, with 5 other English clubs, 3 Spanish and 3 Italian, to create a rival European competition of the Champions League, an initiative which had provoked strong political and sporting protests, but also strong reactions from the supporters of the clubs concerned.

As for Elon Musk, he recently sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in his car group Tesla, while he is in the midst of a legal battle over his failed takeover project of the social network Twitter.

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