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


Ok well I have to wrap up at some point!

Here are my key points from the night:

1) At around 30% it’s less of an increase than we expected and that’s disappointing, particularly for the short term because many of us wanted help tightening spreads and selling some stuff.

2) For the long term – it’s a very specific and helpful boost for the type of player I call “Core” in Key Strategy. They were always the most likely players to win. They just got even more chances to win and it’s near impossible for lesser players to compete with them in TOTM. This could offer a bonus sooner than we think because the CL/Europa conclusion is just a month away and it should count for TOTM.

3) I like TOTM. It’s a great addition and it might be fun. It’s not something you would specifically trade for but it is a further bonus to good players. No bad thing. Provided you hold good players that is. Be wary of anyone peddling “high average score” players in the coming days – it is likely they will still be trashed by the high peak AND high average score players.

4) I would not count out a further dividend increase in the next 6 months. I do not think this 30% increase is enough to sustain the target level of growth for 12 and Adam Cole will know that. There are some hints about that – see the NASDAQ Question below.

5) Goalkeepers aren’t a niche fetish for oddballs anymore. I’m going to have to make them part of the routine scouting analysis and there may be some value in them. The payouts are low but so is the competition and we may be able to find some regular winners. I’ll run an article on this soon. I would not be chasing them at this stage though – not unless I had some concrete reason why I thought I was getting value. And I haven’t done that research yet – sorting a table by average performance score is never enough.

6) OPTA now apparently reclassify playing positions at the start of every season!? News to me and we will want more explanation from FI on this throwaway comment in the FAQ. 

7) We shouldn’t sweat the red button or blue button prices right now. They are all over the place. The important thing is the “Smart Traders Comfort Blanket” from this week’s State of the Market. Quality. Price (in terms of rational value). Trend Fit. Nail that and we are good.

8) Despite the initial muted reaction to the announcement I am even more confident in Key Strategy than I was due to the introduction of TOTM which is an additional boost for these already strong Core players that made up 50% of the target portfolio – many of which are also available on cheap bids right now. The most challenging thing for many will be actually having enough free cash to get them.

8) When I post a meme on Twitter I get far more likes than when I post anything serious.

Thanks for joining me for what has been something of a marathon 7 hour session – I hope you found it useful and enjoyed it. I know I did!




Q: I have large holdings in both Bruno and Neymar. They have each had a large rise in anticipation of the announcement, as the increase is modest I almost feel they have already eaten up the increase in their pre-announcement rise. In your recent key strategy you advised 15-20% in 1-3 premiums, do you think this has changed given the announcement didn’t go as expected? And for the 2 players mentioned, what would you advise? Perhaps a slight reduction in each position from around 8.5% of my portfolio to something like 6-7%?

A: Quite a few Bruno/Neymar questions so I’ll wrap them all up in this answer.

There are two parts to answering this question. 

First is about rational value – are they really worth this money given the size of the increase? 

Second is about sentiment – will people freak out and sell them because of the lower than expected increase?

On the first. You are going to benefit from sticking to high quality premiums here. You’ve made your own luck by not being an idiot who holds players at prices more than they are worth. This trait in a trader tends to come in handy.

Even after the recent bump both of these players are of such high quality that a rational trader can still hold them and expect a decent dividend return as well as future resale value and capital appreciation. 

Bruno is safer. Neymar, at 28, needed the bigger increase more because you have to factor in some future resale value. But given his extreme quality, TOTM, potential transfer… I think he’s good for it.

The second part of the question is about trader behaviour. Disappointed traders tend to sell and if lots of people bought Bruno/Neymar thinking they were buying a 50/100% dividend increase… sure they may sell up. And there isn’t much stopping them because the spreads are relatively tight.

My decision would be to hold on account of their quality, accepting that some may sell but confident that their results will see them through. 

If it makes you feel better though there is nothing wrong with trimming down to 6-7% in each – I think that is plenty in one player. I routinely trim players when they get to this point as part of normal risk management.

