Juventus’s Champions League Exit Spells Deja Vu for Investors
(Bloomberg) -- Juventus Football Club S.p.A. shares dropped the most in seven months after the Italian soccer club missed out on a spot in the UEFA Champions League quarter finals following a sensational defeat to Portugal’s F.C. Porto in Turin.
The stock fell as much as 8.3% in Milan on Wednesday, wiping out its year-to-date advance. It traded down 6.7% at 80.44 euro cents as of 10:43 a.m.
With the scores tied on aggregate, a shot from Sergio Oliveira five minutes from the end of a period of extra-time gave Porto the lead. Although Juve got a goal back, the tournament’s away goals rule meant the Portuguese team progressed as the fixture ended 4-4 over two games.
It’s a case of deja vu for Juventus investors, including the billionaire Agnelli family, after the 100-million-euro ($119 million) 2018 signing of star player Cristiano Ronaldo from Spain’s Real Madrid was seen as a coup that could propel the team to success in Europe’s most prestigious competition. The club has failed to reach the semi finals in all three of 36-year-old Ronaldo’s seasons in Italy, and last won the competition in 1996.
The Champions League is one of soccer’s most lucrative tournaments. Teams qualifying for the 2019/20 quarter finals were due to receive an additional 10.5 million euros ($12.5 million), according to UEFA’s revenue distribution system, with added payouts of up to 31 million euros for progressing further. A strong presence in the tournament also provides clubs with significant bargaining power with sponsors.
After surging on the commercial hype around Ronaldo’s arrival about two-and-a-half years ago, Juventus’s share price was hammered by the pandemic keeping fans out of stadiums. Despite a partial recovery, the stock remains about 30% below pre-Covid-19 levels as the vaccine rollout across the European Union falters.
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