Shares of AFC Ajax NV tumbled after the Dutch soccer team missed out on its first Champions League final since 1996 following an agonizing last-gasp defeat to England’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Brazilian Lucas Moura completed a sensational hat-trick in the ninety-sixth minute of play in Amsterdam to wipe out two first half Ajax goals and send the English Premier League side to the final by virtue of scoring more away goals, with the teams tied 3-3 across two games.
Ajax’s stock fell as much as 21% in early Amsterdam trading, erasing a rally of about the same amount that followed the team’s 1-0 win in London last week. Defeat cost the club at least an extra 15 million euros ($16.8 million) in prize money, equal to about 16% of its 2018 adjusted revenue.
But despite crashing out of the competition in the cruelest manner, Ajax shares remain up about 52% over the past year. In addition to an increased share of tournament revenue awarded by European governing body UEFA, the unexpected run to the semi-finals has put the side back among European soccer’s elite, which will likely give it added leverage when negotiating commercial deals with sponsors.
It’s also fueled speculation of big transfer payments as other teams come scouting for Ajax’s young stars. FC Barcelona have already snapped up 21-year-old midfielder Frenkie de Jong for 75 million euros.