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[FM22] A Mercantile Approach III: Lechia Gdańsk


MarcxD
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Posted (edited)

A Mercantile Approach

Welcome to my first FM22 thread, quite belatedly. It looked like FM22 would be the first fm since I started playing with FM 2009 that I would skip, for a variety of reasons, but in the end I just couldn't away for ever. :onmehead:

I have had a variety of careers over the years on these forums, mostly long-term one club saves in smaller countries like Andorra, Kosovo, Estonia and Malta. This time, however, I am planning something different: a multi-club, multi-country save. First, some context.

In my professional work as a researcher and my academic background in history, for the last month or so I have been researching the history of Dutch wine merchants in the 17th and 18th century for a client. Not particularly relevant here, but it has inspired me to start a FM save with a mercantile approach.

I went for a different historic mercantile inspiration: the Hanseatic League. This was a network of cities and city-states that built a mercantile empire from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period in Europe, especially in northern Germany, the eastern Netherlands, northern Poland, southern Scandinavia and the Baltics. 

Kaart_Hanzesteden_en_handelsroutes.jpg

(image source: wikipedia)

I plan for this to be a multi-club save, managing in these various countries of the Hanseatic League and only in clubs located in the cities above. The approach everywhere will be a mercantile one: I want to make the clubs I manage rich. Therefore I will try to buy cheap players with potential and sell them on for profit. Winning some prize money will also be helpful :)

set-up-1

image.png.1a5eba699d696b352b2d3827b4c917ca.png

I clicked the "pick a team for me" until a team came up in one of the cities on the map above, and it turned out to be a good starting position. VVV Venlo plays in the Dutch second tier, the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. 

During the first season, I'll first try to acclimatise to the club and to this new version of the game, and of course there isn't much money to be spent yet. 

We are predicted to finish in 6th position; which would be a play-off spot. The top 2 get promoted automatically. I would very much like to get promoted, if only for the better money in the Eredivisie.

Let's get into it :thup:

Edited by MarcxD
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Pre-Season 2021

 

set-up-6

I signed a few players in their early to mid-20s, and adding some loanees to bolster the squad for little money.

set-up-7-sales

The sale of Tristan Dekker is a good example of how I will go about this save: whenever a decent or better offer comes in, I will take it seriously and probably accept it after improving it through negotiating.

I went for a tactic which aligns with how I usually play: attacking, pressing and using the wings. In past FM's, this has usually been a successful approach. I will just have to wait and see how this'll go in the 22 Match Engine.

set-up-4

set-up-5

Pretty good pre-season but not really revealing how good we are yet.

On with the regular season!

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August - December 2021

2021-2

A very good start to life with FM22 and as manager of VVV. Mostly comfortably the better team, with a few exceptions. I like that the tactic does what I was hoping for, scoring a lot of goals. The highlight has to be the 8-0 win against Eredivisie side Willem II in the cup!

2021-1

For those unaware, the Dutch second tier has a rule that the teams winning the "periods" of the league get an automatic play-off spot, so even if we crash out we have that covered now.

With the way we are going, though, I would be disappointed if we don't promote automatically by finishing in the top 2.

2021-3

However, there are two teams following us very closely behind, so we have to remain consistent. 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Nice idea. Love the back story. Venlo have been producers of some really good talent in my Ernst happel challenge

great start. Following 

Thanks mate! There are already some good young players at the team and the first intake seems promising. I'll check your thread out too!

Edited by MarcxD
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Transfers & Intake 2022

2022-2-sales

A few players leaving as they were unhappy with their lack of playing time.

2022-1-incoming

Incoming are a Belgian talent and a German back-up central defender for some cheap sums. I've also pre-signed some players who will be joining for free in the summer. I am very much trying to do every deal on a solid economic basis.

2022-3-intake-1

Starting the save with a golden generation is always nice!

2022-4-intake-2

2022-5-intake-3

Yeah, that certainly looks very promising. 

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January - May 2022

2022-6-games

Slightly rough start to the new calendar year with a loss at home to Jong PSV and going out of the cup, but after that we almost had a perfect run throughout the year. Even as I rotated and gave more minutes to young players, we mostly kept winning.

