Tuesday, October 4

Manchester United, Elon Musk and the bored squillionaires club | Man Utd


MARS 1-0 MANCHESTER

Late last night, Elon Musk, the bored squillionaire with deeper pockets than a Gulf state and an ego to match, rolled up to Old Trafford in his electric jalopy and started performing donuts in the car park. Look at me, everyone, his actions seemed to be saying. Look at me, look at me, look at meeeeeeee. But nobody looked at him. They were all staring at the current Premier League table with glazed [Glazered? – Fiver Ed] looks on their faces. So poor Elon had to go home and get their attention some other way. He did this by announcing on Popular Social Media Disgrace Twitter: “I’m buying Manchester United ur welcome.” There, that snapped them out of it! Everybody looking now. Clever Elon, who did it all by himself from scratch.

The tweet piqued everyone’s interest, all right. The singular business genius saw his last big deal – to buy PSMDT itself – go spectacularly south, and still harbors a dream of colonizing Mars. Quite frankly, though, we’ve reached the point where a consortium headed up by Walter Mitty, Donald Trump and the former board of Debenhams would be considered an improvement on the Glazers, so plenty of exasperated United fans were receptive to the idea. Sadly, a few hours of excited tweeting later, those poor supporters had their hopes dashed when Musk admitted it was merely one of his zany comic gambits, some sort of long-running internet riff, though he did explain that United were his “fav team as a kid”, for what that’s worth. Final score: Mars one, Manchester eff-all.

Musk wasn’t the only bored squillionaire spending his evening cavorting along the information super highway. Cristiano Ronaldo was also glued to his phone from him, liking an Instagram post linking him to Atlético Madrid, then sticking up one of his own from him, in which he promised to soon reveal “the truth” about his future from him. “The media is telling lies,” he said, with reference to a notebook he apparently uses to record news stories about him. “In the last few months of the 100… only five were right. Imagine how it is. Stick with that tip.” And so once again, Manchester United’s increasingly put-upon fanbase wait on developments with bated breath. Although given how United are desperately trying to sign Christian Pulisic on loan from Chelsea, everyone already knows deep down how things are going to pan out.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a shame from a sporting point of view as both players would have had a role in the match. But it’s even more of a shame from a human point of view that these two are missing out on this great experience” – Viborg sporting director Jesper Fredberg confirms that two of his players, Ibrahim Said and Alassana Jatta, will not feature in their European tie against West Ham due to post-Brexit immigration rules.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING

Football Weekly is here! Join the podders as they talk about Liverpool’s shaky Premier League start, the latest from Greenland and Jonathan Wilson’s new book on the Charlton brothers. Tune in here, or wherever you get your pods.

FIVE LETTERS

“Can we expect a decrease in Newcastle fans using Twitter following Salma al-Shehab’s 34-year prison sentence for following and retweeting Saudi Arabia dissidents and activists? Either way, football will continue to lead golf and push its head up the cash cow’s ar$e” – John Stainton.

“Has anyone considered that Mike Riley and Anthony Taylor’s collective lack of sympathy towards Marc Cucurella on Sunday may have been because of hair envy on their part? I should add that as a follically challenged Spurs fan, I thought their decision to take no action was spot on” – Avi Chaudhuri.

“The Stop Football campaign is alive and kicking in Bucharest, judging by the graffiti I found this morning” – Ian Fail.

*Five nods sagely*. Photographer: Ian Fail

“Following Darwin Núñez’s red card, might I suggest the lad just needs some time to evolve into a Premier League footballer? Just a theory” – Alastair McGillivray.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … John Stainton.

NEWS, BITS AND BOBS

Cristiano Ronaldo has been cautioned by police over footage which appeared to show the Manchester United forward knocking a phone out of an Everton fan’s hand at a match last season. “We can confirm that a 37-year-old man voluntarily attended and was interviewed under caution in relation to an allegation of assault and criminal damage,” a Merseyside Police statement said. “The matter has been dealt with by way of conditional caution [and] has now concluded.”

England head coach Sarina Wiegman and striker Beth Mead have been shortlisted for top Uefa awards. Wiegman is nominated for women’s coach of the year, alongside Germany’s Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and Lyon’s Sonia Bompastor. Mead is up for the women’s player of the year award, alongside Germany midfielder Lena Oberdorf and Spain’s Alexia Putellas.

Joe Blott, the first chair of the newly formed Liverpool Supporters Board, will mark a “new era of engagement” between the club and its fans. The new board will have 16 representatives and will work closely with club officials.

Marc Cucurella has no hard feelings towards Cristian Romero for the hair-pull that preceded Tottenham’s equaliser on Sunday. “I have no problem with him – it is only an action in the game,” Cucurella cooed, before confirming he has no plans to trim his trademark locks. “No, no, never: this is my style.”

Marc Cucurella's locks in full flow.
Marc Cucurella’s locks in full flow. Photograph: Dave Shopland/Shutterstock

Fiver Transfer Ticker time! West Ham have continued a busy summer with the £10.1m signing of Thilo Kehrer. “This is the best league in the world!” cheered the former PSG centre-back …

… while Newcastle are preparing to up their £20m-plus-add-ons offer for Watford forward João Pedro. The Magpies are also keen on Christian Pulisic, while Ben Brereton Díaz has three seaside locations to choose from with Nice, Bournemouth and Everton all interested in the half-Chilean hot shot.

The Queen’s Celtic go straight into Big Cup’s group stage this season and their captain, Callum McGregor, hopes they land the biggest fish of all. “The one most of the fans would like is Real Madrid,” cheered McGregor.

​And the Brazil head coach, Tite, might want to rethink that weekend break in Baku after hitting back at Kylian Mbappé’s claim that World Cup qualifying is tougher for European sides.​ “We don’t have, with all due respect, Azerbaijan to play. We don’t have anyone that gives you a break,” roared Tite.

STILL WANT MORE?

“It’s really heartwarming” – Ella Braidwood speaks to Manchester United’s Aoife Mannion, among others, about the increased interest in the grassroots game for girls around the UK.

Aoife Mannion.
Aoife Mannion. Photograph: Craig Brough/Action Images/Reuters

The Sikh winger Dilan Markanday is a symbol of Blackburn’s pioneering approach to inclusion that has seen Eid prayers on the pitch and halal food on concourses, writes Ben Fisher.

Rodrigo has begun banging them in for Leeds and that can only be good news for Jesse Marsch. Ben McAleer reports.

Is Antoine Griezmann bound for Manchester United club crisis? Anything is possible in Wednesday’s Rumor Mill.

If you’ve often sat and wondered which clubs are named after mythological gods and heroes, then this week’s The Knowledge is essential reading.

And if it’s your thing… you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. and INSTACHAT, TOO!




www.theguardian.com

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