In 2019, football fans are blessed with so many different ways to interact with the sport.
The rise of social media has been huge, opening the discussion about football further than your group of friends in the pub. In any group of friends, be it virtual or real life, there is usually one who fancies themselves as a talent scout, tipping sometimes unknown players for big futures.
If you’re struggling to identify the ‘one’ this applies to in your friendship group, it’s probably you. And if so, it might be worthing thinking about signing up to Football Index.
Like most ‘fantasy football’ games, you need to know a bit about the sport. What makes Football Index unique, though, is it lets you buy and sell ‘shares’ in footballers using a virtual stock market where valuations go up and down based on how popular they are.
The aim of the game is to buy whatever rising stars you identify on the cheap watch their stock rise, before selling at a profit. Profits can also be made through ‘dividends’, where players earn points awarded based on Opta stats and media mentions.
Learning the rules of any game can be daunting at first, which is why we spoke to Football index aficionado Craig Rennie to get some must-know tips on finding your way around both the Football Index desktop site – currently in Beta – and app.
Join Football Index in three 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.
“Firstly I’d strongly recommend downloading the free Football Index App,” says Craig, a member of Football Index Elite.
“This is all I really use on a day-to-day basis and it has most of the information you will need to navigate and find your way around.
“The home screen shows your current balance, which is what you have available to spend after making deposits. It’s also where any dividend payouts are added. You can also see your overall, seven-day and 24-hour profit and loss. You can also click on the subsections- trending list, dividend winners and news.”
Football Index’s trending section can be an appealing prospect because it shows which players have grown the most over the previous 24 hours in terms of percentage. At the time of writing, top of the trending list is Cagliari left-back Luca Pellegrini – on loan from Juventus – who grew by 19.98%, just ahead of soon-to-be free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But Craig has a word of warning for those tempted to invest.
“The trending list shows the top five performers in the last 24 hours in terms of percentage increase,” he added.
“It is generally somewhere I’d stay well clear of! If a player is on here, they have generally already peaked and quite often lower-priced players will appear on here.
“My tip is not to get drawn in by these – always research your players before buying and never buy anyone you have never heard of because you’ve seen them on the trending list.”
The dividends section is slightly more straightforward, as Craig explains: “Dividend winners shows the winners from the previous 24 hours and if you have a player on here this payout should have been added to your account balance.”
As previously mentioned, players are awarded points towards dividends by algorithms based on Opta stats and media mentions. Football Index monitors an extensive list of news sites. Articles covering players are processed by an RSS feed that generates scores based on how positive said coverage is. The Premier League accounts for a massive share of Media Dividends.
The Football Index ‘Markets’ section
Now that you know where to keep track of trending players, it’s time to learn about actually getting down to investing. The next section of the app, and the one you’ll most likely spend most of your time, is Markets.
“The next section is ‘Markets’ where you can search for players,” Craig continues.
“This is a common pitfall is where quite often people can’t find the player they are looking for. The players are divided into the top 200 and squad players, so be sure to look in both sections when you are checking for players.
“Also remember that not every player is yet on the Index. You can also use the search bar to search for teams in order to find the player you are looking for.
“This section also shows the live media and matchday player scores for that day and the daily price rises and fallers.”
Once you’ve got the players you want, and are ready to reap in the profits, you need to know where to go to keep track of your footballer portfolio. Fortunately, Football Index have an aptly-named section just for that, as Craig explains. There is also something to keep an eye on in the accounts section with regards to how long you can own a player.
“‘Portfolio’ is where your purchases appear and shows the profit/loss of each selection as well as overall profit and loss at the top of the screen.
“The ‘Account’ section can be useful for seeing your transaction history. Each dividend payout you receive will be shown on here which is good for keeping track of where and who has returned winnings.
“It’s also currently the only place you can check to see when you bought a player. The Index has a rule that you can only hold a single player for three years maximum and it is your own responsibility to keep track on this otherwise you risk losing your profits on that player as per Index rules.
“This explains the basics on getting started using the interface, but there are also plenty of good videos clips explaining it clearly.”
The Football Index desktop version:
But if the app world isn’t for you, and you much prefer to work on your Football Index portfolio on a desktop, then the website can be even more useful with in-depth player information and better search options. Once you have found your way around the app or website, it’s best to work out a system to keep track of players you want to buy at the right time. And Craig has a basic, yet effective, system.
“I’m probably a bit ‘old school’ when creating a wish list as I prefer to keep a book of players I’m tracking,” he adds.
“There is no current wish list on the app or Beta site, although an order book is something that has been suggested going forward. This said, I still like to keep a paper trail.
“It can be very useful for seeing how values increase/ decrease within certain timeframes.
“I like to update my list on a monthly basis and I often use this as a guide before making purchases.”
So now you know all you need to, go out there and prove why you’re the most knowledgable football fan among your friends.
For more information on how Football Index works, take a look at the video below:
You have to be 18+ to gamble. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org. Player prices accurate at the time of writing (17:45, 03/12/2019).