Cover SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award. (Photo: Getty Images)

Right after saying 'Thank you, next' to Twitter, the billionaire joked about setting his sights on purchasing something new

Another day, another headline about Elon Musk attempting to acquire something.

In today’s news, Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer announced in nothing more than a “by the way” tweet that he will be buying the wildly popular British football club Manchester United.

"I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome," Musk said in a tweet. He did not give any follow-up details.

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However, shortly after making headlines globally for his brazen tweet, Musk announced that it was a joke and that he would not be buying the football team.

“No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams,” he tweeted in response to an account asking if he was serious. 

He added that if he were to buy a team though, it would be Manchester United as they were his favourite team as a child. 

Musk, who is the richest person in the world, has a history of making these claims on Twitter and then later backing out. The most recent example was when he insisted that he wanted to buy Twitter.

After much discussion, Musk finally succeeded in his bid to acquire Twitter with a US$44 billion (SG$60.5 billion) cash deal. The deal was one of the biggest leveraged buyout deals in history and was expected to take the 16-year-old platform private so that Musk could make the platform one that celebrated free speech.

He also suggested allowing users to edit their tweets, wanted to combat the spread of bots, and proposed turning the company’s San Francisco headquarters into a homeless shelter.

However, in July this year, Musk announced that he no longer wanted to buy the social media platform and that he was pulling out of the deal. He claimed he did this because Twitter failed to provide him with enough information on the number of spam and fake accounts on the site. In a letter filed by his lawyers, Musk said that the company had not “met its contractual obligations.”

Of course, Twitter had contingency plans in place and Musk is obligated to pay Twitter a US$1 billion “breakup fee” if the deal falls through. However, now, Twitter is taking Musk to court to force him to carry out the deal and to pay them the US$44 billion he agreed to.

Manchester United is, to date, one of the world’s best-supported football clubs and they have been the champions of England a record 20 times.

They have also won the European Cup, the most prestigious club competition in the global game, three times.

With their success, the team has a market capitalisation of US$2.08 billion, as of Tuesday’s stock market close.

Currently, the team is controlled by the American Glazer family who has yet to respond to Musk’s Twitter jokes. That said, fans have long been unhappy with the fact that American Glazer owns the team, particularly because they bought the club for US$955.51 million in 2005 due to the team’s poor performance at the time on the pitch. 

Most recently, United suffered a defeat at Brentford after they conceded four goals in the opening 35 minutes of the game on August 14. A week before, the team lost their Premier League season opener by 1-2 to Brighton & Hove Albion.


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