Football Manager financial guide: Part 1 – How to create a stable club

FM Guides

written by Darren Smith


Hey guys, I have a rather special post for you today. Since Football Manager 2011′s release, I have created many guides on tactics, cheap players, wonderkids and how to win. But it just dawned on me there is one vital aspect we all forget about, our clubs finances. I am the worst gamer when it comes to spending beyond my means…I just think, ahh the owner will take care of that! The allure of so many world class regens and strikers with 20 for pace and finishing etc just draws me in. Well today I want to share a few tips on how to keep the clubs bank balance in order. This Football Manager financial guide should help you see a nice white figure, as opposed to a nasty red one.

Very soon I will be resuming my Newcastle United game. With this in mind I snook a quick peak at the in game finances. That certainly didn’t make for happy reading. Despite winning lots of trophies and enjoying a full capacity stadium, my cash flow is grim and doesn’t look like getting better any time soon. Getting carried away with my dreams of fame and glory meant losing track of the clubs bank balance which is now in the red. We also have £137 million of debt to clear by the year 2030…ouch!! Well, over the last few days I have used a pen, paper, calculator and cup of coffee to get my long term plan together. Today, I want to use this Newcastle save as a perfect example on how you can turn your club into a profitable business. Don’t expect easy answers, to spend ridiculous sums on players, or to offer Messi £300K a week ! It is impossible to have a healthy club and still enjoy that managing style. You’ll need to change your ways, but I find this makes the game more realistic.

Income – the happy part of finances?

First things first, lets take a look at the clubs income from last season and see how we can improve for next season. Just ignore anything that isn’t boxed in red. These cannot be controlled by our actions and therefore are not worth talking about. Actually, we could ask the chairmen to increase stadium capacity, but this is a one time thing, so we’ll leave it at that.

1. TV revenue – This can be improved by making it to the top flight and also the Champions League. Somewhere around £15-20 million a season is offered from the Champions League depending on how far we progress. Because my Newcastle team are already going the distance in both league and Europe, I can’t improve on this. But I’m sure you can. I made £73 million plus last year and that’s probably the maximum playing in England, this is what you could aspire to.

2. Players sold – Part of the game none of us like, but one we should pay more attention too. Below are my five steps to make money from your players.

  • Invest in your youth and training facilities. The better they are, the faster your players will develop and much better youth players will climb through the ranks.
  • Sell any dead weight. Look through your squad, highlight any players that won’t play or lack the potential to make it in your team and get rid of them. You can offload unwanted players by transfer listing them, then offer to clubs, still no luck then offer them for nothing and if all else fails just release the player on a free. You should be doing this every year!
  • Send unused or young players out on loan and where possible charge clubs for this privilege.
  • Buy players with potential for a good resale value, DON’T JUST BUY 27 YEAR OLD PLAYERS THAT HAVE REACHED THEIR POTENTIAL!! I will elaborate on this while explaining expenses.
  • Selling players could fill the largest part of your income pie, so always look to make more money on transfers than you spend. I made just under £7 million last season, not bad, but if I’d followed the above and below steps it could have been much more. I WILL EXPLAIN HOW TO MAKE MORE MONEY ON TRANSFERS THAN YOU SPEND IN PART 2!

3. Prize money – This will vary depending on your division and level of club. My Newcastle side are battling in all competitions and getting into the Champions League final, therefore we make loads. Making the Champions League offers a huge windfall. Somewhere around £4 million can be earned just from reaching the group stages. Then you could make the same again by winning all your group games. Last season I made the final and earned a total of around £20 million from Champions League prize money.

Expenses – where and how to cut back

Most of us ignore finances because we can’t be bothered with tallying everything up and working out where its going wrong. Well I have spent a while looking through the potential pit falls within club expenses. Again ignore anything not highlighted within a red box.

