Interactive Investor

Nick Train’s football shares give up gains as Super League collapses

21st April 2021 16:15

Kyle Caldwell from interactive investor

Nick Train’s investments in Manchester United and Juventus have seen their share prices retreat. 

Nick Train’s holdings in two football clubs that were part of the ‘dirty dozen’ involved in the proposed breakaway European Super League have seen their share prices retreat after the withdrawal of the six Premier League teams that had signed up.

At the start of the week, when the project was announced, the share prices of two of Nick Train’s three football holdings rose notably. Manchester United’s (NYSE:MANU) share price rose from $16.17 to $17.26, while Juventus’ (MTA:JUVE) share price jumped from €0.77 to €0.91.

Such gains, however, quickly evaporated once the six premier league clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur) withdrew from the competition following a widespread backlash from football supporters. This has led to the proposed league collapsing. 

Manchester United’s share price, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, had fallen to $16.21 at the time of writing (2.40pm on 21 April). From peak to trough, its share price has declined by over 6% and is now just above its level before the proposed breakaway was announced.

Juventus saw its share price fall to €0.76, a decline of just over 15% from its peak, and is now slightly below its level prior to the market open on Monday.

Nick Train is a long-term shareholder of Manchester United and Juventus. He also holds Celtic (LSE:CCP), which were not part of the 12 clubs that threatened to create a European Super League.

Train holds small percentage weightings to Manchester United in the LF Lindsell Train UK Equity fund and the Finsbury Growth & Income (LSE:FGT) investment trust. Juventus is held in the Lindsell Train Global Equity fund.  

Train declined to comment on the investment implications of the collapse of the proposed European Super League.  

In an interview with interactive investor last March, Train explained the investment rationale for backing the football club trio. He called sports franchises “one of the clearest bull markets in the world today”.

He said: “The value of sports franchises is going up and up, and it's easy to understand why when you see the billions of dollars or billions of pounds being pumped into the sports industry by these big media companies, and now by these giant internet companies all looking to muscle in on televising live sports.”

He added that all three clubs have been “pretty good investments over the period that we've owned them despite ups and downs of their performance on the pitch”.

Train pointed to each club having “high-calibre franchises” and “unique global brands”, as two of the key investment attractions.

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