2022-7-table

Not only did we do well, the other teams that were closely following us like Roda and Volendam absolutely imploded in the second half of the season, so it wasn't very close at all. Eredivisie next season!

2022-9-best-xi

2022-10-squad

As you can see the squad is quite young even without much transfer business of my own. Talents like Essanoussi will be promising going forward and should be able to be sold for decent numbers at some point.

I used quite a bit of loan players this season as those are cheap additions to get us to the added money of the Eredivisie. I am probably going to use less of them going forward, although they can continue to be cheap options if needed for the next few seasons at least. It will depend on how we adapt to the Eredivisie. I think that shouldn't be too much of a struggle, but you never know.

Financially we ran at a loss this year, but it's all about the long-term. The goal will be to leave VVV as a wealthy and successful club. 

 

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On 29/05/2022 at 14:44, MarcxD said:

A Mercantile Approach

Welcome to my first FM22 thread, quite belatedly. It looked like FM22 would be the first fm since I started playing with FM 2009 that I would skip, for a variety of reasons, but in the end I just couldn't away for ever. :onmehead:

I have had a variety of careers over the years on these forums, mostly long-term one club saves in smaller countries like Andorra, Kosovo, Estonia and Malta. This time, however, I am planning something different: a multi-club, multi-country save. First, some context.

In my professional work as a researcher and my academic background in history, for the last month or so I have been researching the history of Dutch wine merchants in the 17th and 18th century for a client. Not particularly relevant here, but it has inspired me to start a FM save with a mercantile approach.

I went for a different historic mercantile inspiration: the Hanseatic League. This was a network of cities and city-states that built a mercantile empire from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period in Europe, especially in northern Germany, the eastern Netherlands, northern Poland, southern Scandinavia and the Baltics. 

Kaart_Hanzesteden_en_handelsroutes.jpg

(image source: wikipedia)

I plan for this to be a multi-club save, managing in these various countries of the Hanseatic League and only in clubs located in the cities above. The approach everywhere will be a mercantile one: I want to make the clubs I manage rich. Therefore I will try to buy cheap players with potential and sell them on for profit. Winning some prize money will also be helpful :)

set-up-1

image.png.1a5eba699d696b352b2d3827b4c917ca.png

I clicked the "pick a team for me" until a team came up in one of the cities on the map above, and it turned out to be a good starting position. VVV Venlo plays in the Dutch second tier, the Keuken Kampioen Divisie. 

During the first season, I'll first try to acclimatise to the club and to this new version of the game, and of course there isn't much money to be spent yet. 

We are predicted to finish in 6th position; which would be a play-off spot. The top 2 get promoted automatically. I would very much like to get promoted, if only for the better money in the Eredivisie.

Let's get into it :thup:

Maybe an interesting addition, although they do not have a professional football club, Oldenzaal used to be part of the Hanze too. One of the few cities not located next to the water.

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17 hours ago, MH00 said:

Maybe an interesting addition, although they do not have a professional football club, Oldenzaal used to be part of the Hanze too. One of the few cities not located next to the water.

Thanks for that info, I don't think I knew that actually. The joys and struggles of being interested in history is that there's always more to learn haha. :thup:

17 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Congratulations on the championship. No surprise to see Essanoussi have a blinder of a season. I tried to sign him at Sparta a few times. 

Cheers! Yeah, Essanoussi is great, I was quite surprised at the amount of talent already at the club. 

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Pre-Season 2022

2022-1-signings-1

2022-6-signings-2

Quite a few players joining us, mostly on frees after their contracts elsewhere ended. I am shooting a little bit blindly as I am getting used to scouting again.

I was able to sign Venema permanently after being on loan with us last year, and two cheap german players in Jakob and Kühn should be good for Eredivisie level too. I know Kühn from when he was at the Ajax academy for a few years, he usually came just short of making the first team there in previous years' fms but I know he can do something for us.

2022-2-departures-1

2022-7-departures-2

Sales are over 1.5m this summer, and I wasn't sorry for any of them leaving. Maybe slightly over Smans, who is a decently talented attacking midfielder, but he doesn't really fit my tactics.

2022-4-predictions

I am not predicted to even be in a relegation spot. This really should mean at the very least we should have a safely mid-table run as I expect to outperform the predictions. 

