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Manchester United - Football: You Musk be joking

Elon Musk sent the football world into a frenzy during the early hours of Wednesday morning after he declared his intentions to buy Manchester United.

Yes, the world's richest man was only joking, a position he soon clarified, but that did not stop the world from speculating what United's future would look like with Musk at the helm.

There is no doubt the Red Devils are in need of a lift after their tumultuous start to the season which sees them currently sit bottom of the Premier League standings following defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Securing a top-four finish already appears an almost impossible task for United at 7/1, with Musk's declaration, joking or not, proving the latest story to add to the growing soap opera surrounding Old Trafford.

A club in crisis

It has been nothing short of a disastrous summer for United, with results on the pitch following on from weeks of speculation surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo's future at the club, as well as a lack of new signings coming through the door.

However, it is fair to say this is not a new problem for the club, albeit they may have now reached a new low, as the decline at Old Trafford can seemingly be dated back to Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down as manager in 2013.

Ferguson's trophy-laden 26 years in charge of United was always going to be hard to live up to, but in the near decade since, the likes of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have all tried to bring the good times back, but three cup successes is all they have to show for their efforts and the last of those came over five years ago.

United have twice finished second in the Premier League during that time, but never looked like winning the title on either occasion. Their 100/1 odds to top the pile this season shows how far they have fallen.

Fans want new owners

While United supporters have not always been happy with the managers that have succeeded Ferguson in the Old Trafford hot seat - something Ten Hag will soon find out if results don't improve - that is not where their main grievances lie.

Those are reserved for the club's owners, the Glazer family, who have been in charge since 2005 and have overseen the team's downturn.

Over recent seasons, fans' disdain for the owners has become more clear, with multiple protests having been held, including in May 2021 which led to their clash with rivals Liverpool being postponed.

Another protest against the American owners is planned for United's next match, again against Liverpool, at Old Trafford on Monday.

A third-straight defeat to start the season is unthinkable for Ten Hag and co, with a Liverpool win at 3/5 likely to throw the United patrons into further despair.

Musk would have had United dreaming

Musk took to Twitter to (jokingly) declare that he was buying United and in fewer than five hours, with most of the UK still sleeping, he confirmed such talk was only in jest.

However, the 51-year-old did admit that if he were to buy a sports club it would be United, as they were the team he supported as a child.

While any future pursuit of the Red Devils seems unlikely, having Musk as owner would have certainly been exciting given he has a net worth of £223bn according to Forbes, which makes him the richest person in the world.

Money of course does not guarantee success, and while Musk's billions would surely not be enough for United to entice the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi to Old Trafford, you feel he would have had the funds to get deals for the likes of Frenkie de Jong over the line - the Dutchman is of course the player the Red Devils have been forlornly chasing throughout the summer.

Unfortunately for those of a United persuasion, the thought of Musk taking over the club remains nothing more than a pipedream, as do their top-four hopes for this season if results do not start improving soon.

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