For premium players who are reliant on turns of fortune or “improving”… I’d be much more nervous.


Q: What is your opinion on them pushing back the commission on bids?


A: This seems out of place and really not something I was expecting to discuss this evening!

We clearly live in a messed up world when traders are actually nonplussed about a delay in paying commission! 

But like many I was looking forward to this commission free period coming to an end because it is one of the things that encourages the overuse of bids and limited Blue Button activity to push prices upwards.

The only possible reason I can think of is that FI are lining this up with some date they have set for the introduction of Offers (the opposite of bids – i.e user control of the Blue Button) to keep things tidy. 

I don’t think this is a major deal because commission is not the main issue that is skewing the market. It’s the limbo of being in a real market on the Red Button but still in fairy land on the Blue Button where prices are lagging behind real sentiment. 

I had thought that a big 50%+ would gloss over this clear madness. But 30% probably doesn’t. We need Offers to complete the transition badly and that can’t come soon enough.

Again though I wouldn’t take red button prices too seriously right now. They may be more “real” in that they reflect current sentiment but this is FI and you should never mistake current sentiment for value. 

Do not use the Red Button to judge value. Use quality. Price. Trend fit.

Maybe in 4-6 months when this has all settled we will start to reach a point where the button prices reflect value better. 

But they certainly do not now and allowing emotions/decisions to be guided by them will not do us any favours.


Q: Thanks for answering our questions.

What would your strategy be with core players without CL/EL involvement and also players from teams looking like not being in next season? For instance Man City still have this season but will people be put off even more now?


A: You are welcome happy to stick around I enjoy these nights when there is lots to talk about!

So. The headline is the TOTM is a big boost for CL/Europa involved players because they just score more points. It’s not a fair contest. Players with CL/Europa games that month are just overwhelmingly more likely to win. Particularly those who get to the later stages when they are one of only a handful of players left in it. 

Come to think of it I can’t see why this would not apply for August with the CL/Europa to come. Hello Bayern Munich fans. This is likely to remind people very early how lucrative this is going to be. Make sure you are as prepared for this in advance as soon as you can. 

The only reason it wouldn’t count for TOTM is if there aren’t 5 match days in that month but by my count there will be. 

Bear in mind too that whenver people share “dividend return” charts or whatever – we haven’t seen the huge CL/Europa Gold Day run yet because it was postponed. If we did the dividend returners would be even more heavily skewed towards the big hitters.

That’s a good thing for the “core player” I define in Key Strategy. These players make up 50% of my suggested portfolio or there abouts. 

That’s a big chunk already and I don’t think we want to go too far. This might be an excuse to make that 60% if you wanted to but not more than that. I’d stick to 50% as a rough guide.

Core players are core players I think they are crucial. They just became more so. But that doesn’t mean there is not a ton of value in other areas of the market in ineligible leagues, high potential youth or indeed value performance players without CL/Europa league involvement (and all the other categories I define in Key Strategy). 

Too many Core players can make a portfolio a bit too safe. Core players are the foundation of a good season. To make a good season a great season we need to get those higher risk/less popular picks right too and that’s the other half of the Key Strategy portfolio.

Specifically on Man. City. They are a really tough call right now. If we knew they were banned it gets a lot simpler. 

But they are probably favourites for this year’s competition. And there is a chance the ban is reduced or even squashed. 

It would make me more cautious on a KDB or Sterling at the moment. They are players whose future may be in doubt as they may want to leave without two seasons of the CL. And the price is quite high and could be vulnerable to bad news. 

Something like Garcia or Zinchenko or Mahrez? All good. The price is cheap anyway for what you get. And a ban may be a blessing in disguise if big names move on and more space in the side opens up for them. 

So targetting the value underdogs in the City team feels like the best bet right now. Certainly someone like Mahrez or Zinchenko could tear it up in the CL in August.


Q: Does Adam Cole know what he is doing? (Edit: I cleaned that language up the original question is harsher!)

