Football Index faces furious backlash from customers after change of terms
Football Index traders saw the market crash in response to Friday's announcement
Online betting company Football Index is the subject of a furious backlash from customers after significant alterations to terms and conditions over the weekend.
Football Index, licensed by the Gambling Commission, imitates a stock exchange, allowing customers to buy shares in footballers. Traders can then earn dividends for the shares owned which are related to player performance and other criteria.
The Football Index market has experienced a series of crashes in recent months, with the cost of player share prices tumbling as a result. The most drastic crash to date came over the weekend, triggered by the company's announcement that it would be significantly reducing payments for dividends within a month. Maximum dividend payable per share currently stands at 14p, but this will be reduced to 3p in weeks.
The buy price for a share in Jadon Sancho, one of the more popular players for traders, was as high as £7.34 on Friday afternoon. However, when the market reopened after the announcement on Saturday, the price had plummeted to just 88p.
Such price drops were mirrored across the market, meaning some traders have seen the value of their trading portfolios dramatically slashed within a matter of hours. Though traders are still able to sell their shares, it is unlikely many will receive anywhere close to the money they were purchased for.
Some traders have invested substantial amounts into accumulating player shares over the past few years. Some, such as the individual below, highlighted how they have seen a reduction in value of close to £100,000 within 24 hours.
— F I Big Don (@IndexBig) March 6, 2021
Many Football Index customers vented their frustration at the situation on social media on the Saturday, with some expressing their annoyance that new shares in high-profile players - including the likes of Lionel Messi and Erling Braut Haaland - were minted only days before the new terms were announced.
Last month, the company continued to issue new shares following an announcement on February 18 by chief executive, Mike Bohan, in which he said he would hold a Q&A with customers the next week. The Q&A was later postponed and eventually replaced by Friday's update.
With anger growing, Football Index released a statement on Saturday evening acknowledging the reaction to their announcement about dividends. The statement also conceded that the company had sustained "substantial losses" over recent months, and that they had hoped to rejuvenate the market with other initiatives whilst retaining the current dividend payment levels.