Once you have purchased a player on Football Index, they remain in your portfolio for up to three years, at which point, the bet would expire, and your investment would be lost.
However, anything can happen in football, and it is unlikely you are going to want to keep them for the duration. There are a couple of ways in which you can go about selling your shares, both of which are detailed below.
Please note: both methods of selling shares incur a 2% commission charge.
The simplest method to explain first is ‘Instant Sell’ – the key features being:
- You will receive the price in the red box next to the player’s name, minus 2% commission.
- The money will be instantly credited to your account and be ready to spend.
- It is Football Index who are buying these shares back from you.
The clear disadvantage of this method comes from the difference between the two prices shown on screen. This is known as the spread and it increases as players’ prices increase because it is usually based on a percentage. The current median spread is 3.5%. The spread is set at Football Index’s discretion and can be increased in situations of price uncertainty, for example, if a player picks up an injury and a mass sell-off begins. In this case, Football Index are the ones buying back a player whose price is clearly falling and so they adjust the spread accordingly. It can also be changed to try and calm the market and it is even (very rarely) made unavailable for short periods until a spread can be adjusted or a more concrete view on the situation of the player can be formed.
Despite other methods of selling and paying the 2% commission being available, Instant Sell is the most efficient and cost-effective method in certain situations. Here are a few examples:
- If there are no buyers – sometimes you find yourself owning someone that no one else will be wanting to buy – there are thousands of players on the site and if you own an obscure player then you may be waiting a while for another user to buy the shares from you.
- If you need cash – it can often be the case that you see an opportunity to buy a different player who is expected to increase in value rather quickly; so quickly that by the time you free up funds by waiting for others to buy, you have already missed out on a significant amount of profit. Therefore, in this case, the opportunity cost of not instant selling may be greater than the actual cost of losing the spread amount.
- If a player’s value is falling rapidly – There can be occasions where, due to unexpected circumstances, a player’s price is falling in value, with lots of people instant selling. This could be due to a serious injury, for example. There was a recent case of this when Bayern’s Corentin Tolisso was confirmed to be sidelined for a significant amount of time after an ACL injury during a match against Bayer Leverkusen in September 2018. A mass sell-off resulted in his price falling from £2.14 to £1.43 within the hour, and while his price has recovered to some extent now, if you had seen that happen and tried to sell to someone else you would have been waiting a while, in which time the price will have fallen more than the spread amount. This would’ve meant that you could have sold to someone buying at £1.43, a much larger loss than biting the bullet and taking a 7% (approx 5% spread between buy price and the instant sell price plus the 2% commission) hit at the beginning. Other examples of this may occur if a player transfers to a less favourable team, or if a transfer to a more favourable team falls through.
The second option you have when it comes to selling is market selling and it works like this:
- When you decide to sell your player, you click “sell” > “go to market” > “join sell queue”
- This will add the shares selected to the back of the queue for shares being sold by traders through market selling. The size of this queue is unknown and completely dependent on the player and their current circumstances.
- When other traders next buy shares in that player, they will be buying from the front of the queue, which could be you, or another trader who placed their shares up for sale before you.
- When your shares are at the front of the queue and are purchased by a fellow trader, the price you receive is the “buy” price at the time the sale takes place. Therefore, your price is not guaranteed and could be different to the price at which you put the player up for sale:
- It could be higher if others have been buying the player and if the large queue in front of you is decreasing, or if others un-list their shares from the queue.
- Alternatively, it could be lower if more shares have been added to the queue or if some shares have been instant sold.
- As ever, you will be charged the 2% commission.
So, when is this the right method to use? Ultimately it is demand-driven and therefore best when you are confident there will be demand for your player. This could be when a player is currently in the spotlight, often temporarily, for scoring a goal or producing a particularly impressive performance score for example.
Often with the more expensive players, the spread can be quite large, so it is smart to pre-empt that price peaking and place the player up for market sale before demand dries up.
A tip from the experts: When market selling, it can sometimes be smart to list players in small amounts (200/300 shares at a time) in order to not drop the current buy price, especially if you have a large amount to sell or the player is building upwards momentum. Others who would have originally bought your shares may decide against buying if they see the price begin to fall and other traders may be inclined to sell too.