The market is bubbling right over, people are sat with money ready to drop as long as they say 50%+ increase, they told us no GK dividends, they made tiered PB sound very unlikely, and worst of all they have literally just converted a whole lot of debt and liability into pure profit by introducing ME. They waffle about 10x growth and then drop this on us?!

A: Oof. I understand that anger/disappointment. Particularly if you have seen other dividend days in the past where it was basically a free money party for all of us. This really isn’t like that.

Mixed review on the statements. I do remember them having a long term goal of a team of the month. Adam Cole definitely hates tiered performance for match days but I guess Team of the Month is a different scenario.

Not sure if I recall him ever talking about GK dividends will take your word for it! But yeah this did feel like a really odd change. It needs one of those memes. Ok I’ll make one and post it on Twitter this is your fault.

I think whilst we may be short term disappointed the thing is for the longer term this is fine. 30% isn’t nothing. And like in the question below about NASDAQ – I would suspect this is part of a longer game and it will not be the last thing we see from FI. 

In my experience Adam Cole is a competent chap and lately he has been on his game. If this is a slip up rather than a secret plan to thrill us all later on… I don’t think it is a really bad one.


I expect you’ve had a few people contact you with this same question by now…..Would you be able to give some thoughts about gk values now that we can digest the new payouts and prices have stabilised. They are standing out as potentially great value even after today’s pump. 

With little competition on low match days or europa/champions league nights and still relatively low prices… Are they now good value dividend holds?

Ter stegen or oblak at around the 90p mark still seem to be good value. There are also some value picks at rock bottom prices, edouard mendy at rennes stands out. 


A: Heavy sigh.

Up until now Goalkeepers have been the preserve of fetishists and conspiracy theorists. Now I am going to have to start caring about high claims and smothers and punches.

So be it!

I think my initial comments stand. This was either a bet you made a while back in the hope that this would happen one day or it wasn’t. 

Maybe if you were good at fastest finger first you came out pretty well too. But I generally don’t screw around with that. Especially given I spend my opening minutes of the announcement furiously typing rather than trying to pick up 20p keepers!

But when the dust settles there may well be value here.

Yes the payouts are low but the competition is weak to match that. There is only one per team and they almost always play the full match so it cuts competition down from hundreds of other players to potentially a dozen or fewer.

Plus you have the Goalkeeper clean sheet to go at.

This will be worth a Goalkeepers article soon where I will deep dive and figure out where the value really is.

Would I go charging into any keeper now? No because very few people will have done proper research on this beyond clicking sort on an average score table and that’s not enough. Plus the price will have pumped even for the bad ones.

Maybe if we can lazer target a handful of players that get overlooked trading Keepers might be one of those additional ways of grinding an extra profit – a bit like IPD.


Back to the market watch. What’s happening?

My analysis is this: Pretty much F all.

Well not quite. There is stuff going on but compared to historic dividend increases where we have sat back, lit up a Cuban and watched our portfolio grow by 5-10% in a few hours this is by every measure not as good.

In part, that is the lower than expected dividend increase blunting the mood.

More than that I think it is the Matching Engine. As I mentioned before the announcement – it’s just way, way harder to get Blue Button prices moving than it used to be. 

Lots of stuff will be happening but under the radar on bids. And there will be a big sell queue backlog to work through anyway.

People won’t feel like splashing cash because of the glum/uncertain reaction. 

And because a lot of surges are governed by herd mentality – how do you get people to follow if they can’t see where the sheep are going? A player needs to start visibly rising to get momentum.

I can’t say I am not disappointed because I was hoping to see spreads tighten up and maybe give me some decisions to make. 

As it is pretty much nothing I have is worth selling either because it’s good and will bounce back later or because the bid price undervalues them. I mean. If they were bad they wouldn’t be in my portfolio.

What I mentioned in State of the Market this week on the “comfort blanket for smart traders” comes to mind. Quality. Trend Fit. Price. Nail these three and you are fine for the months ahead.