2022-5-pre-season

Comfortable pre-season run to get our form and morale going, always a good sign.

2022-3-job-offer

Also got my first job offer, but I declined it as I want to make it big with VVV before moving on.

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Posted (edited)

August - October 2022

Due to the World Cup in Qatar we have a shorter first half of the season, which was incredible for VVV.

2022-10-games

I had expected we would be able to beat quite a few teams in the Eredivisie, but certainly not so consistenly as this -- or being able to keep PSV to a draw and even managing to beat Feyenoord. 

I almost got scared my tactic somehow was exploiting something in the match engine so I tried it holiday only on a test save to check if it really is overpowered. A sixth place for Heracles like that was a strong result, but not outlandish. So I'll continue to use it.

Anyway, it is certainly working wonders with VVV so far.

2022-9-table

I certainly don't think this position is realistic to finish the season out on, but I am not particularly convinced of anything at this stage. We could qualify for Europe or crash out somewhere to mid-table honestly.

2022-8-contract

I also signed a new contract, as I plan to stay here for quite a long while yet - I haven't even made any big sales yet!

Edited by MarcxD
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19 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Flying in the league! Good summer window as well. Smas work rate was always a sore point!

Thanks! Yeah, he was just lacking a bit too much and would have needed retraining too. 

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Posted (edited)

Transfers & Intake

2023-2-incoming

I only signed one new player, which I had done last summer - another rotation option as a winger.

2023-3-outgoing

No big sales, but a few back-ups with short contracts remaining were let go. I bought Eberwein for 50K so at least that's marginally a profit.

If young striker Bastiaans plays 5 games for AZ he'll move to them for 1.2M. I doubt he will play those matches, but that would be a good transfer as I am not too convinced about him.

2023-6-intake-1

Another golden generation? 

2023-7-intake-2

2023-8-intake-3

I think that term has inflated somewhat, as I am not that convinced by this crop of players compared to last year's. Quite a few don't have great determination either. Still, they do all start with decent CA and at least some potential so we'll see.

The biggest talent of the club, of course, is Essanoussi.

2023-1-ass-is-drunk

My assistant manager was a little bit high on his own supply though I'm thinking, lol

2023-4-talents

To be fair, he was listed among the 50 best wonderkids!

2023-5-essanoussi

 

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January - May 2023

2023-13-games

We still did well, but our results were a little bit more normal in the remainder of the season. We lost a few games, but outside of the Almere game where I rested quite a few players, these were mostly against the best teams of the competition. We did manage to beat Feyenoord again in the league, even in De Kuip, meaning we beat them both times in the league! Sadly we couldn't do so in the cup though.

You might also notice, I certainly did, that we really do much better at home than when we play away. Of course this makes a general kind of sense and especially as we play an attacking style, but I have rarely had this much of a difference between our home and away fixtures. Over the summer I shall think about setting up a more balanced tactic to use in away games. Or whether I should just stick with the main tactic which is of course generally very successful.

2023-9-table

Even with those points dropped, we still finished above PSV in our first Eredivisie season! Feels great - and we're going into the Europa League! Or at least some qualifying round.

Squad

2023-15-best-XI

2023-16-best-XI-ever

2023-10-squad

Definitely room to improve the squad, although I also need to be wary of not stopping development of talented players. On the other hand, very pleased with new signings like Venema, Nicolas Kühn & Kilian Jakob.

Finances

2023-11-money

Ah, this is a great step forward. 

2023-12-facilities

Finally there is a possibility to upgrade some of our facilities. Hoping to get some decent return on investment!

2023-14-revenue

 

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Splitting the big three in your season in the top flight what an achievement! The European money will stretch a long way, nice to see you invest it into the youth system. 

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On 02/06/2022 at 20:35, SixPointer said:

Splitting the big three in your season in the top flight what an achievement! The European money will stretch a long way, nice to see you invest it into the youth system. 

Definitely unexpected! Thanks! For sure, any money that I can spend will be focussed on the facilities. 

On 03/06/2022 at 08:31, karanhsingh said:

Excellent first season to this save1

Thanks!

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Pre-Season 2023

2023-I-job-offer

The summer started with the second time I got offered a job, I rejected it of course.

