Match Day Dividends
Updated: Aug 27, 2020
The highlight of Football Index for many, Match Day Dividends are at the core of everything we love about Football Index and form the heart of traders' portfolios. The excitement of tracking your players on a match days, seeing your hidden gem flourish, and staying awake to see the dividends drop. Read on to find out more about Match Day Dividends on Football Index.
Of all the developments throughout the history of Football Index, few can compare to the introduction of performance dividends in 2018, now known as Match Day Dividends (previously Performance Buzz). Prior to these being introduced, Media Day Dividends were the only way to win on Football Index. The addition of performance related dividends took the platform to a new level and broadened the appeal of the product to a wider audience. Suddenly, Fantasy Football enthusiasts, Football Manager geeks and professional gamblers started to take note and the platform thrived.
Below I will look at the core of the Match Day Dividends system. How it works and has developed over time, the dividend structure and a brief overview of why some players are more suited to the system than others.
How does it work
For a detailed overview of the mechanics involved in Match Day Dividends, please refer first to the official Football Index academy
In simple terms, Match Day Dividends reward on the pitch player performance during match days, with players scoring points for each action during the match. Actions are taken from world leading statistics provider, Opta and are updated live during matches. Positive actions such as goals, assists, passes, clean sheets and tackles receive positive points, wheres negative actions such as yellow or red cards, own goals, offsides receive negative points.
A full breakdown matrix of the performance scoring system is included below.
The Match Day Rankings on the website and app list the players in order of total points accumulated, starting with the highest down to the lowest. Beside each is their numerical positional value broken down by on the pitch position. For example, Lionel Messi FWD 1st.
Images: Match Day Rankings
At the time of writing, the dividend table below is in place. However, note that this is regularly reviewed by Football Index and updated accordingly. Whilst there is no formal confirmation, this is likely to be at the start of each season.
As you can see from the table, dividends are paid out by each position, so Defenders, Midfielders and Forwards compete for the top place amongst players in the same position. There is then an additional payout for Star Player, which is the highest scoring player of all positions.
Finally, you will also see the dividend structure is broken down into Bronze, Silver and Gold match days. This is dependent on the number of eligible matches being played on a single day. The table below gives an overview of the number of matches required for each category.
Predicting winners of Match Day Dividends is not easy, considering the large pool of players involved which can be in excess of 400 on Gold Match Days. Due to this, we often see surprise winners, some of whom we have never heard of, and who very few traders hold. Having said that, there are aspects of players' games which can make them more suited to the performance matrix than others, and result in them achieving high points scores on match days.
Below are examples of some of these. You may also want to refer to my post here on Identifying Players to Buy on Football Index as it expands on some of these points about players and the importance of their overall involvement in matches.
Key attributes: Core of the team and is involved in various stages of the match, including defensive, build up and attacking phases. Links midfield to attack, defence to midfield. Ideally plays for teams who have a high possession based style and dominate most matches.
Ideal Positions: Forwards who drop deep, midfielders who are involved in defending and attacking (the number 8 role), defenders with high passing statistics (Ball playing defenders)
Set Piece Takers
Key attributes: Designated set piece taker for top club team. Regularly scores from free kicks and assists from corners and free kicks. Ideally plays for teams who have a high possession based style and dominate most matches. Position on the pitch is also important and needs to ensure he is involved in most phases of the game.
Idea Positions: Not definitive but likely to be a midfielder, or attack orientated player. Wing backs are a possibility due to their favourable results based on the current iteration of the performance matrix.
Goal Scoring Defenders
Key Attributes: Defenders who score regularly and fit some of the attributes discussed above. Ideally plays for teams who have a high possession based style, dominate most matches and regularly keep clean sheets. Taking penalties can also help!
Ideal Positions: Goal threats from Defenders usually come from Central Defenders challenging for corners and free kicks due to the aerial threat which they pose.
Full Backs/ Wing Backs and Wide Midfielders
Key Attributes: Wide players who are involved in various stages of the match, including defensive, build up and attacking phases. Ideally playing for teams who have a high possession based style, dominate most matches and regularly keep clean sheets. Crosses are a crucial aspect of these players challenging for Match Day Dividends and it's worth considering the current performance matrix and how this may be adapted for future iterations. See section below on Criticisms of the performance matrix.