1. Player wages – The devil of football finances. If you’re not careful these can spiral out of control. I started my Newcastle save with a wage bill of around £800K a week. Now my players wage bill totals a staggering £1.45 million a week. That is an increase of £650K within 4 years, how did this happen!! Simple really, I got greedy and wanted the best players available. Buying stars that weren’t too bothered by a move to Newcastle meant ridiculous wage demands. Below is what I’m up against and how I can bring things back down. Again look at the red boxes and try to do a similar analysis of your first team…

Do I really need 12 players with a key player status? No of course I don’t, this is just what I assigned them to gain the signatures. This came at a cost, the average wage of a key player within my Newcastle squad is £73K a week!! A total of more than £873K a week, this is more than most Premier League clubs spend on their entire squad. I aim to offload at least three of these so called key players over the next few seasons. Below is a list of my highest earners, the red boxes indicate which ones need offloading.

All four of the highlighted players were given inflated wages due to fear of losing them. In all reality, none are worth these extortionate wages. Steven Taylor threatened to leave with his contract running out, offering £110K was the only way to keep him. Afellay was offered such wages under a similar scenario and the list goes on…Basically, stop and think if you really need to offer a player such wages, or you could end up like me.

My plan is to offload Afellay next year, and at the same time buy an under 21 to fill the gap. This new player should be on a maximum of £40K a week. I also want to sell Taylor ASAP, as I already have the players to back his departure. Enrique can be sold next season too as I have good enough cover for him. Then we have Dudu who can be sold straight away, he is surplus to requirements now. So taking all these sales into consideration as well as the replacement player wages…we can save £303K a week, which equals £14.5 million a year!! I seriously suggest you take 30 minutes to analyse your squads wage bill in a similar fashion, you may be shocked at what you see.

2. Bonuses – I know offering a whopper bonus is the easy answer to good morale, but lets be sensible. I tend to offer high bonuses for the league and Champions League, but keep the domestic cups to medium. This isn’t exactly money smart as the league and Europe cost more in squad bonuses than domestic cups. From now on I will offer a medium squad bonus in the league and Champions League, but up the domestic cup bonus to high. In theory this could save me around £4 million a year, maybe even more.

3. Signing on fees and renewals – Another big expense as the agent and player tend to get greedy. The best way to avoid a big contract renewal signing on fee, is to offer the contract early. Maybe offer a player that is developing well a new contract 2-3 seasons before its expiry date. You will not save money by waiting for his contract to run down. Most players that are worthy keeping will just expect a bigger contract and signing on fee with every year that passes. So offer a new contract early and save some cash. As for new signings, you just need to be persistent. When considering their signing on fee demands, lower their initial request by 10%. seven times out of ten the new offer will be accepted. I paid £7.2 million for signing on fees last season. If I had used the 10% rule, I could have saved £720K.

4. Players bought – The easy answer here is not to spend as much. But anyone who knows me, should expect a better guide than that. Please bare with me as I explain the best way to make money. OK, so let me ask a question…how many times do you buy a player over the age of 24? Also how many times do you sell these players for more than you paid? I think I can answer that question and hopefully you see where I’m going with this. Basically you need to buy players with a reasonable sell on value. What I mean is try to buy young players cheap, so you can sell them off between the age of 27-29 (their peek age) for a huge profit after they’ve served a purpose. If you get organised, you should have the correct number of youth coming through to sell those older stars without losing quality. If you sell these stars just as they’ve reached full potential, you’ll only miss two further years of their best football, but will see a huge improvement financially. These extra funds could buy two or three amazing young prospects and the cycle goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I know this is extremely difficult, but you can’t expect to get rich by sitting around twiddling your thumbs.

A great example is one of my first signings. I bought Sergio Araujo for £1.3 million, four years later he is worth £7.25 million. At the age of 24 the Argentine is almost surplus to requirements because of the clubs growth. I reckon I could sell him for £15 million, something I wouldn’t have dreamed of until writing this guide. That is a profit of £13.7 million if I get a good enough offer. Below is a run down of my thought process.

