An open letter to Adam Cole

  • Dear Adam,

    Congratulations on making Football index the most enjoyable and engaging football betting platform ever. I've been on here for a couple of years or so and absolutely love it!

    However, my personal enjoyment does not seem to echo the general consensus of late, so I have to accept that I'm in the minority (which is incredible, given we've just had a dividend increase!)

    The thing is, you guys keep making mistake after mistake after mistake, with alarming regularity. You never learn. Removing yourself from Instant Sell liability WITHOUT NOTICE was a clear breach of trust and showed a complete disregard for traders who may have spent months building a portfolio of the more risky holds. A calculated risk that faced a potential 50% loss if the old IS had to be resorted to, but that was suddenly removed, despite your promises to us on numerous occasions that it would always be available once order books came in. Effectively, traders have been missold shares over the last 12 months or so, buying with confidence that they could always sell them back to FI (at a big discount) via the "guaranteed" IS. This will need addressing and rectifying, which I'm sure you are already well aware of, so I won't go on about that.

    This is what is more concerning to me - after almost 2 years, I've come to the conclusion that none of you at Football Index HQ actually truly understands how your own product works. Either that, or you are allowing those on your board with "traditional betting" backgrounds too much influence over a product they really can't fathom - you even said it yourself. that the gambling commission doesn't even fully understand what FI is!

    Possibly the most important aspect of FI and it's USP is the ability to build a portfolio of players that can potentially win dividends and grow in value over their 3 year share lifespan - this is important, and listen carefully... even though you've stated the average length of hold in a share is generally less than a month (I find that difficult to believe personally), the reason people are selling & buying others is usually down to performance, rumours, injury, fixtures etc. Football is fluid and uncertain at the best of times. You only need to look at recent PB winners to see it's still very much a lottery!

    So, with all this uncertainty impacting our 3 year "bets", it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that the rules of the game are static. This is something you guys just don't understand!
    Change is BAD. Just the merest indication of a PB matrix change can stifle trading on many players, for fear of devaluation. Your disastrous Q&A, stating there would be a PB matrix review proved this and caused the market to freeze. Nobody was buying, despite some superb performances happening on the field which ordinarily would see traders pile in.
    You guys rectified the problem fairly quickly with a very professional release which detailed NO matrix review within the clear roadmap issued, as well as the date the dividend review changes would be announced...EXCITING!

    Trading once again came flooding back and the market was booming in the run up to the 9th July. Why? Simple. The promise of no changes to the rules of our bets (*glossing over the media review, which the community has clearly asked for) and the increase in potential payouts for the players we've been researching and adding to our portfolio over recent months/years even. It was all looking so good, it appeared that you guys finally understood what traders want and what causes them to invest more - stability. Of course, you just had to put out a tweet a couple of days before the announcement which only served to kill trading once again, with your indication of "generous and sensible" increase on the way (contradicting all the rockets and hype previously tweeted!) Communication really is one of the Index weak points but, like the removal of IS, that's for another time.

    But anyway, then came the dividend review announcement on 9th at 5.13pm. I initially was wowed by the Team Of The Month dividend (I still absolutely love it ) but it distracted me from the facts - just when I thought you guys understood your product and what traders value most (stability, clarity, road map etc), you flip the entire market on its head again by adding two completely new dividends! TOTM, as I've said, is amazing, I love it. But to add a GK category completely out of the blue? THAT IS A MASSIVE CHANGE that impacts our bets! Don't get me wrong, I now think it's probably necessary to have a GK category going forward but to just drop it in like that? Huge faux pas.

    I am really hoping that once the media review is complete and the sell orders of the ME come in (with FI also offering some form of IS), we are set up for the future. You need to stop interfering with our 3 year bets. Every little structural change you make is like throwing a pebble in the water - there is a massive ripple effect. There is already too much uncertainty in the game of football itself (making it hard for us to win) without you guys moving the goalposts constantly.
    This platform really could reach that £1 billion target you've set but you've really got a lot to learn, about your own product and it's client base, before you get near that. Football Index isn't the only fish in the pond any more so you guys really have to understand just what it is about your product that is keeping most of us on board and what it is that separates you from the current also-rans.
    I was over the moon initially after the recent divs announcement but now, after acknowledging the sentiment of most other traders, I'm feeling deflated and disinterested. It shouldn't be like this.

