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FM20 Moneyball in the North-East


Sean1967
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Moneyball in the North-East:
Taking Sunderland back to the Premier League

 

What's going wrong at Sunderland? The big question.
From starting up and having a quick browse I can see some mismanagement already. Looking at my first XI, only three of them are in the top 10 earners at the club. The club is healthy financially however the £10m annual wage bill will quickly eat into the £15m bank balance.

I'm happy with the squad size as the focus will be on promotion. Cup competitions will be for back-up and youth players due to the demands of a 46 game league season. The squad should be good enough to see us out League 1 but I am missing a playmaker and unless there is someone coming through it will be my first purchase.

I have decided to go down the Moneyball route to sort this mess out. I took Alex Stewart's 10 commandments from his The Set Pieces blog that he derived from Soccernomics. In italics is my take on them and how I'll implement it. 

Moneyball in the North-East

  1. Net wage spend is more important than net transfer spend (pp. 14-21) – This means that a £1m 28 y.o. winger might not be the bargain you assume if they want £80k p/w over 3 years. The time you add it up with bonuses etc. you are north of £15m. The better option might be the 23 y.o. prospect with two good seasons under his belt for £4.5m but only commands a wage of £18k p/w. This will set the club back less than £8m after 3 years and you should have a sellable asset. 
  2. Don’t needlessly splash out on new players or sell old ones when you take over a club – the New Manager Syndrome (pp. 21-22) – Avoid new manager syndrome by disabling transfers in the first window. Max of 3 signings in summer and 2 in January, 1 if top of the table/overperforming.
  3. Don’t buy players who impressed at international tournaments: they’re likely to be overvalued and past performance is no indication of future performance, especially when they’re playing with a different team (pp. 22-24) – There are different incentives and a different tactical set-up at tournaments, and it’s a super small sample size. – Not quite sure how I translate this into FM as it is probably not as erratic as IRL.
  4. Some nationalities are overrated, like Holland, Brazil, and England (pp. 24-25) – It’ll be difficult to stick to this managing Sunderland, I suppose the key is to avoid overpaying. Use the transfer list and bosman deals.
  5. Sell your players at the right time: when they’re around 30 years old, goalkeepers aside (p. 29) – The current first-team squad has 5 players around this age that I will look to replace by the start of next season. 
  6. Use the wisdom of crowds: ask all your scouts and a Director of Football if you have one (pp. 43-44) – Take full advantage of the new staff roles and have recruitment team do the work for me. However, I will take control of negotiations to keep things as tight as possible. 
  7. Buy players in their early twenties, which avoids the problems with not developing properly, and means previous statistics have greater value (pp. 45-47) – Easy to do, set the scouts to look for players 20-25 don’t sign anyone over or under for a fee.
  8. Centre-forwards cost more than they should (p. 47) – Go strikerless, retrain, look for loans/frees? Not sure how to attack this yet. I’ll get 2/3 seasons out Will Grigg so I should probably get looking at the end of the season as there doesn’t appear to be anyone in the u23s or u19s.
  9. Sell any player if a club offers more than they are worth and try to replace them before they are sold (pp. 48-49) – This is obviously subjective. How much is your forward worth if he has scored 20 league goals in January and you are on track for promotion? If a player becomes unhappy, we find a replacement and sell. I might need to come up with a formula here to make the decision quantitative.
  10. Don’t buy players if you don’t need to: develop a youth network and try to develop your own players (pp. 49-51) – My limit on signings policy should help here. Max of 3 in the summer and 2 in January. As for youth players, I will look to bring in some promising youngsters <£250k to fill in the gaps.


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As chance would have it my vison and the club's vision appear to line up. Going forward I will set up with an intense attacking 4-5-1. I want goals, and I want lots of them. Currently, we have the right squad for it at this level. The only thing missing is a playmaker. That will be my one January target, providing I don't sell anyone. Like I said I want to keep squad disruption to a minimum. 