  • Every season look for a minimum of two under 21′s for a maximum transfer fee of £5 million. These players should have the potential to be worth £8 million plus within 6 years.
  • When you receive an offer too good to refuse, accept it. Other than that try to sell these players when they reach their peak, after about 6-8 seasons or before.
  • Using this cycle every single season, will make you rich in the long run. After 6 seasons in game, you should be making a minimum of £15 million every season from transfers but probably more.
  • Because you are bringing in new youth every season, there should always be someone waiting to take over from the key players you sell. Therefore no loss of quality.
  • This is completely down to your judge of talent and management in terms of buying for the correct positions.

Conclusion – How much money could I save

The answer here is a lot, but let me explain the figures. Below is how much I could save within the first two seasons by following the above guidelines (excluding the buying players with a sell on value rule.)

Player wages savings a year = £14.5 million

Squad bonus savings a year = £4 million plus

Signing on fee savings a year = £1.5 million

Total savings a year within first two seasons = £20 million

Now lets look at how buying youngsters with a sell on value works in numbers. Remember this could take 5-6 years to see any rewards from. This is also based on buying at least two players under 21 with a big potential sell on value every season. You must also sell them after a maximum of 7-8 years. Lets also say you pay a maximum of £4 million per player, and then manage to sell them for a minimum of £8 million 7-8 years later. This means you could make a minimum of £16 million every season after the first 5-6 seasons.

Remember, the figures above are based on my Newcastle game. You may not make as much depending on your financial situation, stadium, level of football or in game time. I am already gaining the maximum from match day revenue, TV revenue and prize money but you could still increase your current income in these areas a lot more than myself…just gaining Champions League football could earn an extra £25 million plus per season if you’ve not qualified yet. Equally, you may not have wasted money on wages like myself, and therefore won’t save as much in that area by following this guide. However, I guarantee that you can save money from something within this guide…if not, I don’t know why you’re reading it :) Only kidding.

Part 2 is a must read so don’t miss it!!

During part two of this Football Manager financial guide, I’ll be teaching you how to go beyond a stable club and get rich. It may be a little complicated and take some effort to put in place. But I promise if used correctly, it WILL work!! The post will be about buying youth with a sell on value, plus when and how to sell them while maintaining a quality starting XI. I have worked on a whole plan and cycle for this as well as a list of players with great potential sell on values to get you started. Part two will be tough to explain and structure. Therefore I’ll base it on my plan with Newcastle so you can see clearly what is required. Until next time, thanks for reading. :)

Football Manager financial guide: Part 2 – ‘youth to gold’ system





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Comments
  • comment avatar Sears April 13, 2011

    Brilliant post pal! Extremely interesting read and very well written.

    I hate when my finances are in a terrible state, absolutely drives me insane. I always attempt to keep my financial situation under control but it’s extremely tough, especially if your a big club.

    As you grow as a club and as you gradually improve domestically, you always have to improve your team ie sell who got you in this position and replace them with superior players wanting a lucrative contract. getting to the top is tough, but staying there is tougher. That’s why everyone spends millions and millions of pounds on ”world class” player and give them extravagant wages. It’s just how soccer is nowadays.Yeah, you can try reduce the wages when offering a player a contract, but what if there’s another club offering him a contract too?And that club are richer than you? You’ve no other choice but to offer a ridiculous wages or risk losing out on the player.

    Now with the agents involved you must give them a signing fee too. Someone told me before that if you increase the signing on fee for player and agent, you can decrease the players wages.

    Another way to make a bit of cash is friendlies. And I’m not talking about playing Man Utd at home or anything. I read on a website where they said real money is made when you play a large foreign team away. Cancel all your worthless friendlies and arrange some in South America etc because sometimes pay over £100k for you just to play. You’ll easily make a profit. More info found here:

    http://www.theawaystand.co.uk/_/football-manager-guides/finance/making-money-for-dummies-r68

    Again, wonderful post buddy.

