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[FM21] Lets go Notts Co - Rise of the Magpies


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Yeah, the affiliate is awesome, even aside from the players, Man City's 90K a year payment makes them basically my second biggest sponsor. It's a big financial boost.

Being able to raid their juniors to get some extra legs is a fantastic bonus.

The fact that we can do that for free, is the cherry on top.

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Youth Intake Preview:




Goalkeeper, centre midfield, and striker, all of which we could always use some extra quality and legs.

Looks like an intriguing combination, be interesting to see what shows up next year.


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Sing when you're winning...


DEC 2021:




With our final match of the month against Tranmere being washed out, we finished the month perfect, conceding only one goal in the league.

We've always had the ability to score goals all over the park, but the way the defence has come together this year has been very satisfying.



Add in the Cambridge game and this record has now stretched to 14 unbeaten, and six wins in a row.




We've extended our lead at the top of the table, continuing our push for back to back Championships.

We are still scoring well, but having conceded only 14 goals is pretty special.




Just the one cup game this month, and we over came our affiliate Man City U23s, with Egan Riley scoring against his former team, and Palmer playing well from our own 18s squad.





Wootton is now equal leading goal scorer in the League and Slocombe continues to be immense in goal, racking up 17 clean sheets.

A number of our youth prospects have found some game time, while some of the 18's from last year are starting to regularly push for starting spots.

Young Wallace has pushed Zimbabwe international Chicksen out of the squad, while Palmer is adequately deputising for Rodrigues when he needs to be rested.

There are still plenty of goals and assists being shared around all over the field.




Another fine month according to the analysis, although we did score less goals than our xG for the first time in a long time.




A perfect month in the League seen me collect the Manager of the Month for December.





While no job was interviewed or offered, the press linked me with a vacant post for the first time.

The Reedtz brothers were very happy that I squashed the rumours.


Up next...the mid season attribute review.

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Mid season attribute review:




Good signs from the main three, still looking to loan out Brooks.

Burns looks solid without being spectacular yet.

The bottom two will probably be loaned out of moved on, especially if the incoming prospect turns out to be decent.






The Man City loanee Burns and Obi are my two main starters, with promoted 18s Irvine and Lacey being the main back ups.

While Turner still appears to be the best, he is 33 and rapidly declining, and Rawlinson while steady can't break into the line up. Both have been transfer listed.

Seeing improvement from the younger kids is a positive sign.




DKE continues to be solid and can play Left as well.

Egan-Riley and Wardrop are my main back ups, Moore finds himself down the pecking order, but is still improving so I might keep him around.

Slight improvement from some of the 18s, but Fearon might get moved on.




Chicksen is declining and not been in good form, with DKE playing a lot on the left and Wallace showing improvement, and good form.

McRory is declining and not in the first team plans so has been transfer listed to free up a Registration spot.




Box to Box:


Kinsella and the ageing Reeves continue to be immense in the centre and have been sharing plenty of game time.

Snedden has shown plenty of improvement, and glimpses of what he might be capable of.


Advanced Playmaker:


Man City loanee Bernabe is the clear standout and bossing midfield.

JOB is ageing and showing decline, and may be moved on this window if we can find a taker.

Especially now that Cowan is really improving and starting to push for 1st team time.

Geeves, Glover and Conway are all showing potential.

Minkley might be moved on.


Attacking Right:


Enzio has been a bit off pace this season, and Cal Roberts quiet often moves across from the left.

Sam and Mulvaney provide adequate cover, and there are signs of improvement in Sandhu and Smith

Danns is a passenger and appears to have no interest in training. His days are numbered.


 Attacking Left:


The rotation of Roberts, Miller, Morris, and Sam from the right have been running amok on the edges.

Angelos is showing improvement, while the others probably aren't going to make it.




Complete Forward:


Wootton is in super form at the moment and is one of the best in the League, equal leading scorer.

Sam adequately fills in both here and in the attacking midfield.

Evans is gaining confidence and pushing for game time.


Advanced Forward:


Rodrigues is still the main man, even though his form and goal scoring has been a bit hit and miss this year.

