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Long-term challenge in 2020 - taking a low-rep league to the top? 2017 analysis included

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Hi all,

I kind of have a simple question but there is a bit of analytical work behind it. :)

The simple question

Has anyone had a long-term game where they have taken a low rep league and tried to make it a top 4 league in the world by having a career in only that league and multiple clubs (not at the same time of course)? My main question is if the revenue streams of all the clubs in that league would increase as the overall reputation of the league increases? It seems like in the FM 2017 version the revenue streams are not following the reputation of the league as the reputation increases.

Long explanation:

I have been playing the same save game for a couple of years now in FM 2017. My objective has been to take the Danish top division to be the top of reputation ranking. I have tried to do this by taking over a club and after I had won a European competition and a domestic league title I would then resign from the club and then take the next available job in the same league and repeat the process.. 

I am now in year 2072 and have now won the Champions League with 4 different clubs and Europa League with a 5th club - all in the same league. So now the league is quite strong and is the league with the 5th best rep in Europe. It has been at this level for at least 10 years so should be treated as top 5 league in Europe.

The Danish top division starts with the 24th best rep in Europe.so quite an improvement. This is the level of the French/Portuguese league.

I would hope that the game is built in a way that if a reputation of a league increases significantly then over time the revenue streams would also increase to suit that level of reputation.

But I feel that whereas some of the revenue streams have increased to an acceptable level, others have not followed suit which makes it difficult for the league to further improve and the AI-controlled clubs to perform well as finances are not suitable for a club in a top 5 league.

Instead of basing my conclusions on emotions and feelings, I tried to analyse the evolution between the various revenue streams between the club in my game and then the default level of the clubs (so I went on holiday for a season and then checked the past season’s revenue for the various clubs).

Oddly enough it is the same 13 out of clubs in my game in year 2072 then it is after a year on holiday in the comparison game which is great for comparison.

A lot of data behind it but will just write my total averages of each parameter and then in the end a few conclusions. I will call the stats from my save game the 2072 clubs and the comparison default for 2017. All relevant values in £. The values are taken from the same date (24th of August - for no particular reason - I checked for transfer activity and very limited).

I have also compared the average with a similar league and this is quite tricky as the big current leagues are obviously much bigger countries, so instead I have compared to the Netherlands even though they are only 10th on the reputation list. I would then expect the Danish average to be higher than the Dutch ones as the Danish league is an established top 5 league. Also, as there are more clubs in the Dutch league I have removed the least reputable clubs (they were all significantly lowered on the reputation list than any of the Danish clubs).

Average position of the 2072 clubs in the Reputation table is: 108. The 2017 is: 358. Dutch average: 173 (this is as stated earlier only top 14 in the league).

The rankings for each club is as follows: 13, 25, 33, 40, 51, 60, 87, 105, 112, 117, 155, 194, 249 and 267.

The clubs with the same reputations in the 2017 save game are: Tottenham, Monaco, Zenit, Ajax, Galatasaray, Celta Vigo, Montpiellier, Guingamp, Las Palmas, Molde, Rangers, Sheff Wed and Reading. Not a bad league!

Overall bank balance

2017: 4.96m

2072: 9.38m

Evol: 89%

Dutch average: 21.8m

Transfer budget:

2017: 1.44m

2072: 3.85m

Evol: 167%

Dutch: 6.8m

Weekly Wage budget:

2017: 80,790

2072: 372,500

Evol: 361%

Dutch: 191,400

Those were the main financial parameters so let's dig a bit deeper into the revenue streams.

Gate receipts:


2072: 9.74m

Evol: 429%

Dutch: 5.7m


2017: 160,000

2072: 860,000

Evol: 442%

Dutch: 2,200,000

Domestic League TV revenue:

2017: 600,000

2072: 1,380,000

Evol: 131%

Dutch: 3,900,000

Domestic League Prize Money

2017: 2.27m

2072: 5.09m

Evol: 114%

Dutch: 5,1m


2017: 4.04m

2072: 11.39m

Evol: 167%

Dutch: 5,1m 

Stadium Sponsorship

2017: 45,000

2072: 4,320,000

Evol: 868% 

Dutch: Only 1 club with it.

Ticket price 

2017: 13.29

2072: 16.93

Evol: 27%

Dutch: 21.7

Season ticket price

2017: 150

2072: 204

Evol: 35%

Dutch: 264.5

Stadium Size:

2017: 14,866

2072: 30,311

Evol: 104%

Average Attendance

2017: 7,400

2072: 29,021

Evol: 292%



  • Ticket prices are definitely too low. When you go to the top 100 list in the game to see the ticket prices, the cheapest tickets there are £24. Only a single club in the 2072 league is at that level. The most expensive ticket in the 2072 league is 25  With the average attendance very high and 96% of the stadiums filled the ticket prices would be expected to be higher. The Dutch ticket prices were also much higher.

  • Sponsorship seems to be in line with the Dutch league as the difference is roughly the stadium sponsorship. Over the years, I realised that I didn’t get many international sponsors. With it being a top 5 league, I would have expected this to have occurred. Unfortunately no way for me to check this.

  • Also, the average attendance per matchday is over 200,000 people - up from 50,000. That is around 3,5% of the total population so would expect a lot of tourists to show up meaning more international attention = international sponsors = foreign tv right revenue.

  • Prize money seems to be in line with the Dutch one.

  • TV revenue very low (1.4m)- also just a third of the Dutch tv revenue (3.9m). Shouldn’t this go up as the international attention increases?

  • Same story with merch sales (0.8m)? (Dutch: 2.2m)

  • Overall bank balance is also low but I expect this to be a result of the other revenue streams. Interestingly enough the wage budget is high vs the Netherlands.

  • A lot of large stadiums in DK now. Average size is 30k vs only 15k today.

  • Also, it seems like the only takeovers are "Promotion from within". I know there is a restriction of no rich individuals taking over in Denmark, but what about stock exchange takeovers? This might be more of a Danish league-specific issue so not too relevant for this. Further, an issue with one of the clubs not getting a stadium sponsorship and not being compensated with normal sponsorship on the side, so they are definitely at a financial disadvantage even though it is a large club and have always been.

  • A fun feature is also that I now only get 1-year contract extensions. I am also a very old man in 2072, so it makes sense. :)

So my question is whether anyone has tested something similar in the newer versions of FM? As there is no need for me to change FM if the game has not improved in this. :)

Oh well - back to the game! FC Utrecht is the largest club in Europe. Very odd!

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This is a very unique way of playing the game so I think you will struggle to get an answer from someone with the same level of detail.

I can only tell you that the game since 2017 is alot better and more realistic  when it comes to what happens in the backroom and behind the club.

You also have a million other reasons to change FM.

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Maybe you are right! But on the other hand, there are some proper data geeks playing FM as well. :-)

In case no one has this type of insight, then I have started my own test game in FM2020 where I am testing it! All Danish clubs have received a foreground sugar daddy! And then I have maxed out the initial balance so the top div clubs have £225m in the bank! Let the spending begin! :) 

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