Buying Players on Football Index

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Is it better to Market Buy or Bid for a player? With the recent introduction of the Matching Engine, there are now a few different ways to buy players on Football Index with more in the pipeline with the introduction of Order Books. Read on to find out more about your options when buying players on Football Index.

Following on from my post on Identifying Players to Buy on Football Index, we will now look at the process of buying and the options available. Whilst the majority of the effort will go into researching and identifying the players, it's worth noting the differences and pros and cons of each method.

Prior to the introduction of the Matching Engine in May 2020, there was only one option available for those wanting to purchase players on Football Index - to buy instantly at the specified 'Buy' price. More on the Matching Engine later, but to first look at the option of buying instantly, known widely as 'Market Buy'.

Market Buy

Summary of Pros & Cons


  • Easiest way to buy and less time consuming

  • No waiting - shares are added to your portfolio instantly

  • Shares are eligible for dividends instantly


  • Highest price point

  • Current sell price is often significantly lower than the buy price

  • Actual value is subjective if the player cannot be market sold

Market buy was previously the only way to purchase players on Football Index and is by far the most straightforward. On the app or website, you have the players listed with a specified buy and sell price. The buy price quoted is the market buy price (ie. The exact price you will pay for the player if you want to buy instantly there and then). There is no commission added on top of this.

Market Buy & Bid Example

With Market Buy, you are buying shares from either traders who have listed them for sale under the Market Sell option (see article on How to Sell Players on Football Index), or from Football Index themselves if there are no sell orders (there are no traders who have listed them for sale).

Buying this way is very easy. You click/ tap on the player, click/ tap 'Buy' and select 'Buy Now', specify the amount and confirm. The player is added to your portfolio instantly and now eligible for dividends.

Matching Engine

Summary of Pros & Cons


  • Allows traders to sell when there is no Instant Sell offered by Football Index, or Market Makers

  • Bids can be placed at a lower price with significant savings on the Market Buy price

  • New dimension to Football Index with more to come


  • Time taken to match bids can be anywhere between minutes and weeks

  • Arguably lowers the value of players if they can be bought at low prices

  • Concern in the trader community about the removal of Instant Sell

In contrast to Market Buy, the introduction of the Matching Engine created a new way to buy players through placing bids at a price lower than the Market Buy price quoted. More on this in a second, but let's briefly look and the background to Matching Engine.

Order Books have long been anticipated and discussed on Football Index, appearing in communications from Football Index themselves. When it was announced Football Index were partnering with NASDAQ to power the order book system, there was a lot of excitement in the trader community as well as some concerns about the complexity of such a system and it's implementation. The Matching Engine is the first installment of the move towards an Order Book system, although it's important to note here that the Matching Engine was developed by Football Index in house and is not part of the NASDAQ technology.

In a recent podcast with FIG (Football Index Guide), Adam Cole, the founder of Football Index discussed the Matching Engine and why it was introduced. One of the main reasons here being that in response to the Coronavirus lockdown, the market dropped significantly and mass Instant Selling occurred at the beginning of lockdown. As Adam Cole said, it was essential for Football Index to suspend Instant Sell as lockdown was announced and panic spread to prevent further drops and protect traders portfolios. This move, whilst frustrating for those wanting to sell quickly, was widely appreciated by the trader community as it protected their portfolios from further falls which could have escalated very quickly. During the suspension of Instant Sell, although an Instant Sell price was quoted on players, the function was suspended and Instant sells were not possible. However, this was of course, only a short term solution and effectively locked money into the platform, meaning that if you were unable to sell your players to market, you were stuck. Of course, along with this, market sell queues became longer and those wanting to withdraw money were unable to.

As lockdown continued, it became clear that traders in the community needed to access some of the money in the platform and the solution was the Matching Engine, created in-house in 8 weeks as Adam Cole said. The idea here was to enable those who wanted to sell and withdraw, the opportunity to do so.

The Matching engine works on the basis of buyers making bids for players below their Market Buy price and waiting to see if those bids are accepted. The Instant Sell price as opposed to being populated by Football Index as it was previously, was populated with the bids made by other traders. To be precise, the advertised Instant Sell price is the average price of the current top 300 bids.

In short, it is no longer possible to sell players back to Football Index via the Instant Sell option and instead, only sell to other traders, or possibly Market Makers which Football Index have hinted they will introduce in the future.

Despite enabling traders to buy players at significant discounts, at the time of writing, this has created concerns within the trader community and significant market stagnation due to

  • Standoff between buyers and sellers where current bids are considered too low for the seller

  • Reduced Market buys which would push player prices up

  • Dips in player prices due to market listing

  • Frustration at the length of sell queues and how long it takes to Market Sell

The actual process of placing bids is relatively straightforward and follows the same process as with the Market Buy above, but tapping/ clicking 'Place a Bid' on the buy screen, specifying the amount of shares and the price. You will need to accept Price Movement and then click 'Bid'. Your bids will sit in the engine until they are the top bids and a match is found, ie. a seller is prepared to sell for the price quoted on the Instant Sell button.

Matching Engine Matched Bids

You can check your bids on the portfolio tab under 'My bids'. Open bids and History tabs will then appear where you can view your current accepted bids.

Note that with the Matching Engine bids, you will require a cash balance to place the bids and this will be deducted from your balance at the time of placing your bid. From this, you also pay 2% commission on top of the bid amount. For full details on the Matching Engine mechanics, please see the Football Index Matching Engine Guide.

Tip: When checking your bids on the 'My bids' tab, always check the sell price and see how your bid relates to this. ie, if your bid is lower than the sell price, your bid is unlikely to be matched in the short term unless there is a substantial change in price or other bids being removed. Although it is impossible to know exactly where your bid is and how many other bids there are, this should enable you to gauge the depth of bids and likelihood of them being matched.

See also: Selling Players on Football Index

Screenshots taken from the Football Index app.

Thoughts, comments and suggestions below please.

© 2020 by INDEXnotes

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