    • comment avatar Johnny Karp April 14, 2011

      I think that the “friendlies method” is just a trick that can get you some extra money but it surely can’t solve all the financial problems of a club.

      • comment avatar Sears April 14, 2011

        I know it won’t solve all the problems, but it works well if you a lower league team as you may receive up to over £100,000 for playing just ONE friendly.

        • comment avatar Sibo April 14, 2011

          Thanks Sears, I am going to do this with Blackpool for a small pre-season cash injection! :D

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks Sears, I have been researching this subject for a while. It really interests me, and now I’ve created a good team with Newcastle…I want a challenge of becoming financially secure, or even rich. The friendlies thing is a good idea and certainly worth doing for smaller clubs.

  • comment avatar JeanPaul Borg April 13, 2011

    This will definitely help anyone who reads it and understands the concept of what you are trying to say. Very well written mate and I like the way you think :)

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks JeanPaul, I’m just getting sick of seeing my club go into the red constantly. Plus I’ve enjoyed a lot of success so far…just thought it would be nice to try and get a club rich which will be my aim when resuming my Newcastle game. :)

  • comment avatar Sayam Khan April 13, 2011

    Absolutely fantastic post!

    This post will help me sooo much because I’m at the peak of my Bury career so it’s good to be given an early warning! I can’t wait for part 2. By the way, when can I expect it? :D

    Like Sears, I also organise friendlies that will benefit me financially.

    Also, will you be playing you Newcastle game from now on up untill FM12 comes out?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks Sayam, I really hope this helps Bury become a stable club that can challenge as I love your story. Part is a system I’ve been testing for some time but still not perfected. Therefore it could be Sunday or early next week when I publish.

      I doubt my Newcastle save will be played for that long, as I want to try the new patch at some point, we’ll just see how it goes. :)

  • comment avatar Kevin April 14, 2011

    Darren,
    This is absolutely stunning work, it must have taking you ages to write up. It looks very business like in the style of presentation and almost that of a project manager. I see a lot of of business documents in my real life job and this one ranks high amongst them I must say. Part of my real life job is budget management so I always have an eye on the finances but like you can easily get carried away with those transfers and wage offers. Anyway I’m sure this guide will be a huge hit and I’ll be taking some notes for my FM binder for sure. Great stuff and thanks for taking the time to offer us all free advice.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Hey Kevin,
      Well thanks for the very flattering words. I’ve worked on this for an age so its great to know you think so much of it. I just hope part two can live up to such standards. It will be far more controversial, as my system and cycle are very tough to implement and some gamers may not see it working…but still, its just an idea. :) Thanks again Kevin.

  • comment avatar Sibo April 14, 2011

    Well done on another great post Darren. It is amazing that, even after managing Man U., Man C. and Barca, I still do a lot of this with my Blackpool transfers.But that is really force of circumstance!!!

    I do have a question, how can I avoid the Leeds trap, being a small club in Europe (check out my latest blog update) I need good quality players but I don’t want to make empty promises of European money when I am fragile domestically and may fail to qualify again, thus undoing all the hard work I have done this season.

    This has inspired me, when I finish the season I will do a post on my finances…despite a £2M loss in January transfers I have still made a £4M profit this season and I want to show it to others, plus compare it with yours to see how much I do of this subconciously!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks Sibo,
      Been a small club is always tough. Newcastle have a big stadium, fan base and room to grow, whereas Blackpool don’t so your job is far harder than mine.My best tip is to secure the future with youngsters rather than buying the best players regardless of age. I have established a system for this that should help you make money on transfers. Its certainly not fool proof and incredibly hard to maintain, but if you can the future will be gold…wait for part two mate and it’ll all be explained. :)

  • comment avatar MRDNRA April 14, 2011

    This looks like a useful post. Very well assembled, makes it easier to read.