Luckily we have a very good youth squad. I have promoted two to the first team from the u23s to see if they suit my idea of the type of playmaker I want. One of them looks like they could fit the mould. Most of them look like they could step in January if I was to offload some of the higher earners.

Going forward there will be a wage structure in place. I worked this out at around £150k p/w using 60% of revenue from annual ticket sales. I'll adjust my estimates as I get more information going forward. November will be a good time to review this. 

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I also had a clear out of the department heads to bring in my own team. Chris Doig joins as my assistant he's been around the Football League for a few years so should be a useful appointment. The other appointments as follows.

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Pre-season went smoothly as we won most of our games. Lynden Gooch and loanee Antoine Semenyo have impressed so far with 5 goals each of the wings. They are both versatile and can play right across the front three. The ideal type of players when trying to keep the squad small and close-knit. Each position in the squad will have three KPI's (key performance indicators) that I'll assess quarterly. What exactly they are is TBC but for wingers the are as follows. 

  1. Key passes/90mins
  2. Cross completion % (W) or shots on target/90mins (IF)
  3. Dribbles per game

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Signing Criteria
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This is the signing criteria for Total Football Sunderland

For League 1 I expect a minimum of 10 for 12/14 stats. When looking to recruit I will look to push them towards 12. The current squad in relation to the filter we are lacking in central defence. Joel Lynch is the closest - let down by 9s in anticipation, decisions and OTB - however, he is a BPD so that is a positive. He's performing well in the role so far and at 31 has no sell on value really. I'll keep him until his contract expires at the end of the season and re-evaluate. 

Tommie Hoban looks like he could be a very promising signing. He looks an improvement on my 2nd choice CB Jordan Willis. His injury history is a concern but if I can get him on a cheap enough deal weighted with appearances until the end of the season I think I will. He is out until December so I will hold off but he is definitely on my radar.

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The versatility of the squad is incredible. This was my subs bench for a 2-0 win over Bolton. This is something I will look at when signing players. 

  • Full-backs - should either be capable of playing CM/DM or wingers
  • Centrebacks - ideally can play in midfield also
  • Central midfielders - should be competent in a number of roles, possibly even cover CB
  • Sticker/wingers - they should be able to interchange

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This how I want us to line up going forward. We're not that far off it at the moment. There are a few players on high wages that just don't suit and I'll look to ship out in January. I made one signing with Ibrahima Cisse signing a 3-year deal. He fits the profile perfectly in terms of age, low wages, free and has sell on value, and versitlie. He is a midfielder but I'll be using him as BPD.

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On 22/05/2020 at 20:32, Ronaldo Beckham said:

I have always had a soft spot for Sunderland. I like your approach, I think I might do the same when I decide to do a Sunderland save.

 

On 22/05/2020 at 21:26, karanhsingh said:

Good luck. I just played out a long save with sunderland which was a lot of fun. BTW Willis is great all the way to the PL and also improves quite a bit. 

 

18 hours ago, WillHoward42 said:

Very interesting concept, I look forward to seeing this played out.

Thanks hope you follow!

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Our form has been shocking and I'm under quite a bit of pressure now. Will Griggs has gone from a goal every other game to no goals in 8. I was very reluctant to spend in January but I may need to bring in another forward as the back-up players are just not up to it and I'll look to ship out to free up some funds. January is going to be a very big month overall. I brought in Tommie Hoban on a free and shipped out 4 younger players on high wages who would be leaving at the end of the season.

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On 28/05/2020 at 11:02, granarian said:

Following! 

Those draws are so realistic to the last two seasons Sunderland have had in league one! No quick fix! 

:thup:. Aye it does seem to be following the trend, hopefully I don't follow the trend of managers being sacked...

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Following.

Hi Sean. Great concept and great choice of club. Sunderland certainly has had some issues in recent seasons so best of luck. When the current season halted, Sunderland was outside the play-off spots which says it all really.  I've also started a Sunderland save after starting the netfix series, so I know how demanding this board is!

