Is Elon Musk Considering a Move To Buy Manchester United as the Deadline Nears?

Elon Musk likes money and madness. He also likes Manchester United – and is one of a select few who could afford to buy them.

According to sources, the tech billionaire is believed to be monitoring the situation closely, and wondering if there is an opportunity at Old Trafford that he should not miss.

With Friday’s deadline for bids rapidly approaching – is the man Forbes rank as the second-richest in the world about to make his move for the football club they have crowned the biggest?

While associates of the Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX supremo will not comment on any possible interest, sources close to the deal are aware of his attention.

Dozens, it is understood, have expressed an interest and signed confidentiality agreements allowing them to gain access to the ‘data room’.

Among those, are a number of parties from Saudi Arabia, independent of those who own Newcastle United. Should they decide to launch a bid they may well need a dynamic figurehead to front it.

Few would carry the weight of Musk – who already sent his own platform into meltdown when he tweeted that he was going to buy United, before later saying that it was a joke.

At the last count, his fortune was estimated at £ 157 billion. His pockets are deep enough and he certainly has the clout. On Twitter, United boast 34.9m followers. Musk has 128.9m.

In August, with United fans planning a protest against the Glazer family ahead of a home clash with Liverpool and the reign of Erik ten Hag off to a sluggish start, Musk posted: ‘Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome’. For some United fans, it was music to their ears. And while he subsequently explained that he was making a joke, that reaction will not have gone unnoticed.

Musk later added: ‘Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my fav team as a kid.’ It is easy to believe.

As the owner of Twitter, he will also have seen that few entities create the clicks, hysteria and interest that emerge from Old Trafford. In that aspect, they are like no other.

He will also be well aware of the power United have in Manchester and well beyond.

Indeed a new project – and the opportunity to eventually make even more money – may be difficult to resist. The six months that followed his gag have not been kind.

Last month, according to the Guinness World Records, Musk broke the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history, with an approximate drop of £150bn since November.

That was put down largely to the poor performance of Tesla stock. Regardless, with the Glazers looking for around £6bn and some valuing the club at around £4.5bn, the price of United – and an additional £ 2 billion to redevelop or build a new Old Trafford would be well within reach.

Paired with Saudi investors, it becomes even more attainable. It is an intriguing prospect. There are few for whom the prospect is a reality.

Anything north of £3.76bn – the price paid for the NFL’s Denver Broncos last year – would make United the most expensive sports team in the world. Surpassing such a figure for a full sale is inevitable.

Sportsmail last week revealed that a group of Qatari individuals will lodge their own bid. They are working ‘around the clock’ according to sources and are ‘confident’ that theirs will be the strongest package.

When it comes to opposition, there are expected to be four other contenders. One of those is Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The United supporter and Ineos boss has already announced his intentions and has lined up banks to back his bid.

Ratcliffe’s fortune was listed at £21bn in 2018 and his interests continue to perform well. Other interest comes from the US and Asia.

Should Musk decide to get involved it would change the game. It would also – if his short time so far at Twitter is anything to go by – be well worth watching.


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