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Andy King
The 5,000-1 Challenge


Hi all,

I’ve long admired the SAF Challenge and it often provides some of my most entertaining FM games. I thought, since my own club has a fairly spectacular story, it would be fun to setup a challenge around their achievement.

On the 4th May 2008 Leicester City were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history. On the 2nd May 2016 they secured the first top-tier title in their history. Your challenge is to try to replicate and if possible surpass the seemingly impossible journey the club went on in those 8 seasons.
 

Rules
- Holiday to the 9th May 2021
- Create a manager with Continental B Licence and Professional Footballer (local level) experience (the expected for a league one manager)
- Take over the side that finished the first season 22nd in the Championship (Leicester finished 22nd in 2007-2008 with 52 points)
- You have 8 seasons to take the club from League One to the Premier League title
- You must spend no more than £95m (roughly the amount Leicester spent on transfers) across the 8 seasons
- 10 of Leicester’s Premier League title winning squad played for the club in the Championship. You should aim for similar (Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Jeffrey Schlupp, Andy King, Danny Drinkwater, Marcin Wasilewski, Liam Moore, Wes Morgan, Ritchie De Laet, Kasper Schmeichel).
- One player who was relegated with the club to League One must be registered to play for the club in all 8 seasons, you should aim to give them game time in your Premier League title winning campaign (in Leicester’s case Andy King was relegated to League One and remained an ever present in the squad, featuring in 25 Premier League games in Leicester’s title winning campaign).

Please post screenshots of the Championship league table on 9th May 2021, your manager's profile and evidence of any of the below accomplishments. As well as any updates you care to give as your season progresses.

---

Scoring (I have highlighted Leicester's historic achievements in blue)

Champions League win +1000 points
Europa League win +250 points
Europa League II win +200 points
Premier League Title win in seasons 3-7 + 1000 points
In season 8 +500 points

League One Player Bonus
+ 2000 if player relegated to League One features in 35+ Premier League games of title season
+1500 if … 30 Premier League games of title season
+ 1000 points if … 25 Premier League games of title season
+ 500 points if … 20 Premier League games of title season
+ 250 points if … 15 Premier League games of title season
+ 100 points if … 10 Premier League games of title season
+ 50 points if … 5 Premier League games of title season

+100 points for every game the player relegated to League One starts in the Premier League title campaign (Andy King started 9) – the player must not be subbed off in the first half unless injured for this to count.

Championship Team Continuity Bonus
+ 2000 points if 20 players who won promotion from the Championship are registered in and play in the Premier League title winning season
+ 1500 points if 15
+ 1000 if 10
+500 if 5

+250 points for each player who played in the Championship and starts more than 10 league games in the Premier League title winning season (Leicester had 6, Kasper Schmeichel, Wes Morgan, Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater and Jeffrey Schlupp)

FA Cup +250 points
League Cup +200 points
Championship title +75 points
League One title +25 points

EFL Trophy +20 points

Relegation -500 Points

---

Leicester’s historic score: 5,000 points

Can you beat it?

Edited by Mark_w
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I've holidayed through and got Rotherham. Wiles, Olosunde & Barlaser look like the three best candidates to try and keep at the club long term, though they don't have many particularly good options.

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Glad to see a little bit of interest in this. Would love to see some other people give it a go.

It's been slow progress for me, finally through the first half of the season so thought I'd post an update. I've tried to pretty much exclusively use free transfers and loans so that I'm not eating into the transfer restrictions in the challenge until I hit the Championship. Newcastle were able to take Olosunde from me because of a release clause which is a huge pain because he was one I was targetting to have some role in the PL.

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The tactic doesn't feel great, but it has at least won a lot of throw-ins, and Kayode's 17 long throws and long flat throw + a physically strong side with plenty of height has been an invaluable weapon. I feel like set pieces will be really important long term if I'm going to carry some of these players in higher divsions so I'm pleased with that at least. I'd say his 10 assists so far aren't a great reflection because there have been several more goals from his long throws that have come after a flick on or as a result of a goal mouth scramble.