I've never tried setting up scouting assignments like you have so I'll be borrowing that style. Do you find that your scouts return with enough reports or is it too restricting? I'm playing with first window turned off so hopefully in January I'll have a decent shortlist.

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On 30/05/2020 at 00:36, WhoAreYa? said:

Following.

Hi Sean. Great concept and great choice of club. Sunderland certainly has had some issues in recent seasons so best of luck. When the current season halted, Sunderland was outside the play-off spots which says it all really.  I've also started a Sunderland save after starting the netfix series, so I know how demanding this board is!

I've never tried setting up scouting assignments like you have so I'll be borrowing that style. Do you find that your scouts return with enough reports or is it too restricting? I'm playing with first window turned off so hopefully in January I'll have a decent shortlist.

The board certainly is 
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I'm just working on building it up the now. Currently I only have one scout looking for first team players in England so I'm being priced out quite a lot.

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Being knocked out the FA Cup by Reading may turn out the be a blessing in disguise. 13 points from 15 means we now sit top, though we could drop a place when games on hand are played. It has done wonders for our goal difference. Joel Lynch has been a rock at the back, pairing mostly with Ibrahima Cisse during the run of clean sheets.

Domonic Samuel came in on loan from Blackburn and scored on his debut. He fits the bill on an F9 quite nicely and is on low wages compared to some who left. His arrival also seemed to have spurred Will Griggs to score his first goal in a long time. The big sale of the window was 29 y.o. Tommy Smith to Inter Miami for £900k, which will go through in February. A regular starter who was replaced by more suitable CB's in Tommie Hoban and Cisse. A few others left for less notable fees but It freed up £42k p/w. Massive for a League 1 club.

We currently lose around £1.5m p/m so the reduction in wages should ease that a little.

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First I've seen this


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Edited by Sean1967
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Steadying the ship nicely Sean. Pressure is on now to maintain this form to the title. Dominic Samuel looks a handful, big and quick. Hope he does the business for you. I've come across him in my game when I manually scouted a few transfer listed players and I'm tempted. Scouting is coming up good for me so far though I have a growing shortlist of realistic targets with my 4 allowed scouts roaming England and Scotland.

 

I can't wait to get stuck into the financial side of the game. You're further on than me, how much do you think you will lose over the full season? What transfer budget did you get in January? Any other areas of the squad that you think need strengthening?

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11 hours ago, WhoAreYa? said:

Steadying the ship nicely Sean. Pressure is on now to maintain this form to the title. Dominic Samuel looks a handful, big and quick. Hope he does the business for you. I've come across him in my game when I manually scouted a few transfer listed players and I'm tempted. Scouting is coming up good for me so far though I have a growing shortlist of realistic targets with my 4 allowed scouts roaming England and Scotland.

 

I can't wait to get stuck into the financial side of the game. You're further on than me, how much do you think you will lose over the full season? What transfer budget did you get in January? Any other areas of the squad that you think need strengthening?

Yeah finally putting together a run of form at the right time. Dom Samuel's contract is up at the end of the season and I don't imagine his wages will be too high so I might look at signing him on a bosman. I just brought in some scouts and plan on putting something up about it in my end of season post.

We started with around £15m I suspect I will be closer to £5m by the end of the season. Prize money for L1 isn't great so I'm hoping for a decent sponsorship deal when this one expires to give me something to play with in the Championship should I go up.

I didn't get anything in Jan, freed up some funds from the wage budget but it's around £2m plus around £1m in player sales. I'll probably need to bring in some wingers. Chris Maguire has been my star player but he's 31 so I'd be daft not to cash in if I can and Antoine Semenyo's loan expires. I'd like to keep both but that area requires work.

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As part of my player evaluation, I have made a few handy Exel sheets. Basically, it comes up with a Total Football Sunderland DNA score. Going into next season I have set the following thresholds (based on being in the Championship). GK will be exempt and scored in there own way. This is the way I work out the current squad.

