In this post i will show you how i’ve build a solid foundation at 1. FC Köln in three steps. I always deem this to be a very important step if you want to create a successful club. Everything in life that doesn’t has the support of a solid foundation will eventually crumble. And that is exactly what i don’t want to happen during my savegame.

Step one; getting the right members of staff

Every coach in the world of football needs the support from his members of staff. The more skilled they are the better everything at the club can be executed. For my savegame at Köln we already know our five-year plan. In order to reach the goals that i’ve set i will need help. In my previous post i mentioned that i found the right man for the right job. And that is exactly what has happened. I found the right men for the right jobs and so i was able to create a very solid staff at Die Geißböcke.

Director of football

When you start a game with 1. FC Köln you have Armin Veh as your director of football. Now this guy isn’t that bad at all when you look at this attributes. But in my savegames the director of football plays a vital role. I delegate quite a few tasks to this person so i need to be sure that he is capable in fulfulling them. In my search for a proper DOF i came across somebody that i just could not refuse. I even was surprised that he would come to Köln to assist me in my adventures there. None other then Louis van Gaal is going to be my DOF.

LvG’s attritbutes

Having such an experienced person on board is just awesome. I am really happy that we managed to pull off this transfer. After his resignation at Manchester United Louis van Gaal has been unemployed. Here at FC Köln he can help me build a new European powerhouse for the next three seasons. His main task is going to assemble a proper non-coaching and coaching staff, evaluate these people and either get replacements or renew their contracts if/when needed.

Chief Scout

As the club has no Chief Scout once you start a save with them i was curious to see who Louis van Gaal would bring in for this position. I really love to surround myself with people who have experience in the world of football. You can understand i was pretty happy when Eric Gerets join Köln as our new Chief Scout.

Good attributes and scouting knowledgde

Eric Gerets has a lot of experience as a manager in different parts of the world. You can see this experience coming back in his scouting knowledge. He has knowledge in area’s your typical scout would not and i am sure this will come in handy in the near future. Eric Gerets has signed a three year contract and will be joining Louis van Gaal during our three year project together. He will be leading our scouting team and needs to find young players who can be developed in first team players.

Head of Youth Development

With Matthis Heidrich we already had a pretty decent HOYD at the club. But pretty decent is not good enough for me so i searched and searched for a better HOYD. I can go into all of the technical details why a good HOYD is important but i won’t. For me the HOYD place a vital role in player development as he will bring in our youth prospects each year.

Bernhard Peters is a really good HOYD

We’ve managed to bring in Bernhard Peters as our new HOYD. When you look at his attributes he really fits the bill perfectly. Together with his ‘model professional’ personality i can’t wait to see how our youth intakes are going to be. I know we still need to improve our youth facilities, junior coaching and youth recruitment but that is going to be the next step.

Step two; upgrading our facilities

The current facilities at 1. FC Köln are okay to start with. With Great training facilities, Adequate junior coaching and Above average youth recruitment the foundation is there. For the next few seasons i will need to invest in these areas to raise their level. I want everything to be at the highest level as quick as possible. This means that after we secure our promotion to the 1. Bundesliga i will shift my focus from buying players to investing into the club to develop our own youth players into first team players. This is going to be key if we want to be a successful club who wants to dominate the world of football globally.

The current levels from the facilities at Die Geißböcke

Having excellent facilities will give a huge boost to the club. We should be able to sell players for higher fees and the quality of our players should improve over time. This means that on the sportive and financial side of things we will see a huge growth (if all goes well).

Step three: developing a healthy transfer policy

Buying and selling players in Football Manager is one of the best things in this game. I really love scouting players around the globe and then bring them to my club. Especially players that are “unknown” to everybody else or when i am able to bring a player to the club who would never make such a transfer in real life. Football Manager is a nice little fantasy game in which i love to experiment to see how far i can acutally go. Every transfer i do has one single goal behind it, i always want to create financial growth on a yearly basis. This means i don’t want to exceed the amount of money we receive for selling players by spending it on buying players. Keeping this well balanced will ensure that you will not get a negative financial result.

transfer policy
My main goal is to create positive financial growth each year

As long as we are not able to develop decent players we will mainly buy them. When i buy a player i always try to estimate if this player will gain value during the seasons to come. I also really look at his attributes and ca/pa to make sure this player is what we need. Most of the time i already have a prospect in one of my youth teams or even a backup player on the bench. It would be foolish to spend money on a player when you already have a replacement at the club. So i never spend money unless the player i have my eye on is a real addition for the club.

With buying young talents everything is completely different. It is very easy to create a money making machine out of scouting, buying and selling youngsters. Not every talent you buy will break into the first team. That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good profit out of these players. It all comes down to buying the right talents, giving them the proper amount of development and then sell them to the highest bidder. I usually make sure that i sell a player for twice the money that i’ve bought him for. Small example, when i buy a player for five million euro’s, i want at least ten million euro’s or more once i sell him. So it really pays out once you know which players are wanted in the world of Football Manager and which aren’t.


In my next post i will show you how i’ve analyzed the players at the club and which transfers we’ve done. The transfers that i’ve done are also focussed on the tactic that i will be using. In one or two posts i will also reaveal my tactic to you guys.
For now i want to thank everybody for reading this post, i can only hope you’ve enjoyed it. ‘Till next time …


Bjorn · January 3, 2019 at 8:48 am

Nice one again. Can I ask a question? With your staff to you focus on their abilities or at the number of stars their abilities get?

    thefmveteran · January 3, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for your reply. I focus on attributes and personality. When it comes down to my HOYD i also look at his favourite tactic. Because he will bring in players that fit his tactic and not mine/yours.

      Bjorn · January 3, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks, good luck with Koln!

      thefmveteran · January 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Thank you! I am very curious how the tactic that i’ve come up with will work out.

Diimaan · January 4, 2019 at 11:12 pm

How did you sign Louis van Gaal and Bernhard Peters? I am not able to match their wages. I am playing as Wolves in EPL. Considering that 1. FC Köln are in second division how did you meet their expectation or raise their interest towards joining your club?

    thefmveteran · January 5, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Louis van Gaal has a contract with the following: 427.000 p/a salary, 82.000 bonus if we win the 2. Bundesliga, 35% promotion wage rise and i waive club compensation for manager role. Bernhard Peters has 315.000 p/a salary and a 30% promotion wage rise. I did nothing else except for offering them these contracts.

Diimaan · January 5, 2019 at 8:06 am

How did you attract coaches like Louis van Gaal and Bernhard Peters? I am managing Wolves they are a premier league team. Their wages exceed what I could offer them. How did you manage to cut down their wages while keeping their interests toward joining you?

    thefmveteran · January 5, 2019 at 11:07 am

    See the above, i guess they liked the money we offered.

Diimaan · January 11, 2019 at 7:25 am

Hi thanks and sorry about the repeated posts! 🙂
I matched their expectation with almost similar wages but with 45% hike every year for LVG and 25% hike every year for Bernhard Peters!

Diimaan · January 11, 2019 at 7:28 am

Also, I noticed one more thing! I have an another save with Brighton, and I am on my third season and defending my title. When I approached Bernhard Peters he asked for considerably less wages than what he asked for in my Wolves save! I assume that it is because of the reputation difference between the clubs in these saves. Correct me if I am wrong. I thought he would as for more money as I am a bigger and better club. 🙂

    thefmveteran · January 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    I guess it is more reputation (from your club) related than anything else.

Leave a Reply