    Yours Sincerely

    Scouse Ste

  • Banned

    Quality post.

    I would also add, do you intend to be CEO of FI in 6 months time, or are the rumours starting to come true?

  • Good letter.! I Just hope you've checked checked and 're checked before the grammar police turn up!🤣 "change is BAD"( mkkaaaay is missing for the end of it) 👍🏽

  • Banned

    Why the fuck do you have to do that?
    Why are people so intent on derailing every fucking thread?

    @ScouseSte put in a proper quality effort and in you come with that.


  • @MrWh1te no derailment intended. Chill, I said good letter! Light hearted, comment followed. Not that I need to explain myself!

  • @ScouseSte well thought out, well balanced letter. Complete agree with you.

  • Well said Ste... I have significant gripe with the way AC steers market cycles with his flakey statements. I said not long ago that if he expects his customers to get on board with him, then he seriously needs to take control of his ship. He has done nothing to convince me that he is going to do this in the month or so since I wrote that. He has created artificial peaks and troughs with his various tweets and actions and pretty much all of us have ended up worse off for it. FI may have made some nice commission but at what cost?

  • Good write up. Sums it up pretty well.

    We should start 'voting' with our money. It's the only way they listen. Yet folks keep biting and THEY keep making money. It's all good as far as they know, their strategy is working and therefore keep applying the same strategy. Fuck a few people over, so what, next batch will make up for that and so we go

  • It couldn't have got any more fucked up if he took on people from the established betting industry and they went to work from the inside, trying to destroy FI because of it's obvious threat to their billion pound market.

    Hang about!!!!!!! 🤔🤔🤔🤔😵

  • I've disagreed a bit with you last couple of days, but this is a good letter, and articulates some of my worries about those particularly the CEO.

    I work for a start up that has gone rapid growth over the last 12 months. We are at an uncomfortable stage where the CEO, who without him the product wouldn't exist, is now out of his depth. Great for a start up, but not good for a bigger company and keeps making rookie mistakes. The company I worked for previously was later in its development (about 10 years old when I joined) They had the same issue, but managed to move the CEO to 'Chairman' which was a role invented to satisfy his ego, but get in a real CEO. I fear this is the case with Adam, he doesn't quite grasp the stage of development FI is in. And it is a crucial stage as it makes the incredibly difficult transition from a niche product to a mainstream product. Adam's errors over the last 6 months had torpedoed the market on a few occasions.

    If they wanted to add a structure to benefit the market and drive growth, they should have used those keeper dividends plus a bit more for tier 2 rewards on gold and silver days, whilst paying an extra penny on bronze days. TOTM is great, but it should have been a nice extra, rather than the core introduction and increase.

    Another question I would like him to answer without a politicians answer is how seriously they consider the rival products out there. My worry, and it has been there for a while, is that FI has an amazing product led by an incompetent team. They blunder through error after error, but the sheer strength of product keeps propelling it. Whilst a rival product is inferior, but those leading it are far superior in their roadmap, direction and communications.

  • Banned

    AC by his own admission enjoys creating and selling start-ups. I think we could be seeing the beginning of the end now of him in charge.

  • @ScouseSte great post... Was expecting a sarcastic finish or something cos its certainly a different tune to the one you sang after each event listed within the post. But it is all true and clearly visible by market reaction to the div 'increase'

    You need to print it and post it tho... FI don't do social media.

  • @ScouseSte
    Great post, fully agree.
    The really sad thing to see out of all of these communications errors is the public fall out on the forums and twitter... every mistake is amplified by the constant FI bashing that is surely just eroding the confidence in the product. Unless FI are firmly in the camp that any publicity is good publicity, how do we expect to grow the user base when public forums like Twitter are just full of scathing comments?!

