23:03

Alrighty. It’s approaching midnight, or will be, by the time I’m done with this last post. Let’s wrap up for the night. (edit: ok 12:40 in the end).

The headlines.

The story makes sense. FI has recommitted to it’s original purpose.

This is the key thing to me. There are still problems to solve and I think a market recovery comes over months rather then days or weeks. 

But if you recall my Tuesday State of the Market when I previewed this my main concern was that we needed FI to set a clear direction for the product. They needed to pick a side and decide who the product is for.

IPD was removed because FI had recognised that the short termism was a problem. And it absolutely was. Clipping IPD’s wings was the top of my hitlist in my “how to fix FI” thesis. 

This change gave me some hope that they understood the problem. It upset some people, but it had to happen.

What we needed to see tonight was the next part of the story and it had to make sense. If IPD was bad, what’s good?

It had to be something that reinforced the original reason why FI has been successful to date. It’s different from traditional betting. Most FI trading takes place over days. Weeks. months. Not minutes or hours. 

If FI try to play that quick win game then the bookie will beat them every time. But they cannot beat FI at what it does best.

There will be opportunities for short term trading in and around that, and some people will do well from that niche. But that’s not the unique point of the product. 

Now that FI have clearly signalled where they want to go, traders have some stability to work with. Some may leave, because they miss the quick IPD wins. But the majority of traders are here precisely because of it’s longer term nature.

Core Players Win

This was my “prediction” in recent weeks when we previewed the announcement. But I’ll put that in inverted commas because… well. Put it this way, if FI had come up with something that did not benefit these players they may well have imploded.

Any mechanic that didn’t benefit this group and broadened the pool of viable players out further may well have wrecked this market.

And it would have shaken my faith in them, to put it bluntly.

So that’s why I didn’t bet on it, and suggested putting balances into the Core early.

Doing anything other than supporting Core players just wouldn’t have made any sense. FI aren’t incompetent despite what many may say when things don’t go well. 

They understand the concept of liquidity and what creates it or dries it up. Yes, it’s difficult. They are doing something new and Order Books aren’t easy. They haven’t got it right first time and have made real mistakes along the way.

But this announcement tonight gives me a lot of confidence. It’s shown that they do understand the problems and they are prepared to take steps to fix them, even if that is painful for some.

This change narrows that pool of viable players to a range that traders can realistically support organically, with a little help from market makers to fill the gap.

I was wrong in my initial suggestion of halving IPD. That seemed like a sensible middle ground solution but now that I know what they planned to replace it with – ripping that plaster off was the correct call.

If we still had IPD existing AND this? It would just be too confusing a market. They’ve done it right.

Match Day Extra Is Fun

Match Day Extra itself is a great idea. Ok, you can poke at the payout and say 1p ain’t all that much, I’ll come onto that next.

But in concept, it’s the tiered performance I have supported for years but actually better than I imagined. I had never considered the idea of averaging out those performances over the week to ensure that the best performances were rewarded, rather than it being about which games fell on which day.

This is just better. Whoever thought of that deserves credit, it’s smart and creative.

Match Day Extra payouts may appear modest. But C’mon.

My initial experience of opening the announcement was reading about Match Day Extra and thinking that sounds amazing. Then I scrolled down and thought “1p huh… hm.”

It sounds underwhelming sure. But let’s think about this seriously.

In my State of the Market post on Tuesday I specifically said that we may be over optimistic in expecting an IPD replacement to be incredibly generous.

The obvious, yet possibly overlooked point to we traders, is that the value proposition vs the prices we are paying has literally never been more generous, even without Match Day Extra.

Our problem is not lacking dividends. If you are doing FI right you are currently being showered with them. What we need is more stability. So a little financial prudence from FI is sensible. It’s not stingy. It’s not greedy. If our main worry is the stability of FI then this is good for them and therefore us.

I would assume, having not had time to do the full math, that Match Day Extra with 20p a week is a damn sight cheaper for FI than paying 2p for every goal scored. 

That is a dividend decrease for the first time. But is the product better for it? Yes. It actually is. Funny as that may sound.

However, Match Day Extra is going to be an attractive mechanic that influences trading strongly. Here is why. 