    It doesn’t seem to have been directly covered by the first post, but in terms of transfer fees for players you’re buying, I tend to find a guideline offer, if, after making enquiries for players, if the club is requesting more than the player is valued at, is to offer a sum roughly half way between the valuation and the requested fee. It works at least 75% of the time in my experience, and helps keep overall transfer spending down a bit.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks mate, I hope the guide helps.

      Your transfer theory is certainly good practise, its something I do but without the exact maths. I’m not bothered by endless negotiations as long as I get the lowest price. :)

  • comment avatar hils April 14, 2011

    This is a very useful post for me as i’m 1 of the worst gamer when it comes to finances!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Hope it helps Hils, I too am usually terrible at over spending…but I wrote this in an attempt to change. :)

  • comment avatar vaibhavc April 14, 2011

    Hey Darren
    This is a great post and will help so many people. I am going to start analyzing my finances right now, I could save so much. It must have taken so much time to write but it is thoroughly worth it. Thanks Darren!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      No problem Vaibhav, I just hope it helps you as much as it helped me writing it. Yes the guide has taken an age to do and isn’t even complete as part two is yet to come, but I hope you’re right and its worthwhile.

  • comment avatar Thomas Levin April 14, 2011

    Nice post here and goes along with something I am trying to do with my Udinese side that I have chatted about at FM Pundit. The problem is getting that long term mentality stuck in. I have got it right with signing the right players. Lukaku, Erikson, Buoanatte, Defour, Veleso, Kompany etc… All young and talented. Bought at nice price and will be sold on. I had Eriksen for a year before getting a bid of £17m for him (signed for £6m) he just didn’t want to sign a contract with Lyon because of the wages.

    I have sold Isla and Inler for £12m and replaced Isla with Rafinha for £6m I think representing some good deals. My figures are pretty healthy, I spent alot to push for the Champions League, but I hope that is all an investment that will help us progress. The board couldn’t afford to give me more then £500k in my first year of the Champs League, our attendance are pretty low to progress I needed to make those investments to push us forward. If you check out my figures at FM Pundit, you will see that Europa League looks nice on the books but just really isn’t anything that is going to make us rich.

    I need luck now and really invest in bringing through younger players to replace those who will leave. I have such a small squad at the moment that injuries can really hurt us and I need to keep things together so that I am playing Champs League football again next season.

    Like Sears has said, I love agents in the new game, because you offer them more money say an extra £1m for the fees, but reduce wages of the player by half and still have it accepted. You just need to make sure that the saving on the wages is more then the extra agent fee.

    Remove all yearly wage rises can help you keep an handle on planning for the future and keeping clauses as low as possible.

    I have just went through my transfer clauses and sold off some of the clauses that I had (10% profits on players sales etc…) you can get some pretty good deals on selling them on with players that look unlikely to bring much money in when they are sold.

    The problem I am having with Udinese is that they didn’t have a lot of money for investment in the first place. I am having to take it in phases.

    Phase 1. Buy in a first team able to compete for Europe. This is now complete. I have won the league buying a young first team.

    But this has meant that I haven’t been able to concentrate on bringing younger players in to replace the first team. Although the age of the first team will help give me time.

    Phase 2. Start the wave of players coming in. Similar to what Wenger did with the invisibles. With CL money I can start building the infrastructure needed for long term success.

    Phase 3. Become sustainable and rich. At the moment alot of is trying to get he team out the red. The sale of players only bags me 25% of the money made on transfers. The rest goes to the board to cover the balance.

