Manchester United and Juventus shares surge on European Super League news

Italian club's shares jump 19 per cent and English club's shares trade 9 per cent higher

A television cameraman walks past Old Trafford Stadium, the home ground of Manchester United Football Club, in Manchester, U.K., on Monday, April 19, 2021. A group of the world's richest soccer clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid, announced plans for a European breakaway league starting in August, a project that could herald the sport's biggest shakeup in decades and make elite teams even wealthier. Photographer: Anthony Devlin/Bloomberg

The values of two of the listed football clubs linked to the proposed new European Super League surged in trading on Monday.

Shares in Manchester United plc jumped 9 per cent to $17.62 at 6.25pm UAE time, valuing the company at $2.87 billion. Shares in Italy's most successful club Juventus were trading almost 19 per cent higher at just below €0.91 ($1.08), giving it a value of about €1.22bn ($1.47bn).

The two clubs are part of a group of 12 who announced in a statement late on Sunday that they plan to establish their own midweek European Super League, which will contain 15 founding clubs as well as a qualifying mechanism allowing five other clubs to compete to join. The competition will be financed by JP Morgan, the lender confirmed in a statement to AFP.

"By bringing together the world’s greatest clubs and players to play each other throughout the season, the Super League will open a new chapter for European football, ensuring world-class competition and facilities and increased financial support for the wider football pyramid,” Joel Glazer, Manchester United's co-chairman and vice-chairman of the new Super League said in a statement.

The competition will enable "European competition to be transformed, putting the game we love on a sustainable footing for the future", Mr Agnelli said.

Under the proposed deal, the 20 clubs would play in two groups of ten, with the top three from each automatically qualifying for quarter finals and the fourth and fifth clubs playing for the remaining spots. Participating clubs will receive "solidarity payments ... substantially higher than those generated by the current European competition" that are expected to be in excess of €10 billion during the course of an initial agreement period, with uncapped increases planned as the league's revenue grows.

The ten other founding clubs that have signed up to play in the super league are mainly privately-owned, although others are fan-owned organisations. They include five other English Premier League clubs – Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea – Spain's Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as Italy's AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Trading in shares in listed football clubs who are outside of the proposed European Super League were mixed. Shares in Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany's biggest clubs and the 12th-biggest European club by revenue, were about 11 per cent higher at €5.88 on the Deutsche Bourse's Xetra exchange, but AS Roma's shares were largely flat on the Borsa Italia and AFC Ajax's shares were up by about 1.3 per cent to €15.90 on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam.

The move to create a breakaway Super League was condemned Europe's governing body, UEFA, which described it as a cynical project "founded on the self-interest of a few clubs at a time when society needs solidarity now more than ever".

UEFA announced a revised format for its existing competitions – the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League – from the 2024-25 season, which it said were "designed to secure the positive future of European football at every level and meet the evolving needs of all its stakeholders".

The changes involved expanding the total number of teams from 32 to 36 in the flagship Champions League competition, with clubs guaranteed at least 10 league games all against different opponents. Similar proposals were outlined for the other competitions.

UEFA said the changes were based on a "joint commitment to the principle of open competition and sporting merit across the continent", with a commitment to sustain each nation's domestic league.

The top 20 European football clubs will miss out on revenue of more than €2bn due to Covid-19 disruptions by the end of the current season, Deloitte's Sports Business Group said in January.

The clubs lost about €1.1 billion in revenue last year, mostly as a result of lost broadcast revenue but also due to declines in matchday and sponsorship revenue. All 12 of the European Super League founding clubs feature in the top 15 of Deloitte's Football Money League, which is based on revenues generated.