- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Elon Musk excited soccer fans Wednesday when he tweeted that he was interested in purchasing the English club Manchester United.

“To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party! Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome,” he tweeted.

Unfortunately for some fans of the U.K.-based soccer club, the tweet was part of a long-running joke, the Tesla CEO said.

“I’m not buying any sports teams,” Mr. Musk posted when asked if he was serious, though he added that United was his favorite team as a boy.

Some fans of the club, which has been the champions of Europe three times and England a record 20 times but are currently at the bottom of the Premier League, were excited when they read the tweet only to express disappointment at it being a joke.

“It again reinstated the fact that Elon and his tweets are just gimmicks. Although it would have been great if he really invested 1/10th of what he paid for Twitter to own this legendary club,” tweeted the team’s fan club in Kolkata, India.

Many fans have wanted the current owners, the Florida-based Glazer family, to sell for some time, blaming them for an ongoing title drought that has lasted almost a decade. However, the Glazers have expressed no real interest in selling the team despite the recent relative lack of success.

Mr. Musk has a history of making financial waves with his tweets.

In April, he tweeted that he was next going to purchase Coca-Cola “to put the cocaine back in,” and in 2018, Mr. Musk tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private.

The latter tweet started a chain reaction that led to him stepping down as chairman of Tesla to resolve the Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he defrauded investors.

Mr. Musk’s current battle over purchasing Twitter started with a tweet where he said he was going to purchase the social media giant. The court battle that could force him to purchase the site is set to start in October.

Manchester United shares did experience a surge late yesterday in the wake of his tweet but tapered off after the joke was revealed. According to Forbes, the club is worth $4.6 billion, one of the highest sports-team valuations in the world, according to Forbes. 

• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at vcockayne@washingtontimes.com.

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