Sign-To-Sell Revisited; The Way Forward For Smaller Clubs

Modern football is changing. With money becoming more and more important, the club landscape has changed. That applies to FM just as well as real life by the way. There is now a top tier of untouchable clubs who, like big businesses, get constantly richer and keep football alive with a trickle down of capital (Man City, PSG, Chelsea, Bayern) and then there is a secondary tier of clubs who provide a safe shop window for investors.

It seems rather unlikely we will ever see another ‘Ajax ’95’, a team which (arguably pre-Bosman ruling) bypassed economic restrains to achieve romantic glory. However, the most organised and forward thinking boards can overachieve and rise up the tiers. Take real-life examples such as FC Basel, Ajax, Porto and Sevilla. They understand that, in capitalist football, all staff are up for sale and will only remain at the club until they have reached their peak. The best businessmen know who to sign cheap and even more importantly; when to cash in before hitting a glass ceiling.

In this blogpost, I want to focus on the business side of things. If you’re a smaller club trying to break the strangle-hold of the traditional top clubs, be it nationally or internationally, how could you sign the right players for the right price? Which strategies can you employ to scout and sign players, how can you get the most value for players you intend to sell, basically, how can you be a smart wheeler-dealer?

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Making Use Of The Big Spenders’ Hoarding

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.

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Scout Reports; How To Use Them Properly

With the scouting system receiving a major overhaul with the appearance of FM15, you’re going to have to rely on your scouts more than ever, especially if you have enabled the attribute masking ability. This article however isn’t about the scouts, but about what they produce… The scout reports, FM’s way of helping you discover how good a player is and can become.

In this article, we will focus on a number of things.

  • Where can we find these reports?
  • What are the contents of a report?
  • How do we interpret these reports?

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Value For Money; Exploiting The MLS (FM15)

First off, I know there is a lot of overlap in the initial stage of this post and my earlier post regarding Value For Money. The older post still isn’t 100% complete and in hindsight, I should have released each region as an individual post instead of making it one huge post.

Secondly, with interest in the MLS rising due to the guys like Lampard and Gerrard moving there, I decided to give the league a go myself, which in turn helped me discover this little exploit, loophole or whatever you want to call it. Now I would like to stress this isn’t a game-breaking exploit, but just a neat way to make some extra cash or get potentially great players cheap.

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Collateral Damage; What To Do With Excess (All) Strikers?

Let’s just presume you have fallen under the spell of the siren song of strikerless tactics. Otherwise, why would you be here, on Strikerless.com? By its very name, a strikerless formation has no need for actual strikers. So, when you are hell-bent on playing a strikerless formation, you are going to have to find solutions for your excess bagage; the strikers you have inherited in the squad you have just taken control of. What do you do with excess (most if not all) strikers?

So what are the most effective and efficient ways to get rid of those banes of my Football Manager existence; strikers? If you’re the kind of guy that’s not interested in long, winded posts, here’s the TL;DR version:

  1. Re-train them;
  2. Sell them,;
  3. Loan them away.

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Handling your first season in charge

You’ve just taken over a new club, now what do you do? In this article I will explain my views on what to to do during your first season in charge to set you up for the future. In my opinion it is all about building the infrastructure of the club as a whole. Everything you do has an impact on the club long term and short term, personally I work more on a long term basis.

In my experience, most football manager players I talk to tend to quit in their first season. I feel like people rely on having a successful first season, when really the focus should be building your squad and the club in general. So this is my take on how to handle your first season in charge.

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The Newgen Hunter; Tracking Down Quality Newgens

I’ve always considered myself quite good at finding the right newgens for my team. In fact, it’s probably one of the aspects about FM that I enjoy the most. Finding a young starlet and developing him to his full potential. I sometimes jokingly refer to it as newgen hunting. In my head, I imagine myself being a sort of Steve Irwin, creeping up on unsuspecting footballers. “Crikey! That’s a big one! He might play at centre-back!”

Not actually Guido. The crocodile is also not a part of the game.
Not actually Guido. The crocodile is also not part of the game.

Whilst I leave you struggling to rid yourself of the mental image of me tigering through the bush, preying on unsuspecting footballers, allow me to explain what this blog post is about. I want to describe, in as much detail as possible, the strategies I use to track down newgens and establish valuable signings from overrated crap. Continue reading