The tycoon Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and SpaceX, said on Twitter on Tuesday that he will buy the English soccer club Manchester United.
The businessman, used to giving unpredictable and provocative statements on the social network, tweeted: “I will buy Manchester United. No problem”.
Although it was initially unclear whether the world’s richest man was serious about publicly offering a takeover, hours later Musk posted another message in which he clarified that it was – initially – a joke. “I’m not buying sports equipment,” he said.
Before consulting GLM, neither Tesla nor the directors of the English club, held by the Glazer family, gave statements about these sayings.
Manchester United, which has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for ten years, has a market capitalization of 2,080 million dollars and its share, which had closed on Tuesday at 12.78 dollars (+0.08%), lost 2 .11% in electronic trading after the close.
Although no shareholder has a majority stake, the club is controlled by the six sons of American businessman Malcolm Glazer, who died in 2014 after taking over the company in 2005.
The management was the subject of strong protests in April last year by the club’s supporters, when they tried to participate in a breakaway plan from the European Super League, which was ultimately scrapped.
The Red Devils wanted, together with five other English, three Spanish and three Italian clubs, to create a European competition to rival the Champions League, an initiative that provoked strong political and sporting protests, but also strong reactions from the club’s supporters.
Manchester United suffered another resounding 4-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday. The blow, with Cristiano Ronaldo starting and 90 minutes on the pitch, changed the position of the coach, Erik ten Hag, and the leadership regarding the future of the Portuguese striker, whom they now agree to transfer to decompress the mood of the campus, according to the English media outlet BBC Sports on Tuesday.
While Manchester City and Arsenal have 6 points in the table, United have zero.
Musk, who recently sold almost $7 billion in shares of the Tesla car group from him, is in the midst of a legal battle over his failed takeover project for the social network Twitter.