Palmer is promoted from the 18s last year, and improving a lot, and getting more game time.

Cotton is showing good signs, while Judge probably won't make it.


All in all, seeing some improvements, especially now I am rotating so much and getting the younger kids some more game time.

There might be some changes coming up in the next month with some aging bodies on the transfer list, and some up and coming kids ready to give them a shove.


Up next...can we beat the New Years hangover to keep the good times rolling, and the January transfer window.

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I put Rawlinson, Turner, McRory, and O'Brien out for transfer, and offered Brooks out for loan.




McRory was sold to Dundalk, and while the fee wasn't great, freeing up the registration slot from a 31 year old with declining attributes who wasn't featuring in the first team.




I couldn't find a buyer for O'Brien, but National League FC Halifax took him on loan with an option to buy.

Again, the financial side isn't much, but the registration slot from a 34 year old, also with declining attributes was important.


There were no offers for Rawlinson, Turner or Brooks, so I will keep them around as squad players for the odd rotation, especially to help cover injuries and suspensions coming into the back end of the season.







I had been hunting for another forward to add to the rotation, but with no suitable loans available from either Man City or elsewhere, I decided to look further, and the DoF came up with this recommendation. After some haggling on deadline day I got the price down to what I wanted.

He looks a solid player to help with the rotation.


With the new forward taking one of the free slots, I also registered Jordan Barnett, who had been playing 23's and a few Cup games the help cover midfield and defence.


Up next...The New Years hangover? Or New Year, same run?

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We pushed on with another unbeaten month, conceding only two goals, although we were held scoreless twice.

The good crowds continue to roll into Meadow Lane.






We are continuing to push ahead at the top of the table with Plymouth really the only chance of catching us should we hit a slump.

We've always shown we are capable of banging in goals, but the defence line continues to be unbrakeable.

That may be the most satisfying part of this season.




FA Cup:





We managed to avoid the big teams through to round three where we belted former Notts Co Manager Neil Ardley's Exeter.

In a remarkable display, Cal Roberts scored 4 goals, and Adria Bernabe had 5 assists.

Both rated a perfect 10.0, but Roberts got the MotM.



We've drawn a big money spinner against Tottenham in Round 5.






We've continued our winning ways in the PIzza cup, however, our Charlton win came at a big cost.




Even though he's been hit and miss in front of goal he's been an important player, and will be a big loss.

We have capable cover, and with the new transfer, hopefully we won't feel this too badly.





With Rodrigues injured, Wootton and Roberts have stepped up to be goal scoring machines.

Bernabe, DKE, and Miller have been handing out assists like they're Halloween candy in January.




Another good month as far as the analysts are concerned where we managed to outscore the xG again.

Again, that defence has been immense.




The Reedtz brothers decided to up the youth facilities and it might be soon time to hit them up for another Recruiting/Coaching upgrade.




January seen me hit the 100 game mark, and the press has decided I am performing miracles in the League :lol:




Looking ahead, February is going to be a big month, with the Plymouth game having the possibility of basically deciding the title, or at least ending their chances of catching us.


Up next...Can we manage fatigue, injuries and suspensions through a tough few months with League Two getting hectic, and two cups still in play.

Edited by Punch
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Great work! You are ahead of what I consider "Championship/Promotion" Pace of 2.0 pts/match

You are right that the Plymouth match will be big, but maybe you set your sights on 115 points! That would be 2.5 pts/match

There are 16 matches in your season and if you just keep up with 2.0 pts/match for the rest of the season you would make 108 points. 

Try to find out the League record and shoot for breaking it!


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19 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

Great work! You are ahead of what I consider "Championship/Promotion" Pace of 2.0 pts/match

Thanks, the squad has come together nicely.


20 minutes ago, Hootieleece said:

Try to find out the League record and shoot for breaking it!

I'll take a look tonight and see what I can find out.


I think we are on track for a third straight promotion, but late season fatigue, and/or injuries to key personnel can change things in a hurry.

