We've heard a lot of buzz about Football Index lately, but we haven't seen any concrete evidence on whether it works. We are going to put it to the test ourselves and find out the answer to the question that we've all been pondering - can you make money from Football Index?
Read on for our Football Index review, which includes how it all works and details of our own portfolio.
What is Football Index?
Football Index has been dubbed as the world's first football stock market, providing an exciting new way to bet on football. Instead of the traditional way of betting on the outcome of football matches at the bookies, Football Index allows you to buy and sell shares in footballers with the aim of trading them for a profit.
There is also the potential to earn dividends on footballers that rank high in the "Media Ranking" or "Match Day Ranking" list, which we will go into more detail about later.
It seems like a great opportunity for those who have a good knowledge of football players to put that knowledge to use and have the chance to make a profit from it.
As well as being able to access the site via your usual browser, there is also a Football Index app available for Apple iOS devices.
How Does Football Index Work?
The general idea is to a try and spot players that have the potential to have a great season or future career, buy shares in them whilst the price is low and sell them later on for a profit.
Imagine taking a punt on Mo Salah when he first joined Liverpool FC. Back then, shares in him could have been bought for less than £2.00 each, but fast forward to today they are worth over £10.00 each. That's a 5x increase in less than a year!
Unfortunately we have missed that boat, but it's a good example of just how lucrative Football Index could be.
Buying and Selling Shares
The main two ways of finding players to buy shares in (or technically they are called "futures") is by using the "Top 200" and the "Squad Players" lists.
The Top 200 is a list of the highest priced footballers from the previous day and it is updated at midnight every day. Here is where you will find the most popular names in football such as Neymar and Messi.
The Squad Players list is where the remaining players that haven't made the Top 200 list can be found. At the time of writing, there are more than 1700 players listed here and Football Index are adding up to 50 new players each day.
The easiest way to find a player is to type their name in the search box above the list. To buy or sell shares in the player, you simply choose the buy or the sell price next to the player's name and then select how many shares.
For example, buying 1 share in Gareth Bale would cost £5.33 in the price taken from the screenshot, so if you wanted to buy 10 shares it would cost £53.30.
The maximum amount of shares that can be bought or sold in one transaction is 100.
The Portfolio tab shows how many shares are held for each player, how much they were bought for, their current value and profit/loss. Shares can be bought and sold for these players from this screen too.
It's important to note that Football Index is not the same as fantasy football, where success is determined on a player scoring lots of goals or if they are playing well. The price of shares is purely based on demand, so more people buying a player will push the price up as demand increases and more people selling will bring the price down.
However, a player that is performing well is more likely to gain interest from other traders which could then impact the price.
Aside from buying and selling players for a profit, the other way to make a profit on Football Index is by earning dividends. Dividends are paid out on players that make it into either the Media or Match Day ranking lists collated each day.
The Media rankings are based on how much a player is featured in articles taken from a large list of football news websites including Talksport, BBC and Sky Sports.
Players are given a score based on how much coverage they have received in the press and they are ranked on the Football Buzz table. Below you can see the live rankings for the media list at the time of writing, which shows Neymar is top of the list with 330 points.
Based on this list, if Neymar still had the highest score by midnight tonight, a dividend would be paid out on each share. On a match day it is only the top player that earns a dividend, but on non-match days it is the top three.
The dividend amount is subject to change and can sometimes vary if there is a promotion, but the current dividend table shows it would be paid out at 5p per share on a match day and 8p, 5p and 2p per share on a non-match day for the top three footballers respectively.
Match Day Rankings
Match Day rankings are based on the player performance statistics compiled from OPTA on each match day and they are split into Top Goalkeeper or Defender, Top Midfielder, Top Forward and Star Footballer.
Dividends based on the performance of players was introduced to the site last year and it seems to be a great opportunity to earn extra money from players that are actually playing well and not just making the headlines.
The dividend amount can range from 2p to 12p for these, depending on how many eligible games are being played on the day.
Our Football Index Portfolio
We have chosen to invest £100 to get started with Football Index, but it is possible to go in with as little as £10 to try the service out. There are players with shares priced at less than £1 each, so it's possible to invest a small amount of money to see how the site works.
There is also currently a risk-free offer, where you can try out building a portfolio and trading footballers for 7 days. If you decide it isn't for you, losses will be refunded up to a maximum of £500 (see Football Index for full terms and conditions).
With our £100, we have mainly chosen to buy shares in players that may rise in value during the 2018 World Cup or those that look promising for the next season. We are not exactly experts in football players, so it's been a case of doing a little bit of research.
So far, we have bought shares in 10 players as you can see below in our portfolio below.
We would advise you to do your own research if you choose to buy any shares. We may decide to invest more money to buy players as we go and we might end up selling shares depending on how things progress over the coming months.
We will report back each month with an update of our profit/loss based on the figures on our portfolio page as well any dividends we have received.
We can't help but feel excited about Football Index, it looks like a fun way to try and make a bit of money and if used sensibly there shouldn't be too much risk involved.
Being the first of its kind, it looks as though it could be one of next big things to hit the sports betting world. With more and more people signing up, prices of shares are set to go up with demand increasing, so it's a great time to get involved.
Hopefully we can make a profit from it, there's no doubt that it's a tricky time of year but there could be some excellent opportunities for the upcoming World Cup and new season ahead.