Football Index: Opening up the squad

Everyone should be aware by now that as of the start of next season the discrimination between the top200 and the squad will be scrapped, making all players eligible to win media dividends (If you're new and want to understand the dividend structure more check out this article.) This is a logical move and takes one of the complexities out of the current structure and will definitely help with on-boarding and new traders understanding the platform now that all dividends can be won by everyone. Of course the downside of this for traders is that means there's more competition for media dividends. As you can see below, when announcing this Football Index said only 7% of previous media dividend winners would have been different had the squad been competing too, which isn't too bad. It doesn't mention a time frame that was measured over but I suppose you can assume it's since the start of the squad being opened up (the 17/18 season) and the date it was posted (18/03/2019).

Football Index Media opening

There's a couple of things to point out with this. When the squad first opened it was very small and has gradually increased in size via IPOs since then meaning theoretically the probability of a squad player winning now is higher than it has been on average over that time. Secondly, a lot of the Premier League goal scorers and those who are likely to be in the media have dropped out of the top 200 in recent times, being replaced by under 18's or players in foreign leagues that no English media talks about. This further improved the chances of the likes of Pogba and Neymar as they were probably only realistically competing with 50 players rather than 200. Reopening it back up to these guys further means, theoretically, the percent may be higher than 7% in the future. I say theoretically because actually, only 125 players have won a media dividend since the start of the 2017/18 season which, in comparison to 649 different winners for match day dividends is relatively small.

Now onto the main point of this article. To examine who may benefit from this new change and look at those who may now earn more dividends as a result of the change. First, lets look at the history of the current squad players a little. Below you can see the media yield of the players currently priced below £1.12 over the last two seasons. 

First, it's worth pointing out that of course this is historical information and some of these players will have very little possible media pull in the future, or they picked up this media attention because of a one off event like a transfer or winning an award. It is also worth mentioning this only includes player's media when they were in the top 200 which means players who would of won if they were in the top 200 and competing at the time are not included. Without further ado, lets get stuck into some of the players most likely to pick up future media dividends from the current squad.

Mesut Ozil

As you can see from above, Ozil has had a very good media record over the last two years, usually it’s never positive press but there’s no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to Football Index Media Dividends! He’s only recently slipped into the squad after a quiet summer where it’s possible some were expecting a bid of media. However I think since his contract situation was resolved, a lot of his media tends to come during the season, especially off the back of poor performances or lacklustre efforts and the distribution of his media below supports that. His actions are continually magnified because of his huge wages and it being perceived that he's really not bothered. That’s why I think he’ll return to media form during next season, whether it’s taking centre stage as the villain or attracting attention for a surprisingly good performance, he’ll make the news, and at his current price of 98p, any win represents over 1% return which isn’t too shabby!

Jamie Vardy

The England forward has spent a lot of his time on the index in the squad which has really stopped him picking up much media but he's definitely a media favourite after his heroic involvement in taking Leicester to the title. The thinking here is that goal scorers in big games often taken the headlines and as you can see below, his Premier League record against the big 6 since Leicester's promotion five years ago is something to be admired.

Jamie Vardy's Premier League goals record against the 'Big Six':

8 vs. Arsenal
7 vs. Liverpool
5 vs. Man Utd
5 vs. Man City
5 vs. Spurs
4 vs. Chelsea

With this in mind, Vardy could certainly be in with some media action next season, especially with how good people are expecting Leicester to be, and of course he's not a bad hold for in play dividends at 62p either!

Giroud et al

After the departure of Eden Hazard Chelsea’s attacking options appear depleted and when it comes to Football Index, the majority of these players are very cheap, so cheap in fact, that they’re not in the top200. However, they still play for one of the best teams in the league and with that comes a media pull. In addition to this, many of these players are very media friendly. Giroud has constantly divided opinion during his time in England and has definitely delivered some crucial goals. With the chance of media back in his grasp he could certainly feature should he nail down the spot up top. Pedro and Willian are in a similar boat, with extremely media friendly one worded names, again, if they nail down a spot they should definitely feature in the media if they score a few goals. 

David De Gea

A different angel with this one but media worthy all the same. DDG has constantly been a hero at Old Trafford since Fergie left. Last season wasn’t great but now he’s built that reputation of being fantastic the media love to talk about him, whether it be because of a match clinching save or because he’s had another shocker you can guarantee there’s a journalist out there covering it. Of course, he gets the “United bonus” of an extra 20 points per media article most of the time too. You can also guarantee De Gea will be strongly linked with a transfer to Real Madrid at least once a year which could now also be cashed in on, and you never know, if United get a centre back they may even keep a clean sheet at some point to grab some in play dividends!

Jesse Lingard

Another United player who’s constantly in the media. He loves an important goal every now and then but he loves a controversial social media post even more. He’s constantly piggybacking Paul Pogba media too because of the amount of time the two spend together and of course he’s still very much involved in the England set up, at least for now. Whether at 94p this is enough to justify a buy is up to you.

Other wildcards

There’s a few other names or categories of players worth mentioning here. Firstly, any player that scores a big goal in a big game will be in with a shout of some media. The Giroud’s and Vardy’s of the Premier League are just the most likely ones to do this the most often, but every now and then you may get a Benteke (35p) 1-0 winner for Palace against a big team or a Sigurdsson (86p) screaming freekick on Super Sunday that grabs the headlines, there’s plenty of possibilities now. Similarly, a cheap scandal like a Daniel Sturridge (44p) betting charge could easily hit the front pages and put him in with a shout (some criminal charge related stories are removed by football index but this is a very grey area.) In general though as you’ve probably worked out by now it’ll be squad players in the Premier League that will benefit from this. 

A few final, not so current thoughts. When internationals come around it’s more likely than ever a goalscorer will get the dividends. It won’t have too much of an impact really because the majority of the international squad are in the top200 anyway but if somehow Chris Smalling or Luke Shaw or someone along those lines scores a winning goal, the likes of Kane and Sterling aren’t protected by the fact that these low priced players can’t win dividends. A similar thing will apply to the Champions League, that Liverpool 4-0 win against Barca? Origi would of stormed the media that day! Additionally, looking ahead to future transfer windows, lower priced players will now be capable of grabbing some dividends. Obviously they have to be big enough names to get in the media in the first place but Kovacic’s (66p) permanent move to Chelsea this summer for example would probably of seen some buzz. 

Clearly, in theory, the probability of dividend wins, and therefore player value, has increased for squad players and decreased for top200 players but we’ll have to wait and see what happens in practise. I suspect the first few squad players to win media dividends will get a nice rise.

If you missed my latest article "can we rely on consistency on football Index?" you can check it out here​​

If you missed the recent article on the Pogba Problem check it out here

If you're new to Football Index and want to continue to learn the ropes, check out my free guide here!

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