This is one of the main reasons I tend to carry a bigger squad than a lot of people like, and have a lot of rotation, to try and keep those issues to a minimum.

While the deep cup runs are helping the bank balance, they are really racking up the number of games we are having to play.

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I agree with larger squads myself. I often carry 27-28 players so I can always field a full 23!

Just to make sure I have cover for injuries.

The last 5-8 are usually U-21's that spend most of their time playing in the Reserves, but training with the main team and getting the occasional game.



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Yes, you can see from the players stats shot above that I have a few of the youth intake from last season running with the first squad. They are mostly playing 18s and 23s but a few of them have made appearances in senior games. They may get some more game time soon as well with fatigue and important games coming thick and fast.

There are also a few in the squad who were in the 18s when I joined the club. Miles Wallace, Stern Irvine, and Tyrece Palmer are all finding themselves getting games on a semi regular basis, and have all come along in leaps and bounds since their initial attributes review.

Wallace especially will be interesting to see his growth at the end of the season, as I am constantly getting emails from the coaching staff about his improvement, and there is always upward arrows on his numbers.

Although I just counted and there is 34 players in my squad posted above :lol:

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FEB 2022




February was probably the worst month we've put together, with my concern over injuries coming true.

We spent time without several of our big names this month, as well as Ruben Rodrigues still out for most of the month.

He did however make a return off the bench for the Aldershot game, which resulted in our best performance of the season. Not only did we put in our best attacking performance of the month, we shut them down defensively. Not only did they not get a shot on target, they did not register a single shot on goal either.




We managed to stretch the run to 20 unbeaten before the Plymouth loss.



Despite an up and down month, we've held out lead at the top after our main rival Plymouth dropped their last game of the month.

Gillingham seem to have forgotten how to win, and the rest seem to be falling over themselves to help us win the title.




The board wanted a top half finish within three years. Mission accomplished early, equals very happy board.





Adding these to Rodrigues, means we spent a fair bit of this month without our two main goal scorers and our number one keeper.

It's no coincidence that our form turned around in the last game, when they all came back into the team.











Just the one game in the Pizza Cup this month, and we put in a massive performance against the highly backed Man Utd U23s.

A particularly satisfying result given the injuries and players needing to be rested.




The win sees us off to the big dance at Wembley, against League One Rotherham.


Carabao Cup:




While we were eliminated form the League Cup some time ago, the final seen our affiliate Man City win the derby final against United.

We rated an honourable in the season review as the Biggest Overachievers.

No bonus to that, but a nice little recognition of our efforts.




The analysts are still rating our performances highly and we've outscore the xG again. Racking up 4-0 in the last game probably helped there.





Injuries and fatigue have resulted in a little more rotation this month, seeing some players start picking up some more game time.

New forward Ashley Nadesan has started his Notts Co life well, picking up 5 goals in 5(1) apperances.






I went to the board and complained until they gave in and granted my requests for upgrades to the recruitment and coaching.

This may not benefit this intake, but can only help us in years to come.




We kick off March with the big game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, hoping for a big crowd to help boost our finances, and look into more upgrades.


Up next...can we pick up our form again in March, or will we continue to falter as the finish line draws closer?

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FA Cup 2022 - Fifth Round







We ran second.

But we can hold our heads high as we gave a good account of ourselves, and while Tottenham were always really in control, we never let them run away with it.

Goals to Rodrigues and Roberts showed the importance of getting our two leading goal scorers back from injury.

Keeping them on the field will go a long way to helping us secure a third straight League title.




Of course a near 63K full house at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium means our share of the gate receipts will do wonders for the finances.


Up Next...with the FA Cup run over, and the Pizza Cup Final not until April, we just have the League to concentrate on. Can we get the consistent goal scoring and results back on track.

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 An exciting update:


After the disappointment of crashing out of the FA Cup, we had to dust ourselves off for a local derby away to Mansfield












With our derby demolition against Mansfield complete, and the continued falling over of the play off contenders we've earned ourselves a third straight...back-to-back promotions to League One.

