Juventus shares hammered after shock loss to Ajax

Champions League defeat to Dutch minnows sees Italian club's stock shed up to Dh1.66 billion

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Shares of Juventus Football Club dropped as much as 24 per cent after the Italian team was knocked out of Europe’s elite club competition by Dutch outsiders AFC Ajax on Tuesday.

The Amsterdam-based club’s stock soared, according to Bloomberg.

Juventus, whose stock lost about €400 million (Dh1.66 billion) in market value at its low, went ahead in the the 28th minute, courtesy of 34-year-old, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, but Ajax’s youth prevailed, with goals from two academy players - 21-year-old Donny van de Beek and 19-year-old Matthijs de Ligt - to send the club into its first Champions League semi-final since 1997.

Ajax now has the chance to boost its annual revenue by more than a third. Reaching the semis has earned Ajax an added €12m in prize money, with a further €19m potentially up for grabs if the team progresses further. That’s before ticketing and merchandising revenue, and greater leverage with commercial sponsors for a club that’s earned a place back on global soccer’s biggest stage. Ajax had adjusted revenue of about €92m in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

For Juventus, it’s a setback for the club backed by the billionaire Agnelli family, whose purchase of Ronaldo last year was seen as in part driven by a desire to win the competition. It’s the first time the Champions League semi-final will not feature the Portuguese superstar for nine years, according to the statistics website Opta.

According to the specialist website Transfermarkt, Ajax have spent just over €51m this season while Juventus have splashed out €261m.

Of that, around €100m was on Ronaldo, €40m each on Joao Cancelo and Costa, €35 m on bringing Leonardo Bonucci back from AC Milan and €12€ on reserve goalkeeper Mattia Perin, Reuters said.

Juve’s stock had rallied since the quarter-final draw last month as bookmakers made the Turin team known as “La Vecchia Signora,” or “The Old Lady" a firm favourite to progress. The stock soared 17 per cent on March 13 after a Ronaldo hat trick turned around a two-goal deficit against Spain’s Atletico Madrid to secure a quarter-final place.

Ajax jumped 8.8 per cent to €18.65 at 9:10am in Amsterdam, valuing the company at €342.8m. Juventus plunged 22 per cent to €1.32 for a market value of €1.3bn.