2023-VI-incoming-1

2023-VII-incoming-2

I've signed a lot of free players, mostly players that my scouts found themselves. Some are around the first team, but most are back-up or talents for the future.

I only paid for young Brazilian back Luiz Antônio, whom I signed to join for free in January but I decided to buy him already. I think he could be a real steal. I also paid money to loan Mejía as he is a big talent and his contract would also end in January so I thought maybe I would have more chance to sign him on a free when already on loan here; but sadly he has chosen to sign for a German team.

2023-VIII-outgoing-1

2023-IX-outgoing-2

Some sales - I had signed Verreth for free but he wasn't really good enough for me and Houwes and Idriss were young players who never were going to make the first team.

Essakkati was a player I did not want to sell, a promising winger, but Porto paid his limited fee. I really should have had him sign a new contract doing away with that one, but oh well.

2023-III-preview

It's hard to be sure what to expect - we should have a stronger squad, but realistically we shouldn't be in the fight with the top teams like we were last year. 

2023-II-friendlies

2023-X

We had a good pre-season, before getting a busy week and a half of eredivisie and EL qualifiers. We have made it to the group stage, albeit only just! It was a close tie.

2023-V-EL-draw

The group seems pretty tough, normally Leicester and Galatasaray at least should be much better than us. But maybe they'll play some second string against us.

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September - December 2023

2023-5-games

A lot more up and down than previous season, which definitely has to do something with the Europa League and having to rotate more than the squad really has depth for. We still have had some very good games, and I am happy with how we did in Europe.

2023-3-EL

A really tight group, but as we got 4 points from the games against Legia and Gala we deserve to go through. Lazio up first next, which will be tough.

2023-6-table

Very much mid-table so far, and we really would need to be way more consistent to qualify for Europe again. After finishing above PSV last year they are having another awful season.

So bad, in fact...

2023-2-job-offer

I am very far from being done with VVV, Eindhoven is not a Hanze city and PSV might just be my least favorite club in the world, so no thanks.

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Transfers & Youth 2024

2024-1-incoming

Mostly talented players with future potential coming in, but Oelschlägel and Niklas Lang were signed for the first team: a new first choice GK and an option in central defense. I needed that after Cristian Mejia's loan contract ended at the end of the calendar year.

2024-2-outgoing

van Crooij's departure is one of those weird FM transfers - he was turning into a second choice GK - or third with Oelschlägel joining - but somehow Liverpool wanted him as a back-up.

2024-4-intake-1

2024-5-intake-2

Golden generation does really not mean that much. These guys have decent PA's, but mostly pretty low determination which is always a big red flag. 

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January - May 2024

2024-9-games-1

Continued to be a bit hit and miss throughout the rest of the season. We were hopeless against Lazio, completely outclassed there. We did have a nice run to the semi final of the Dutch cup, and we finished with a pretty nice run of games in the end, including an amazing 5-0 win over Ajax?!

2024-3-ajax

2024-10-games-2

We did manage to qualify for the play-offs for the last European spot, but we just had a nightmare of an away game against AZ. No European football next year.

2024-16-Table

2024-17-squad

I definitely need to bolster the defense and off-load some players, but will continue to give much game time to developing players as well, so it'll be a bit of a think how I'll approach this summer.

2024-11-revenue

2024-6-upgrade

2024-8-facilities

2024-14-stadium

Nice amount of money coming in from both the Eredivisie and Europe, enabling some facility upgrades and the club decided to expand the stadium as well.

2024-15-coefficients

The other Dutch clubs have done well, continuing in the way they have done in real life and getting good coefficient points. We're even close to being in 5th position, overtaking France.

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Summer 2024

2024-III-signings-1

2024-IIIII-signings-2

Quite a lot of signings, most of which are free again. Important for the first team in the short term are the experienced Bruma, Portuguese winger from PSV & Thom Haye in midfield. Those are definitely good quality players for the Eredivisie.

Melker Jonsson is a strong central defender who will be bought for 400K after he plays 15 games for us, which he should. Otherwise these players are mostly rotational or future prospects.

2024-IIII-departures-1

2024-IIIIII-departures-2

Quite a few sales going on - no huge ones yet, but in total that's quite a bit of extra money. None of these were actual first team starting players, and with the new arrivals I needed to offload some players. M'Hand and Megi were the only two sales I did not initiate myself - two decently talented players but I did not see them really breaking through here. 