The attacking play and rotation policies are certainly paying off. Keen to see how far we can take it.


Up next...I don't hear no singing, there's a title still to be won.

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Seems I got a bit carried away in the excitement of our news of promotion being attained, and lost count, somehow managing to come up with three straight promotions in 2 years...:seagull:

The media said I was performing miracles, maybe I've boarded my own hype train :lol:

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51 minutes ago, Punch said:

Seems I got a bit carried away in the excitement of our news of promotion being attained, and lost count, somehow managing to come up with three straight promotions in 2 years...:seagull:

The media said I was performing miracles, maybe I've boarded my own hype train :lol:

:lol: very understandable. Congrats on the back-to-back promotions!

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Thank you!

I don't know that there will be a lot of changes, other than seeing if I can move on a few of the older guys that are not playing, and getting in some younger legs.

Looking forward to seeing what the Youth Intake throws up this year before I make too many calls on that.

I want to see what these guys can do in League One.

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MAR 2022




March seen us get back to our lethal ways in front of goal. I said we wouldn't hit the 140 from last year, but with 5 games to go, we might get close at this rate.

The crowds have been impressive all year, but are getting even bigger as we speed towards the title.





We've racked up a century of goals and our defence continues to be immense this season.

If Plymouth win their game in hand, then we only require 1 point from our remaining 5 games to secure the title.







We got our big three back, but then lost Morris towards the end of the month. Unfortunately he will also be out for the Pizza Cup final.

Chicksen also got injured but has not been playing a lot with the rise and rise of young Miles Wallace.




The Analysts agree we had a great month. That goals compared to the xG is pretty impressive.





One player with 30 goals, two in the 20's two in the teens, six players in double figure assists, the attack is getting shared around nicely.

Some of the younger players continue are continuing to progress well, and taking the opportunities with both hands when they come along.





I picked up the Manager of the Month and Cal Roberts was rewarded for an amazing month.





Trophy season has begun with our 18's taking out the Division 3 cup.

A lot of players in this squad are already being recommended to be pushed up to the 23s.

With the next Youth Intake not too far away, they might be on their way up soon.




I got the board to agree to invest some more of the cup run and provide some further upgrades, and given our current performances, they are happy to oblige.




Up next...Our shot a a second double goes on the line at Wembley in the Pizza Cup final against League One Rotherham, and 1 point from 15 needed to secure the League Two title.

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Youth Intake 2022


On 18/10/2021 at 19:01, Punch said:

Youth Intake Preview:








On looking at the star rating alone, this intake looks a bit depressing.

However the attribute ratings tell a different story.




Wilkins rates low on the star system, but his attributes make him the second highest rated AMR at the club.

Newman is a left footed, left side player who scored a hattrick in the candidates match, one to watch.

Again I've taken them all, as quite a few of last years intake will be stepping up to 23s, and several are already in the first team squad.

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It's trophy season...









It looks exciting, but in the end, it was a bit of an anti-climax, as we secured the title, without even taking the field.

Plymouth were beaten in their game in hand, leaving us 18 clear with five to play. 

Game over! Job done!

Really excited with the way this squad has come together, and while the attacking unit done what I expected it to, the rise of the defensive unit has been immense.

Conceding only 26 goals in 41 games has turned a lot of possible draws into guaranteed wins, especially if the attack had an off day.

I will probably give the kids a run in the last few games and let them sink or swim, and see what they are capable of.

Very excited to see what this bunch can do taking another step up next season.



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Trophy season part two - Papa Johns Trophy Final...










In what was a tough game, we took on Rotherham in the Pizza Cup final in front of 52 thousand at Wembley.

Taking an early lead through our main scorer Cal Roberts, Rotherham then took over control of the match having the best of the game for most of the next 50 minutes.

I am genuinely unsure how they didn't score another goal in that period, but our defence stood up again, and turned them away time after time.

What was very noticeable to me was the benefit of my rotation policy, at about 70-75 minute mark, they ran out of steam, and it was us that were unlucky not to score a winner.

This theme continued in extra time, and by the second half, they were gassed. I am not even sure they put an attacking ball into our half.

