How to buy shares in football clubs
The high stakes involved in managing a football team can affect more than just the players – it can also have an impact on the club’s share price. Find out how you can buy and trade football club shares with us.
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Football club shares: what you need to know
Before you start investing or trading in football club shares, it’s important to know what drives share prices. While supply and demand is often the primary driver of price, player transfers, team financials, sponsorships and game results also have an impact on a club’s share price.
Just like any other stock, you need to do your research on the football club that you’re interested in. You can do this by means of fundamental analysis and technical analysis, to get a rounded view of the share price potential. You also need to set up and follow your trading plan and employ a suitable risk management strategy that can help you cut losses and lock in profits.
Note that not all football clubs are listed on an exchange, so you can only trade publicly listed football club shares. You can also take a position before and during an initial public offering (IPO) of a football club.1
How to buy or trade shares in a football club
With us, you can follow these steps to invest in or trade football stocks:
- Do your research – we’ve outlined useful information in this guide
- Create an account or log in
- Choose whether to invest or trade
- Pick your football stock
- Open and monitor your position
What are the best football club shares to watch?
- Manchester United (market cap: $2.8 billion)
- Arsenal (market cap: $2.8 billion)
- Celtic (market cap: $103.2 million)
- Juventus (market cap: $2 billion)
- Borussia Dortmund (market cap: $655.8 million)
- AS Roma (market cap: $548 million)
- Rangers (market cap: $135.8 million)
Please note: These shares aren’t listed from best to worst; they’re simply some of the more popular choices among those who buy and trade football club shares. The list was last updated in August 2021. For more up-to-date figures, use the IG market screener.
Manchester United (market cap: $2.8 billion)
Manchester United shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2012, under the ticker MANU. The positive outcome of matches, combined with Manchester United’s commercial, brand and broadcasting deals have, to a large extent, had positive effects on its share price.
The company’s Q1 2021 financial results showed that its debt figure had increased by 3.4%, to £443.5 million, and its total revenue had decreased by £21.7million. This was due to significant drops in retail and merchandising, sponsorship and matchday revenues. Manchester United has paid a dividend to shareholders since 2015, which is another reason why investors are so interested in the stock.
Arsenal (market cap: $2.8 billion)
Arsenal shares are different to other listed football club shares. Arsenal Football Club isn’t listed on a public exchange, but its parent company Arsenal Holdings is traded on the specialist market NEX Exchange. These shares are very hard to come by, and the price tag has been a hefty £30,000 a share for the last few years (as of September 2021).
Arsenal Holdings owns the Arsenal Football Club and 11 other subsidiary companies. These deal with stadium management, retail operations and property development. With disrupted schedules and games played in empty stadiums, Arsenal Football Club recorded a loss of £47.8 million for the year ending May 2020.2
Celtic (market cap: $103.2 million)
Celtic has three different classes of shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), under the ticker CCP. The club started trading in 1994 after it was bought by a Canadian entrepreneur, following bankruptcy rumours.
In 2018, it reported revenue of more than £101.6 million, thanks to its wide range of activities and historic second successive treble-winning season. With Covid-19 hitting hard, this came down to £40.7 million the club’s report for the second half of 2020. Celtic doesn’t pay a dividend to its shareholders.
Juventus (market cap: $2 billion)
Juventus listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (MTA), under the ticker JUVE, in 2001. It’s one of three Italian teams listed on the stock market, alongside Roma and Lazio. The share price has delighted investors over the past five years, growing by more than 570%. Many say this happened because the club signed Cristiano Ronaldo, dubbing it ‘the Ronaldo effect’.
On the downside, Juventus football club has a lot of debt, which some say is due to the high wages it pays. The club’s debt has increased over the years – it’s said to have been at £752 million as of April 2021.3 Contributing factors to its piling debt include the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has meant game day revenue losses, a decrease in product sales, and more.
Borussia Dortmund (market cap: $655.8 million)
Borussia Dortmund listed its shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2000, using the ticker BVB. It’s the only German football club that’s publicly traded. When it listed, it floated 15 million shares at a price of €11 a share. Unfortunately, the shares didn’t perform well for the first ten years, but it became a popular share to watch among short-sellers during that time.
In addition to commercial, brand and broadcasting deals, Borussia Dortmund also makes money from other channels such as sports equipment manufacturing and its investment in a travel agency.
AS Roma (market cap: $548 million)
AS Roma shares are listed on the Italian Stock Exchange Borsa Italiana, under the ticker ASR. In its first year on the stock market, Roma shares performed well but lost near 92% of their value over the next 16 years of trading. Many attributed the poor stock market performance to the club’s ownership.
For 2020, AS Roma’s revenue was around $156 million and its market cap was estimated at $548 million in April 2021.
Rangers (market cap: $135.8 million)
Rangers shares are traded on the LSE. The club was admitted to the AIM market in 2012, a few months after it entered liquidation due to a £9 million tax non-payment issue. After its first year of trading, it reported operating losses of £14.4 million and, though the figure decreased over the years, it reported debts of £13 million in 2018.
Like many companies across industries, the club was adversely impacted by the global lockdown regulations - it reported a loss of £15.9m up to 30 June. But for this same period, the Rangers’ revenue rose by 11%. This reflects the club’s strong growth in some areas, including reaching the Europa League last 16. Despite debt and losses, many investors and traders watch Rangers shares because of its positive revenue results.
What to bear in mind before buying football club shares
Investing and trading are both ways to get exposure to football club shares. Even though both offer the potential to profit from the financial markets, they differ fundamentally.
Investing means that you’ll will own the physical shares until you decide to sell them. When investing in football club shares, you need to commit the full value of the investment upfront. If your shares are worth more when you sell them than when you bought them, you’ll make a profit. But, if the price has declined, you’ll incur a loss. While the potential for profit is technically unlimited, your losses are capped at your full initial outlay (excluding any additional fees).
Trading, on the other hand, enables you to predict share price movements without owning the underlying asset – and you can go long or short. This means that you can speculate on rising as well as falling prices. You also don’t need all the capital upfront, as you’ll trade using leverage. All you need to open a position is a small deposit called margin. Keep in mind that leverage magnifies both potential profits and possible losses, and you could lose more than your initial deposit. This makes it vital that you manage your risk properly.
Spread betting is completely tax free and there’s no capital gains tax (CGT). CFDs aren’t exempt from CGT, but they’re free from stamp duty.4
Buying and trading football shares summed up
- It’s important that you do your research, eg what drives share prices, before you start investing in or trading football club shares
- Making use of a risk management strategy can help you cut losses or lock in profits
- Not all football clubs are listed on an exchange, so you can only trade shares of the ones that are publicly listed
- In the case of IPOs of football clubs, you can take a position before, during and after the listing1
- The football shares listed here are simply some of the more popular choices among those who buy and trade football club shares
1 Based on our IPO offering that includes pre-IPO grey markets, primary market access, and trading and investing on the secondary market.
2 Evening Standard, 2021
3 SQaF, 2021
4 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
Last updated :
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
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