The following article is not something very spectacular, it’s not a ground-breaking piece of information. It’s a simple flaw in the game that can be manipulated to get rich rather quick. Using this method you can acquire high rates of return for a modest initial investment, with little risk, little skill, and not much effort. It is a way of working that been around for a while but it surprisingly not well documented. I presume this is because it’s a bit of a shady approach to playing the game, but I’ll let everyone decide for themselves on the ethics of playing a video game.
I started looking into my old and shady tricks because the club I am currently controlling is hemorrhaging money faster than I can sell players to make up for it. Rather than slash costs by sacking my extensive, expensive and much-needed backroom staff, I am trying to cut corners by increasing the volume of sales. To summarise the entire starting point of this endeavour, just have a look at my financial status.
Things are not looking good on the financial front. So as I mentioned earlier, I started looking at slashing costs. A great way to generally slash costs is by using installments, spreading the money over a larger period of time. That isn’t going to help me here. Strictly relying on free agents might have worked if we weren’t limited to 23 squad players, with a salary cap and a restriction of a mere 4 non-Australian players. I needed something else, something more dastardly.
The answer had been hiding in plain sight. The payment after an X amount of league games. Clubs tend to ask for a bit more cash if you go down this road with them, but they are willing to accept such deals if you negotiate well enough. Just offer ludicrous amounts of money, knowing full well you intend to sell the player on before he ever reaches that many league games for your club. In my case, the Australian season has under 30 league games a season, so it means I can keep hold of my player for roughly a season-and-a-half before I have to sell them on.
Now there are a few requirements that need to be met.
- The club needs some financial power; even when we don’t actually intend to pay for these players, the game still confiscates the money required to pay up and refuses to let you use it until the debt is paid or the player has left.
- The club needs to be able to attract sufficiently talented players; you can sign a bunch of complete nobodies on free transfers, but the chances of these players being sold on for a decent fee are moderate to slim.
- You, as the human manager, need to be able to identify interesting targets to sign; the club needs to be able to pay them and attract them, but you need to actually find them.
- This generally works best with players who are transfer listed.
Again, my tenure in Australia is a complicating factor here. Players are not that willing to move Down Under and there are the aforementioned restrictions regarding foreigners and wages in place. If you’re controlling a European club, you can make a proper killing using such methods. Anyway, the player I am going for is a German U19 international, Tino Riemer. He plays for FC Carl Zeiss Jena and has been transfer listed.
The club is willing to let him go for 100k, which is a fee I could actually afford to pay, but as I said, we’re trying to slash our expenditure. Instead of that offer, we made the Germans a different offer.
They wanted an offer which consisted of 7k upfront and 2k in installments, with a staggering 500k after 40 league appearances. I’m cool with offering that since I have no intention to actually pay the offered 500k. If he never reaches those 40 league appearances, the clause becomes moot and no money has to change hands.
If a club is reluctant to agree to a deal like the one I offered, just offer silly money. Ludicrous amounts of money tend to blind the AI and they will accept. You do have to back your bid with some financial power, but that is a balancing act you will soon get the hang of.
Even when you take his wages and agent fee into account, a full season at the club will still cost less than what the player is actually worth (180k) and less than what his club demanded for his services (100k). Once again, I am managing a small club in a small league, but you could very well use this concept for bigger European clubs, where you just multiply the numbers I’m using by 10 or 100. The game mechanics work the same everywhere.
Once Riemer joins us, we can see that he is actually a decent talent for his age. He’s a talented box-to-box midfielder, from an EU country and with a pedigree as a youth international for his country. The chances of being able to sell him for 300k or more are substantial.
On the back of a decent six months at Perth Glory, his value has doubled to 600k and several European clubs have come knocking. Normally, he’d be the kind of player we would try to keep on board, but there’s that 500k clause hanging over our heads like Damocles’ sword. We offered him out at 200% of his actual value.
Plenty of clubs recognised a bargain deal when they saw it and we had 12 or so suitors for his signature. I accepted all the 1,2 million offers and rejected the lower offers. If you are sufficiently motivated, you could try to negotiate even higher deals, but I’m trying to make a quick buck.
Riemer has played for us for half a season, he has come in for a 9k fee, when you take his wages and agent fee into account he has cost the club around 110k. He has left the club for 1,2 million. That’s 1,1 million of pure profit right there.
And there you have it, get rich quickly in FM. If you are looking to slash wage costs, you could even send the player on loan to a third club, since games played for a club whilst on loan do not count towards the league appearances in the transfer clause.