    It will be interesting to see how my books progress and if I can succeed in become sustainable and successful at the same time.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Cool, I’ll take a look at that now. Sounds interesting and we both share an extremely similar thought process. Trying to make a club stable in the way you’ve mentioned makes the game realistic and much more enjoyable in my opinion. I’ll talk more on your site mate when I leave a comment on your post, but I agree with your three phase plan, its very wise and realistic. Thanks for the comment. :)

  • comment avatar Johnny Karp April 14, 2011

    Great stuff Darren, spot on!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 14, 2011

      Thanks Johnny, I just hope part two works as well. :)

  • comment avatar CsAtlantis April 15, 2011

    Very well written Darren, some very useful insights

    One thing that I always avoid in contracts are “Match Highest Earner”

    For youth players, their “Wage increase after X league games” clause should be set to the minimum increase, they tend to try to ask for extreme hikes if unmodified

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 15, 2011

      Thanks CsAtlantis, I just hope this helps. Avoiding ‘match highest earner’ within contract clauses is a real killer, I should know from having it with two stars!! There are a lot of little pointers not mentioned we can use to collectively lower wages and transfer fees. Hopefully my next post will offer a far bigger long term solution to squad management and finances too.

  • comment avatar Excessive April 15, 2011

    Very well written post mate, will help a great deal of us become better financially aware of what we are spending and if the club can really take it!

    Agree with that 3 point plan, it’s the only way to go about doing it when your a small club.
    I’m in stage 2 at the moment with my Varberg BOIS save.. Just need to become more sustainable after all the improving of facilities and buying of players etc.

    I’m sure Part 2 will be just as good :)

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 15, 2011

      Thanks Jake, you hit it right on the nose. This post is about making us all aware of how finances work. I personally just ignored them tbh, but on analysis I could do a lot of simple steps to improve my cash flow largely.

      Part 2 will be a huge step forward into a complicated system. It will make your club more stable and help make money on transfers rather than lose all the time. But you have to be able to judge talent and know which players have potential from a young age.

  • comment avatar Ana Garcia April 15, 2011

    Amazing post Darren, really well done.

    Lots of really good ideas on keeping your team out of debt, some clubs in real life should take note of this!!

    This is how guides should be written, easy to read, well set out with lots of useful information to take away.

    I always seem to do ok in keeping my teams out of debt but I look forward to part two to see if I can learn anything new!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 15, 2011

      Thanks Ana, this post took a while to research and write so I’m delighted with everyone’s reaction. Part two is a real struggle to structure…there’s a big risk of losing the reader half way through so I may be a bit absent over the weekend. ;)

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  • comment avatar Craaaaig David April 21, 2011

    im managing Wolves, i win the premiership every single season, i always get far in champions league (im in year 2027)

    ive looked at my finances and i get more income then i spend (overall)

    yet im in debt???

    how?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 21, 2011

      Yeh you may have made more income than expenditure last season or even this season but what about the other 15?? If you ran on a major loss then you’ll definitely be in debt. How much do you spend on wages a week? Also what size is your stadium? And finally what sponsorship money do you earn? Lets see if we can’t help mate.

  • comment avatar Dean April 21, 2011

    When doe’s part two come out mate ?

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 21, 2011
      • comment avatar Dean April 22, 2011

        Thanks :]
        Won league two early with Rotherham but money is not on my side.
        ive tried the frendly buisness but isnt really working out.
        im in around 150 000 debt ind would love to hear what you would surgest,

        Thanks,

        • comment avatar Darren Smith April 22, 2011

          Hi again Dean. Lower league football is tough in that there are no quick fixes for finances. When you hit the Prem theres TV revenue, the promise of better sponsorship every year and also the dream of Champions League…however, the lower leagues offer none of this, nor any decent substitutions to help your cash flow. My number one suggestion is to get into the Prem ASAP. But for the short term I would suggest.