1465180629_RotherhamSide.thumb.PNG.7e31b2f5343bbb275bc3b808d14adb31.PNGLe

League is quite tight at the moment and can't say I'm hugely confident but it's been good enough so far.


1275024527_LeagueOneRotherhamHalfWayPoint.thumb.PNG.3217d24eebb9d2c32837d37a5761116f.PNG

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So season one is done and it's been a bad start. Had a dreadful Jan/Feb and ultimately got thrashed in the play-off final. I don't think I'm going to do well at this challenge.

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Halfway through Season 2 with Rotherham and still struggling in League One. I think getting into the Premier League in 8 seasons might be a more attainable goal now but still going to plod on and see how I do. New tactic does feel a bit better anyway.

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Posted (edited)

Season 2 done, wasn't perfect and I don't get any points for it, but out of League One at the second attempt and now it's time to start trying to build a squad that can take and keep us up. Would love to see some others give it a go!

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858273561_RotherhamSeason2Chart.PNG.c7ee761c6b0f8bf24d1fb9f870e6b233.PNG

Edited by Mark_w
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Through another half a season with Rotherham and we've taken to the Championship really nicely. I've messed the finances up a bit, but otherwise it's going nicely. Hoping for a play-off spot.

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1302154261_RotherhamChampionshipHalfWayPoint.thumb.PNG.f64b823f77746a6221d522fd81b9ff07.PNG
 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Britannia said:

I might try this, awesome take on the SAF. Also love the more realistic factor from L1 to the Prem

Awesome, would love to hear how you get on!

I finished up the season yesterday and it surpassed my wildest expectations! I'm not sure how I feel about going up this early, was kind of hoping to build a stronger side in the Championship before I got promoted, but hopefully this tactic will help us make some good progress in the Premier League to.

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This was my tactic and probably the most used 11, although for most of the season I was rotating a fair bit, especially the midfield three.

Spoiler

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Players sorted by appearances, Viktor Johansson was ever present.

 

Spoiler

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The two players relegated to League One who I have most hope for are Viktor Johansson and Ben Wiles. Hoping I can carry Johansson in the Premier League and build a strong enough side around him to win it eventually. Particularly as he's an ex-Leicester academy player. Josh Kayode would be a good option but unfortunately he was out on loan so didn't play in the relegated team.
 

Spoiler

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Challenge Points
Leicester at this stage: 25
Rotherham: 75
 

Edited by Mark_w
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Looking forward to seeing how you get on Britannia, Stoke feel like a pretty good club to get.

I'm at the half way point in the first Prem season with Rotherham, and it looks like we'll go down but I was worried it was going to be a Derby-esque relegation, given ourselves a little bit of hope with a good recent run.

Transfers, not pictured £3m on Parrott. Mostly regens, none of whom are doing especially well yet.

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Results (I really thought we might do well when we were 2-0 up 20 mins in to the Liverpool game.
300430442_RotherhamPremFirstHalf.PNG.0ca938aaab7c2fb59546ec173e3ce2d0.PNG

Table
1275894625_PremHalfWay.thumb.PNG.26987db1c7c2b0c64dc22a6f79d68650.PNG

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Well through Rotherham's first season of top flight football, and though the second half of the season was better, it wasn't good enough to make up for the horror start, so another season of Championship football to prepare for.

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Squad sorted by appearances:

Spoiler

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Challenge Points
Leicester at this stage: 25
Rotherham: -425!

I think there's a very good chance I'll finish this challenge on negative points. Going to try to bounce back on a budget and then I'll need to start checking I'm not going to overspend soon.

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Hi there! Great save idea!
Here's how my first season went.
Rotherham, it is to take Premier League down!

 

Spoiler

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Pre-season started terribly for me so did my first half of the season.
In the beginning, I only got Ethan Laird on a loan, a right-back from Man United that I planned on using in the left defender spot but even that came to a halt in January when Solkjaer took him back from playing in the wrong position.

Spoiler

Screenshot_4.png.1e2498e0747420018331ec4baa082eed.png


In the desperation of finding a good tactic, I found Eddy Sylvestre for free hoping he was gonna be my savior but even he alone couldn't help Rotherham going into promotion places.