You can stack up wins. A player might get an outright win and a second place in a week, adding a little bonus. A player might finish second twice, getting a 2p dividend. Or do it 3-4 times in a month, which starts racking up.

Secondly, 6x 1p winners per category is really quite deep! From daily tiered pb we were hoping for a 2nd place and 3rd at absolute best.

This is going to drip dividends regularly across a fairly wide selection of decent players. So if you are upset about the loss of IPD, a lot of these big goal scorers, certainly from the major CL/Europa sides, are going to get over that winning bar now it has been lowered.

Yet, you’ve still got the jackpot excitement of the big 1st placed win which Adam Cole was correct to favour in the first place.

Signs they are listening to the criticism and get it

As discussed in further detail below, removing uncirculated shares and the whole, (very complicated) share issuance topic is an unexpected bonus.

These are actually primarily cosmetic changes rather than things that will impact values or prices right now. But they are important changes that speak to FI listening to the gossip and the negative stories and coming up with changes that head them off. 

You can pick holes in how these changes aren’t perfect, if you want to. I have below in the full Live Blog. For example, no amount of caution in share issuance can overcome a player flopping and not meeting high expectations.

But what you will never be able to get away from, no matter how kind FI are, is the fact that it is possible to lose a bet

These alarmist statements about being stuck with a player you can never sell are obviously possible, in fact inevitable in some cases. But the primary reason for that is if you have bought a player that isn’t strong enough to carry his price.

In the vast majority of cases that’s just on us as traders. That’s the game. We’ll lose sometimes on individual players. But if our portfolio performance overall is good, we’ll come out alright.

Overall

I’m very happy with this announcement. And a little relieved. As I said in the State of the Market, after removing IPD I thought FI had done well and given themselves an open goal to aim at when they dropped the next part of the story. 

But in that moment before the ball is struck you can’t help but watch with horror wondering if they might miss.

It’s given me a great deal of confidence after a very rough year where all of us have been tested.

Mainly because they have picked a mechanic that supports trading over days, weeks and months. That’s the product that attracted so many of us in the first place. And FI have strongly recommitted to that.

Had they not done so, I’d be feeling  stressed right now.

Then we’ve got a really creative, fun mechanic that nudges the market in the right direction and encourages liquidity into a manageable pool of players. Whilst still leaving a bit of room for underdogs to squeak over the winning bar.

FI have also shown some financial prudence, despite being under some pressure to shell out more dividends that we actually didn’t need after the removal of IPD. I respect them more for this sensible business management rather than crowd pleaser announcements that may have caused problems later on.

In times past, FI may have tried some cheap gimmick like a deposit bonus to dig them out of a hole. It has worked before. But FI is growing up now and I think we need an end to this kind of circus. What we saw tonight is the kind of sensible, professional measures that are needed if FI is to move from disruptive market entrant to established mainstream player.

I can still see problems. The main remaining issue from my hitlist is the way pricing information is presented and the dreaded “VWAP”. As long as just one mid to large size trader can dictate the price it’s going to take a long time to see strong price rises across the board.

But prices should be much higher in a more rational, confident market that is based on the dividends quality players can realistically earn. 

If confidence returns, prices should return towards those more rational values too. Tonight hasn’t got us the whole way. But it’s a major step forward, and the reassurance comes not just from what they did, but what they didn’t do. 

FI have set a clear direction. With that, traders will figure out what to do next.

23:03

Question: Great live blog as always. Did you notice the bit in the Limited Supply section about the need to own shares in a player to enter certain tournaments? Thoughts? Presume this will just be a small add on to the product (e.g. you will need to own the players you enter in the Squads competition)?

Answer: Good timing as I was getting to this bit.

Let’s recap what FI said here:

“To give our customers assurance that there will not be an over-supply of Shares in the market, which may be important when traders have the opportunity to ‘enter’ their Shares into future tournaments and competitions that we may introduce.”

This is odd in that that sentence could easily have ended at “over-supply of Shares in the market.” There is literally no need to mention any future tournaments at all. 

This, my friends, is a teaser.

So. We’ve seen Squads this week, which I haven’t really mentioned as it’s fairly self explanatory. Not life changing money – but it’s fun. A good addition. 

What I feel is happening with this whole announcement is that FI are looking around at other emerging competitors and thinking “Ok, so how can we head these guys off?”

