‘I’m buying Manchester United’: Elon Musk tweet charges debate over struggling club’s future

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The Guardian

Tesla billionaire Elon Musk has electrified the debate about the future of Manchester United by claiming on Twitter that he is buying the struggling Premier League club.

It was not immediately clear what his views are on new coach Eric ten Hag’s controversial insistence on passing out from the back, or whether unhappy star striker Cristiano Ronaldo should be allowed to leave.

However, with the team rooted to the bottom of the league after a humiliating 4-0 away defeat to Brentford, the outspoken entrepreneur’s tweet offered hope to fans who want to see the back of current owners, the Florida-based Glazer family.

“I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome,” Musk said in a tweet.

Musk has a history of making irreverent tweets, and it remains to be seen if he is serious about pursuing a deal.

Buying United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, would cost Musk at least £2bn, according to its current stock market valuation.

Manchester United’s recent on-pitch woes have led to increased fan protests against the Glazers, who bought the club in a heavily leveraged deal in 2005 for £790m ($955.51m).

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

But a takeover by Musk could be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire for the club, given the billionaire’s tendency for off-the-cuff remarks and falling foul of market regulators.

Many were quick to point out that Musk had also promised to buy Twitter for $44bn before the deal collapsed in July, and has also boasted about colonising Mars and boosting birthrates on Earth.

Fans responded with a mixture of bafflement and optimism given the lowly status of a club used to occupying the top places in the league rather than the bottom.

Manchester United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

August 17, 2022 at 09:17AM Martin Farrer and agencies

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