Spoiler

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December came and the scores were abysmal, I was in 6th place and the board started having talks about sending me home.

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There completely desperate I went to find some loanees to help my journey.

Spoiler

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When everything was starting to go well Derby came and took Molosunde paying his full release clause but I didn't care anymore, my three golden looanes were going to be my lifeboat and nothing could stop us!

Spoiler

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Spoiler

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In the end, we got there and guaranteed promotion with second place.

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And here it is my mighty team, my beautiful stallions!

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I'm having a blast with this challenge, wish me luck for second season!

Ps: While searching for a Number 10 i found this madlad and he's going to be joining us in the 2023-24 season!

Spoiler

Screenshot_9.thumb.png.df48a5bce28cd90d8170ca731ad10263.png

 

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Posted (edited)

Quick update, I've hit the half way point in season 5, looking good for a return to the Premier League. Really struggled for goals at the start of the season but tweaked the tactic a bit and they're flowing now. Hoping we can beat Huddersfield to the title.

76031567_RotherhamChampionshipHalfWayPoint-2.thumb.PNG.9d07c2133a7fdc74d7ebbe195722fc41.PNG

Edited by Mark_w
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Here's my second season.

We managed to get to the 6th place and to promotion battle.

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We had an unbelievable season all along that got kinda ruined by some injuries and lack of squad depth.

When we were on our best form we got the win of the season against Leicester.

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In the end we also did amazingly well going into the playoffs in which I chose to put my worst players on the final (I need to get that sweet points!)Screenshot_16.thumb.png.1c0fb58cb598a96030f8ffdefd03de2e.png

This is my squad at the end of season 2

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And here are all of my transfers

Spoiler

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Even though we are doing really well I'm starting to get worried about the player that needed to be relegated with the club to League One, at this moment only Ben Wiles has a chance to be in my final premier league squad. You can see I let Viktor Johansson leave on a free but he was so terrible for me...

Let's see how this season goes, I still need a full revamp on my midfield and defensive line.

 

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Posted (edited)

Looking good @franciscomd18 (hope you don't mind I've added you to the chart below).

Won the Championship again, not as impressively as last time (had an absolute ton of draws) but just happy to get over the line without really spending any significant money on transfers this season.

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Squad

Spoiler

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Transfers (+ some additional transfers in and out at the end of last season)

Spoiler

 

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Additional In
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Additional Out
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The journey so far...
2081684754_RotherhamSeason5Chart.PNG.d18c86f947307854f7803dcb6b60e98a.PNG

With three seasons to go I'm not at all optimistic but let's see how next year pans out. Interestingly you're following an almost identical pattern to Leicester so far Francis but fingers crossed that'll change next year.

Challenge Points
Leicester at this stage: 25
Mark_W's Rotherham: -350

Edited by Mark_w
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Sounds like a good one. Tempted to give it a go, even created the save (Coventry finished 22nd), but don't know if I want to start another England save. They just don't have very good staying power for me. 

Edited by XuluBak
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@Mark_w Thank you for adding me to the graph and congrats on that Liverpool win!

My third season was bloody awful, I lost my best player due to injury in the whole second half of the season and had to make some desperate transfers.

Screenshot_23.thumb.png.018d2d663c4db5eef6dd4e1bbd7aa5ec.png

Lets see if he comes back alright.

We still finished in 10th place and have a way better team to try to get promotion next season.

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Here are all the transfers.

Spoiler

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And this is my starting 11 from the last game of the season

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Let's see if the boys stepup from this season and get that promotion spot!

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Posted (edited)

Fingers crossed you get a bit more luck next season!

Things going ok in my second attempt at the Prem. Been on a bad run lately but hopefully things will pick up again after this Villa win.

839419748_FirstHalfPremSeason2.thumb.PNG.1571907b005829b70fc07215bff76dc3.PNG

Transfers

Spoiler


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My favourite regen at the moment. Club captain Luis Uribe...

Spoiler

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I also basically can't spend any more money for the rest of the challenge so frees and loans from here on out.