They were hanging on for penalties and we were hunting a winner, and it finally came through another one of our main men, Rodrigues, firing home a cracker from the edge of the box.

That was the ball game, there was no way back for Rotherham who had nothing left to give.

Fine youngster Miles Wallace who has come so far this season then rounded out the win and started the party with a third goal on the stroke of full time.

A massive season to complete another double. Going to make next season a lot harder if the fans and board keep expecting these kind of results.

Also a massive effort as I wasn't even sure we could get out of our group, remembering we lost the first game.




Next up...an amazing season draws to an end.

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1 hour ago, withnail316 said:

As a Notts fan, it's nice to see the club shooting up the leagues here! Some excellent work, man. 


As someone who shoots for attack over everything else, it's been amazing to see how strong we've been defensively.

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And that's the ball game...




After the excitement of the Pizza Cup final, and winning the League without taking the field, we took a more relaxed approach to the final 5 games.

The younger kids got a lot of game time, and the results were a perfect month to finish the season.




We are an attacking machine, but to have gone through the season conceding only 30 goals is just a massive achievement.

Plymouth, Crawley and Gillingham will join us in League One, while Aldershot and Morecombe drop out of the EFL.





We broke the records most points and most wins.




We also broke our own record for our youngest ever League player.




With this kind of money I might give Ronaldo a call about a swansong season in League One :lol:





The final player stats for the season tell an impressive story.

Impressive performances all up and down the field.




I was rewarded with the Manager of the Month award for my teams perfect performances this month.




I also received interview offer from Bradford, who had just been relegated from the League we have just been promoted to.

Ah thanks, but no thanks.


Up next...the season review.

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2022-2023 season preparation.


With a view to the next season I applied to our affiliate Man City to retain all three of our players on loan, and to my surprise, they accepted on all of them.

Then all three turned down the offer of a another loan stint.

So when the season rolls over, I guess I will go through their roster again and see who I can make use of.


In the meantime, I received an email advising of EPL teams letting go of Youth Prospects.

Due to my previous scouting of the Man City teams, I snapped up these two prospects on free transfers:







This score rates him as our second or third best GK.






Hamilton will rate as our second highest AML, will come in very handy in the rotation.


Up next...a new season begins.

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Season Review - Attribute updates:






Slocombe is still our main man, who produced 30 clean sheets last season.

Piling is still his very able deputy, but released Man City pick up McNamara is going to be banging on the door very soon.

Brooks is still showing signs of improvement, and will be looking for a loan for him.

Burns and Baker are kids from the last two Youth Intakes, so plenty of time to see what they can do.








Turners numbers look good, but at 34 with decreasing attributes, his game time will again be limited.

Obi is our automatic first choice and was immense last season, and Irvine has improved remarkably over the season.

Plenty of the kids are showing improvement as well.






With the non-return of the Man City loanee, DKE will continue to be our main man on the right, and will be well supported by Wardrop and Moore.

Garwood and Maxwell showing signs of improvement.






Chicksen appears to have the best numbers but young Wallace at 17 had a massive season keeping Chicksen out of the team.

Wallace has improved massively last season.

Barnett is a very capable backup, also able to chip in for the midfield if needed.

The young kids showing improvement as well.


Centre Midfield:






Kinsella and Reeves will share the duties, Snedden coming along nicely to push for a spot.

Plenty of kids being given an opportunity to step up.


Advanced Playmaker:




With the retirement of O'Brien, and the Man City loanee choosing not to return, we look a bit light in this are of the park.

Cowan and Geeves will be given a chance, but we make look to bring someone in to help out with this area.






Enzio was a super sub last year and will probably continue in the role with Roberts playing mostly on the right.

Sam is a quality back up in all forward areas of the pitch, and plenty of the kids are pushing for a chance.





With Roberts playing right and Miller on the left, our midfield run amok in League Two last season.

Morris was the very capable back up, with plenty of the kids looking for playing time as well.

Hamilton being picked up on a free from Man City creates an interesting dynamic this season, as he is good enough to be the regular starter.