          1) Anylise your expenditure from last season like I have and see where you can cut back.
          2) sell any player that won’t be a starting XI, sub or backup. And I mean every single one!!
          3) Most importantly check my partner in crimes lower league guide. Its simple but VERY effective. http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/2010/07/football-manager-lower-league-management-guide/

          Let me know how you get on buddy. :)

          • comment avatar Dean April 22, 2011

            Cheers mate youve been a massive help for me.
            of course ill let u know how i get on.
            LEGEND! :D

          • comment avatar Darren Smith April 22, 2011

            No problem Dean, always happy to help. :)

  • comment avatar bob July 22, 2011

    One of the things that seems to be overlooked a lot is how much you pay a player in wages before you sell them. This is particularly important in lower leagues, e.g I buy youth player x (say 16 years old) for 1k. If he gets $500 a week for a year I will need to sell him for $27,000 (500X52+1000) to break even. This is before bonuses and yearly/appearance wage rises etc.

    Obviously if he plays regularly in my first team it is a different situation, in that case you could accept that the player needs to be rewarded. But be careful with your youth development plan and consider all the expenses related to developing talent.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith July 22, 2011

      I couldn’t agree more with regards to lower league football, buying youth and raising them doesn’t work anyway because if your good enough you should be getting promoted every other year and will out grow the youth before they’ve improved enough. But for the EPL, by following this guide and been wage aware as I’ve mentioned I have taken Newcastle from in the red to having a £280 million bank balance within 4-5 years. I look at the overall wage and try to keep that down as opposed to certain individuals, one comes hand in hand with the other…but I’m not afraid to offer a decent wage to quality players/youth prospects as long as my overall wage budget is fine. Besides, I try and loan my youth out if there are suitable clubs with good facilities and first team football on offer. They then take those wages off my hands.

      The key to the system mentioned is to form a revolving door within the club where youth is raised and makes a natural progression to the first team in time for an older star to be sold.

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  • comment avatar Mohammad Sadek May 15, 2012

    Hi Darren i want to ask about something that when i am looking to release a player for example who his contract ‘ll expire in 4 months when i calculate his wage in this period i think it ‘ll be lower than the money paid for release so it’s better to let him finish his contract rather than release him .

    • comment avatar Darren Smith May 15, 2012

      I don’t know about that, but he shouldn’t get more money when released than what he’d be owed, you can try mutual termination or just wait I guess.

      • comment avatar Mohammad Sadek May 15, 2012

        The problem is Mutual termination is very difficult in fm12 than it was in fm11 but could you try to see if i am right or wrong in my calculations, Cheers .

        • comment avatar Darren Smith May 16, 2012

          I don’t know the figures you’re referring too so can’t check your calculations.

          • comment avatar Mohammad Sadek May 16, 2012

            I mean if you could check any player in your squad and calculate if you release him you ‘ll paid more or if you let him to finish his contract …

          • comment avatar Darren Smith May 16, 2012

            I just checked and it seems that you do pay more but that could come down to the length of time someone has been at the club and any bonus’ within their contract like goal/appearance fees etc.

  • comment avatar Abraham Benedict July 16, 2012

    nice advice… thx
    12 key players… lol :D

    Darren, i could use some help…
    i just started a new game with an unemployed start…
    unluckily (and luckily) in Sept i got employed buy Hercules C.F. in Adelante…
    One good thing about Hercules is their players are ready for “at least avoid relegation” when they make it to BBVA next year…

    But Hercules has a bank loan of around 30 M!!! that means at least 450k a month until 2016…
    The previous manager sucks… depleted my resources to only 100k transfer fee and excessive wage out to 10k/m

    taken care the wages, managed to get myself some fee to “at least sign a near-retired but at least useful for next 2 years”, threw away unuseful loan, selling an unused player on high fee (bought for 100k in 2009 according to the game, sells it for 1m + weeklly settling cost for 2 years :D )

    but still i need more idea on how to make at least 8 mil a year…
    gladful promotion is assured (champion of Liga Adelante too…)

    any other idea???

    p.s.: youth system in Hercules sucks!!!

    • comment avatar Darren Smith July 16, 2012

      There is very little you can do other than sell players to make money…as mentioned in the post you must wait until you’re in the top division and preferably in the Champions League, only then can you really start to sort the finances…so I say do everything you can to get there then look at the cash.

