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[FM21] Sunday League to Champions League


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Posted (edited)

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Apr - May 2023

We finished the season breaking records, missing out by a single point.
Witham lost their last game to Clapton who we were due to face off against in the league cup final.

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A season ended with a couple of second places as we lost on the lottery of penalties in the cup final to Clapton who won the competition for the 2nd time in 3 years. 

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We also had our youth intake, which again raised the question: are any of these players worth the financial investment of £5p/w?

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In short, my answer is no.

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None of these players would come close to the first team & for now we have to limit the investments we're making to the first team squad so we can move up the leagues and earn more money before we eventually invest in a group, or even a handful, of youngsters.

Looking at our wage payments over time, we can see that this season we have started a sharp incline of bonuses totalling up to £161p/w.

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As the wages have increased slightly, the increase in our income has not matched the increase in our expenditure.

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The big differences between this season & last in terms of money spent is on travel costs & bonuses.
I think we expect more of the same next season, so we'll need another good cup run to keep the finances in shape!

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I'll be keeping our maximum bonuses at £20 appearance fees as to not increase the bonus expense too much. Hopefully we can improve the squad and not lose any key players. Winning the league has to be our target for next season after coming so close this!

Edited by Motlhen
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This was the first season that Seidi didn't match a goal per game with only 39 goals in 40 apps.
The striker is a machine! He now has 121 goals in 101 games for the club & we are going to have to start a go fund me to build him a statue outside the ground!

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17 hours ago, Fudal said:

Is Seidi a club legend now? Surely he’s on the list

Seidi is a legend to our 27 season ticket holders, but currently he's listed as an Icon of the club.

His strike partner from our first season, who retired after the first campaign & became our scout for a season is listed in favoured personnel alongside me.

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Posted (edited)

Jun 2023

On average we saw 77 extra fans per game this season, helped out by the FA Cup attendances or our home games against our rivals Enfield & Cockfosters.

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Our lowest attendances were in the league cup & surprisingly the lowest was the local game at Enfield.
It's a shame not more than 61 fans witnessed our 6-3 thriller against West Essex.

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We've had a busy start to the off-season with Seidi & Tallack agreeing to semi-pro deals.

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We've signed a few exciting players that will improve the squad too.
All but one are aged 30+, as has been the theme the last few seasons.

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Our board has set up a senior affiliate with Ebbsfleet United.
Despite not getting a fee, we should be able to loan a few decent players from the National League side to help improve the squad.

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Last month we made a big profit, this month we broke even.

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Edited by Motlhen
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Jul 2023

I promised the players we would be strengthening the midfield &, with the age of some of our starters, I have brought in substantial cover.
The following signings have all come in to the club over the course of the month. I have varied expectations for each of them.

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Davis started 34 games last season but has decided to leave to go to Faversham.
His departure was an additional reason why I have signed so many centre-mids.

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& he wasn't the only departure.

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Luckily, we've kept hold of most of our key players though. 
& with the new influx of signings I think the squad is in a stronger position than last year.
Our "new" right back that I was raving about at the end of last season is now also our captain, with another new signing taking the vice captaincy.

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Expectations are high.
Basildon are the team to beat!

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An indifferent set of results in pre-season.
We lost where we were expected to lose & won where we were expected to win.

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Finances are stable, for now.

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Aug 2023

We've started well, with 3 new wingers getting goals, alongside the most familiar name on our scoresheet!

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The FA Cup is hugely important for us & we'll be looking to take the game to Albion Sports at their ground in the replay.

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Posted (edited)

We managed to win in the replay against Albion Sports as we almost matched our FA Vase spectacle from 2021 against Greenwich which we won 8-6. This time, there were two goals less, but the same outcome and winning margin.

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In the 8-6 two seasons ago, Seidi got 5 of the goals.
This time round, he got all SEVEN!

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Including an 8 minute hattrick & two goals in quick succession at the end of the first half after we'd thrown away our 3-0 lead.

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We've got a tough draw away to Farnborough who play at the level above us.

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Edited by Motlhen
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In 2021, we won 8-6 & then lost 7-3 in the FA Vase.
Conceding 13 goals in two games preceded our first choice goalkeeper choosing to leave the club.

After today's result, we have the same problem: 

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After winning 7-5, we lost against Farnborough 5-3, in a game where their xG was not even 1.
Conceding 10 in two games was too much for our first choice goalkeeper, Funnel who has packed his bags and is off to Cheshunt.

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The departure has left us thin in goal (again) as Beazley has declined drastically over the past season since being first choice before Funnell joined & we are going to have to turn to the services of Jake Viney.

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9 hours ago, deltablue said:

Well, your matches aren't dull ;)

Definitely not!

We'll need Seidi to stay in form to make up for the drop in quality in between the sticks!

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Posted (edited)

Sep 2023

Seidi hasn't had the chance to stay in-form after fracturing his ribs.
15 goals in 10 apps shows how much he'll be missed.