FI have first movers advantage in this space. Maybe a lot of people have sat there in the pub with their mates and said ‘hey what would happen if there was a Stockmarket. But for footballers’. But only Adam Cole turned it into a multi million pound business.

Others now want a slice of that pie. And I’ve literally never mentioned these products before like Footstock or Sorare. Not because I’m tribal. But because I have genuinely not seen a product that can really compete with the value proposition on FI.

The thing is, if you want to beat the first mover, you have to be fundamentally better. And these products just aren’t. But they have some good ideas and FI will want to blunt them with their own offering.

So on Sorare you can “enter a team”. So if, from amongst my portfolio, I could pick a 5 side team for that week, similar to squads, but only from players I owned? Fun. Plus it encourages me to hold good players and trade more generally.

Also on Sorare, you have “scarcity”. Attractive concept. Well now you do on FI too. Sort of. At least enough to make the case to a casual observer. Sorare’s scarcity is much more set in stone via the blockchain but I’ll be damned if I’m turning this into a crypto blog and explaining that.

Even the “little wins” model of the new Match Day Extra – it attacks other products who have gone for a little and often sort of model to differentiate themselves from FI.

This is just smart business and FI are the more established and dominant player. They can win that battle if they get it right. But they do have to get it right. I’m a lot more confident they can after this announcement.

22:48

“Removal of uncirculated shares.” Retired footballers. Useless “Iranian Messi’s” who people had an IPD punt on at the 2018 World Cup? All sitting on the platform wasting space and making the player pool appear too wide.

This actually doesn’t matter at all until some wonk makes a chart, wipes the dribble from his keyboard and and shares it on Twitter saying “BuT oNly 20% of The Playerz Haz A Bid PricE. MarkEt Ded!”. 

Because of course that will be true. Not even that many have any real dividend backed value.

FI should crack on with removing these irrelevant players for this reason. In theory it does what they say it does by concentrating liquidity in a smaller pool, so it’s a move in the right direction.

However in reality, by definition these are “no ownership” players. It’s purely a cosmetic change. But in a market appearances matter and I applaud any attempt to head off these kinds of issues.

If they really wanted an FIT Gold Star they’d remove a chunk of footballers and commit to a “One In, One Out” everytime they IPO a new player so that people can’t complain as easily that their bet is being de-valued everytime a new player is introduced.

It will actually change nothing since a competitive player is coming in and a useless player is leaving. But it’s just one less thing people will be able to moan about. 

And we shouldn’t trivialise these moves either. It’s cosmetic yes but it shows FI are responding to a common complaint and on a platform that primarily has a confidence problem rather than a value problem – showing that they “get it” matters a great deal.

 

22:05

Following on from the last question, we’re now back on the FI announcement details on share issuance.

This gets interesting as FI are committing to be quite smart in the way they issue shares here.

In the past, if people clicked the Blue Button in a flurry of buying (i.e a player was winning that day) then FI could just keep minting new shares and selling them indefinitely. 

They didn’t care whether the player was any good or not! That was the trader’s problem.

And in many ways, it still is. We can tie ourselves in knots worrying about this share issuance stuff. Here are the two things that must be understood by everyone:

1) Forget the number of shares. Concentrate, as we always do on this site, on whether that player deserves his price. This, more than anything, is going to determine whether you can sell your player for a decent price later. A player who is good enough for his price will support himself. 

A player who is not good enough to support his price can and will collapse and be totally unsellable causing people to lose money. That is a losing bet. And yes, losing bets exist. And no it should not be a shock. 

They will happen. They will happen even to the best of us. Our job is to make sure it only happens very rarely. But for bad traders it will happen often.

2) 1 million shares is quite a lot. Not even Sancho has hit this cap yet. This whole issuance story has almost no current practical application whatsoever to our trading.  None. Nada. Zip.

This is a confidence exercise. Remember when I had to write an essay on why scarcity isn’t actually needed? Maybe some of you won’t because it is actually very boring and complicated and you didn’t get that far. I wouldn’t blame you.

But it isn’t. We do not need scarcity on FI. However. Having it is quite nice. And it’s nice primarily because it is very easy to explain to someone why something has value if there are only so many of them.