Edited by Mark_w
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Through another season, absolutely gutted we missed out on European football. Went into Everton & Aston Villa away in the last two with a great chance of European football and got thrashed in both games. A win at Villa would have been enough. Still an okay season, hoping to get some better loanees in next season. Actually winning the title in the remaining two years feels like it'll be impossible, Moukoko and Haaland have ended up in the Prem, and as you can see, they're a bit good.

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Squad

Spoiler

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1686608791_RotherhamSeason6Chart.PNG.d3697747e8063a56f2ca5ea48275b78c.PNG

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@Mark_w I was thinking about the transfers of Leicester and through those 8 years (according to transfermarkt) they spent 105,74M and only had 25,22M in sales meaning they had a -80,52M in transfers. Maybe we can change the rules a bit and adjust the rules to football manager letting us have the same balance of -80M between purchases and sales of players, maybe even adding a penalty for someone that overspends. That way maybe we can make this challenge a tiny bit more feasible, tell me what you think!

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, franciscomd18 said:

@Mark_w I was thinking about the transfers of Leicester and through those 8 years (according to transfermarkt) they spent 105,74M and only had 25,22M in sales meaning they had a -80,52M in transfers. Maybe we can change the rules a bit and adjust the rules to football manager letting us have the same balance of -80M between purchases and sales of players, maybe even adding a penalty for someone that overspends. That way maybe we can make this challenge a tiny bit more feasible, tell me what you think!

It's a fair point, and the current rules don't really take into account the fact that transfer fees have been inflated. But I am also a bit reluctant because I want it to be challenging, Leicester winning the league shouldn't have happened based on finances and I want to reflect that in the challenge. If it's just done on net spend someone can sell a talented regen for silly money and go on a real spending spree and that's not true to Leicester's success. For the time being I'll up the limit to (I make it 95m?) as transfermarkt is probably going to be more accurate than the calculation I did in my head! And then if a few more people give it a go and nobody is completing the challenge I'll rethink those rules.

Edited by Mark_w
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Here we go with Coventry. It's been twenty years since they got relegated from the prem, so I feel kinda lucky with the club I got. 

Regarding the players it looks like Callum O'Hare and Gustavo Hamer is the pick of the bunch. Hopefully they will stay at the club for several seasons. I've also got what looks like a megatalent after the youth intake. Does that count for the player points?! 

 

210a43d7747102146a6b66b9752fa4a3.jpgimage.thumb.png.a4c0451cad96912902ac1c9f727ff585.png

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13 horas atrás, Mark_w disse:

It's a fair point, and the current rules don't really take into account the fact that transfer fees have been inflated. But I am also a bit reluctant because I want it to be challenging, Leicester winning the league shouldn't have happened based on finances and I want to reflect that in the challenge. If it's just done on net spend someone can sell a talented regen for silly money and go on a real spending spree and that's not true to Leicester's success. For the time being I'll up the limit to (I make it 95m?) as transfermarkt is probably going to be more accurate than the calculation I did in my head! And then if a few more people give it a go and nobody is completing the challenge I'll rethink those rules.

I totally agree with you about the finances but like I said i'm just worried about the challenge. 

Let's see if someone is able to do it!

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Posted (edited)
On 03/05/2021 at 20:07, nyg said:

I've also got what looks like a megatalent after the youth intake. Does that count for the player points?!

I think they should probably only count if they featured at least once in the Championship during the club's relegation campaign (King played 10ish games for Leicester in the relegation season). I'm not including players who were away on loan all year when the club goes down either. But any player be they regen or loanee, who features in the Championship relegation season is fair game as long as they're then featuring each year I think.

Edited by Mark_w
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Another season went by and once again I came short, let's see how next season shapes up.

20210506200931_1.thumb.jpg.026e8ae6b0c48921e6bc7997d161d856.jpg

Here are all my transfers

Spoiler

Screenshot_27.thumb.png.4b79789e8f9824892a966e79c87e2bfb.png

As of right now my team is as good as I can get it to be in the championship, i'll try to get some loanees to help us to get to premier league and get some better players.