18-21 - 50%
22-24 - 55%
25-27 - 60%
27+ - 65%

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I have managed to convince the board to offer me a new two-year-deal. I expect to be challenging for promotion to the Premier League by the end of it. We have just taken the first steps towards making that a reality but securing a Play-Off spot. However 2nd place Oxford look like they have the easier run-in. If we can beat Peterborough in the next fixture I'm confident we can at least secure automatic promotion. 

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The wage bill is going to take a hit this year with Aiden McGeady returning from loan on £20k p/w at 34 meaning he'll be impossible to sell/loan. Grant Leadbitter is on £15k p/w, another that will be impossible to shift. Pretty much anyone highlighted can be sold if a good offer comes in, although I want to minimise the change.

I'm looking to bring in 3 first team players and about the same amount of younger players to act as back-up/step up next season. 

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Fantastic end to the season! Just shows how tough of a league this is. You've come from struggling in fourth to topping the league and it was very, very tight! Exactly what I'm seeing in my game, it's dog eat dog.

 

Love these spreadsheets that you're doing to help your squad building. Sunderland are in a right mess with a squad that's barely good enough, but still highly paid for this level. I'm trying to go through the squad now and see who fits in and who we can let go. The problem is I could have a massive firesale... but then that would cripple squad harmony and potentially derail the promotion push. The U23's and even the current U18's will be gutted but also there are sooo many players on expiring contracts in the first team. There are three leaving on loan and I still have another seven expiring. I have also already extended the contracts of Lynch, Dobson and O'Nien (not sure if they were all expiring or not but they are key players). I'd like to keep Jon McLaughlin but the others are expendable but I just can't deal with that level of turnover. So maybe Maguire, Flanagan and one more will stay if the finances are ok. My immediate concern is that I need to start building now (in January) for next season with free transfers but I'd also like to cash in on players like Smith, Lafferty and Watmore but the gamble is can I actually replace them now? We need a good squad to survive the last half of the season! These players like Lafferty (Wyke) and Watmore are not producing anything but they are good to bring on when games are wrapped up to rest Grigg, Gooch etc.

 

It's a lot of fun!

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14 hours ago, WhoAreYa? said:

Fantastic end to the season! Just shows how tough of a league this is. You've come from struggling in fourth to topping the league and it was very, very tight! Exactly what I'm seeing in my game, it's dog eat dog.

 

Love these spreadsheets that you're doing to help your squad building. Sunderland are in a right mess with a squad that's barely good enough, but still highly paid for this level. I'm trying to go through the squad now and see who fits in and who we can let go. The problem is I could have a massive firesale... but then that would cripple squad harmony and potentially derail the promotion push. The U23's and even the current U18's will be gutted but also there are sooo many players on expiring contracts in the first team. There are three leaving on loan and I still have another seven expiring. I have also already extended the contracts of Lynch, Dobson and O'Nien (not sure if they were all expiring or not but they are key players). I'd like to keep Jon McLaughlin but the others are expendable but I just can't deal with that level of turnover. So maybe Maguire, Flanagan and one more will stay if the finances are ok. My immediate concern is that I need to start building now (in January) for next season with free transfers but I'd also like to cash in on players like Smith, Lafferty and Watmore but the gamble is can I actually replace them now? We need a good squad to survive the last half of the season! These players like Lafferty (Wyke) and Watmore are not producing anything but they are good to bring on when games are wrapped up to rest Grigg, Gooch etc.

 

It's a lot of fun!

Aye they Championship is going to be tough, the squad isn't the strongest so I'm going to have to be very astute in the summer months. I know we need some key improvement but don't want whole sale changes. It will be difficult to stick to the 3 person rule but I will try. I plan to keep most of the players who's deals are expiring as they seem reasonable wages for the Championship, Luke O'Nein was the only one who wouldn't sign a new deal. I'm hoping a good offer comes in for someone but there is no interest yet. I'm hoping to get the £3m back for Will Griggs as I could do a lot with that I feel.

