When Adam Cole speaks traders listen so let’s think about what it means. 

Despite the bizarre twitter hysteria about “uncertainty” – this really doesn’t tell us too much we didn’t know already. Or if it does it was pretty easy to anticipate! 

Let’s sort out what matters from what doesn’t!

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

New Territories

This was the headline for me. 

One of the things we’ve been anticipating for some time is an expansion to new territories like Germany/Spain. 

Great for all of us as it should bring more and more new traders into the market.

At one point “shared liquidity” i.e all one big market for everyone looked like the destination which would be great.

From Adam’s comments though they are obviously running into some difficulties with making this work, at least in some countries.

We may see seperate markets in some countries like Germany, where as others like Sweden are in the main UK market. 

The new territories expansion in general has also been delayed by corona, understandably, and complicated by Brexit. So, we won’t be seeing this until later this year at the very earliest.

What does that mean for trading?

I think we can tone down hopes of a big new influx of foreign traders anytime soon. And, that “EPL premium” is probably going to exist for a good while longer without foreign traders influencing things.

A bit disappointing – but not a major issue as I’ll discuss more below.

Media Changes

The media review will be done “this Summer” and before the new season – that isn’t news, we knew this was in train.

What is interesting is that he said “the main thrust will be about quality news sources”. Maybe even toning down the influence of the tabloids who post repetitive stories. 

That would seem positive – I’d like much more “The Athletic” influence and much less “Daily Star”. 

That might have a dramatic influence on media winners but off the top of my head I can’t say what that might be. Something to look into later. 

I think fundamentally no matter how high brow the source – everyone is interested in goalscorers and not much else when it comes to who gets written about. That’s true in the Athletic and the Telegraph as much as it is in The Sun in my experience.

So it might not really change who wins media in a way we can really pin down but it might increase trader confidence in the system. But that’s just my speculation I just don’t have any data on this.

What we did not get is a major hint that foreign news sources would be part of it or not. I suspect they will be although they might start small and introduce a few obvious ones like Bild in Germany. 

This can have a big influence as it chips away at that EPL premium and shifts it to big players from other leagues. Someone like Lewandowski or Haaland would be expected to fair a bit better if a few German news sources were eligible for example. 

And by extension, big EPL players have more competition and don’t just enjoy a free run at media as they do right now.

Question is: do we place a big bet on this now? 

After all, we have a chance to influence it in the survey but we don’t know whether it will happen or not.

For me, this is a fairly easy decision for one reason.

The EPL is usually the worst value league anyway.

As it happens, right now the EPL is in hot demand so it’s a good place to be. But in normal times I usually only ever have a handful of EPL players in my portfolio. 

I find it more profitable to exploit my knowledge of foreign leagues which lots of people don’t have. And they tend to be better for performance scoring anyway since the EPL is so strong. And cheaper too since people don’t know them as well.

So, the addition of foreign news sources remains possible and it doesn’t cost me anything to be in a position where I can get “lucky” if it does.

If I wanted to trade heavily in the EPL anyway though – I’d be feeling a bit more relaxed as from Adam’s comments it doesn’t look like we are going to see a sudden influx of foreign news sources – I’d suspect it would be more gradual. 

Performance Changes

Adam said that the performance matrix will be reviewed and that it might change depending on user feedback.

Cue social media hysteria from some quarters. I find this quite false and just a bit annoying.

The matrix is always up for review. It’s never been frozen in time and they will always make changes where it is needed to respond to user feedback. They’ve been clear about that from the start.

It’s basically a decent system but it is still fairly new and it’s got some rough edges that need filing down.

For example, inaccurate crossing is over rewarded to the point where it looks ridiculous to the average football fan. Accurate crosses should be heavily rewarded but they should also be punished for getting them wrong in my view. This is a fairly popular opinion.

Aside from that my personal main suggestion would be to go further in rewarding aggressive play in the final third. They changed this a bit last year as Key Passes were heavily weighted and it helped. But we need a bit more of this.

The average on pitch position of the current best performance players is probably just about 5-10 metres too deep – still rewarding midfield tip tapping and punishing advanced players who naturally give the ball away more often (but are much more likely to do something useful with it). 