The headline from tonight is this is a slam dunk for what I call Key Strategy Core Players for the longer term

They are naturally the sort that benefit from increased dividends. They are natural beneficiaries of Team of the Month. And the addition of the CL/Europa Multiplier counting towards Team of the Month is just a flat out cheat code for these players.

Then the Team of the Tournament for the Euros etc is a nice future bonus. Long way off but people will think about it when planning.

Is this luck? Hell no. When you buy players that fit what FI are looking for as opposed to who looks good to a football fan you make your own luck and you tend to be on the right side of these changes.

The dividend increase not being quite as high as hoped is a downer but if you didn’t hold players way beyond a rational price anyway it’s not a major issue.

For big media holders it is a bit unlucky because a lesser increase here was a surprising blow. But again, that’s why you don’t hold overpriced players.

If in a topsy turvy world they had boosted media but not performance I couldn’t have said “it’s not fair that I hold Gnabry at £4.49 and the dividend increase hasn’t helped him”. 

I shouldn’t have been holding Gnabry if he was significantly overpriced at £4.49. That would have been my fault for holding an overpriced player and assuming FI would bail me out.



Q: Do you think FI believe the main driver of growth will be institutional investment once NASDAQ is complete (note “alternative asset class” comments a few weeks ago).

Potential yields pre div increase were plenty attractive for institutional investors to enter the market so a big rise not necessarily needed if that’s your focus.

Longer term divs (TOTM) also probably suits this type of investor (I know, gambler). If FI have put money to one side to complete the NASDAQ piece successfully and market to institutional investors properly (at the cost of greater div increase) then I’d be more than happy. 

A: A high brow and thoughtful question from the be-suited gentleman at the back. I like it.

It’s a great thought. And I am awarding you the Alan Partridge prize for “Email of the Evening”. There is no prize but my admiration and respect.

My initial expectation for this was for a fairly generous increase. I went 40-50% for my prediction with 100% on the outside as a dream scenario. 

In the end we’ve got 30-35%. It’s really not bad. Probably had people not bigged up 100% we might not be feeling quite so disappointed. And I like TOTM I think it’s a good addition and something else fun to look out for.

I can come up with a sensible theory that when the market is on fire and uncertain because you are introducing Order Books and generally screwing around – you don’t want to use your big bazooka at that point.

You’d want to do just enough. Just enough is 30%.

That’s enough to keep existing traders plodding along and whilst there will be plenty of grumbling if you are someone who gets angry about this and sells up in frustration – that’s probably for the best to be honest. 

You won’t have the mentality to succeed on FI longer term anyway because it’s going to get harder as the seasons roll on.

Now. When you get NASDAQ in and the market is settled… that is when you want to bring out your big guns. 

CEO Adam Cole isn’t thick. He’s a very competent fella. So this may well be exactly what he has done – leaving something in the tank is smart.

Whilst he has committed to a dividend review once a year… I am not sure he has signed in blood that he can’t give an increase at anytime he wants. 

In fact if you look at the text:

“We’ll update the Dividend Table annually and based on market growth.”

Now if I was writing that and wanted to be clear that the dividend review would be an annual event I would say “We’ll update the Dividend Table annually based on market growth”.

The addition of “and” implies they can do it at anytime the market grows to a point where it needs it.

That could be a bit tinfoil hat but the text is there and it might well be a clue. 

I can tell you this – if market growth continues at anything like the rate we have seen in the past we will outgrow this dividend increase inside 4-6 months, not 12. So that important statement of “based on market growth” may well prove important.

It does fit with a pretty sensible business strategy and Adam Cole is a pretty sensible guy.

Whilst I think this smaller than expected increase is going to cause a short term grumble I am more optimistic for the longer term than I was a few hours ago. So there’s that.

And you are right – we are spoiled. Tell any investor they are increasing returns by 30% and they’ll chew your arm off to get to it. 

