Soccer

Shares of Juventus plunge amid fears virus will keep fans away

Bloomberg

Shares of Juventus Football Club S.p.A., home to star player Cristiano Ronaldo, fell as much as 14 percent in two days amid fears the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy could lead to some top division matches being played in empty stadiums.

The Italian Football Federation is planning for some Serie A games to take place behind closed doors, starting as soon as Sunday, BBC Sport reported, when Juventus are due to host fellow title contender Inter Milan in Turin.

This follows Inter announcing Monday that supporters won’t be allowed at its home Europa League game against Ludogorets of Bulgaria on Thursday. Juventus has already temporarily closed its club museum and suspended stadium tours.

Ticket sales accounted for 11 percent of Juventus’ €621.5 million ($674 million) of revenue during the 2018-19 financial year, according to the club’s annual report. The team played 24 home games during the year.

Juventus was the worst performing member of Italy’s FTSE MIB Index Monday as the blue-chip benchmark suffered its steepest one-day plunge since the Brexit vote in 2016. The soccer club was back among the laggards Tuesday, falling 3.1 percent, before paring the decline to 1.7 percent as of 12:01 p.m. in Milan.

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