People like Caan Berry when commenting on this were wrong in all practical and logical senses. However, when it comes to presentation – most people look at a company that can just print endless fun tokens in a footballer with suspicion. And that’s not unfair is it?

This is primarily about transparency and confidence. We may hit a point, a season or two from now, when it actually does matter that there is scarcity.

If we reach that level of market maturity, it’s going to be a blessing for existing holders as we will be holding valuable things that nobody else can have – unless we choose to sell them for whatever price the market will tolerate. But we are some way off that point and right now, this is not something we need to stress over.

What is interesting is that FI have committed to doing this smartly.

FI are going to have to understand the quality of these players now if they want to issue shares sensibly. Where as before assessing the quality of players was the trader’s problem, FI are also now going to need to demonstrate competence in judging the value of players.

I know more than most that this is very hard to do. It’s very possible – but it requires good information and a lot of experience and effort. 

Hopefully FI have some top tier nerds in house if they really want to do this responsibly and only issue shares to players who can carry them on their back.

Even then… things change. Sancho could carry 1million shares in 2020. If he goes to United and flops? All that “responsibility” will mean very little.

Honestly, as someone with thousands of hours of experience in valuing FI players by now, I do not envy the person at FI who will be given this job. 

I can say a player looks hot this month and he has great factors for the year ahead, and I can be entirely right. But three months later he can be out of favour with a coach or sulking and he’s useless. I can’t do anything about that. 

This is why as traders we have to monitor things every week. You and I as traders will often have a chance to spot a player going wrong and do something about it – at least in a well functioning market, 2020 was often far from well functioning. 

But if you are FI, and you make the call one month that a player is strong, you are done. Your genie is out of that bottle and the shares exist. You can’t change your mind if he starts going down hill. 

So we shouldn’t rely on this at all. Even if FI execute this responsibility not to print too many shares with the greatest of care – they are on a losing battle here. 

It’s still good that they’ll try. But at the end of the day, it’s on us to know whether a player deserves his price or not.

To really close this loop – FI would need the ability to burn shares when a player was going south. This isn’t here. And no doubt this will be a source of criticism in future. This is also known as FI backed Instant Sell – and it was killed off for a reason.

FI have to buy them to burn them. So we’re then asking them to buy something that is obviously garbage (or nobody would want to sell it). And we want them to offer a ton of dividends. And maybe Mike Bohan could just pop and get me a coffee in the morning?

At some point you just have to know you are making a bet and you can lose. This is why I always come back to the point about it being our responsibility to make sure that our players are in the main justifying the price – that is the only way of being sure of getting a decent sell price in future. 

 

21:59

Sorry for the delay – this was a complicated question!

Question: Could you do something on your blog about the minting of shares below ATH please? Lots of talk about it, what do you think they will do. What’s logical? For those of us that bought pre order books, it could be a disaster, no?

Answer: Uh oh. This one could get complicated real fast and I’ll try and keep it simple. 

I understand why people might be worried about this.

So, in an alternate universe, where I had decided to disregard years of trading experience and also been kicked in the head by a horse and I had bought Sancho at his £15 peak I would obviously be anxious to see him return there.

But I’d also know that 920,000 shares already exist. 

Do I have to wait until all those shares are bought before I see him above £15 again? Do FI need to mint new shares to get a price above £15?

Well. No. All that needs to happen for Sancho to return to £15 is for people to stop selling him for less than that. It could in theory happen tomorrow if all Sancho holders agreed.

But of course they won’t. There will be some who are still wobbling about FI, or Sancho’s prospects, or maybe they lose their job in all this COVID uncertainty and they need the cash. There are a ton of reasons why you might want to sell for less.

But the point stands – a player’s value is determined by what people are willing to pay – not how many shares exist.

If a player does well enough in terms of performance, sentiment, career path, transfer rumours and all the dozens of things traders decide are important then the price can bounce to an All Time High and the number of shares aren’t a block per se.

But of course the number of shares do impact the market dynamics in a lot of ways and I could write a few thousand words on why. I won’t now. Suffice to say… in theory a player with a wide number of shares *should* actually be more stable in standard economics but in the flawed way FI currently construct the Blue Button price – all it takes is one reasonably sized panic trader to drop a price. This is a battle for another day.

