Tesla billionaire Elon Musk caused one of his trademark Twitter frenzies by announcing he was buying struggling soccer giants Manchester United – and then said it was a joke.
Musk made the “announcement” on the night of Tuesday, August 16.
The South African, now the richest man in the world, took a break from his ongoing legal battle over his attempt to buy Twitter to tell his 103 million followers: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!
The billionaire software entrepreneur announced the acquisition in a brief tweet on Tuesday, however it is unclear whether he was joking.
Musk, 51, tweeted to his 103 million followers: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!
He added: “Also, I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome.”
United fans have been battling the club’s current owners, the billionaire Glazer brothers since their takeover in 2005.
The English club is one of the biggest in the world but, by its standards, has been unsuccessful for a long time.
The team is now currently bottom of the Premier League.
Musk’s announcement will have given a glimmer of hope to desperate supporters, but sadly it wasn’t to be.
Shortly afterwards, he tweeted to clear up the claim, after he was asked if he was genuine: “No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams.”
Within a few hours, the message received around 40,000 retweets and over 200,000 likes.
Sky News also reported it also boosted the club’s shares by nearly 17 percent to $14.90 (£12.31) in the US pre-market trade, before settling at $13.20 (£10.90).
It follows Tesla creator Musk’s continuing lawsuit against Twitter after he pulled out of a 44-billion-dollar (£36.3 billion) deal to purchase the social media company.
Last week, it was discovered that Musk had sold roughly $7 billion in Tesla stock (£5.8 billion) ahead of the upcoming court battle in October.