I am not entirely sure institutional investors yet see FI as safe enough but maybe in a couple of years. I would suspect high net worth individuals may be the target shorter term.


Q: With no IPD increase do you think it’s worth taking a 20-30% hit on some poor performance but good IPD players or wait until they hopefully score 2 or 3 and try and get a better price? Players like Zapata can score a few and Milik might get a transfer but even if I’m taking a hit would it be better used in better trend fit players.

A: Tough one and really depends on the situation. 

I think we may remain in a similar situation to where we have been for the last few weeks on this.

Looking at your example Zapata – you can sell him right now for 78p which is clearly far too cheap. We may want to do that because we want Kroos or Kimmich or any other favourite of the day so help me god that may now even be a goalkeeper.

Nah. We’re selling a decent player too cheap to buy a player who has already risen.

If Zapata was awful it might be different – there is no point holding a bad player who has no reason to bounce back. But Zapata does have a reason. So selling for that kind of drop just puts a ton of pressure on our new purchase to make us what, 20/25% just to break even?

It’s a lot to ask. 

This still looks like a buyers market and I’d caution strongly against selling decent players too cheap. Though I share the frustration and I was hoping this announcement was going to clear that mood. 

We might be as we were for a while longer.


Let’s start on the questions!

Q: I just wanted to check if you’re sure on that point about the CL/EL multiplier because when I read it I assumed they meant they would add the multiplier to all scores? Great if it’s not!

A: How dare you question… no just kidding. Let’s see exactly what it says:


To me this reads that the scores will just get added for players who play CL/Europa games. Unless FI have phrased this extremely clumsily then yes we are a go for CL/Europa players dominating TOTM during European fixtures. I’m pretty happy about that with Key Strategy in mind.


IPD. No increase and a straight up rollover but they have been confirmed as a permanent fixture and are no longer a “promotion”.

Most people probably thought of them as permanent anyway. Not a major change.

This lack of increase may put some people down on them – but that is too pessimistic.

IPDs are a decent way to grub up some additional profit and there are some greatest hit players I just keep going back to again and again. Ben Yedder. Morata. When they hit form they can really rack the goals up and for the money the IPD is good.

Right now, it is hard to trade them but these spreads will tighten up either when traders change behaviour or when we get Offers introduced so that traders control the Blue Button as well as Red.

Buying for IPD will still be a thing next season – just the usual rules apply. Cheaper is best. I’d hold off on buying specifically for IPD for a good few weeks but they will become part of the plan at some stage.

Or, they can be a nice bonus on a player you may want for other reasons – Belotti or Plea being the good examples.



Other stuff before I get to the emails/DM’s which have been coming in please keep them coming because I’m planning to be around for a while. 

What on earth is this randomly shoehorned into the FAQ!?


By the Beard of Zeus. This is news. It’s so off hand and poorly explained I wonder if it is true at all. OPTA in the past have randomly changed positions whenever they felt like it and if from now on OPTA are going to be doing a pre-season refresh then we we need to know about that. Dear me.



As a general comment I am surprised FI have chosen to do something a bit wild in this market.

Nerves were already frayed and lots of people were struggling with getting to grips with the Matching Engine. And Offers are on the way too – another big change.

I really like the Team of the Month concept, pretty sure I have argued for it at some stage. 

But now!? Not sure this is the correct time to introduce anything too crazy. That was the argument they used for not changing the performance matrix which I reluctantly accepted as the right thing to do.

They might have done better with just a straight up boost to Match Days if only because nobody would struggle to understand it or get their noses out of joint because it doesn’t suit their particular batch of players.

I think FI have played a bad hand incredibly well in 2020. I’ve applauded their quick thinking at times like when they took the opportunity to kill FI Instant Sell and introduce the ME – it was great business sense.

This feels like a bit of a misstep. Not a major one but I think simpler would have been better here.



So is 25% plus whatever our players can get from TOTM enough to make FI trading rational?