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His replacement has been loanee Howard, who up until the injury was a player on the fringes.
But a few more performances like this could see him stake a place alongside Seidi when he returns.

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Over the past few years I've had a pretty horrendous time getting the board to agree to any improvements to the club.
I have asked numerous times to start my coaching licenses, but have been turned down as they fear I'll move to a bigger club. We have poor facilities & limited youth recruitment so I have also asked for improvements in those areas, but again, with no success. So out of almost pure frustration I decided to ask them to improve our academy coaching, which was already considered basic (which is high for our level) & of course they have decided to grant this request.
Anyway, I shouldn't really be complaining. Hopefully this will help improve the standard of players coming through our youth ranks.

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On the pitch we've had a very busy month.
After the chaos in the FA Cup we have wobbled into some sort of form, despite losing to Walthamstow & find ourselves in 4th after 7 matches.
Preseason favourites Basildon are above us alongside the only club to beat us so far this season & Clapton who beat us in last year's league cup final have been perfect so far and are 5 points ahead of us.

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The FA Cup has helped us increase our budget significantly again as we hit a new record high.
I'll be keeping an eye on how our youth coaching improvements affect our outgoings in the long run too as I don't believe there have been any immediate costs.

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Edited by Motlhen
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Clapton's perfect run has come to an immediate end after I pointed it out. It turns out they were on a daunting 25-game unbeaten streak. 

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The team they lost to? Bottom of the league Woodford Town who claim their first win of the season & only their 2nd win in a previous 17 league matches.

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After moving in with AFC Mansfield look they have got to have a stadium expansion to move up a level too.

Glad im not having to pay for it lol.

Now we are moving in with mansfield town for a little bit.

 

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I got a major problem, we are in the process of a board takeover so we cant sign any new players but other teams are poaching and taking my players.

Only got 18 players left now so hoping the takeover is completed soon or we wont have any players left by the time the season starts.

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2 hours ago, lionel messi said:

I got a major problem, we are in the process of a board takeover so we cant sign any new players but other teams are poaching and taking my players.

Only got 18 players left now so hoping the takeover is completed soon or we wont have any players left by the time the season starts.

Damn that's a busy time to have a transfer embargo! 

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2 minutes ago, Motlhen said:

Damn that's a busy time to have a transfer embargo! 

Luckily it has now been completed and i can start bringing in a few players, it took like ages and i was beggining to think there was a bug and i would be stuck like that.

I was down to about 15 players at one stage while trying to hang on to my good players as well.

Despite that i have made a good start to the season with 6 wins out of 6.

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Oct 2023

On 09/04/2021 at 10:29, abulezz said:

The Finances look like they are getting better - usually first chance I get I put investment in Youth. 

That's exactly what I've decided to do too!

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We've managed to keep going strong in the league despite a lot of injuries.

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We have managed to sign quite a few players on trials over the past 12 months who without a doubt would have improved our first team quality. Unfortunately a majority of these players ended up either wanting too much money or choosing to move to another club that is offering more.

But I think that we have managed to secure the signatures of some big players this month, including another improvement at right back.

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We're reliant on big bursts of income against a lower but more consistent level of outgoings.

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Nov 2023

Howard has been fantastic in a rough patch for Seidi, but he's now out for up to 3 months. A huge blow.

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I've made two more quality signings including a new first choice goalkeeper.

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We had managed to continue our dominant spell until we were halted in our tracks by Basildon who jump ahead of us in the table by beating us. We do have a game in hand over them however, so hopefully we'll bounce back up to the top of the table.

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Our wage expenditure has been increasing continuously. I'm waiting for it to hit a ceiling before thinking about increasing any of the appearance fee offers I'm making

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Overall our finances take another tumble this month with the FA Vase prize money not packing as much punch as the FA Cup's did earlier in the season.

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Posted (edited)

Dec 2023

We've struggled to sign & keep hold of our 'keepers but all of a sudden we have been able to sign another two who can all challenge for a first team spot along with Tokarzyck who joined the squad last month (more on the keepers in a minute..)

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We've made quite a few new signings for the middle of the season, but players like Landers are really exciting & a massive improvement on our current squad.

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We have had some very encouraging signs from this years youth intake.
I've gone from 3 seasons of "don't expect much" to a potential golden generation - hopefully that's the youth improvements paying off immediately!

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& whilst off the field has been busy and exciting, we've been much less exciting to watch on the pitch.
Our poor run of form started with a bizarre hiding in the 2nd half of extra time against West Essex dumping us out of the league cup.
We then needed debutant Landers to salvage a replay against lower league Ryhope who managed to win away in the return fixture to bring this seasons run in the cups to a swift end.
Following on from the disappointment in the cups, we've been dreadful in the league & we just can't stop conceding! Luckily we have ended the month & the year with a win and I am hopeful we can put this poor run of form behind us.