Finances have picked back up from around £5m to just over £10m. The board gave me £6m to spend and a £220k p/w wage budget. I don't want to blow the budget as it'll wipe out the bank balance. I made £1m last year and never spent any fees so I will try to keep my net spend to 2x that. I worked out my real wage structure budget should be around £180k p/w based on season tickets and gate receipts but I'll struggle to keep under that with Aiden McGeady and Grant Leadbitter not the books.

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I set out at the start to minimise the number of transfers. At first glance, it looks like I haven't, however, I'll break it down. Dominic Samuel was on loan last season so doesn't really count as change, other than him only Stephy Mavididi and former academy graduate George Honeyman were brought in for the first team. Alan Forrest, Calvin Miller and the three from Man Utd were brought in to play in the u23 side with the view of promoting them if and when they are needed. They all look like they could be good Championship players at the very least. The four final signings were brought in on very low wages mainly as tutors but I'll probably play them in the cups too.

I set myself the target of keeping wages below £180k p/w this season but it was impossible. Were spending £216k p/w currently. I'm still contributing £9k p/w to Grand Leadbitter, not great but better than £15k p/w. A lot of contracts are expiring at the end of the season so that will be more manageable.  

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I watched Moneyball for the 2nd time over the weekend and still found it amazing. 

I haven't read Soccernomics though so it's hard to comment specifically on what was mentioned there. What I would say is that Moneyball wasn't all about buying low and selling high. In it's basic form it was about identifying statistics that highlighted players that were under-valued by the market, (rbi's which I'm not sure is the same thing as getting on base, but I'm a complete novice at Baseball so not really sure). 

I wonder what statistics we could use in FM that would be classed as under-valued? 

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The problem with this is that player valuation seems to be very strange. I can look at similar players who have a similar career history but who's valuations are miles apart. It often just doesn't make sense to me. 

As a basic rule of thumb..... maybe double their valuation could be a trigger? 

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2 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

I watched Moneyball for the 2nd time over the weekend and still found it amazing. 

I haven't read Soccernomics though so it's hard to comment specifically on what was mentioned there. What I would say is that Moneyball wasn't all about buying low and selling high. In it's basic form it was about identifying statistics that highlighted players that were under-valued by the market, (rbi's which I'm not sure is the same thing as getting on base, but I'm a complete novice at Baseball so not really sure). 

I wonder what statistics we could use in FM that would be classed as under-valued? 

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The problem with this is that player valuation seems to be very strange. I can look at similar players who have a similar career history but who's valuations are miles apart. It often just doesn't make sense to me. 

As a basic rule of thumb..... maybe double their valuation could be a trigger? 

I don't know the relationship between statistics and player value in game. That is more for identifying the stats that have an impact on how you play for example I look for passing % with all players, for wingers key passes is more important to me than cross completion, centre halfs need to have a high inception %. For other sides if you have big centre halfs and forwards then you look for attacking players who win a lot of fouls. I'll do a post on how I asses it for my squad mid-season.

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Overall results have been decent considering we just came up and pretty much still have the same XI. The Norwich result was disappointing considering we lead the Premier League side 2-0 at one point, throwing it away in the 2nd half.

The board takeover went through and we have a healthy £16m balance - shame they are going to blow around £10m on two terrible deals. Josh Dasilva is very versatile and young, other than that he had a poor season last season and will be our highest-paid player. Abdou Harroui is another that fails to wow. The outlays far outweigh the benefits. Frustrating. 

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Annoying waste of money on overpriced transfers and a ridiculous wage package too by the sounds of it... Sunderland owners just don't learn! You've had a great start, especially so if your first eleven hasn't really changed. I'd take that! I've said this a few times now but I just don't really see anyone in the squad capable of turning this club around. It's a massive rebuilding job.

I fear my Sunderland game is at an end. I was promoted (my first for a long, long time) in 2nd place barely surviving a few wobbles and have started to cut down the playing squads. I got one prospect through the youth intake who is already getting poached and will be leaving for peanuts. I was forced to extend the contracts of McLaughlin (I do like him), Maguire, and Flanagan (possibly Baldwin too) and I'm still absolutely barebones. I just don't have enough confidence in the players who I have or the confidence that I can even bring in adequate squad players. The good news is that we've had a takeover, almost exactly the same financially as yours but different investors. The money is there but we have to be smart because as you said there's the likes of McGeady coming back, plus an aging Leadbitter and Watmore who has to go too. The whole point of the save is to bring Sunderland back in a sensible and sustainable manner so they never have such a crisis ever again.