That’s what I’ll be suggesting to FI in the survey and I think that would go a long way to making the matrix reflect reality that bit better.

Basically, there are a couple of reasons you might have for fearing changes to the matrix:

– you aren’t very good or are quite slow in picking up on what the changes will mean.

– You’ve heavily invested in some players on (stupid) assumptions about “career dividends”. 

Even if the matrix was frozen in time forever, career dividends is still a dumb concept used by some to justify overinvestment in overpriced players.

What makes a player return dividends changes regularly – I am pretty good at predicting the performance of players over the next month, stretching up to six months. After that? Pure speculation because anything can change and that is why I review it every week in scouting to keep on top of it. 

So if someone is sitting on 10,000 shares in a premium player that is vulnerable to potential performance changes – it will be that traders fault if they fall victim to a change to the matrix that torpedoes them – not FI’s. 

They’ve just failed to manage risk correctly. And failed to acknowledge that what makes up the performance matrix can and will change. 

We should make sure we aren’t overexposed to any one player. (I won’t have any player making up more than 10% of my total portfolio value and usually no more than 7.5%). 

And certainly, when a concept is consistently unpopular (like inaccurate crossing) we want to be a bit wary of holding a player that is over reliant on that one factor. 

Any changes that get made are almost certainly going to be as a direct result of user feedback – which makes them a little bit predictable.

This victim mentality some people display is also a losing mentality. 

It is in our power to manage the risks here and we should stay adaptable and positive.

If you are good at reading what the changes will mean, performance scoring changes are nothing but an opportunity that should also make the product more appealing and fun to play. 

That’s good for everyone.

Other Stuff

No transfer dividends

I am not sure if many out there are hanging into transfers hoping for a transfer dividend! I thought this was a possibility a few months ago when we had a Summer without football ahead. But now? 

Football currently looks like going on all almost all the way through the year and there won’t really be a need to run a transfer dividend. Maybe briefly between the seasons – but basically, I don’t think we should be trying to factor this in.


Goalkeepers are essentially irrelevant on FI bar very niche scenarios. 

Steps were taken in last Summer’s performance review  to make them a bit more useful but like I said back then they were always likely to remain a niche fetish.

But they did show an intent there to do something for them, even if it didn’t work. So I would not be surprised if they boosted keepers again in any review and they might become a bit more relevant in future.

If you believe that you might want to pick some of the more popular ones up now rather than waiting for the ropey theories about De Gea becoming the next big thing to start doing the rounds on social media. As they do from time to time.

I’m not going to bother with that – but it is possible they get boosted in any review and some people like this sort of thing. 

I’d suspect they don’t get boosted too much though – they are fundamentally boring and Adam Cole likes people to be cheering in goals rather than being glad they were saved.

No Tiered Performance Dividends

I like the idea of there being a top 3 for each category but it’s flat out not going to happen. Kimmich’s nearly man troubles has sparked a whole new debate about it.

But Adam Cole just doesn’t like it – he wants big exciting wins and if he has spare cash it will go to creating more Gold Day jackpot wins that get people excited. 

We should trade the reality rather than hold someone like Kimmich hoping for tiered performance because it ain’t happening and that’s been obvious for a long time. 

Sell orders are next

Superb. This is the thing missing from the matching engine – the trader takeover of prices won’t be complete until we can also set a buy price. This can only be a good thing – not much to say about this yet I haven’t said already recently.

Platform Growth

Adam suggested they have the most aggressive marketing budget lined up to date. And made a predicition that FI would be 10x bigger in two years time, based on the last two years of growth.

Ambitious. But not outrageous. 

FI has started maturing but it is still young and I think it will be at least 2-3 years before it really grows up. Exciting times ahead.

The Survey

Next week a user survey should drop and I’d encourage everyone to fill this in.

When it comes to changes to media/performance they are really just looking for a system that makes users happy. 

Adam Cole doesn’t really care about giveaway passes and corners and whatnot – he just wants it to be a fun product that pulls in and keeps customers.

So the changes we see are likely to be a direct result of the feedback they get.

I approach my answers from “how can we make it a better product?” because long term that is the best thing for everyone.

I don’t worry about “how do I protect my portfolio from change?” because I can sort that out later with a lot of hard work understanding the new matrix, just as I did last year.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
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