Much like in real life, FM15 sees the top clubs in Europe hoarding talent in a way similar to Scrooge McDuck acquiring money. These clubs often have a sugar daddy investing copious amounts of money, which allows them to make a play for pretty much any emerging starlet, whether they actually need these players or not. Whilst it can be hugely frustrating to lose your starlets to the money-bags from London, Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, you could also try to benefit from their behavior. In my eyes, there are two ways you can take this excessive hoarding from the top clubs and turn it against the top sides.
Overcharge the hell out of them
When the top clubs decide to make a play for your players, you know you’re going to have a tough time keeping hold of them. It’s either going to cost you a lot of money to upgrade their contracts, or the constant flirts from these clubs are going to make players unhappy, which could lead to a full-blown morale dip for the entire squad. So when they do come knocking and you either lack the financial resources to upgrade a contract or deem it unwise to do so, you will have to sell, most likely rather reluctantly.
In order to make you feel better, you can and should over-charge the hell out of these top clubs. They can afford to overpay by quite a bit, so you should just make use of their financial situation to help yourself secure the services of a capable of a decent replacement.
I want to show you a case study, just to make my point. Allow me to introduce you to Juan Carlos Fernández.
A Spanish wing-back, coming into his prime. He’s not a world class wing-back, but definitely not far from that standard. On top of that, he’s been a pretty decent performer for us down the left flank.
As you can see, Fernández has been a pretty constant factor for us. Despite it being the Jelen Super Liga, his performances have caught the attention of scouts from foreign clubs. Naturally, with his value being as low as it is, they have flocked to the Partizan stadium en masse.
Financially, we won’t be able to compete with most of these clubs. Re-negotiating his contract is going to be an expensive affair, as Fernández wants to double his current wages.
Such high wages are unsustainable for a Serbian club, so selling Fernández would be a smart move. On the other hand, his current value is ludicrously low to these clubs, so we can charge them a whole lot more. There are several things you need to keep in mind when you intend to overcharge.
Just asking for more won’t work unless you know a player’s actual value
Fernández’ market value as determined by FM is kept low by the relatively low reputation of the league we are active in. In reality, similar players playing in the Serie A, La Liga, Premier League or Bundesliga are worth four to five times this value and if you try to sell one, you tend to pay even more for similar players, especially when they are not transfer listed. Whilst that means we can comfortably ask for more cash, it doesn’t mean we just blurt out random numbers, because even the spending power of clubs like PSG or Chelsea has its limits.
You have to do some research before you determine an actual asking price. I generally do this by creating a scouting filter based on the player I am selling and seeing how other players with similar skill-sets compare to my lad. Allow me to show you.
When we create a scouting filter based on Fernández, we can see the values for similar players. As I said before, asking for more is not a bad idea since players with similar qualities are worth a whole lot more. I’m going off Murguía’s value here as a guide-line, since there are some parallels between the two. Similar age, similar position and not yet active for an absolute top club in a top league. Asking for around 16 million doesn’t seem to be unreasonable. This means that just quadrupling your asking price still constitutes a fairly good deal for interested clubs, especially since Fernández’ current wage is lot lower than that of his top league counterparts. When the first offer comes in, I intend to ask for roughly 16 million.
Using installments and clauses let’s you get away with murder (sort of)
When clubs are making offers for your players, they generally start off with a cash-only offer. They also generally start off with low-ball offers, because despite actually having the cash, they still don’t like to over-spend if they don’t have to.
The first bid we get on Fernández is actually on par with his market value. When we do re-negotiate for the intended 16 million, the bid won’t be all cash straight away, as most clubs won’t have that kind of money lying around. Schalke’s next offer looks like this.
A total of 10 million means they have considerably raised their offer, but they are still quite a bit off the amount I actually want for Fernández. The inclusion of the installments generally means they are not likely to pay more straight away. When re-negotiating the deal, it would be smart to raise the additional fees and not the cash upfront. Our next offer would look a bit like this.
By including various other fees, we make it easier for the buying club to get the deal done. If you’re running a long term save, offering such clauses is not really an issue, since you’ll still be around when these clauses kick in and pay off. Schalke seem reluctant to pay the 16 million we want, but they do come up with a decent offer, we eventually accepted because basically no-one is going to meet our valuation.
We come up 2 million shy of our desired price, but we still manage to overcharge by over 350%. All in all, it’s a fairly good deal and it shows how you can overcharge the top sides of the gaming world.
Raid their reserve squads
An added benefit of this obsessive compulsive hoarding of talent is the fact that you can sign talented players from the top clubs for a decent price. Since the competition for first team spots is murderous and these clubs tend to sign quite a few players every season, they are also willing to part with their players for a decent price, which is usually half their market value. Since these players have generally played with top players, trained with top coaches and have trained using top notch facilities, they tend to be instant impact players for most smaller clubs. Let’s see what a quick search of available talent yields.
Whilst not all these players are world class acts, they are all useful players for just about any level of club below the absolute top. As I have demonstrated with the first two players, the clubs are usually willing to part with these players for half the market value. Most players will ask for wages similar or slightly higher than the ones they currently have, so you will need to be mindful of that.
Simply looking at the transfer listed players, I could easily replace Fernández with Owusu or Bourgeouis and have money to spare for additional reinforcements to the squad. When these players perform well, their former clubs often come in to buy them back for a heavily inflated price, so this is another way to benefit off player hoarding by top clubs.