Football Index update
The popular football gambling site Football Index (FI) has caused panic and anger amongst its user base after an announcement from the site that player Dividends would be decreased. These ‘Dividends’ are in simple terms the share price of a player which a consumer can invest in and these will typically rise or fall depending on the player’s real world performances.
FI notified consumers that they would be taking action with the following statement:
‘In consultation with our legal and financial advisors we have had to make the very difficult decision that in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform we simply must reduce Dividends.’
The full statement can be read here.
Introducing League Match Day Dividends 🙌
Full breakdown 👇https://t.co/BMzw2SR28s pic.twitter.com/y0Ix3MXxNZ
— Football Index (@FootballIndex) March 5, 2021
Prior to and following the announcement, player’s prices have been dropping and investors have seen their portfolios crash in value. This is most damaging for more recent players to the platform who have invested when share prices on players were high but have now dramatically fallen.
For example, Jadon Sancho had a buy price of £7.57 at 18:00 on the 5th March 2021 which has fallen to £2.34 as of 10:00 the following morning. With the ‘sell price’ being 94p at 10:00 this morning.
101 spoke with a number of experienced FI players and many were expecting the 6pm suspension on the 5th March 2021 to be coming prior to a positive update considering previous positive communications from FI. So much so that some invested prior to the suspension only to then see the massive reduction in player Dividends as they awoke. Sparking huge frustrations on social media.
Naturally, people are incredibly upset with what has happened. 101 spoke to IndexTrak, a site which analysed transactions on FI and told users what their performance was against the market. IndexTrak released a statement saying that they would be closing due to the fact they could ‘no longer be aligned to football index.’
Statement from IndexTrak: @FiGuide @JohnNellis_ @footballindexed @_FI_trader @theindexclub thank you for all the support. See you on the panorama documentary!#footballindex pic.twitter.com/FjCMnT4CHe
— IndexTrak (@FIMarketCap) March 6, 2021
IndexTrak told 101 they felt that Football Index had lied to them.
‘I believe that as a user we have been lied to and have spent a lot of money on IndexTrak (a platform I created to help users track performance) over the past few months to adapt to all the changes they have been making. I can no longer reasonably be aligned to a company that I believe have acted so immorally and will be refunding all recent payments on IndexTrak.’
101 reached out to more users who gave their honest thoughts on the situation. One of the more recent users who had been playing since 2020 described what had occurred as ‘borderline criminal.’
‘Been on the platform actively for a year. Since full order books were implemented the product and market has tanked. I’ve lost thousands based not on my bets but on the decisions of Football Index.’
‘It is borderline criminal with what they have done. Felt I’ve been scammed and @GamRegGB (Gambling Commission) has allowed this to happen.’
Another told us how they have invested the better part of £15,000 into FI and that a petition had now been started to try and find answers and have net deposits refunded.
‘Myself and the whole community feel lied to. They made out this update was going to be a positive one and then minted shares for the last 2 weeks. We have seen players’ prices crash from £14 for Sancho to 83p this morning.’
‘I myself invested £15,000 and have been locked. I’m not being able to sell unless it was for a huge loss due to these prices. They have continually made promises regarding Nasdaq and liquidity and have come out and said both are on pause. We have a petition going with over 1000 signatures to get them investigated.’
Some users are more hopeful about the situation looking ahead, but still feel let down by FI.
‘I’ve been on the index for just over 3 years. Invested about £2k at the start and over the years I think I’ve invested about £4k. In that time I ‘won’ just short of £1700 in Dividends which is great. These Dividends have been reinvested into my portfolio so I haven’t actually had them.’
‘As to how I’m feeling. I’m down, disappointed and upset. Not just for me but for the other guys who have invested a lot more than me. That said, there’s a little bit of hope inside me and they will sort this mess out and we will come through the other side better (I really hope so).’
Despite the hope, many, including this long-term consumer, feel that the trust has been lost which will be one of the company’s biggest challenges to recover from.
‘I’m just disappointed with how FI have handled things but I’m one of the lucky ones. I got on in 2017, so bought very cheap back then and earned over £18,000 in Dividends. So I’m not financially worse off. Don’t really see how FI get out this mess without a takeover. All trust has gone in my opinion.’
‘Short term FI looks bleak but some of the changes they have made throughout recent months could work out well in the long term. If they don’t have trust then they don’t have a platform. So FI need to get that sorted before anything.’
Football Index built a massive community of players and the feeling from many is one of deception. Will the company recover that faith or has the damage been done too great to bounce back?
Blockchain fantasy football startup Sorare raises $50m, Gerard Pique & Rio Ferdinand are investors
This article was edited by Josh Barker.