How to buy soccer stocks

Want to invest in European football (soccer) teams? Here’s how to buy soccer stocks plus the risks and rewards of doing so.

Can I buy soccer stocks?

You can only buy stocks in soccer clubs that are listed on a stock exchange. You can see a full list of available football teams in the table below. All are from European football (soccer) clubs. Currently, only one team from the English leagues is listed on the stock exchange for public trading: Manchester United. Arsenal shares are listed on a specialist exchange and are hard to get.

ClubCountryLeagueManchester United (NYSE: MANU)EnglandPremier LeagueCeltic (LSE: CCP)ScotlandScottish PremiershipBorussia Dortmund (XETRA: BVB)GermanyBundesligaAS Roma (MTA: ASR, OTC Markets: ASRAF)ItalySerieJuventus (MTA: JUVE, OTC Markets: JVTSF)ItalySerie A

How to buy soccer stocks

  1. Choose a broker or trading platform. When comparing trading platforms, look closely at fees, account types and features to find the right option for your needs.
  2. Open an account. Once you’ve selected the broker or platform you’d like to use, you’ll need to open an account to start investing.
  3. Deposit funds. All brokers will let you deposit in USD, but your funds will need to be converted to buy stocks outside the US. This may come with a foreign exchange fee.
  4. Buy soccer stocks. Once your account is set up and funded, you can begin buying and selling stocks.
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Are soccer stocks a good investment?

For many fans, soccer stocks are more of a novelty than an investment, providing another way to support their favorite teams. While not unheard of, you wouldn’t typically invest in a rival team to the one you support—you’re almost guaranteed a pie in the face if you rock up at a Liverpool game and announce you’ve got Manchester United stock.

There’s no saying how stocks are going to perform, as different European soccer teams have had vastly different results over the last 5 years, as of the time of writing.

For example, Manchester United has gained just 4.47% in value in the last 5 years—you could’ve gotten similar results with a savings account. Meanwhile, Juventus has seen gains of 156.25% in the last 5 years. Clubs have lost money, too—Borussia Dortmund stock has gone down 14% in 5 years, while AS Roma stock has gone down 9.76%.

As always, past performance doesn’t indicate future results. Carefully look into any football club’s financials before you invest.

Why can’t I buy stock in other soccer teams?

You can only buy stock in soccer teams that are publicly traded. If a team is still privately owned, you won’t be able to buy stock in it. However, you could invest in a club’s sponsors, or you could invest in a club’s parent company, assuming it’s publicly traded.

Risks of buying soccer stocks

When it comes to investing, the stock price of listed European soccer clubs should, in theory, be driven by the same factors as any other stock like future profit outlook as well as supply and demand.

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Factors such as player transfers, team financials and sponsorships can impact a team’s stock price. But, for Lindsell Train Limited fund manager Nick Train, short-term performance on the field isn’t a major investment concern.

“The allure to us of live sports franchises is the loyal fan base that is more valued by advertisers than almost any other entertainment medium,” said Train. “Out of a universe of 12 quoted soccer clubs we own 3 unique franchises: Juventus, Manchester United and Celtic, which all could be readily described as national icons.”

While the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on soccer clubs is still unknown, for investors like Train, shutting out the noise is the most important element of investing in the world’s largest sports franchises.

Train adopts what is known as a long-term investment approach. When he buys a company, he’s prepared to wade out any short-term market movements (“volatility”) and take a view of 3+ years. So, team performance and recent scandals, such as the European Super League (ESL), don’t overly influence his decision to buy or sell. He says all investors should bear this in mind when considering buying into a football club.

Ben Yearsley, an investment consultant at Fairview Investing, said investors must accept that they lack any sort of decision-making power as investors in clubs with majority shareholders, like Manchester United.

“Despite being listed, majority owners have almost total control due to the size of their shareholding,” he added. This lack of control was evident during the ESL proposal, which resulted in widespread fan protests.

Investing in soccer related stocks

If you don’t want to invest directly in stocks of soccer clubs but want to invest in the increasingly popular sport, investing in soccer related stocks may be an option. These include stocks of companies involved in the soccer industry, whether that’s athletic apparel companies like Nike (NKE), soccer sponsors like Spotify (SPOT) or companies that broadcast soccer games. In November 2022, Major League Soccer agreed to a new 10-year broadcast agreement with Apple (APPL) worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

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Compare stock trading platforms to buy soccer stocks

  • Buy US stocks
  • Buy international stocks

Bottom line

While the thought of investing in a football club might seem a fun idea, these are not novelty shares. You’re buying real stock in a real company. Any investment carries the risk of loss alongside potential rewards.

However, like watching the beautiful game, investing in football clubs offers something unique and valuable for investors. It might not quite match a stoppage time winner. But for those willing to be patient, the rewards might prove to be just as exciting.

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