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View Full Version : Bonuses & Contracts - the Mike Ashley / Derek Llambias approach



Pete Dewhirst
10-03-2012, 11:12
I think I should start this thread by pointing out that I don't play FM12. I still play FM11, partially because I have a good career game going, but also because I couldn't be bothered with all the Steam nonsense that seemed to surround the release of FM12. I should say to SI that it honestly does put off casual gamers like myself from buying the product. But that is not the point of this thread...

I had read the pre-release blogs for FM12 and noticed that one of the changes for contracts was the ability to freeze certain 'non-negotiable' options, which seemed like a great inclusion from my point of view. I've never been a fan of the minimum fee release clause, and if it was necessary to include them (in La Liga, for example) I would generally set them at ridiculous amounts. This seemed to change in FM11, where certain agents would only negotiate if a low release clause was included, and numerous negotiations broke down as a result. I'm not criticising this, it's undoubtedly realistic, but I would like to see a possible way to put a little bit more power back in the hands of the manager/board/club.

Now, I know that some readers will look at the title of this thread and wonder what I'm on about, given that Demba Ba supposedly has a dangerously low release clause in his contract at Newcastle. I'm referring to some recent quotes from Derek Llambias in which he talks about their way of doing business, specifically in relation to player contracts (quotes lifted from nufc.com):



"We just do straight contracts. We do no overseas pensions, no image rights. We say, 'This is your money, now you go away and talk to your tax advisers if you must.'

We donít do goal bonuses. We had that with (Oba) Martins, maybe thatís why he would always shoot from the halfway line! We used to see him on the ball and think, 'Oh look. Heís going to shoot again.'

Weíve taken all that stuff out. We know exactly where we are. We do have team bonuses for success, in terms of positions. We would like to see deferred transfer payments phased out, so that you just pay for a transfer over a year....

If we did it for one personís wages, weíd have to do it for the next and then weíd get a reputation. At the moment, players and agents know that our first offer is very close to the final offer.

Once itís off the table, itís off the table and it only goes down. Itís never up, itís always lower. There are more football players than there are clubs. The manager has his targets and we just move on."



I like this approach. It strikes me as a valid attempt to avoid a lot of the greed and nonsense that surrounds modern-day football. But if I try to implement such an approach in FM11 then the majority of negotiations would fail instantly.

I imagine this would be the case with FM12? I must admit I have no working knowledge of FM12, but if you set a bunch of bonuses at '£0' and make them non-negotiable, does that drive the majority of agents and players away?

Basically I would like to see some sort of implementation for FM13 where clubs or managers can develop a negotiating 'personality' as it were (perhaps not too far removed from the stats/traits that agents currently have on their profiles), so that players and agents would know what to expect when they negotiate with this club and will adjust their demands accordingly. In terms of how this can specifically be included I don't know, I just thought it best to put the topic out there and see whether it generates enough interest to warrant consideration.

Koki
11-03-2012, 09:33
I think if you freeze the bonuses at 0, the signing-on-fee, the agent's fee and and the wage will shoot up to a sum that you would hardly want to pay with your approach. The problem is that agents don't have a conscience and don't know how you behaved in earlier negotiations with them or other players (except for when the negotiations break down they hate you). So if you follow that approach I guess you will end up signing only players with very low contracts e.g. young players and players from Africa.

Pete Dewhirst
11-03-2012, 10:45
Exactly, yet Ashley/Llambias are seemingly having a degree of success with such an approach IRL. I would agree it is unrealistic to get rid of all extras/bonuses, but it would be nice for the agents on FM13 to develop a conscience, as you say, so that they learn how you negotiate and accept that certain aspects of a contract may not be possible.

Koki
11-03-2012, 12:11
Exactly, yet Ashley/Llambias are seemingly having a degree of success with such an approach IRL. I would agree it is unrealistic to get rid of all extras/bonuses, but it would be nice for the agents on FM13 to develop a conscience, as you say, so that they learn how you negotiate and accept that certain aspects of a contract may not be possible.Agreed, that would be a fine addition!

SuperMeppen
12-03-2012, 01:02
I'd say that their approach may bring success up to a certain level, but if they want to move on as a club and win things then it won't work until they start to convince top players to sign on that basis. After all, Newcastle aren't currently recruiting from the pool of top-class talent, they are getting players from a lower-level where it is a step-up for them (and so they are more likely to sign). I'd say FM does replicate this approach - in that most top players would probably tell Newcastle to bugger off and they'd go somewhere else.

Pr3D@T0r
12-03-2012, 01:22
I'd say that their approach may bring success up to a certain level, but if they want to move on as a club and win things then it won't work until they start to convince top players to sign on that basis. After all, Newcastle aren't currently recruiting from the pool of top-class talent, they are getting players from a lower-level where it is a step-up for them (and so they are more likely to sign). I'd say FM does replicate this approach - in that most top players would probably tell Newcastle to bugger off and they'd go somewhere else.

Agree with your assessment of it being difficult to sign top class players in the game. Disagree about Newcastle. I think their prudent financial constraints will put them in a much better position than most Premiership teams once FFP kicks in, and the simplicity of their negotiations will lead to a more loyal and determined playing staff.

Really respect how Newcastle are operating at the moment. Would love to see this in the game as a viable option and hope it's an approach other clubs will follow suit on in the future.

djwilko6
12-03-2012, 09:02
To answer your question as to if this is possible in FM12, in my experience of lower league football it is. I have often managed to get an agent/player to just have wages and a yearly wage rise, no "loyalty payments" or "appearence fees". Much easier to manage budgets this way.

Of course at higher levels, this may not be possible!

hluraven
12-03-2012, 10:14
I do some of this, I always pay transfer fees up front, in or out, never any monthly fees. For contracts, I never allow yearly wage increases but do allow bonuses.