  • @ScouseSte Great account of how I (and I suspect, many other traders) feel about the product and whats happened over the past 72 hours. Like the majority, I've shyed away from GK's in the 15 months I've been on here as they have been poor value historically in every aspect; the fact they are now arguably valued more realistically is of little consolation to those like me who never held, or to those who had listed and then found they couldn't delist when the site crashed and thus sold at a massive discount.
    However, I've always been surprised and underwhelmed by the frequency with which FI make official responses to concerns such as these on the Forum (its their site after all!) and therefore feel its unlikely to get much traction as it is. Any plans to make it a more formal approach? I'd argue that it would at least be much-needed positive PR for Adam & Co if they at least acknowledged the fact that they've - yet again - rocked a steady ship.
    Whatever became of the saying ' the customers always right'?

  • "I've come to the conclusion that none of you at Football Index HQ actually truly understands how your own product works."

    Spot on.

  • Brilliant post @ScouseSte 👏 will they listen? Will they fuck. I’ve lost all confidence in FI. Every day Triple media would have been perfect, and easy to implement, along with totm. They have the money to do it. They didn’t. Massive fail.

  • @ScouseSte good post well said

  • Solid effort @ScouseSte.

    I thought it started really strong mate but if you're going to print it out and send it in, I'd take out all the.... "You don't know your own platform" stuff and the speculation about certain people having too much influence. Best sticking to the cold hard facts because the other stuff could just have no truth behind it.

    Worth remembering that not only did Cole grow the platform to what it is but he has all the data to see what's actually working. His short term objectives might not fully align with what some traders want either.

    For example, many have said that they "can't see these latest updates sustaining growth to the top end players because the dividend increase doesn't support a £20 player"....

    Stifling the top end growth is the polar opposite of what some traders want but the data he has, might show that he needed to feed the bottom end of the market more, to avoid top end player prices putting off newer customers.... effectively buying time until the next share split.

    As a guy who's built companies and faced public criticism on a mass scale (national newspapers/ scale), most often than not, speculation about the behind the scenes stuff, is so far off the mark that it's comical and lowers the writers credibility,

    Anyway, it's a nice effort mate. Thanks for giving it a shot.

  • @Dan-The-Man @ScouseSte i agree with Dan on this one. It’s a good letter but cheap shots like “you don’t know your own product” is only going to get ppls backs up. Particularly as they are dealing with intricacies and algorithms in the Index we could only dream of. They do this 24/7. They know their product. But they defo need to improve amateurish communication errors when there’s so much money involved.

  • @ScouseSte nice one, although as @Dan-The-Man has said, I'd probably reign it in and bit on the conspiracy theory bit.

    It highlights the communication issue I hadn't fully realised- if AC had just said "1bn market cap is a five year plan, this dividend review is stage 1" happy days. No massive overreaction, which then has to be talked down by AC as a result. I also think their comms in general are a bit disjointed. AC tweets when he wants, it's apparent there's a team on social media as delivery is all over the show (there are some really good posts on there mixed with some absolute dross).

    FWIW I do think the FI community act like spoilt children a lot of the time, but FI have tried to manage expectations too late after posting something suggesting they are gonna be dishing out the cash.

    I now think the only thing FI have fucked up with is comms( but it's a pretty big fuck up). Rolling out GKs wasn't something I wanted, but I can see why they did. I can also see why they went for that and TOTM over a larger div increase.

    I've seen comments of 'FI have removed their liability, so it should have been an x% increase in divs', however, we have literally no idea of the liability FI had before this -they could have been operating at a massive loss, and removing this liability just means they break even, or heaven forbid, make a little money.

    I normally blather on when I could post a few words, but in short to FI:communicate better, don't remove something without some warning, and thanks for my money so far. I am sure I'll be buying more at this current time because it's a lull in the market, I have sat through around 4 in 12 months and profit has always been more after it

Log in to reply