2024-I-predictions

Just a few places higher up in the predictions again, but still some ways away from being considered a favorite for the European spots. With us not being active in Europe this season, I do expect us to finish top 6 or 7, with the potential to do better than that.

It all depends how quickly the team gels around the new arrivals and us having a little bit of a more robust defense than last year.

2024-II-preseason

A bit of a shock loss against Mallorca but we did have more xG than them, however much anything really means in pre-season of course. Otherwise going well into the regular season.

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September 2024 - December 2024

2024-IIIIIII-job-offer

PSV came calling yet again, now actually saying I would be one of the favorites for the job. That is cool, but it's still a no from me.

2024-IIIIIIII-games

We're doing pretty great! Sure, at times we can be a little bit inconsistent. Look for instance at October: first we lose to Feyenoord 0-5 at home before managing to beat Ajax in Amsterdam... we also should've done much better in November, but otherwise I can't complain.

I forgot to take a league table screenshot but we were either 4th or 5th at the end of the year. 

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17 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

That's a lot of turnover in the squad! 

Not tempted by PSV?

It is, but a lot of the transfers are bench players/prospects. So it's not like the entire first team changed. Still, it's a mercantile career so I expect to continue to do a lot of transfers throughout this career.

Not really no, PSV don't really fit the save and I don't like the club in real life... 

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Transfers & Youth Intake 2025

Outgoing

2025-4-departures

Our first very big sale of the save! Manchester United paid Goncalves' limited fee. 

2025-1-goncalves

They actually offered that he stayed here for the rest of the season, not a hard choice to accept that.

2025-2-goncalves-2

2025-3-goncalves-3

He had been a very good central midfielder for us, but this transfer will allow me to pay some money for talents and get some more facility upgrades in, so I'm not too bothered about it. Besides, it's the point of the save to make money!

Incoming

2025-5-signings

Of course the transfer only happened on deadline day so it's not like I had the time to spend money right away on transfers. Some talents coming in from overseas, but I don't expect to see them in the first team this season.

Intake

2025-6-intake-1

2025-7-intake-2

Not even a golden generation, and it shows! To be fair, it's definitely not bad, but I don't think any of these are really first team material.

Low determination continues to be an issue, so I will change my HoYD even though he has great stats for judging potential and working with youngsters.

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Posted (edited)

2024-2025

2025-8-games

We had an absolutely incredible run in the second half of the season. We just did not stop winning!

Even though we had a ridiculous run of games from 12-02 to 06-03 where we played PSV twice, Feyenoord & Ajax almost back to back; and only lost once - and that was in extra time.  

It was delicious to beat PSV three times in two months, and we were quite clearly the better side in all three games. 

2025-11-table

We weren't close to actually being in the title race, but we made it back to third position again, just like two seasons ago. And we finished miles above PSV.

Because of the coefficient situation, we will actually play in the Champions League qualifiers next year. I expect that will be very difficult, but who knows. Europa League would be fine too!

In the penultimate game of the season Feyenoord overtook Ajax and stopped their championship winning streak. Impressive. 

2025-10-squad

Melker Jonsson actually turned out to play more minutes than anyone, and he will sign permanently here for only 400K, so that is a great deal. 

We have a strong first team now with quite a few breakthrough talents so with a few pointed additions I think we have a good chance of really becoming a steady team behind the top in the league. Actually competing with Ajax (and Feyenoord) at the very top will probably be a few more years away. 

Edited by MarcxD
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Summer 2025

The start of my fifth season at VVV, and I'm hoping this year we can consolidate at the top and not drop away again with the extra hassle of European football. 

With the money we have at our disposal at least we are upgrading the facilities further.

2025-2-1-upgrade

2025-2-2-upgrade-2

Transfers

2025-2-5-signings-1

2025-2-6-signings-2

As stated in the previous post, Jonsson is joining us permanently - and with the money we made from the Goncalves' transfer last January I am now investing some more money in players I really think could be sold on for a multitude of what I paid for them. 

Cortés is another central defensive player and Adonias can play all around the attack, especially the wings is what I am signing him for. I will play them a lot, maybe they won't be consistent right away but I'm hoping for good things from them.