And then the other part of this is can we trust FI to behave responsibly when minting new shares? They could, in theory, screw over holders by minting new shares instead of selling the shares traders have listed. FI would get a quick buck out of that. But also damage liquidity in the market.

There are a lot of nice words in the statement on how they will do this all responsibly and so forth.

Whether I “trust” them or not is not really the question. I trust them to act in their interest – and if they were doing this on the regular it would mess with the market and upset traders.

What FI need, more so than a quick buck, is a market that functions well. I trust them to make that happen because they need it as much as we do.

This question, whilst valid, might be trying a bit too hard and a bit too early to see a problem that we haven’t seen yet. 

I’d probably say, let’s fix the problems we currently have this announcement not withstanding. Like the abomination of the Blue Button price – the major thing remaining from my “how do we fix FI” hit list. 

 

21:36

When re-reading the Match Day Extra page again – what springs to mind is the notable absence of any “30 day refresh” window or similar.

Thank whatever God you pray to (For me it seems to be Zeus based on today’s scouting. Specifically, his beard). 

I’ll call it another example of FI understanding the problems they have faced under the Matching Engine. 

They could have made only players purchased in that 30 day window eligible for Match Day Extra so easily. But they chose not to. Because like IPD – that never really fitted with the rest of the product.

I had a good chat with an FI staff member this week (just as a trader really, I do not think I am in any way influential in FI towers and I am not going to be one of those god awful “In the Know” accounts because I’m not – FI speak to a lot of people and they rightly don’t give away anything – they are in listen mode). And my major point was that in all this stuff – they need to pick a side and stop trying to please everyone.

I think they’ve worked that one out for themselves.

FI need to know what the product is, and who it is for. They should be proud of the longer term nature of the product as opposed to a quick punt on one game. That’s the whole USP. 

If they tried to cater to very short term traders who basically want to replicate a punt on a goal and try to be what FI was always meant to be they are going to run into problems – especially under a Matching Engine.

For a while, I’ve been wondering whether they really did know who their audience was. It was a confused product. And I guess it was for a long time.

But the Matching Engine added stress, and that highlighted some weaknesses.

With IPD and Match Day Dividends and Media – you essentially had 3 ways to play the game. Which is all well and good, until you try to concentrate liquidity into a workable group of players.

Now? As traders we can at least all agree that there is a particular group of desirable players that will attract money and liquidity. The best performance players are often also the best media players – because goal scoring drives media as strongly as it drives performance.

It’s now much harder to make a case for a wide range of wildly different strategies that potentially involved thousands of fringe players.

All roads now lead to a group of 300 or so players plus a few hundred who want to be them one day. And that’s how it should be. It is just better if the players we are trading are primarily playing competitive football in the games that matter, surely?

And there will still be tons of reasons to trade actively on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Scouting readers know why.

21:14

If we start from the top when combing the details the first thing we run into is the 2x Buy Order Rebate.

2% back on Buy Now. 1% Rebate on Matched Bids. Over 2 weeks with potentially up to £500 cash back for the bigger traders. 

Nothing majorly complicated here – it’s just a natural nice bonus for trading that we’ll get anyway just by doing what we do.

It’s an incentive to trade and provide liquidity – so when we have those fusty holds that have no major chance for recovery then it’s one more reason to get rid of them so we can buy players we want.

On this actually I was discussing with a member via email today what to do with stale/underperforming holds.

A good way of thinking about this is that we may have a player we aren’t confident in now down at 50p. What if we bought them for £1 or even £2? At the time that might have been a good call on the information we had. But things have changed, and we now don’t think they will recover anytime soon.

Instead of looking at that as a massive hit, we could choose to look at it this way: 

If we sell that player we have lost confidence in for 50p and put that into a player we DO have confidence in for 50p then we have improved our portfolio

Forget about the price you originally paid. We’re about the here and now and we want to make sure the trades we make improve what we are holding. It’s our overall performance that counts.

21:03

So that’s the major points covered. Now it’s time to poke at the details to see what we can see.

(By the way, just had a question come in which reminds me. Questions from members are pretty much the best part about Live Blogs and I forgot to ask people because the announcement took me by surprise. Email or Twitter DM – get them in if you have them!).

20:50

Let’s think about how wide that net of relevant players now goes. 

There are winners and losers here and we may not like all of this, even if we have largely been using a core player focused strategy as has been my suggestion. 

