Hours later — and after several news articles emerged about his bold claim — Musk clarified that it was all a joke.
“No, that’s a longtime joke on Twitter. I don’t buy any sports teams,” he said after being asked by a user if he was serious about buying.
Shares of Manchester United, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, initially soared after hours on Tuesday after the tweet, but retreated from their gains. The stock was still up about 3% in early trading Wednesday.
He even joked in a 2019 tweet, “Some people use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter.”
However, Musk’s tweets about Tesla got him into hot water, repeatedly, with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. His feud with the SEC dates back to his now infamous tweet from 2018 stating, “I’m considering taking Tesla $420 private. Financing assured.
The nine-word tweet sent Tesla shares soaring at the time, but the SEC later accused it of misleading investors. Musk and regulators eventually reached an agreement that included, among other provisions, a requirement that Musk obtain prior approval from other Tesla executives before tweeting about the company.
— Robert Mclean contributed to this story.