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Manchester United buyout: Elon Musk’s takeover ‘offer’ leaves MANU stock price unmoved

11:00, 17 August 2022

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A image of Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Manchester United at Brentford
Manchester United critics are also saying the club is failing to sign any prominent players - Photo: Getty Images.

Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat against Brentford on Saturday took the sporting world by surprise. Once the world’s most successful football team under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United (MANU) seems to have fallen from grace.

Then came another shock announcement – this time from business magnate, billionaire and investor, Elon Musk, who tweeted in the early hours on Wednesday that he was planning to buy Manchester United (MANU). 

Cue pandemonium on the social network, with the tweet receiving more than 400,000 likes. But despite the furore Musk’s post caused, MANU stock price remained unmoved today. In fact, the football club's share price has been down by 10% this year.

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Are the Glazers bad for MANU?

The start of the season has not been a great one for Manchester United (MANU), at the bottom of the Premier League after two defeats, the club is also dealing with the fact its star player – Cristiano Ronaldo could leave.

Manchester United (MANU) critics are also saying the club is failing to sign any prominent and talented players and has been on a steep decline since Sir Alex Ferguson retried in 2013. Fans and pundits have challenged the Glazer family, who have owned the club since 2005, purchasing it for £790m ($955.51m).

The Glazers have not been a popular addition to the club and protests have brokern out over the years, with the most notable one taking place last year, causing the Manchester United (MANU) match against Liverpool to be postponed.

Football analyst, Sean Foster told Capital.com: “Most of the clubs still need new additions and are not finished doing business. As evident from the opening round of games – Manchester United (MANU) and Leicester are in desperate need of fresh blood in order to compete at the highest level.”

“I’m convinced that when the window closes on 1st of September, the total transfer fees will easily surpass the £1.5bn valuation, as there will be a few more marquee signings commanding high prices.”

Foster added that the spirits around Old Trafford will be low, as Manchester United (MANU) endured a disappointing time after losing 1:2 at home to Brighton last week and this week’s defeat against Brentford.

Data from Sporting Pedia shows that MANU spent just over £60m on summer signings this year, well below Chelsea Football club, which spent over £163m.

 

Only Joking

With that said, Elon Musk’s tweet appears to have been welcomed by many football fans. Former Liverpool winger, Ryan Babel tweeted: “Now I need to buy Man United (MANU) stock got dammit lol.”

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But the Tesla owner’s tweet was later revoked, as Musk clarified that he was joking and said: "No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I'm not buying any sports teams. Stand-up is my side-hustle."

But Musk is a fan of the club and said: "Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U (MANU). They were my fav team as a kid."

Manchester United (MANUrefused to comment on the tweet.

Football expert and head of Head of Content at SportingPedia said: "It sounded so good that many people assumed it was a joke... and it was. Manchester United fans have long protested the Glazers family's ownership of the club, but without success. The Americans are still in charge of the club, and the Red Devils are still attempting to re-establish themselves as the dominant force they once were."

"Everything could have been changed with the wave of a magic stick if Elon Musk had been serious about acquiring the Red Devils rather than making fun of them. Money isn't an issue for the world's richest man, and given his philanthropist reputation, acquiring United would have been a breeze. Musk's wealth and open profile to the general public are positive aspects of such an endeavour. But, aside from the fact that United was his childhood favorite, is there another link between Musk and football?"

But Musk’s joke is being taken seriously by frustrated Manchester United (MANU) fans. After the club's humiliating defeat against Brentford, fans are in desperate need of a change and there are some planned protests against the American owners of the club. One fan tweeted: “I for one welcome our new Tesla overlords.

The club's on-pitch troubles have created an anti-Glazer movement, which gained even more momentum in 2021, after MANU were involved in the failed attempt to form a breakaway European Super League.

"Neither Florentino Perez nor Silvio Berlusconi had any prior football management expertise when they took over Real Madrid and AC Milan, respectively, but their names will live on as two of the most prosperous owners/presidents in history," Kemp added. 

Kemp adds that if Elon Musk had been serious about his proposal to buy the team, Manchester United supporters would have been happy and eagerly awaiting, but right now they should only be concerned about the upcoming derby with Liverpool.

Despite fans wanting Musk to take over the club, the billionaire’s tendency to back out of deals is a common one. Some tweeters were quick to highlight Musk’s promise to buy Twitter (TWTR) for $44bn, but the deal collapsed in July. Musk has also made statements about colonising Mars.

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