Sure. But we’ll be wanting the £1 to £4 range to be expecting generous returns, much beyond that and our man has to be really exceptional for performance or have media thrown into the bargain. 

For a strong performance player like Bruno with media you could go up to around £11-12 for reasonable value as a long term hold which is roundabout where he is already.

A 50% increase would have made £1-5 good value with up to around £13-14 for someone like Bruno. 

And a 100% increase we could get away with paying £7 for a real elite performance player (Dybala, Depay?) without media. 

And that could rationally create a £16 top end player for someone like Bruno too. 

So. With a Bruno you can be pretty relaxed. He may be around the top end of what we should be willing to pay realistically but he’s good for it and has proven reliability so far. You might feel hard done by because had the increase been bigger he could sensibly push higher.

If you are holding Sancho who is very dependant on Media, already nearly £14, and has questionable performance suitability at Manchester United the intended club… yeah. You are sweating bullets if you’ve done the math.

But if you generally have good players at value prices… particularly if they have big peaks and strong average scores and will be participating in the Europa and CL?

They have every chance of smashing match day wins because A) they are good B) they have more chances to win because they play more games and C) they have more games WITH A MULTIPLIER to enter team of the month with. (Oh and D: Player of the Tournament at the Euros etc). 

I can’t see a world in which that is not a recipe for concentrating wins and value in the hands of… Key Strategy Core Players. 

But it may take a while for people to catch on amongst the noise.

The most eye watering thing is how cheap many of these players are. As well as the supporting cast of value performance, ineligible league with high potential etc.

With a long term head on I am starting to quietly salivate.

But I think short term it may get a bit rough.


Some people are going to be mad. And disappointed.

We could have a bumpy ride here.

Particularly if you are one of those who hoard premium players in too great a numbers, and particularly if they are weak for performance.

In Scouting earlier I mentioned that I was running some numbers this morning in preparation. Basically “How big a dividend increase did we need to keep trading on FI rational?”. 

I primarily did that on the basis of a straight up 50% increase without TOTM or any other jiggery pokery.

50% kept things sensible and would even have glossed over, to an extent, some of the outrageously priced players we had. The dividends would catch up a bit.

Imagine you are swimming naked (holding an overpriced player) and are relying on the tide coming in (the dividend increase) to cover up your junk.

Well, the tide didn’t come in quite so much as you thought. So you are left standing there holding your… yeah.

This more modest increase is a big problem for that person. 

If you are holding players who actually justified their value under the old dividend structure anyway, it is less of a problem for you longer term. Your players were good value then. They are much better value now. Happy days.

However markets exist on confidence and if we see widespread toys out of the pram from traders holding overpriced players… we could be in for a bumpy ride.

The common commentary seems to be “this is good for the top end but does nothing for the bottom”. 

Close but that’s not quite it. It isn’t just about  price. The dividing line is quality AND price.

People may not see it for hours or days or weeks but this more modest dividend increase is bad for weak players and overpriced good players.

It is good for players who were good value anyway. Though maybe not as good as we might have hoped.


Lots of reports of people not being able to trade due to the site being overwhelmed. Par for the course.

That may be why we are seeing Blue Button rises relatively modest compared to other announcements, we haven’t seen it all yet.

But I think it is also what I said before the announcement – this is not the market we knew and the Matching Engine changes how this all works. 

It’s only pushing up prices where people are desperate to buy on a Blue button – the rest of the time they may be getting bids and so we’ll see movement on the spreads perhaps but not neccessarily this huge market surge.

Also, and this is something I will come onto, I haven’t put a % on it yet but this looks like a very modest overall increase. The dead giveaway is that FI have not put a % on it!

Adding Team of the Month (TOTM) is a bit like adding an extra Gold Day every month. Nice. But it’s not huge.

On match day performance dividends we are seeing 20-25% increases on Silver and Gold with nothing for Bronze at all. 

