The end of the season is just around the corner once again which as always is a bit of a downer, but the good news is that it doesn’t mean the end of profiting on Football Index because this platform never sleeps! This article has been written to give you a taster of what you should expect to see happen on Football Index during the summer months, predominantly focusing on the impact of the transfer market.
We already know that In-Play Dividends will be paid out on the Nations League final in June and I’m sure that will drum up some trading activity but since there is only a total of four matches, it’s not expected to impact things too drastically. The second thing we know is that there will be an announcement on Monday 15th April, which CEO Adam Cole informed us of during the share split announcement saying, “In addition to the Share Split and the new Dividend structure, we will be unveiling a series of special promotions for the summer months. These initiatives will be announced on 15th April as we have plenty for traders to digest with today’s announcement.” Many have speculated that this will be related to media dividends over the summer with some potential bonus above the already generous treble media payment of 3p/2p/1p for the top three ranked players every day. Possibly something similar to the in-play dividends set up where the player is only eligible to receive such dividends for 30 days for example, but of course, this is all speculation at the moment.
What we do know is, as ever, transfers will be at the heart of summer trading and this article should help you become familiar with the types of activity and price movement to expect.
What is the Media Dividend?
If you are completely new to this and unsure on what Media dividends are or where they come from, here’s a quick refresher. Media scores are the product of an algorithm (which you can see more on here) which uses sentiment analysis to determine a score for each article posted by the twenty media outlets listed below. In general, the more positive words used, the higher the article score is and in general, ranges from a base of 20 points to upwards of 200. The total of all the scores for each player during the day is continually updated in the “Media Rankings” tab and the player at the top at midnight is paid a 2p dividend, or, if it’s a day without any Match Day Dividends the top three will be paid 3p, 2p and 1p respectively.
Obviously, as there are no games taking place, the media rankings often dictate price movements and rumours can cause all kinds of fluctuations so it is well worth knowing what keeps the media’s attention!
To determine this, we’re going to use previous year’s summer periods as a reference to understand what gets the media dividends. Let’s start with last season's summer media - you can see the players that earned the most dividends (adjusted to post-share split equivalents), their total recorded media points and their expected dividends based off the totals they scored each day for the period 01/06/18 to 01/09/18. It is worth bearing in mind that last summer also included the World Cup which took a significant amount of media attention but this data is still useful.
Let’s start with “the saga.” Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus, of course, took the media by storm in a way that few players could. You can see below how frequently he features in the media but the summer of 2018 was huge even by his standards when you look at how his 30-day moving average peaked. Scores continually as high as his last summer don’t come around often at all and it would take a huge high-profile move to rumble on for many weeks in order for us to see this again this summer.
The main candidates for that have to be Paul Pogba or Eden Hazard. Pogba ranked second-highest in media dividends last summer because of a rumoured move to Barcelona without anything too substantial materialising. That shows the sheer pull that his name has in the media and another similar saga this year with Real Madrid could definitely be on the cards. Similarly, if Hazard’s possible exit to the Spanish capital drags out, he equally could have just as much coverage. The difference here though lies in the fact that a deal could be completed sooner rather than later and while it would still attract the media, a lot of it would be concentrated around a few days which isn’t as rewarding.
Below you can see the media dividend leader board from 2019 so far to give you an idea of who currently seems to be getting the headlines.
Of course, outside of owning these premium-priced players, there are plenty of other transfers you can profit from. In fact, these days, transfers seem to be received a lot more positively than they used to be. It used to be a case of the player rising whilst in the media then dipping quite sharply once a deal is done, and although that does still tend to happen, it’s far less severe. Additionally, it used to be only players moving into the top end of the Premier League that would see a rise and in many cases players leaving the Premier League or a deal breaking down with an English side would result in a price fall. But again, we seem to see a lot less of this in current times.
With this in mind, let’s consider the factors that influence the impact that a transfer story has on the media. Namely, player position, the league and club they’re transferring to and the price tag. A fourth one I will also mention which I feel may creep in is the age of the target.
The general idea here is that generally speaking, attackers earn more media attention. This is why only one “non-attacking” player made the list for most media points scored who actually transferred last summer. That player was Alisson, who was significantly helped by the other factors of the huge price tag and the fact he was moving to Liverpool. Even still, you can compare that to someone like Fekir whose deal didn’t even materialise yet he racked up 20,710 Media points in that period, just 310 less than Allison.
The general rule with this one is that a move to large Premier League clubs, especially Manchester United is covered a lot more than moves abroad. As mentioned above, all the media outlets used are English and therefore the English transfers tend to get a lot more coverage. A good example of this comes from Allison again because he wasn’t the only expensive goalkeeper move of the summer, Kepa also moved to Chelsea and Courtois headed for Madrid yet they both only received 770 and 0 media points respectively, (spending the majority of summer outside the top 200 will have definitely hindered these scores) . The same could be said of Thomas Lemar and Douglas Costa, who only picked up 1380 and 100 for their moves to Atletico and Juventus respectively. Two huge talents and huge transfer figures, yet hardly featured at all!
Although not the main focus of this article, it is worth mentioning that the team the player is moving to will also impact the price movements based on their long-run dividend potential at that club. A perfect example of this was the price movements in Lukaku, Morata and Belotti, all of whom were continually linked with Manchester United in the summer of 2017 and you can see how the chance to play for the team most notorious for winning the media dividends was such a price booster, even when Morata ended up being confirmed at Chelsea, his price wasn’t as high as even when he was just being linked to United!
This isn’t something that has been too much of a factor in the past but over the course of this season, age has become increasingly important to some traders and therefore it wouldn’t surprise me if it crept into the transfer market too. We will probably see younger players that move to slightly better clubs and are likely to get some more game time beginning to get rises. We’ve also seen younger players such as Callum Hudson Odoi, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden receive more media coverage, which could open the door for more young players to get mainstream coverage.
In conclusion, there are plenty of opportunities to profit this summer, especially now the share split has made many potential targets look much cheaper to take a punt on (people will rightly or wrongly see much less downside on a £1 player than a previously £3 player). We’re now operating in a market where options are wider than ever and transfers outside the top clubs can be just as profitable but you can almost guarantee that if a saga comes around, people will throw the kitchen sink at it! In general, transfer targets are in the calm before the storm phase right now, as they are all tending to tick upwards as more money shifts into transfers, however, once the summer comes around prices move much quicker in reaction to rumours and news so make sure you can keep up!
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I hope this article has been useful in preparing your portfolio for the week ahead, happy trading and I’ll be back same time next week!