The Good, The Bad and The Ugly



  • Most of you out there may know I am not one for quick hasty emotional decisions and today is the same, I have given myself a couple of days to read, read again and digest the announcement. I have been on the index for a long time now having started not long after they moved from media only payments to media and performance. I have a significant amount in the platform but very little of that is mine, the majority is winnings having taken back the majority of my own money some time ago, though I did add some new funds a little while ago. So maybe it is a little easier for me to be less emotional than some but it is still my money all the same.

    The below are my opinions based upon nothing more than previous experience of FI and my own business dealings with other similar start ups. It must also be taken into account (check some of my 2 year old posts) that I never really liked the introduction of IPD's.

    FI as a business model did well to get to the point it did prior to the introduction of Goals and Assists (original name for IPD's) at that point it had two choices and in my opinion took the wrong route and is now trying to rectify it and hopefully with the correct changes and a little luck will come out the other side a better company for all concerned.

    It was obvious and I posted time and again that instant sell could not be kept as it was because as the company continued to grow so did its liabilities so it had to eventually go and as we all know once it was removed the value especially of the lower end collapsed and therefore bringing the rest of the more expensive players down with them.

    The answer was and I know many will disagree was to accept that due to the massive liquidity required a trading platform like this could not handle 1,000's of players and therefore it should have been restricted to say the top 500 and twice a year remove any deadwood and add new younger in demand players. There would need to be a mechanism to compensate holders of the removed players and a fit for purpose auction system for the new players. This would have meant resisting trader demands for more players and the introduction of a goalkeeper category. TOTM and other incentives/promotions could then have been added that incentivised more regular trading and I think we would still have had a great product that could have been slowly improved year upon year as more traders joined and liquidity continued to improve.

    Unfortunately IPD's were introduced as a way to make every single player relevant and because the management thought this instant fix gambling would provide greater profits for them it seemed to tick every box instead it has been a tool that can manipulated to earn profits whilst driving prices down. There was never a hope in hell that there would be enough liquidity to support the vast number of players in circulation and every attempt to appease traders has in effect had unintended consequences at best or been just downright inept at worse.

    Therefore I am giving them until they announce the new incentives before making a final judgement:

    The Good: They seem to have Acknowledged the product is broken, the steps they take this month will make or break the product.

    The Bad: They should have implemented this on January 1st and communicated it in December.

    The Ugly: This really was a very obvious outcome and without true change at the top of the company can I or anybody else really have confidence in the management any longer.

    The right management and a scaled back product with the right dividend rewards in place with an improved TOTM offering that could be marketed abroad as well as here still has huge potential the next month will reveal if this will be the product.



  • A couple of years back, I made a post saying how we were lucky to be in at what I consider to still be, the genesis of FI. The UK had barely heard of Football Index, never mind the massive growth that the international market could bring.

    2020 was a rough year on FI and one thing that stands out, is just how difficult it would be for Football Index to thrive on an international level.

    For perspective. FIFA Ultimate Team, is meant to be a video game, IE, not gambling, but there's an aspect of the game, where the makers (EA) sell lucky dip packs. In the UK, because there's no way for customers to win money, no matter the outcome of the packs, it's not classified as gambling but throughout Europe, there has been court orders, to restrict EA from selling these packs because other territories recognise that customers are in fact gambling their money for a digital prize.

    The point I'm clumsily making, is that gambling laws are different internationally but it's not just gambling laws, it's consumer rights laws that are equally complex. I'm about as certain as I can be, that in the last year, FI have fallen foul of British rules, which are quite lackadaisical compared with some other territories. Internationally it would be a minefield and don't get me wrong, where there's a will, there's a way, but I guess what I'm saying is....

    I'll believe in the international expansion when I see it in action.



  • @Dan-The-Man do you think they are experimenting to get the correct formula here before expanding and globalising? Or do you think they're just going with blind trial and error?



  • @Lukeroro

    Sometimes people have great ambitions that they don't fully know how to achieve.

    I suspect, they've always wanted international expansion but understanding the practicalities is a different beast. There's no doubt been a lot of learning to be done, a lot of brick walls to run in to and who knows, maybe they've found a way.