Media days get just 20% on Media Days and nothing on Match Days. 20% is 20% it’s not bad but ah… that’s disappointing news if you have a media heavy portfolio for two reasons 1) you expected more and 2) performance got a bigger increase and FI have said performance is the heart of FI.

This will naturally reduce the premium that media players get eventually – reducing that gap between the top 10-20 and the rest of the top 200 pack.


Haha. Keepers. Mad rises. A clap for the guy who bet on keepers every announcement for years and was disappointed… this is his moment!

It wasn’t a bad strategy to hold some long term in the hope this might happen one day. That’s the guy who won though.

Piling in now you have to be careful. I certainly would be thinking twice about paying more than £1 for a keeper they have a lot to do given the weak payouts on them.

The quick flip if you have a nice rise out of a keeper would be my advice. We may be able to find a bit of value once people sober up.


That’s all my immediate thoughts. I’ve probably got a good 2-3 hours of unpacking this ahead but I’m going to spend 10 minutes or so watching the market now to see if I can see anything. Back shortly.


Tucked away down the bottom – the multiplier for CL and Europa matches is added to the Team of the Month score.

Read – CL and Europa league players from big clubs are going to blow this away. Not just because they have more games in these months but because they score more when they do. It won’t be a contest – if you want to win Team of the month in a CL/Europa fixture month my expectation would be the winners will almost always come from these teams.

Big boost for Key Strategy Core Players.


Other immediate thoughts.

This is a blow for players over reliant on media. FI are taking the view here that it is performance not media that is the heart of the platform. They are correct in my view.

This is heavily skewed in the performance direction – not just now – but it looks like that will be the direction of travel for the foreseeable.

This may get lost on many but for the real heavy hitters at the top of FI they rely on media for that premium and whilst it has not gone away it has reduced relative to performance. 

Eventually this will lead to performance players closing the gap in price with media becoming less of a price multiplier. 

It’s still important and a big media player is still lucrative. But just be aware that performance is closing that gap.


Further thoughts on team of the month. Players very obviously set to benefit:

Messi. Kroos. and Kimmich. Neymar. Bruno. Thiago. Van Dijk. Ruiz. Depay. Ziyech. Pavard. TAA. KDB. Marquinhos. Lewandowski. Berardi. Mahrez. Dybala. Gnabry.

This would be the typical player who stands to gain from this – big consistent performers  and I’d expect them to do well out of Team of the Month.

Lower key options: Carvajal. Verratti. Parejo. Brozovic. Muller. Willian. Immobile.

Hell maybe even Mbappé. 


Goalkeepers. Obviously. No need to think too hard anyone with cash should probably go for the obvious keepers like Alisson at least initially if they can get a good price. 

The holding cash back strategy I generally think is a bad idea can come in useful when something totally unexpected happens and this may well be one of those times. 



Ok I’m emotionally recovered. I think.

First impressions. 

Good for consistently good players. This still means that big peak scores are very important but it will mean that high average scores are a bit more important than they used to be.

However. Lots of big peak scorers are ALSO big average scorers and I would avoid the trap of thinking that a player who gets 110 reliably every game is going to win team of the month – it’s not very likely.

Your Messi’s and your Kroos’s and Kimmich. Neymar. Bruno. Thiago. Van Dijk. Ruiz. Depay. Ziyech. Pavard. TAA. KDB. Marquinhos.  would be the typical player who stands to gain from this – big consistent performers  and I’d expect them to do well out of Team of the Month.

Some people may try to dig out players like Savanier as mid tier “PB Gods” with high averages – I’ll look into this further but first impression is no.



Excuse me whilst I go and burn any pre-prepared notes I had.

Team of the Month! This is going to take a while to unpack.


A final pre-announcement note on announcement mug behaviour.

As per Key Strategy on this – if you have hoarded a bank balance that you are waiting to pump in after the announcement you have probably done this wrong

When we have a predictable announcement like this it is generally better to get your money out on the pitch working for you well in advance.

As per Key Strategy that could have been playing the game of following the currently popular rising players but the way you win that game is by being amongst the first to stop playing

Some people do not even know they are playing the game and they will be the ones who lose it.