Ideal Positions: Full Backs, Wing Backs and Wide Midfielders. There is a great deal of ambiguity on Football Index surrounding player positions, and classification. For example, there have been some players who have changed from defenders to midfielders on the pitch during a season. This is not always picked up by Football Index, and reflected in the player category meaning Defenders playing as midfielders will still pick up the Clean Sheet bonus, but will not if/when they are changed to a midfielder.
Deep Lying Midfielders/ Playmakers
Key Attributes: Midfielders who play deep and begin attacking phases from deep int he midfield. A large proportion of this players points scoring will accrue from passing, so it is essential that they play for teams who have a high pass count, possession based style and dominate most matches. Assists will also likely be required as well as occasional goals to challenge for Match Day Dividends. Being the designated set piece taker is also favourable.
As you can see, the recurrent theme from all of the above player categories is being involved in the various stages of play. Judging this however, from statistics alone, can be challenging and one of the more effective ways are heat maps, which show overall movement and positions occupied at different times of the match. Identifying players who are involved in more than one aspect of play, with good supporting statistics can prove to be a beryu effective scouting method of Football Index.
The list above is most definitely not definitive and its important to always do your research and determine your own preferences. Many of the players mentioned represent a small selection of the types of players which regularly score high on the performance matrix and there are numerous possibilities for new players to score highly and subsequently win Match Day Dividends, based on either an outstanding one-off performance, improvement in their overall game or an aspect of their game, or even a change of circumstance. To cover every possibility and player style would be exhaustive, but the the intention here is to give a brief overview of why some players have in the past, won more dividends than others and will regularly appear towards the top of the Match Day Rankings.
Revised Points Scoring & Clean Sheet Bonus
When following the Match Day Rankings, it's important to remember that Football Index receive Match data from Opta and base their scoring on this. As you will know, there can always be margin for error or discrepancies when assessing games, so it's important to understand that some scores may be disputed and updated during or after matches. Whilst this can be frustrating, it is in fairness out of Football Index's control.
Also on the subject of scores changing during the match, it is worth noting for beginners or those unfamiliar with the rankings that the Clean sheet bonus is only added after the match has finished. In contrast to the win bonus which is added live if a team is winning the match (and deducted if they aren't), the clean sheet bonus is not added during matches.
Criticisms of the Match Day Dividends system
Changes to the Performance Matrix
By far the most common criticism of the Match Day Dividends and performance matrix lies not with the point allocation, dividend structure or matrix itself, but with the uncertainty over changes. Whilst every trader in the community has a view on which aspects should be rewarded and how highly, there is broadly speaking a consensus that the performance matrix should be fixed for a specified period to enable traders to build their portfolios around it with the reassurance that it won't be changed.
From recent communications, it is clear Football Index are not ready to confirm if this will change in time for the new season, or whether there will be regular changes or not. On the podcast by FIG (Football Index Guide) with Adam Cole, founder of Football Index, questions were put to him about this, but the response was not definitive as to whether there would be changes or not.
For traders new to Football Index, and even those experienced traders, the advice would be to set your portfolio up to be as robust as possible and ride out any possible future changes. Whilst this is not easy and there will always be players who are considered more suited to each iteration of the performance matrix than others, there are, as discussed above, recurrent themes around players which score highly, regardless of the intricacies of each iteration of the performance matrix.
Emphasis on Crossing
One frequent criticism of the current performance matrix is the generous rewarding of crossing, whether those are successful crosses or not. Whilst it's true that a player can score highly with the majority of his crosses being unsuccessful, it can also be difficult to distinguish between successful and unsuccessful crosses. For example, would a cross which is caught or cleared by the goalkeeper or defender, be considered an unsuccessful cross in the same way a cross which goes out of play would? Or are crosses just reward too highly to begin with and should only be awarded 2 points instead of 3?
Thank you for reading and I hope this article has given you a broad overview of the Match Day Dividends system and a few ideas for players to research when building your portfolio.
Screenshots taken from the SofaScore app and Football Index website.
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