    I must admit though, when the new CEO brought up Germany, it reminded me so much of all the times we've seen politicians throw out huge unrealistic targets in the hopes of distracting people. The point of that update was to publicly give us all 30 days notice that they are removing IPD's, maybe I'm just too jaded these days but the international expansion seems to be a red herring. Like Fletch though, I'm reserving judgement on the removal of IPD's until we see what they are replacing them with.



  • @Dan-The-Man

    I treat overseas expansion as the holy grail and very unlikely - firstly we just want a simple straightforward sustainable product that has the potential to be expanded overseas.

    Just the realistic potential of overseas expansion will add value to our portfolios just like planning permission does to land.



  • @Fletch

    Yeah, that seems about right. I just wonder if there is a sustainable product in here?

    After all, you thought IS was unsustainable, I've seen many say IPD's are unsustainable... others have said they think PB/MB at it's current rate is unsustainable. The comparisons to a Ponzi scheme have always been around because nobody can agree on what the sustainable business model looks like.

    My own view for quite some time now has been that FI are routinely killing the market/moving the goal post for financial gain, which can't go on forever.

    The question is... which specific parts of FI are actually sustainable, whilst also being attractive to users?



  • That is for those who have access to the true financials to work out.

    Personally I believe they may now have learnt that to IPO every player under the sun is unsustainable with order books and no FI backed instant sell.

    A future market of circa 500 players or whatever there stats tell them with a strictly enforced 3 year (or less) holding period with added incentives to trade such as a better incentivised TOTM would be a good start.

    Two transfer windows a year were they mint new shares via properly constructed IPO's and remove deadwood (retired players/players transferred to Non PB leagues and those no longer playing on a regular basis) for fair compensation should generate significant income.

    They have basically tried to advance the product too quickly.



  • Likewise, I'm optimistic about the removal of IPDs. It just doesn't fit the platform any more.

    However, like I said in another thread, the fact they have said they want to change the culture from "promising to delivering" whilst not promising anything in particular and subtly throwing AC under the bus despite him still being around cannot be ignored!

    Fingers crossed, I'm curious. And I haven't traded or cared in weeks!



  • AC has not been thrown under a bus my understanding is existing people Cole/Bohan just have different job titles, the shareholders are the same and the man with the most shares is probably still AC and my guess is he is still pulling the strings and Mike Bohan is in effect his puppet



  • @Lukeroro I think if FI markets in Asia then it will be very nice for everyone even us exsisting users.



  • @Fletch said in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

    AC has not been thrown under a bus my understanding is existing people Cole/Bohan just have different job titles, the shareholders are the same and the man with the most shares is probably still AC and my guess is he is still pulling the strings and Mike Bohan is in effect his puppet

    The quote I used suggests that under AC's stewardship promises weren't delivered, hence my take on that.

    You could be right, essentially rebranding it under a new CEO could be useful and I hope they don't just start a new cycle of the same games.



  • @Shaun442

    I think if they do expand to foreign markets it will be a separate market rather than pooled.



  • @Fletch

    ‘Scaled back product’ is a comment that worries me.

    If FI read that they will think ‘great an opportunity to expire hundreds of thousands of shares that we charged a fortune for and made millions from’. They’ll then just change their T&Cs to make that OK or alternatively pay back pennies for each future.

    Either way it will be done in a way that is financially advantageous for them and cost customers money.

    Again for ‘improved TotM’ FI will think ‘great we can use that as an excuse to reduce our PB and MB dividends and payout less overall’.



  • @ocs123

    I am talking about what should have been done prior to IPD's to get back to that yes many low value players will need to be bought back but honestly they will be worthless in the future if the direction they go is what I would do (I do not expect them to do the obvious) and if I held players that have little or no PB/MB value I would take any offer as I could then invest in the remaining 500 or so which would grow in value if the platform was well managed



  • @Fletch said in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:

    Unfortunately IPD's were introduced as a way to make every single player relevant and because the management thought this instant fix gambling would provide greater profits for them it seemed to tick every box instead it has been a tool that can manipulated to earn profits whilst driving prices down.

    100% Fletch. In recent months, IPD’s were getting GAMED and doing far more damage then good- driving down prices.
    Also, new users are always complaining about the index being too complicated, and one advantage to removing IPD’s is that it makes it a far more simple, usable product. This will appeal to ppl.


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