What I will be looking to do immediately after the announcement in all probability is absolutely nothing. I’ve spent what money I can. 

I’ll be watching very carefully and if anything I expect to be selling tonight rather than buying should the announcement go well and prices are rising. 

The final thought is that this is the first announcement and dividend increase we have seen after the Matching Engine.

We may see behaviour very different from the usual sea of green and flying prices because without Offers the only players who can really “fly” are the ones with tight spreads that people are panic buying on a Blue Button.

For the rest, we may see spreads closing and sell queues clearing but it might be much more subtle.

Interested to watch. See you as soon as I have something to say post announcement!


I think it’s worth a quick note before it happens on the mood coming into this.

We had a long, difficult period of corona uncertainty. A stagnant market. It was very difficult to sell anything. 

Then the football came back. Things started feeling a bit more positive but the market remained stale.

And then the Matching Engine came along and shook everything up. Traders loved it initially as a breath of fresh air. Finally, we were able to sell things. Often, a very select group of things, mind.

Over time the frustration has really built as the huge spreads (difference between red button and blue price) on lots of players, good and bad, leaves us feeling stuck with what we have in many cases.

And some of those spreads are huge. 

It has created more value on the market that I have ever seen before.

But the double edge to that sword is that lots of players a good trader may already be holding are also dirt cheap on the bid.

I covered in State of the Market the reasons for this. A general poor quality of analysis out there. Fear of those large spreads pushing traders towards a small number of “safe” players (who really are not that safe particularly the more people try to cluster into them). 

There is a fundamental reason though that this is happening and it isn’t just trader error. It’s because this is a messed up market that has “Bids” but does not have “Offers”. That will change, and that is one reason why spreads will tighten up. 

Not necessarily in a good way, though.

Think of the current highest bid on the red button as what it really is – it’s an opinion. The collective opinion of how much we are willing to pay today for that player, and the price we see is from the most optimistic person out there.

But the Blue Button is a mess of old opinions that people had maybe anytime in the last 6-12 months. And opinion will have moved on.

So it’s no surprise at all that these prices are not matching up unless the player is currently very popular and traded regularly recently.

Once Offers come in and traders can set that Blue Button too – the spreads will naturally close up because both buttons will reflect current opinion. 


Don’t panic if you hold good players that currently have a very low red button price. 

The players that deserve their price in dividends willl, in the main, prove that they do and earn their price increase. The red button price can change in just a few days or even minutes.

Do panic if you hold bad players that are unlikely to prove they are worth more than they are now. Or good players who are overpriced.

Good players who are overpriced are most on the hook for needing a very large 100% dividend increase tonight.

It may dig them out of trouble to an extent although the players who are undervalued now will be even more undervalued and should be the bigger winners eventually. 



Welcome to the Live Blog on what is a very exciting day for us traders!

We know there will be a dividend increase. But how much? 

Social media being what it is expectations were whipped up to a 100% increase! But FI CEO Adam Cole appeared to pour cold water on that with a Tweet about being “generous” but “responsible”. 

50% or thereabouts would be a good outcome and this is enough to keep FI progressing for another season. That was my original prediction and I’ll stick with that. 

Less than that? That might be a beard stroker.

If Adam Cole was just playing down expectations so he could smash them and it is 100%? Party time. But we shouldn’t count on it.

And will it be a straight up increase to what we already have? 

Or will there be winners and losers with Media/Performance/IPD getting a bigger slice of the pie?

We’ll have to wait and see but my expectation would be something relatively simple to avoid rocking the boat more than the Matching Engine has already.

Throughout the evening I encourage you to send in questions to or via Twitter DM

I’ll do my best to answer the ones that sound most useful to everyone but on nights like this I also don’t mind being asked about individual players with a verdict on whether I’d sell or buy right now. 

Provided they are players lots of people will be interested in and I can use it to make some points about trading in general!


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