Juventus’s Champions League Exit Spells Deja Vu for Investors

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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.

Juventus’s Champions League Exit Spells Deja Vu for Investors

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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