Otherwise I signed Buksa for quite a loan fee (I can also sign him for 2.5M later if I choose to do so) - he is an experienced striker, especially suited for the pressing forward role I use.

Lucas Matus who joined in January was already overtaking our previous main striker Nick Venema as first choice at the end of last season, and another talented striker will join in January. I therefore don't think I will actually sign Buksa permanently.

2025-2-7-departures-1

2025-2-8-departures-2

I have signed Buksa on loan mainly because I sold long-serving striker Nick Venema. We only got 3.8M for him while a year or so ago we might have had double, but he needed to leave. His contract only lasted for one more year, and he was complaining that he wanted to serve out his contract and leave at the end of it. Not on my watch!

I also sold Kees de Boer, a rotational option in central midfield, for a decent sum. Otherwise mostly the usual of letting bench players and young players with short contracts go.

2025-2-4-games

We probably had a little bit too short of a pre-season before going into the European qualifiers, but we were able to beat Rangers. The two weeks following those games were hard though, with us having a poor start to the league and also losing both games, deservedly so, against Brugge.

Certainly one of the risks of the new players not having gelled yet with the rest of the team. 

So we are going into EL football, which is certainly much better suited to our level than CL.

2025-2-3-el-group

Not an easy group, but I think second place should be possible.

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September - December 2025

2025-3-7-games

We needed until halfway through October to get some good results going. Some very poor performances in september, the team just needed to get used to each other and the playstyle. 

Afterwards though, we have been doing well, except for a few outliers like the away games at Willem II and Groningen, whom we should beat quite easily at this point. 

2025-3-8-table

We are definitely competing for European qualification again, but I would think the top 2 or 3 this year should be out of bounds. PSV even more awful than before.

2025-3-6-el-group

Very pleasing to be able to qualify for the next rounds, although Dortmund should be a bridge or two too far. At least we don't need to travel far.

To show how my reputation has grown, I've had foreign job offers for the first time.

2025-3-2-leeds

2025-3-3-schalke

2025-3-5-wolfsburg

None of these are located in Hanseatic cities, but the German clubs especially were interesting to me. 

PSV also offered again, for the third time, but that is still a no. It's getting kind of sad!

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Transfers & Intake 2026

2026-1-incoming

Spending a decent bit of money for the next tier of talent. Vila is a new striker or option for the wings; Luís is a great right back who can also play AMR and Ararat is purely an AMR. Flórez and Vindahl are new keepers: Vindahl is the new first choice. 

2026-2-outgoing

There wasn't much excitement on the outgoing front, just clearing some players from the bench and reserves team. 

2026-3-newcastle

Another job offer...

2026-4-intake-1

2026-5-intake-2

Back to the Golden Generation life with my new HoYD. That CA looks insane on Warmelink...

2026-6-intake-3

But that is mostly due to some really good mental attributes and a handling of 15 to start out with. With a good personality though, and no rush from my side, he will get time to develop. Just a bit scared of his height and general physical attributes.

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55 minutes ago, john1 said:

Such a shame you got knocked out by Brugge :(

Warmelink, looks superb :eek:

Yeah, we just weren't ready yet with all the new players coming in. Maybe if we played them now we could beat them. Cheers.

He definitely looks promising. I'll take my time with him though! 

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Posted (edited)

2025-2026

2026-10-games

Apart from a rough February we had a pretty good second half of the season. We lost to Dortmund, but only just. The disappointing thing were the other games that month. We remained unbeaten for the last three months though, including a March where we played PSV, AZ & Ajax back to back. 

We weren't quite the machine we were in the second half of last season, but still pretty good. 

2026-11-squad

My plan is to mostly keep this squad for next season, as I just need the South American brigade to get more playtime and develop further. They were quite inconsistent this year, so I'm hoping with them all playing together for a longer period we should be able to take a big step within the next two seasons. I'd like to see those average ratings of 6.8-6.9 grow to a nice green 7...

Of course this all could change if any bids come in next summer. Some of them have limited fees between 10 and 20M so perhaps that could be the case. That would put us in a totally different financial situation as well, so I wouldn't mind if there was one of those, but I hope most can stay. 