Core players who can win now anyway are the obvious winners. As I said, they were always likely to be for all the reasons discussed.

When they near miss they’ll get a little consolation prize. Not bad. Especially because this is cumulative. In today’s calendar we can often see two games a week. So you might win outright once and come second, adding a little extra. Noice.

Nearly men also get a little boost. Those players who frequently come in second or third. This could be a Rodri or Jonathan Tah type who is high baseline with only an occasional cutting edge. Or it could be a former “IPD striker” from a big team like Immobile or Icardi who might now get in the door at least for some regular trickle of 1p dividends, which might actually add up to 4-5p a month – really not bad at all. 

However – this new mechanic in itself is really quite modest. 

So, for those hoping that a new mechanic would drive the market back to “IPD players” or to whatever minority group of players – that’s a struggle.

As I said earlier this week – I always felt it would be the players who weren’t that far away that could get over this new winning line. So I think a big striker at a big team like Lukaku, Morata, Lewandowski, Muller, Immobile – these guys are never going to struggle for relevance on FI provided they keep up their performance levels.

They’ll get a steady trickle of dividends most likely, plus they will always come into fashion for big tournaments.

As predicted, where we really start to struggle is the mediocre medium to lower club players that aren’t really in the mix for performance with any regularity. IPD may have made them relevant before. But these are the unfortunate yet necessary casualties of the new system – in order to close that net and create liquidity, there had to be a lot of losers. 

And those losers are at the bargain bucket IPD end of the market.

For those holders who went all in on this… it’s a massive hit and there are going to be unhappy people around.

For those who hold players who are actually relevant to FI’s scoring system and USP – this is great. 

And it’s something I say often – I don’t just hang out holding the FI relevant players just for the dividends. It’s because when everything turns on it’s head as it has this year, all you have to cling onto is the dividends and the original purpose of the product. The trends come and go and should be leaned into, but betting the shop on them is dangerous. And for years people often got away with it. 

But this year has been a real test of even the best of us. And our report card is yet to be marked – we won’t see the benefit of this until we see a sustained market recovery.

20:35

Liquidity. 

One of the major things I covered in State of the Market was how the new mechanic had to assist liquidity.

What we have here is a mechanic that rewards the best “core” players on FI. It narrows the pool of worthwhile players significantly compared to IPD. 

Again, this is one of my “must have’s” from my recent analysis. And FI tick the box to keep me happy.

If for example the replacement had made a whole swathe of players relevant again I would be very nervous. I’d worry that FI hadn’t really grasped the problem. 

And I’d worry that there would not be enough liquidity to support a very wide group of players.

This announcement helps by closing that player pool down to the best players in the top 5 leagues in world football, plus those who may become those players one day.

That might mean 300 mainstream players and maybe double that again in penny stock pretenders. Leaving thousands of essentially valueless players. Some will hate that – but it’s essential.

This move alone is probably not the only thing that brings really strong liquidity to the platform. But I think for that number of players, it is a feasible goal for traders to largely support at least the main players organically.

Then, we will likely need some market maker activity going in the background to fill in the gaps. But we won’t need them to carry the market on their back.

 

20:28

Overall Impression Part 3.

I haven’t trawled social media a great deal for wider reaction but if anyone is complaining that it’s only 1p for a win under the new mechanic I sort of get it but – I’d also be inclined to throw them out of the nearest window.

We’ve got to be really serious here. If we look at the market prices versus what we are getting it has literally never been more generous.

I think if FI had done some kind of old school deposit bonus, or thrown even more money at us, I’d actually be a bit worried. We need less of a circus – and more of a professional feel if FI is truly going to break into the mainstream.

Our biggest worry is not selecting the right players. It’s the stability of FI. So financial prudence from them is all good by me.

20:15

Overall Impression Part 2.

So whilst the mechanic itself works. The biggest headline of the day, by far, all detail to side for now is this:

FI have doubled down on the longer term nature of the product and told us a coherent story about where they want the product to go.

That story started with the removal of short term IPD and has moved on to why tiered payouts are better for the market. It makes sense. This is the single biggest thing I wanted. I said this in State of the Market this week.