  • comment avatar Glenn September 5, 2012

    “Income – the happy part of finances?”

    U should write about the weight about increasing in rank as an club and how it will effect your fanbase = more gate receipts, and season tickets = more likley to get your stadium expansion and an increasing season ticket/ ticket prize.. cuz there u can really grow as a club.

    merchandise clubs will effect your fanbase as well.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith September 5, 2012

      To be honest that is something that just happens as you progress with the club, you can’t effect that other than being successful so there’s little point in writing about TBH.

      • comment avatar Glenn September 5, 2012

        Yeah sure, but how do the club progressing in the ranking system “the world”? – by buying famous players?
        - trophies?
        - league rank?
        - facilities?
        - ur own status?…..

        • comment avatar Darren Smith September 5, 2012

          Mainly league position and trophies account for that, yes the rest can effect it but not that much.

  • comment avatar poe April 27, 2013

    Good guide but merchandising can be controlled by us too i think. For example when we collaborate with some high reputation clubs from USA, Japan and China (merchandising links), the money we win in this sector of income increases quite a lot.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith April 27, 2013

      You are kind of right but this guide focuses on the stat of building finances, you won’t get good enough sales as a smaller reputation club to make that worthwhile mentioning, not to mention the boards reluctance to make a deal thats worthwhile. That section comes into play once you’re already reeling in the cash and have a good reputation, in my experience anyway. I tried this with Newcastle early on and it made next to no difference, however, in a separate save I started looking at the links once we had a good reputation (about 5 years in) and it did seem to work from there.

  • comment avatar Jarryd Van Koll May 28, 2013

    hey darren
    jarryd here, firstly id just like to say you have helped me a lot with tactics and formations thus far and your guides have been outstanding and i really appreciate your work.

    i would just like to ask, how would you go about implementing this into a lower league team ? I’m stockport and am currently in league one, i have gotten promoted the last two seasons and I’ve had to take a loan out of 9 mill which i have to pay 50k a month back until 2030, I’m currently always loosing money so i have moved a couple of high wage players on(wage of 3500) which should help but i don’t have good training facilities or anything so i cant look at youth to improve at this stage. staff wages and player wages are my highest expenditure, but I’m thinking of offering defenders more goal bonuses and stuff like you said but also cant afford to resign my better players just yet until i start making some profit. so any help would be amazing.

    also im thinking like you said that maybe i still look for good 19-21 year olds that i can afford with potentials to be a championship player do you think that is the right way to go about it?

    cheers for your help

    • comment avatar Darren Smith May 28, 2013

      As the guide says you can’t implement this into a lower league side, the guide reads that you must get through the leagues quick and sort the finances once in the top flight where there’s enough room to work around the finances. Its impossible to buy young and then sell big at this stage, as every year you’d expect to improve and the level of player you can sign will improve with that.

      There really is no point in signing youngsters as by the time they have grown to their Championship potential you should be well established in the Premier League. All you can do is analyse where the money’s going and plug that hole, or accept the loss (which we all do to progress) and get up the leagues quick.

  • comment avatar Paul May 14, 2014

    Yes great read, however I always start at the lower league teams one of my favourite teams are Morecombe…the board don’t make unrealistic targets for your season, however they have very little resources…you are limited to £1,700 max per week for Key Player, and only have £40,000 to spend on transfers…I usually scout around the Free market and see what I can pick up you might find the odd gem their…yes you may get some aggro from the board or fans but I try and sell them on quickly so to make a tidy profit…that way you get some use out of the player and also you make some money for the smaller clubs in the football leagues.

    • comment avatar Darren Smith May 14, 2014

      Yeah but as mentioned this is not for lower leagues, it is based around and to be used when you have a high enough profile otherwise it won’t work. The early days of a clubs growth are always going to be a struggle.

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