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Will try to do this challenge without spending any money on transfers. Will probably not come even close to doing it better than Leicester - but I love a challenge. 

Ended up with a perfect club to do this challenge with. Was hoping for one of the smaller clubs in Championship, and got Barnsley. 

Inked_ Profile_LI.jpg

InkedSky Bet Championship_ Stages_LI.jpg

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Straight back up! A lot better than expected as the media predicton was 4th.  Also managed to keep the best players after the relegation. 

 

image.thumb.png.ad784e0963a6988fc73d88499ed9725f.png

 

Transfers: Didn't spend too much. Gotta try to save the total budget for the challenge to the PL. Wasted 300k on Mannsverk as he didn't get a WP, let's hope he gets one later on or make a decent profit. 

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.88bb8adac1a1e40f0ce0d9318f66341d.png

 

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Finally got out of the Championship hell! Crazy crazy season!

20210509201150_1.thumb.jpg.3e6078cd3deda73537a0862c0a1026f4.jpg

Last day on the summer transfer window and Atalanta stole my best player beating the release clause, luckily in the winter one i got a great bargain in Gutierrez.

Spoiler

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Lets see how the Premier League treat us.

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Posted (edited)

So I guess that's 25 points for me so far. 

As I said in my first post my target is to try this challenge without spending any money on transfer fees.

As you can see in the screenshot of the transfers, this is going well so far. I will not loan a player if the other club is demanding a monthly fee.

 

Sky Bet League One_ Stages.png

 

Spoiler

Barnsley_ Transfer History.png

 

Edited by allisiaa
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Posted (edited)

This looks fun, am going to join the challenge! Great work from everyone else and some really interesting saves going on. 

Edit - I have a save currently with Wigan which is on hold and two seasons in. I am wondering if that can be used for the challenge as they finished 23rd in the championship irl in the 2019-20 season so in a similar starting position to Leicester when I took over in the summer of 2020. Let me know @Mark_w

Edited by karanhsingh
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Posted (edited)

I love the "wheeler dealer" style of managing Barnsley. That is why the transfers this time had to be in two pictures, not just one.

Season two is finished, and what a season it has been. Built a nearly unbeatable Championship team. In short: Premier League - here we come - by good margins!

Points so far:

League One winners: 25 points

Championship winners: 75 points



 

Sky Bet Championship_ Stages-2.png

 

Spoiler

Barnsley_ Transfer History-3.png

 

 

Spoiler

Barnsley_ Transfer History-2.png

 

Edited by allisiaa
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20 hours ago, allisiaa said:

I love the "wheeler dealer" style of managing Barnsley. That is why the transfers this time had to be in two pictures, not just one.

Season two is finished, and what a season it has been. Built a nearly unbeatable Championship team. In short: Premier League - here we come - by good margins!

Points so far:

League One winners: 25 points

Championship winners: 75 points



 

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Barnsley_ Transfer History-3.png

 

 

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Barnsley_ Transfer History-2.png

 

That's a lot of transfers! But an incredible season. What tactic did you play? 

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3 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

That's a lot of transfers! But an incredible season. What tactic did you play? 

Yeah, have only been playing an academy save for over 20 years up until this point in FM21, so to finally be able to sign players was fun.

I'm using a tactic I have downloaded from another site. Don't know if it is available on this forum as well.

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Love the look of this challenge, excited to give it a go!

There's obviously something in the water at Rotherham as they've finished 22nd for me too. Would have been interesting to get someone a different, Huddersfield were close.

 

Anyway, here's the league table and my manager profile. Will update when I have more news...

Manager Profile.PNG

Table 1.PNG

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On 30/03/2021 at 20:48, Mark_w said:

Scoring (I have highlighted Leicester's historic achievements in blue)

Champions League win +1000 points
Europa League win +250 points
Europa League II win +200 points
Premier League Title win in seasons 3-7 + 1000 points
In season 8 +500 points

During the 8 seasons this challenge lasts, I guess we get the points every time one of the trophies is won? Like, 250 points for every FA-cup trophy?