Complete Forward:




Wootton was our main scorer for a lot of last year, and is a great foil for Rodrigues up front.

Nadesan is a capable option, and Sam continues to provide support when needed.


Advanced forward:




Rodrigues, even though he was hit and miss at the start of the season, and spent time out injured, still clearly the main man up front.

Palmer continues to improve and make solid contributions when required.

Cotton is knocking on the door, while the others have plenty of time to improve.


All in all another solid season of improvements, and while we could do with another body in the centre of midfield, and probably another quality striker, things are looking pretty solid to start our League One campaign.


Up next...the season preview.

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Season Preview





The board expects us to fight bravely against relegation, while the Bookies have us in a log jam of team fighting over the last relegation slot.




Several Youth prospects from before I arrived have been let go, showing little or no improvement.




A decent increase, all helping the finances.





The board wanted to increase the coaching wages, I wanted to increase the Youth Level, so we compromised...and did both.





Upgrades to the Youth and Training facilities over the off season didn't increase the numbers much, might have to hit the board up again for some more upgrades.

The Youth recruitment and coaching has come a long way in my two years here.





A couple of interview offers came in as well, although I am not interested in leaving my current post.


Up next...lets get friendly.


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Affiliate loans update:





After initially refusing to extend is loan term, I threw out another offer while scanning through the Man City teams, and to my surprise, this time he accepted.

Looking forward to seeing what he and Obi can produce together in a higher League this year.





I picked up another Man City kid to throw into midfield.

While the score may not look great, he looks pretty decent, and is our highest rated box-to-box MF.


I am still trying to get them to loan me a striker as well, but we will see how that goes.

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Wanna be friends...




A good showing in our friendly performances, where we even managed to knock over two Premier League clubs, though not full strength.

Two near full houses and some TV money to boot started of the finances for the season in good fashion.






Plenty of money on the bank to request training facility upgrades soon, and we still have plenty of room in the transfer and wage budgets if need be.






We picked up a very promising midfielder to help cover our Advanced Playmaker shortage.

The DoF has picked well on this one.





I also grabbed another Man City kid for free to provide some extra cover in the forwards.




A big loss before we even got to the friendly matches.

Makes picking up the Man City loan even more important now.




Up next...our League One season kicks off, after a trip to fellow League One side Doncaster for the League Cup tie.

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 Friendly Values...


For anyone wondering about the value of Senior Affiliates, I was just looking at some quick figures of the benefits we receive from our Man City link.

Man City pay us a fee of a little over 80K every year. In the first year of the link, we earned about 175K in sponsorship. So this payment is not an insignificant amount.

Man City give us a friendly each year, in which we get to keep the gate. Now we are lucky to have a pretty large capacity stadium at nearly 20K.

In the game shown in the previous post, with the gate, and TV money, we earned nearly 275K from that single match. Again, not and insignificant amount.

Now the big one...free players. While you don't get open slather, as they won't let certain players drop down too many leagues, as you can see in previous posts we have picked up some very handy players from the link. 

Last year, our best midfielder was on loan from City, where he was paid over 20K a week. The was nearly half our wage budget for the season. A million dollars a years in wages paid by Man City, to play for us.

I done a quick calculation and the players we had last season, were probably paid a combined 1.75 million. 


So by the time you add up the yearly fee, the friendly, and the saved wages, there is a benefit to Notts Co. of somewhere in the 2-2.5 million range, per season (depending on the number of loanee's of course).


Anyway, I just thought it was an interesting scenario...must be the accountant in me :lol:


Up next...on with the show.

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It's nice to see so many current Notts players are still kicking around in your squad even after a couple of promotions, even if it is odd to see Rueben Rodrigues classed as a striker, and not the CM/AMC/AML he plays in real life. 

Best of luck for the new season. 

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Yeah some players can end up in strange spots in my tactic. I don't use an AMC, and his attributes mark him as a better striker than AML.

One of those weird quirks of the game I guess. Still putting together a massive partnership with Wootton though lol

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