Founded in 2015 by Adam Cole, 70, and backed by SportingBet founder Mark Blandford, Football Index allows traders to bet on the future success of the world’s top football players. Customers can buy and sell shares in the stars of the game, and also earn money through dividends — which are paid when players perform well either on the pitch or in the media. The latter meant that the company could continue to trade when football leagues were suspended across Europe during lockdown. With more than 500,000 users, the company says it has a growing online community, created through its podcast and a YouTube channel featuring guest pundits such as Guillem Balagué. A partnership with Nasdaq in 2019 helped sales — which represent commissions and the difference between shares bought and sold — to reach £45.1m that year.
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