2026-12-table

Even though AZ had a shocker at the end, we just fell short of CL qualification; but we don't have to play any qualifiers next season, which also has its advantages.

2026-7-revenue

2026-8-upgrade

2026-9-upgrade-2

We have quite a bit of money in the bank still, and will continue to upgrade as much as possible. 

After 5 five years now at VVV, it is realistic to think about how long I want to stay here. Really, I want there to be some big sales or some profitable European runs and leave the club with a nice big balance and mostly maxed out facilities. (Although I know the AI will then most likely squander it on ridiculous wages and transfer sums, but that's life)

Competitively I definitely want to battle for the title and really I would like to win one before leaving. However, I am not going to stay here forever.

I hope in the next two seasons we can make that next step up. 

Edited by MarcxD
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Summer 2026 

2026-2-8-incoming

New signings: only Hilgers will be first team material: he is a good central defensive player and could also play as back if needed. The others are talents and back-up.

2026-2-6-outgoing-1

2026-2-7-outgoing-2

Outgoing, though, it was busy. Apart from the 10M+ sales I let some first team players go for okay sums who had one year on their contracts remaining. Wingers Kühn and Bruma were both sold, as I now have a plethora of talented wingers who will be taking their place. Also leaving are Oelschlägel, on another of those weird FM transfers where city saw him as a back-up GK, and Konstantopoulos was a central defender I had signed for free last year and did well for us but the offer was decent.

Two big sales: the limited fees of Matheus Luis and Luiz Antonio were paid. Especially Luis I wanted to keep for longer, as he was one of the best and was only here for a short while. Luiz Antonio was the first South American talent I bought, and while he was good he didn't quite perform and develop as much as I would have hoped, but clearly the AI also still believes in his PA. 

2026-2-1-antonio-1

2026-2-5-luis

2026-2-2-pre-season

There were no qualifiers to be played this summer, so it was a calm pre-season on that front...

2026-2-3-EL-group

The EL group comes down to having to beat either Rangers or Sporting to qualify for the next rounds. Perhaps doable.

2026-2-4-preview

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August - December 2026

2026-3-3-games

We seem to finally have made that step up I was talking about. Perhaps we are dropping points a little bit too much to really go for a title. 

Apart from that, our Europa League performance has been stellar, especially after losing the first match of the group. Look at those goals scored: 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 3. 

2026-3-7-el-group

So, surprisingly, Sporting did not make it out of the groups and we can skip the first KO round!

2026-3-4-table

Points wise, it seems like we are in the title race. A couple of points: not only are we there, but all of a sudden PSV seems to be back too. Feyenoord, however, after two titles having a nightmare. Ajax also started rough for their standards, but are now a machine again. Finishing in second or third seems most likely, but if Ajax surprisingly drops we have to take that opportunity.

2026-3-5-golden-boy

Damn.

2026-3-1-chelsea

By far the biggest team yet. Seeing as London was named on the map in the first post, I can join them, and I did do an interview.

2026-3-6-chelsea-2

However, I did not get the final offer. Flick leaving his current club, might be interesting however...

 

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The next step

2027-1-koln

Hansi Flick left Köln to get the Chelsea job, and they quickly offered me an interview. Now, Köln is of course not as big of a club as Chelsea, but I have decided to take this opportunity. 

For three main reasons: 1, I already was thinking about my exit at VVV. My plan was to stay one or two more seasons after this one, but as Ronald Koeman once said about leaving ship and going to train Valencia, "this train only arrives once". 2: The Bundesliga is a logical next step after the Eredivisie and especially VVV, and financially a lot will be possible at Köln. 3: Köln was historically one of the most important cities in the Hanseatic League, so it is a perfect match for this save.

 I did ask however to stay at VVV for the remainder of the season...

2027-3-koln-3

Which they accepted. So just a few more months in Venlo and on I go. 

With us still active in three competitions, I really hope I can leave with a trophy!

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5 hours ago, SixPointer said:

Catching up after a long time away! Sublime progress and very realistic progression. Koln give suit the perfect place to carry on this on both fronts!

Appreciate that, mate! Glad you see it my way ;) 

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Transfers, Intake & Wonderkids

2027-4-incoming

These were the transfers before I signed for Köln, as afterwards the game has prohibited me from doing any more business. Which I guess is kind of fair enough.