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Hey guys. Decided to start afresh finally and got Barnsley just like @allisiaa. However I will definitely be making transfers :)

welcome.jpg.d9ca61f3fc4d922d446d131fd007cb8b.jpg

Starting manager attributes :

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I think what makes the challenge interesting is that the majority of the points are there to be earned for continuity. Which makes it imperative to build a strong squad in the Championship and not get promoted to the Premier league based off loans and the like. That is one reason I decided to not continue with my Wigan save, where I had got promoted through the play-offs with an average squad.

It's almost better to spend some more time in the Championship (like Leicester did) but really invest in the squad at that time so you have a group of 8-10 players who can eventually hopefully be a part of a title winning Premier league squad. 

In terms of the player continuity from League One - Barnsley do have a couple of good options the stand out being Callum Styles. Mowatt & Woodrow are probably the best players at the start, but due to their age are unlikely to feature in any eventual PL title challenge. 

The other long term potentials could be Kitching, Brittain, Walton, Andersen, or Oduor. Let's see how they develop. It's definitely a pretty solid squad.

One other reason I am happy I got Barnsley is that I know one of the owners IRL and they are doing so well too.

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Currently at the mid-way point of Season 1 at Barnsley, and it's going pretty well as is to be expected. First season probably the easiest of the challenge.

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Our transfers from the off-season : first the INS

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And the OUTS

out1.jpg.ab91f74c65656194be2e74cb3e03fbfe.jpg

out2.jpg.d1b931f64ba4e14de6841444097da438.jpg

We didn't really need to bring anyone in, but I decided to add Siriki Dembele as he is a player I have always wanted to manage. Then when I saw Josh Tymon transfer listed I immediately swooped in for him. He is one I definitely see the possibility of rising up the leagues with us and plying his trade in the Premiership. 

Here is the squad, top performers so far are Mowatt, Chaplin, the wing backs and Helik.

squad.thumb.jpg.8fb275c6de1601da336faba861a6c9f6.jpg

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Posted (edited)

End of the first season. We made light work of League One as champions. We were top from game week 9 and apart from a small wobble in February continued to dominate almost all of our games. We were a little reliant on some of our loanees, particularly Gelhardt, so I think I have quite a bit of work to do in the transfer market over the summer, we have a £2.3 million transfer budget so hopefully I can find a few gems. Next season will all be about consolidating our position, I don't expect to get near the playoffs.

1106044387_Season1Table.thumb.PNG.f7ce016a96ea88102b149516e9d8d9e9.PNG

The cups were fairly uneventful, we made it to the 3rd round of the FA Cup where Man City beat us 5-3. 

With transfers I stuck mostly with frees and loans, the one player I paid for not shown is a regen from Boreham Wood who I believe could be our very own Jamie Vardy. Excited about his development. Centre-Back Sam Hughes was my signing of the season, the man was a monster at set pieces and ended the season with 15 goals. 

Team Stats

 

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Edited by JackJCFC
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Posted (edited)

Could the first season in the Premier League really be a title winning season?

Chelsea have dropped a few points lately, while my Barnsley-team has 9 wins and 1 draw from the 10 latest Premier League games. If we keep this up, just maybe..

 

Still waiting for a reply on this one, @Mark_w

On 20/05/2021 at 00:01, allisiaa said:

During the 8 seasons this challenge lasts, I guess we get the points every time one of the trophies is won? Like, 250 points for every FA-cup trophy?

 

English Premier Division_ Stages.png

Edited by allisiaa
added @
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Posted (edited)

It was not to be, but still a fantastic first season in Premier League by finishing 4th and securing a Champions League spot.

Tried to win the FA cup, but Everton proved to strong in the quarter final.

Even though this was a remarkable season it didn't score any points for this challenge.

On 17/05/2021 at 20:02, allisiaa said:

Points so far:

League One winners: 25 points

Championship winners: 75 points

 

English Premier Division_ Stages-3.png

Transfers:

Spoiler

Barnsley_ Transfer History-4.png

 

Edited by allisiaa
added "spoiler"
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