Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that “I’m not buying any sports teams,” calling a viral post about Manchester United buying a joke. The world’s richest man has a habit of making inflammatory statements on Twitter just for the sake of pranks, and he was at it again when he told his more than 103 million followers: “Plus, I’m buying your welcome to Manchester United. ”

The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the remarks in response to another of his tweets about his support for the two major political parties in the United States.

The 51-year-old, who is embroiled in a lawsuit over his bid to buy Twitter, was later asked on stage if he was serious about owning Manchester United.

“No, that’s a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams,” Musk replied, garnering nearly 500,000 “likes” within hours of his original tweet.

“However, if it were a team, it would be Man U. They were my favorite team as a kid.”

Manchester United is one of the world’s biggest clubs in international football, but it has been battling a prolonged recession. This has angered its legions of fans around the world, many of whom wish it was replaced by the current owners, the U.S. To be sold by the Glazer family.

There was no immediate reaction from United or its owners on Musk’s tweet.

Shares of the team listed on the New York Stock Exchange were down year over year but ended flat on Tuesday, with a market capitalization of $2.1 billion.

Despite calling it a joke, Musk’s tweet could make him more unhappy with US regulators. The Tesla founder, who recently sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in the car company, is in a major legal battle in the US state of Delaware over his aborted plans to buy Twitter.

He indicated that he sold the shares in preparation for potential losses in a legal battle over his purchase of Twitter, saying in a message on the platform: “(Hopefully unlikely) in the event that Twitter would force this deal to close.” And some equity partners don’t come through, it’s important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock.”

Musk has been in the U.S. for several years. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are sparring after he and his auto company agreed to pay $20 million in fines to settle allegations of misleading investors – using his Twitter account By doing – about plans to potentially buy the electric car company outright. which never materialised. As part of the deal with the SEC, Musk was asked to obtain legal sanction for any tweets about information that could affect Tesla’s stock price. Regulators say they have sometimes violated the terms, which they claim are muzzled incorrectly.

Manchester United fans have protested the poor performance of the team’s American senior management in recent years, as well as their involvement in a plan to start a new “Super League” of the richest teams in Europe. The Glazers also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFL franchise in Florida.

Manchester United, better known as the Red Devils, finished sixth in the English Premier League last season. The club have had another poor start to their campaign under new coach Erik ten Haag, and are currently at the bottom of the table after two losses in as many games.

A new protest against the Glazers was planned before United’s next game, against Liverpool at home on 22 August.

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