Jermoumi is a good option for right back and Traetteberg a new midfielder.

2027-5-outgoing

Outgoing nothing too exciting.

2027-8-intake-2

The last intake is decent, but nothing too insane here. No players to add to my shortlist as I move on any way.

2027-6-nxgn

These 5(!) of my players on  the 50 best wonderkids - including the top 2 - however, are added to that shortlist. Yep, they are all south american, but none are Brazilian and Argentinian. Quite Interesting.

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January - May 2027

2027-12-games-1

A very strong end to my stay at VVV. In the league, we had a really strong run. In the EL we actually managed to beat Marseille but sadly our senior affiliate West Ham was too strong. 

But, most importantly of all

2027-9-cup

2027-11-cup-2

2027-10-iconic

I leave with a trophy, and become a club icon after winning the cup! Really happy with that - especially as we had to beat Ajax in the semi final to do it.

It would've been a shame to only be preferred personnel after my stay here (as that fades away over time), so to be a club icon is great.

2027-14-table

While we were strong in the league, Ajax was just too consistent. I will leave with my best ever result, and VVV will go straight into the CL groups next season. 

Too bad I haven't won the league here, but I have set up VVV to become a serious contender for European places from here on out.

2027-15-revenue

 

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VVV Round up: 2021-2027

2027-16-squad

The squad I've built up for my successor... with those player values the future should be save, if the AI doesn't squander the riches. Those values might be too high for me to take players with me to Köln!

Ararat

Vila

Essanoussi

Cortes

Warmelink

2027-23-history-1

A quick final overview of my six seasons... 

2027-22-balance-vvv

The finances I leave behind, together with those player values surely there should be a bright future ahead.

2027-24-list-of-clubs-financial

VVV is the only Dutch club with a 'Rich' financial status. 

Now for Köln.

 

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20 hours ago, john1 said:

What an incredible ending with your time at Venlo :applause:Definitely will be exciting to see how you do with Koln.

 

4 hours ago, SixPointer said:

What a legacy to leave behind 

Thanks guys! 

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Pre-Season 2027

Getting acquainted with the new club, of course a lot of business had to be done. My transfer budget was actually bigger at VVV, but some players here are on ten times as much as my highest paid players at VVV.

2027-2-7-outgoing

I did not go out of my way get rid of players, but decent bids were taken seriously. This money did give me the option to look at some new players to remodel the squad more to my liking.

2027-2-6-incoming

I actually spent slightly more than I got in, which is pretty much a taboo for me this save... let's just say it's an investment for the future.

I was looking for talented players who could still develop but could also slot in the first team immediately, so it was a bit of a puzzle. With a much higher wage budget than at VVV however, I had the choice of a lot more players, for instance young players who didn't quite make it at Bayern and Real Madrid in Eyüp Aydin and Hector. 

I really really needed a new star player in central defense and that's why I paid the big sum for Callum Doyle, an English central defender in his early 20s. I decided to pay quite a sum for him as I think if he plays well here he could be sold for much more back to the Premier League at some point. 

The other really noteworthy addition is Dietmar Neubauer. I HAD to sign him, when I saw his nationality.

2027-2-2-neubauer

I don't think I have ever in any FM seen a Liechtensteiner with these kind of attributes and potential, and he has no second nationality! He came through at Basel and later moved to Feyenoord, where I bought him from.

2027-2-3-preview

The club finished in sixth place last season, so I would like to finish in the top 6 again to qualify for European football. I'm expecting a lot more inconsistency in the Bundesliga, especially with me rebuilding the squad. 

2027-2-5-pre-season

We just had to go through one round of qualifiers for the Conference League, which we handily did. We also had a pretty strong start to the Bundesliga, so the early signs are promising.

2027-2-4-ecl-groups

I quite like the Conference League, as you tend to see quite the hodgepodge of clubs making it to the groups - Newcastle on the one hand, Linfield on the other. 

As for our group, it should be pretty straightforward to qualify for the next round. 

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  • MarcxD changed the title to [FM22] A Mercantile Approach II: Köln
  • MarcxD changed the title to [FM22] A Mercantile Approach III: Lechia Gdańsk

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