This season our football has been horrible. We controlled the ball but nothing that I did had us scoring goals or creating chances on a regular basis. We were just a bit too ponderous and wasteful, often relying on a bit of brilliance. It's a shame because the challenge is a good one and there are quite a few players in the squad who I've grown quite attached to: O'Nien, Dobson, Grigg and Gooch to name some. Just not sure that I have the stomach for it!

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I've had an extremely busy window but it's interesting to see a couple of familar faces between our games in Alan Forrest and George Honeyman. If you're interested here are my dealings; fingers crossed they are good enough! Just putting it on hold now to make sure I still want to progress.

Out: C. McLaughlin (mut termination £60k); Wyke (£150k); Watmore (free); Lafferty (free); Smith (free); Winnall (exp loan); Semanyo (exp loan); John (exp loan); Burge (loan); Plus gutting the U23 squad and staff on frees (£150k profit).

That leaves the following squad:

*Honeyman and Smith are still in progress

Goalkeepers: McLaughling, Smith (free)*

Defenders: O'Nien; Perry Ng (£350k); Willis, Lynch, Baldwin, Flanagan, Obita (free), Hume

Central Midfield: Dobson, Embleton, Power, Leadbitter, Mumba, Scowen, Honeyman (£475k)*

Wide Midfield: McGeady, Gooch, Maguire, Forrest (£90k January)

Strikers: Grigg, Hepburn-Murphy (loan), Balogan (loan.

Very light for the Championship but hopefully I've got just about enough cover. Lots of money left over for January if needed. Total wages are around £200k per week despite the turnover and having a very structured wage will (excluding McGeady and Leadbitter).

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On 12/06/2020 at 20:18, WhoAreYa? said:

Annoying waste of money on overpriced transfers and a ridiculous wage package too by the sounds of it... Sunderland owners just don't learn! You've had a great start, especially so if your first eleven hasn't really changed. I'd take that! I've said this a few times now but I just don't really see anyone in the squad capable of turning this club around. It's a massive rebuilding job.

I fear my Sunderland game is at an end. I was promoted (my first for a long, long time) in 2nd place barely surviving a few wobbles and have started to cut down the playing squads. I got one prospect through the youth intake who is already getting poached and will be leaving for peanuts. I was forced to extend the contracts of McLaughlin (I do like him), Maguire, and Flanagan (possibly Baldwin too) and I'm still absolutely barebones. I just don't have enough confidence in the players who I have or the confidence that I can even bring in adequate squad players. The good news is that we've had a takeover, almost exactly the same financially as yours but different investors. The money is there but we have to be smart because as you said there's the likes of McGeady coming back, plus an aging Leadbitter and Watmore who has to go too. The whole point of the save is to bring Sunderland back in a sensible and sustainable manner so they never have such a crisis ever again.

This season our football has been horrible. We controlled the ball but nothing that I did had us scoring goals or creating chances on a regular basis. We were just a bit too ponderous and wasteful, often relying on a bit of brilliance. It's a shame because the challenge is a good one and there are quite a few players in the squad who I've grown quite attached to: O'Nien, Dobson, Grigg and Gooch to name some. Just not sure that I have the stomach for it!

It's extremely annoying and pretty much goes against the point of the save. I'm trying to buy sensibly and rebuild over a few seasons. It's a massive rebuild so I think the Championship might take 2/3 seasons to get out. I think I have the core of a squad good enough. Dobson, Hume, Mamba, Mavadidi and the youngsters from Man Utd could all cut it at upper Championship level. McLaughlan and Maguire have been my top performers so I'll likely keep them around at least another season. There is no point in spending any more than £2m at this level as you are likely to find a better free or loan for the same wage budget.

