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As well as revisions to the Dividend amounts, we are also introducing a new Dividend structure, designed to drive maximum engagement and enjoyment for our Traders.

The new structure will see footballers compete for Match Day Dividends within their own league. This means that, on an eligible day, there will be Match Day Dividend winning footballers, from each position for each league.

We want to firmly focus on what makes Football Index a unique platform: rewarding Traders for their football knowledge. All of these changes have been made with this objective in mind.

For a full breakdown of the new Dividend structure with Leagues, please click 
here.

Alongside this, we’re also reviewing the scoring matrix, to see what more can be done to better distinguish those exceptional performances. This will require in-depth analysis and we will be working on this over the coming months. As always, we hope to be able to deliver the fun and football-centric experience that we aspire to as a business. Further information on this will be issued as soon as it’s available.

Hi Traders,

I’d like to start by saying a big thank you for all the questions you have submitted over the course of the past few weeks: we’ve received over 500 questions from you all, and we’re keen to answer as many of those as we can, as comprehensively as possible.

There’s a lot to cover so, with that in mind, we think it’s best to answer these questions in written form, so you can properly digest all this information. Due to the high volume of submissions, we’ll also tackle your questions by theme.

As I set out in my first address to you as CEO, my main objective, from day one, has been to make the platform as enjoyable as possible for our Traders, as well as football-centric: after all, we are all united by our shared love of the game. With that in mind, I hope that you will see some of these changes reflect that goal. 

As always, every enhancement and change to the platform has been made with the long-term objective of ensuring that Football Index remains a sustainable and fun experience for you all. 

Introducing Leagues

To date, our Traders have enjoyed some phenomenal Dividend increases year-on-year which have brought some incredible payouts. Continuing with this trend is only possible in a buoyant market and the reality is we do not have that at the moment.  

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. As such, in accordance with our terms, we are giving 30 days’ notice regarding this change.

This decision is not one that we have taken lightly. The Board deliberated at length, and we have taken a number of other steps before reaching this decision: we have restructured, reduced costs, including taking Directors’ salary cuts and have tried our very best to keep the Dividends at the level that they have been. Unfortunately, however, the current yields are just not sustainable.

We sincerely hope that by making this reduction we can return the platform to a positive position. At the appropriate time, we will of course revisit and hope to increase Dividends once again as soon as this becomes sustainable. Our goal remains ensuring a sustainable future for Football Index and we will keep these changes under constant review. As much as we’d hoped to avoid reducing Dividend amounts, due to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in, this is the most responsible course of action we can take. (See below for new Dividend structure.)

Dividend Reduction and Restructure

First of all, when we talk about the impact that Covid-19 has had on Football Index, I want to be very mindful of people’s struggles over the past year, which have been significant, both from a personal perspective, with many people losing loved ones in this time period and experiencing financial hardship, as well as from a professional perspective, with many businesses closing down. From this point of view, we have been lucky enough to be able to continue operating in what has been a difficult time for everyone.

However, Covid-19 has undoubtedly impacted us and our targets as well, and we are likely to continue to feel its ramifications. That being said, our team here has been fantastic at managing to work so well together even remotely, and I am looking forward to returning to our office with our team, in an environment where we can truly allow our creativity to flourish and work collaboratively, as we do best.

Impact of Covid-19

Last year we hit a crucial milestone when we completed our initial integration which allowed us to successfully pass test trades between our platform and Nasdaq. But, in the spirit of full disclosure, there’s still more work to be done, and whilst our focus remains on making more immediate platform enhancements, we’ve made the decision to hit pause on Nasdaq integration till later in the year. This is an ongoing project, and as in any business, we have had to make a choice about which enhancements to focus on in the immediate future. Ultimately, there are more significant changes we want to deliver first before we revisit Nasdaq.

It’s important to mention that a lot of the benefits that Nasdaq will bring will support the back-end of the platform, as opposed to being changes that Traders will be able to physically see. However, it goes without saying that the aim of these changes is to improve the overall user experience.

NASDAQ

Delivery of a high-quality Media Monitor replacement has been a priority for some time. Given the complexity of monitoring article sentiment and data amalgamation, it has taken longer than we’d anticipated. We simply would not put a live version of this feature that is not a material improvement on the current version.

This project continues and our plan is to roll out a Beta version to Traders before this drives the Media win mechanic in the live platform. This will allow Traders the opportunity to thoroughly test before we formally roll-out. More information will be shared with you as soon as we have it.

Media Monitor

When it comes to liquidity, I want to assure you all that we have a dedicated liquidity consultant who is engaging with various third parties in the market. It’s clearly been a challenging time to have such conversations, not just in light of the current economic conditions but our continuing demanding trading environment.

So whilst these conversations continue to take place, we’ve also been focusing on what we can do at Football Index to increase liquidity. I think we all know the vast majority of trades have been matched Trader-to-Trader, so when we think of liquidity, the majority of that has come from you guys. But there’s ways we can help to improve that.  

The first thing we’re looking to do is allow Traders to place Bids and Offers on the same footballer. This is a way of allowing more liquidity by creating more trading opportunities. 

 
The other initiative we’re working on is our market making policy. What’s important here is to deliver a solution that’s realistic and sustainable. We’ve set the objective for our primary market maker to trial a bottom-up approach to liquidity that I believe will add some confidence to Traders and encourage more users to come on board. As always market making is subject to market conditions and may vary, or be unavailable, according to demand on any given footballer.

Liquidity

I’m pleased to tell you that there are some changes that we will be rolling out next week.

- We’ve already mentioned the addition of being able to place a Bid and Offer on the same footballer, which gives Traders the opportunity to take advantage of footballer price moves in either direction.


- We’ll also be increasing the Offer ceiling. For footballers with a buy price of £1 or more the Offer ceiling will increase from £1.50 to £5.00, and for those under £1 it will increase to 6-times the Buy price, which will allow Traders to price their Shares with more flexibility.


- We will be launching an Insights page, which will allow Traders to review which footballers are trending and to track recent activity before they place their bets.


So as you can see, we’ve been busy working on a number of additions, ranging from smaller ones to optimise the platform, to more significant ones which we believe will enhance your trading experience, and I look forward to sharing more of these with you in the future.

Latest Enhancements

When it comes to social media, unfortunately you cannot avoid the word! Every single platform will encounter it at some point, and as unpleasant as it is, it is important to remember that this is a very small group of people, looking to discredit the business in any way they can. Of course, this is a pretty disappointing, if, to some extent, unavoidable phenomenon. However, we all have a duty to act respectfully, both in real life and online, and to make sure that even when emotions are running high, they do not spill over into vitriol and trolling. At the end of the day, our community is united by the same thing: a shared passion for football, and that’s what we are really trying to harness here. So, with that in mind, let’s keep it on the pitch!

Trolling

In light of these announcements, we have suspended the market until 7am tomorrow (06/03/21), London time. We will re-open the market with all unmatched bids removed in order to protect users effectively.

We want to make sure that you will have had time to read and digest these announcements. While there is a lot of information here, I wanted to highlight that delivering an enjoyable and fun platform centred around your knowledge of football remains vital to us, and this has been the main consideration for all of the changes announced today. When we think about our community of Traders, we think about your shared love of the game, and our aim remains to provide you with a platform that truly rewards, in its structure, your knowledge of football: that is the ultimate goal of today’s announcement.

I would like to thank you all once again for your questions. We received over 500 and I hope we’ve answered those that are most important to you. Thank you for your continued support of the platform and for engaging with us on this scale!

Mike Bohan,
CEO of Football Index, on behalf of the Board

Market Update

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