Elon Musk has already sent Manchester United fans wild, despite his first takeover ‘offer’ not being what it seemed.
Musk, who is ranked by Forbes as the second richest person in the world, is said to be considering whether to make an official bid for the Premier League giants. The soft deadline for offers has been set for Friday, with interested parties needing to register their interest with the Raine Group by then.
Thus far, Sir Jim Ratcliffe – Britain’s richest man and chief executive of INEOS – is the only party to go public with their interest, although there is expected to be multiple suitors. Ratcliffe is set to face competition from a group of Qatari investors, the Emir of the Middle Eastern country and consortiums or individuals based in Saudi Arabia and the United States.
And the Daily Mail now report that South African billionaire Musk is also monitoring the situation. The Tesla chief has a whopping £157billion net worth and is one of very few individuals who could afford to buy the club outright.
United’s much-maligned owners the Glazers are understood to value the club at close to £6bn, although there is an expectation a bid of £4.5bn could get the deal done. Musk is said to be currently assessing his options and determining whether the chance to buy his boyhood club is too good to turn down.
It’s not the first time the 51-year-old mogul has been linked with an Old Trafford buyout either. Back in August of last year, Musk sent United fans into a frenzy after posting “I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome” on Twitter.
The tweet quickly went viral, racking up hundred and thousands of interactions before clarifying his stance: “No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams.”
However he did add: “Although, if it were any team, it would be Man U. They were my fav team as a kid.”
He has yet to comment on the fresh takeover speculation but with time running out before the deadline, people won’t have to wait long to discover his intentions. Musk was spotted over the weekend in Arizona watching Super Bowl LVII alongside fellow billionaire Rupert Murdoch in an executive box.
Musk’s reputation in the business world has recently taken a hit with his $44billion takeover of Twitter largely seen as an expensive debacle. Regardless, he has the firepower needed to provide the kind of “growth” the Glazers said they want for the club.
The American family announced their intention to end their highly controversial stewardship of United in November, confirming they were looking for “strategic alternatives for the club.”
United legend Gary Neville has been a very vocal critic of the Glazers and recently threw his support behind Ratcliffe, believing he will do the right thing for the club.
“The main thing is that the Glazers leave as quickly as possible and the second thing is that whoever takes it over, if they could hand it over to people who are in good hands and have a feeling for the club, that would be great,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“Jim Ratcliffe was born in Manchester and knows the area. If he wins it, I think there will be a lot of very happy Manchester United fans. He would want to do the right thing by the club – in fact I am sure that he would.
“That’s the main thing beyond the Glazers leaving, that they don’t hand it over…I don’t think United can hand it over to another investment firm who are expecting a return on their money. That’s what worries me a little bit about private enquiry coming into football and that ultimately, they are looking for a return on their money and a return on their