It a slog of a save but will be worth holding out. I want to rebuild in the Premier League and then get poached for a big rebuild at one of the top sides. Man Utd would be interesting, or who ever are underperforming at the time. Obviously Newcastle will be out of the question.

On 12/06/2020 at 21:49, WhoAreYa? said:

I've had an extremely busy window but it's interesting to see a couple of familar faces between our games in Alan Forrest and George Honeyman. If you're interested here are my dealings; fingers crossed they are good enough! Just putting it on hold now to make sure I still want to progress.

Out: C. McLaughlin (mut termination £60k); Wyke (£150k); Watmore (free); Lafferty (free); Smith (free); Winnall (exp loan); Semanyo (exp loan); John (exp loan); Burge (loan); Plus gutting the U23 squad and staff on frees (£150k profit).

That leaves the following squad:

*Honeyman and Smith are still in progress

Goalkeepers: McLaughling, Smith (free)*

Defenders: O'Nien; Perry Ng (£350k); Willis, Lynch, Baldwin, Flanagan, Obita (free), Hume

Central Midfield: Dobson, Embleton, Power, Leadbitter, Mumba, Scowen, Honeyman (£475k)*

Wide Midfield: McGeady, Gooch, Maguire, Forrest (£90k January)

Strikers: Grigg, Hepburn-Murphy (loan), Balogan (loan.

Very light for the Championship but hopefully I've got just about enough cover. Lots of money left over for January if needed. Total wages are around £200k per week despite the turnover and having a very structured wage will (excluding McGeady and Leadbitter).

 

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We should have had the perfect month. We conceded 3 injury time goals - I'll have to address this going forward. Had we not conceded them we would be sitting in the play-off spaces. Overall it was a good month, hopefully, we can kick on from the back-to-back wins.

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Staff Changes

Spoiler

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Edited by Sean1967
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I have identified a weakness in the squad. Though Conor McLaughlin was one of our top performers last season he only made 3 assists. Compare that to Denver Hume who got 15. He has not been performing with the step up despite taking home close to £10k p/w with bonuses. He's a full international and at 29 this might be my last chance to cash in on as his deal ends in the summer. 

He's valued at £350k so I'm going to set an asking price of around £300k and see if it stirs any interest. I have identified two potential replacements. My first choice is Colin Dagba who has been performing consistently for PSG 2. It's no slight on him that he can't get in the superstar laden first team. His assets look good - this is what is making him my preferred option over Guillermo Cotungo.

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Edited by Sean1967
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I tried to be as statistical as possible when making the decision here as they were both very good potential signings. It came down to it and I had to make the decision. In the end, I went for Colid Dagba. Although he worked out around £500k more over the 3-and-a half-year deal he looked like the best value for money. He has had more assists and has better passing, tackling, fouls etc. stats. He is prime age for singing too. He has two contract life cycles in him before I'd be looking to sell him to recoup some of the investment. I'd likely be looking to sell Gullermo Cotugno during the initial contract. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I managed to sell on Aiden McGeady to Shamrock Rovers. I will still be contributing £7.5k p/w to his wage until the summer. This should still save us over £200k overall so good business for us. 

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Back after a short break. We seem to be really struggling against the top sides. When you look at the wage budgets you understand why. I don't think we'll land a playoff spot as a result but we are not ready for the Premier League anyway. Another year in the Championship would probably be good for the squad.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great read so far. I too enjoyed Netflix series and to be fair, your story depicts football management pretty close as it is in real life - always evaluating and finding the most sustainable way for the club, trying not to overachieve and put finances under risk, and finding the best value players that suit formation and tactics

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 28/07/2020 at 09:15, Draakon said:

Great read so far. I too enjoyed Netflix series and to be fair, your story depicts football management pretty close as it is in real life - always evaluating and finding the most sustainable way for the club, trying not to overachieve and put finances under risk, and finding the best value players that suit formation and tactics

Cheers mate, hopefully have an update in a couple days!

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