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We also picked up an unwanted record.

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Despite our cup failures, we're still in the mix of a 3-horse race for the league title.

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Our poor run of form could be attributed to a high turnaround of players joining the squad.
We have had 3 new goalkeepers join & each has played 3 games and we have conceded a fairly higher ratio of goals recently whilst doing so.

Looking at the stats, our original goalkeeper Viney is rated the worst by ability, but the best by average rating.
Smith has the second highest average rating and is the best of the newbies and I am hugely disappointed with McDonald & Tokarczyk's performances. It's Smith's no. 1 jersey for now.

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Sticking just above the £50k mark.

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Edited by Motlhen
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19 hours ago, lionel messi said:

I managed to gain promotion but didnt win the league.

I won the league cup though in extra time.

Finances are not too great at the moment.

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Unlucky missing out on the league, but is that 3 straight promotions now?

That is a pretty steep decline in your finances, how much are you paying your players?

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2 hours ago, Motlhen said:

Unlucky missing out on the league, but is that 3 straight promotions now?

That is a pretty steep decline in your finances, how much are you paying your players?

Yes 3 straight promotions.

Im in a harder league now so i dont think i will be getting promoted this season, its hard to attract players at this level.

I find better players but none will join because they always say my clubs reputation is not high enough.

I had this same problem when i played it 1st time round with Trowbridge Town, 1st season at this level i only just stayed up.

most was on about £50 a week non contract but then there are bonuses on top of that, they are on between £70-£100 now i am at a higher level.

i cant offer part-time contracts just yet so they could just leave at any point.

I am hoping i can have decent runs in the FA Cup & FA Trophy to pump the finances up a little bit.

Our attendances have not been good over the last 3 season either, mostly below 100, our average attendance was 82 last season.

We have not had a takeover at the start of this season, last 2 seasons we have lol.

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21 hours ago, lionel messi said:

Yes 3 straight promotions.

Im in a harder league now so i dont think i will be getting promoted this season, its hard to attract players at this level.

I find better players but none will join because they always say my clubs reputation is not high enough.

I had this same problem when i played it 1st time round with Trowbridge Town, 1st season at this level i only just stayed up.

most was on about £50 a week non contract but then there are bonuses on top of that, they are on between £70-£100 now i am at a higher level.

i cant offer part-time contracts just yet so they could just leave at any point.

I am hoping i can have decent runs in the FA Cup & FA Trophy to pump the finances up a little bit.

Our attendances have not been good over the last 3 season either, mostly below 100, our average attendance was 82 last season.

We have not had a takeover at the start of this season, last 2 seasons we have lol.

Yep, a lot seems to hinge on getting a run in the FA cup to boost finances.

Good luck keeping up the great work!

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Jan 2024

What a way to get back on form.
3 wins with 0 conceded & I am happy with my decision to stick with Smith between the sticks.

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The board have finally decided it's a good idea to let me do my coaching qualifications, halfway through my 4th season of asking!

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At the end of the month, we signed a few more players, including another 'keeper.

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We saw Ripsher leave after a good couple of seasons at the club as we bring in another left back to the starting XI to replace Kennedy who's been rubbish so far.

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I need to be careful as the size of the squad is getting large with around 60 players on the books. I only pay those that play, so it doesn't matter financially, but the negative implications on morale could come into play if some players start murmuring their discontent about playing time. For now though, I am happy to leave the players that don't kick up a fuss in the squad.

 

 

In terms of finances we have had a disastrous month after losing over £21,000 to 'Other' costs.

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Feb 2024

Four new signings this month.

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A hugely disappointing start to the month saw us lose two & only draw with promotion rivals Basildon.
Winning against Walthamstow was important to pull back towards the top of the table as we are joint top with them, but have played one game more.

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After the devastating loss of money last month, this month it's a more familiar, smaller loss.

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Mar 2024

We're halfway through March & the league is too tight to call with four games remaining.

We lost to 3rd place Heybridge, which allowed Walthamstow to extend their lead at the top to 4 points (which could have been 6 if Ilford hadn't held them to a draw.)
A win for both sides was followed by a dramatic gameweek 30 with relegation-threatened Stansted holding the league leaders to a draw, whilst Ryan Grosvenor's first goal for the club clinched the 3 points with the last kick of the game against Fisher! This meant that the lead at the top has been halved down to two points.

Our matches
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Walthamstow's matches
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The promotion race is heading to the wire.
the four remaining fixtures for both teams are very similar, with neither of us facing a team from the half in the run in to the end of the season.

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We have made a steady start to the league. (aim is just to stay up)

I cant sign any better players because our reputation is not high enough yet.

We are 1 win away from being in the 1st round of the FA Cup which could be huge for us and to generate some decent money.

 

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Mar 2024 continued..

We needed a penalty to get past a stubborn West Essex, but with Woodford Town beating Walthamstow, we're now in the driving seat with 3 games left to play!

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