Like many ‘Fantasy Football’ variants, Football Index rewards knowledge of the sport.
Except with Football Index, players can trade in footballers – not literally, of course – using a virtual stock market where valuations rise and fall based on supply and demand.
The name of the game is to buy whatever on-the-up talents you can identify while they’re cheap, watch their stock rise and sell at a profit.
Profits can also be made through ‘dividends’, where players earn points awarded by algorithms based on Opta stats and media mentions.
For more information on how Football Index works, take a look at our explainer below:
How to get started:
You can join Football Index in three simple steps:
- Head to the Football Index website using this link here and click ‘join now’.
- Enter your details, including a valid email address.
- Deposit funds to get underway and start buying shares.
So what next?
Well, you can buy up to 300 shares on any player in a single transaction. For instance, Marcus Rashford fans out there would need to deposit a little under £1,200 to buy the maximum number of shares in the Manchester United No.10, who is valued at £3.92 per share at the time of writing.
But which players should you look at first?
We spoke to Football Index aficionado Craig Rennie, who along with like-minded others offers advice to those who find themselves in the same position he was 20 months ago.
“I did very little to my portfolio in the first year,” says Craig, a member of Football Index Elite.
“I bought, I sat tight and I waited. By Christmas, I had a portfolio with around £5K, including dividend payments – an 11-month profit of 104%.
“Fast forward nine months, I now have an overall profit of over £11K, (I have invested more since).”
Who to buy first?
As you’ll soon become aware, “strategy” is a frequently used word in this venture. And so here are some tips from the man who bought shares in Jadon Sancho for 46p – a player who at the time of writing, is worth £6.81.
“My first three players bought on [New Year’s Eve, 2017] were Moussa Dembele (£1.89), Virgil van Dijk (£1.83) and Kristofer Ajer (£0.54),” Craig explained. “Quite ironic really that I picked three players with Celtic links, although I’m a Rangers fan!”
He continued: “All of these were pre-share split, so their values would be divided by three on today’s values. I also bought Jadon Sancho for the equivalent of £0.46 soon after – his current value is £6.81 – which shows the potential growth in a short period of time.”
So who would Craig buy if he was a new trader starting out today? “Sander Berge (£1.22) is one of the hottest young talents in European football with a host of Premier League and other European clubs, keen for his signature.”
Indeed, only recently Genk confirmed interest in Berge from last season’s Serie A runners-up, Napoli.
Craig added: “He is an international with Norway and has some glamour European ties to look forward to against Liverpool, Napoli and Salzburg. We see his value rising to around £2 by the end of the season.”
Next on the list is Fabian Ruiz (£2.40).
“I have been a huge fan of Ruiz since watching him for the Spanish under 21s in the European championship in the summer,” says Craig.
“They won the tournament and Ruiz picked up the award for player of the tournament.
“He has since been capped by the full Spanish team, which is a very tough task up against some of the best midfielders in the world. He is a regular in a strong Napoli squad and has gone from strength to strength this season.
“He has also attracted interest from Europe’s elite teams and Napoli will do well to hold onto this young talent.”
And last but not least is someone many will already be aware of, Bruno Fernandes (£2.51).
“Fernandes is the perfect example of a goalscoring midfielder with over 30 to his name last season. This was noticed by a host of top clubs including Tottenham, Man Utd and Real Madrid who looked to battle it out for his signature over the summer.
“He gave a tearful farewell to the Lisbon fans in a pre-season match, fully expecting it to be his last game, but neither clubs came to an agreement for the Portuguese star.
“Not dwelling on this, Fernandes has scored in virtually every match he has played again this season (he’s on six in eight with Sporting).
“He is also a regular international in a very strong Portugal squad and I’d be amazed if he is not snapped up by a top club in January or the summer at the very latest.”
Stocks and shares can appear daunting at first. But after enough prep-work and the right gameplan, the Index represents a novel way to apply your football IQ.
As for last words of advice, Craig says newcomers should “have a strategy and stick to it.”
“It’s as important to have a selling strategy as it is to have a buying strategy. Have a diverse portfolio, a mixture of top-end players and young, up and coming players.”