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Nick Train hopes to score with Juventus FC

Veteran fund manager Nick Train has explained why his global fund has taken a 1% position in Italian football club Juventus.

Nick Train hopes to score with Juventus FC

Nick Train, the Citywire AA-rated manager of the Lindsell Train Global Equity fund, has boosted his stake in Juventus Football Club after taking part in its recent rights issue.

Train admits his investment in the popular Turin side has 'not done well' to date, with the squad failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for more than one season out of the last five, its relegation battle in 2006 and the €120 million commitment made by the club in 2008 to build a new state of the art stadium.

But Train's position, which represents 1% of his new £45.2 million Lindsell Train Global Equity fund, forms part of a theme that prompted him to build a 6% position in Scottish football club Celtic.

'We believe these unique sports franchises will in the future share the same key characteristics that we look for in our other investments, but just now the ‘industry’ is undergoing such a degree of development and change that the franchises’ potential is largely unrecognised,' Train, who also runs the Lindsell Train investment trust, explained.

'At the same time there are few high quality quoted pure sports franchises listed anywhere. The combination of lack of recognition and scarcity means that these assets are notably cheap, which may give us the opportunity to multiply our investments many times over if we are right.'

Train (pictured) and his co-manager Michael Lindsell believe that in a world of proliferating media in which advertisers are hungry to penetrate larger and more predictable audiences, sport will be key.

'Sport represents the largest, most loyal and valuable audience of all. Hence the high inflation in the cost of advertising on sport - exemplified by the value of a 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl in the USA that has risen more than 10% pa since 1971,' Train said, adding that while American football's fan base is fairly restricted to North America, Europeans' love affair with the beautiful game is far more contagious and is spreading rapidly across the globe.

Train boosted his stake in Juventus, one of Italy's top-flight clubs and which over the years has earned itself the affectionate 'Old Lady' nickname, when the club had a rights issue in January.

Between 31 October 2011 and the end of January 2012, Train and Lindsell's fund grew by 3.6%.

Further reading

Nick Train: investors are too pessimistic about shares

Santa's 6 helpers: new star fund managers from 2011


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