That means we know where we should go with our trading – and it’s the Core players because of course it is. And the only way it wasn’t going to be is if FI did something very weird and probably very detrimental. But they haven’t. This is crucial.

 

20:10

Overall Impression.

So, with a few minutes to absorb and read through it, I’m pretty happy with this. There are some details I’ll go through in the FAQ’s etc. 

But big picture.

The new mechanic itself hits the mark. 

It’s simple and uses the existing scoring system which is so important. Being weekly, it’s a better idea than tiered wins based on the day in my view – because it ensures that the best performances of the week get rewarded. (At least according to the scoring system and that could be tweaked later). 

With Daily tiered wins for example we’d be fishing for weak midweek teams to try to grub penny dividend or similar. That’s not where we need this market to go. This is going to favour a smaller pool of core big hitters. 

So on this part – it’s basically nail on the head stuff. Bravo etc. Especially for doing something nobody really thought of that is actually better than the options on the table that we traders had come up with. It’s similar, but has a good twist.

 

19:59

Limited Supply and Issuance Part Two. 

What does give scarcity more credibility is “limiting the issuance of new shares based on a strictly staggered volume over time model”. 

So, FI may only release new shares when a player can really support them – should they get this right. Again – it will all come back to whether the player himself will support them. Which is no different from now.

So for example they tell us Sancho currently has 920,000 shares – so only 80,000 more can ever be minted! So many will see that and think – damn, better snap that up right?!

But in reality – those 1m shares are still going to be far too many if Sancho doesn’t make it and become the player people hope he will be on FI. 

The fear of being stuck in a player that nobody wants raised by Caan and others including me by the way for many years is real.  And still exists with these changes.

The only surprising thing is that this was a surprise to some people. 

I think ultimately, these changes are about confidence. It’s easier now to explain to a normal human why FI shares now have value. And that is important.

It does not however really change the risks involved with trading. If a player flops, they flop, and we won’t be able to sell them. It is about the performance of that player rather than copy and pasting “supply and demand” economics across to FI – which has always been the case.

19:59

Limited Supply and Issuance. 

Holy. This is huge. I damn near guarantee we are getting the Caan Berry “Why I invested in FI after all” video inside 6 months. I’ll take those bets.

Creating scarcity is reassuring because it gives people some kind of security that a players price can’t just run away with FI just printing more and more shares. And the more shares that exist, the less each one is worth. Or so goes traditional theory (it’s not that simple on FI which is why explaining this has been a nightmare and required me to write a small thesis). 

I wonder whether this is a false scarcity. I don’t know how many players really have 1million shares in existance! Probably not many? 

But having a cap is reassuring and bats away any arguments about “supply and demand” which seem to make a lot of sense to most people. But, are actually very complicated as discussed here. There is actually no reason why FI specifically requires scarcity.

But being able to say they do might be the most important thing here.

 

19:55

My thinking may mature over the night but first impressions: 

Match Day Extra: This actually sounds really good as a concept. It’s familiar, in that it benefits existing players and uses the existing scoring system (therefore we were correct to go for the Core players – it’s exactly them who benefit). 

Actually really innovative, I think I will finish tonight by praising FI for some creative thinking here unless there is some detail I’ve missed on first take.

Payouts: This is where people might start to boo and hiss. These are modest 1p payouts, so can be percieved as a tightening of the purse strings and I am sure many will make the comparison that this is going to be cheaper for FI. 

As I covered in this week’s SOTM – I am not really surprised by this given how generous the proposition is already. We need stability more than we need more dividends. So this is actually ok by me, and probably a sensible play. But I am sure some people will take a swipe at it for being stingy. That’s an easy shot to take but I think it’s the right decision for the business (and therefore, us as traders).

Removal of Uncirculated Shares: This is great. An easy win that costs FI little. Actually similar-ish to the “One in One Out” system I’ve suggested (I also said that should start with a sweep away of 1,000 useless players!). This doesn’t sound immediately as drastic – but this is an important change that helps concentrate liquidity in the real stars of world football – essential to providing liquidity. 

And to answering that question about IPO’s always reducing the odds of winning. They still actually will since we will be adding competitive players and removing useless ones – but it will still make people feel better. And feeling better can count for a lot in a marketplace.

19:40

Welcome to the Live Blog as we now have the announcement from FI. I’ll break it down here as I go!

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