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  1. Season 2037/38 Premier league League Expectation: 8 Finish: 1 We did it! First half of the challenge complete! We made a great start to the season but I didn’t really fancy us as real title challengers until November when we went away to Chelsea and did this:- It was tight at the top and with 5 gmes left we were one point ahead of Spurs. We had four away games, including at Spurs and Man U, with our only home game against fellow title challengers Arsenal. We managed to sneak a 2-1 win away at Spurs but then lost at Southampton. Luckily Sprus lost again and we were crowned champions just before we went and lost at Old Trafford. We managed to win with the lowest point total since 2018 with only 77, which wouldn’t have even got us in the top four in at least 5 previous seasons, and we basically won by default. Spures lost 4 of their last 6, Arsenal won 0 of the last 7 and Man City only won 2 of their last 7. But they all count! Cups Our first foray into the champions league was fun! We were drawn into the same group as a strong Monaco side, Barcelona and Dinamo Kiev. Our first match saw us win 1-0 at Monco while our opening European home game saw us beat Barcelona by the same score. We won the group at a canter, winning all 6 games. We then got Dortmund and beat the home and away. The quarter finals saw us draw Spurs, who promptly won the first leg at our place 4-0. It was fun but we still got a way to go. Arsenal and Manchester Ciity both offered me interviews. I’ve finally made it! Transfers Farily quiet, just two big signings, including Liam Freedman, a wonderkid from Celtic. We're already preparing for next season by splashing thirty million on this dutch wonderkid before the season was even over. Finances Made a 55m profit thanks to our European adventures. We were also the subject of another consortium takeover and now have over 100m in the bank Notable players Goran Cerina - really showed his value this season, a ture world class player. 32 goals from 43 starts. Liam Freedman - splashed out 30m on this wonderkid from Celtic. totally worth it Roberto Padilla - found this 18 yr old playing in Argentina who loked amazing. got him for 11.75m in January to find him already labelled a wonderkid. Gradually introducing him to the team but he looks amazing already Next season With an average age of 24 this team is gonna be aound for a while. I'm gonna stick with it and see if i can complete the challenge but now the FM19 thread is up and running I'll only update should I actually do it. Given I once got relegated to the Vanarama South and was one game away from the sack (on at least 3 occassions I reckon) I'm amazed I even managed to complete half the challenge!
  2. Season 2036/37 Premier League League Expectation: 1th Finish: 2nd Our most consistent season yet. Although we finished second we never really threatened the title but then we never fell out of the top four either. We snatched second with 5 victories from our final 5 games, including victories against Man City and title winners Spurs. It bodes well for next season! Cups Fairly early exits in both competitions Transfers I realy went for it this season splashing out 100m on new players., most of who were successful buys. We looked strong throughout the team for the first time in years Finances Despite a transfer deficit of -70m we still only made a 30m loss and still have 50m sat in the bank. Another stadium upgrade sees Burgess Hill Stadium now with a capacity of 20k. It’s looking really healthy for us! Notable players Jose Maria Villanueva – struggled to make the Real Madrid first team and so chose to leave on a free. We broke our wage structure to get him and it was the best decision we made. Looks like a cracking player Goran Cerina – Turned provider more than goalscorer. Our coaches assure me he’s our first truly world class player. The difficult part will be keeping hold of him, but European football will definitely help Diego Camargo - the main beneficiary from Cerina's assists. The old wonderkid is really building on that early promise and looking the real deal. Next season Can we make that step up and win the title? I know I gave myself a deadline of Nov 2 but I'm getting so close and having so much fun I might sneakily extend it a bit. It seems a bit naughty with the FM19 challenge already up but what can you do?
  3. @CMU Chips but you got so close!! I'm not sure I want to give up yet being so close as well but I'm definitely going to start the FM19 challenge a lot earlier!
  4. ah, no worries, it was our fault for starting late. I wanted to get it finished by the time of retail release as well and that's not looking likely tbh. I might keep it going a bit longer, it's been fun so far - just wish I'd started it a few moths earlier!
  5. looks like you have one of the walking dead as your manager avatar...
  6. Season 2036/37 Premier League League Expectation: 18th Finish: 8th Our opening game saw us go back to our temporary home of the last two seasons as we took on Brighton. Unexpected isn’t really the right word…. Our next game was the first competitive match at our new stadium! It was genuinely quite exciting, even though we lost 5-2. It was Mancherster United though and we put up a good fight. We then won away at Watford and were looking quite good but then……. A run of 6 tricky matches saw us lose 4 and draw 2 and suddenly we were just outside the relegation spots. The next 5 mathes were against teams all in the bottom 6 with us so if we did well I knew we’d be ok First up was Hull at home, a last minute equaliser saw us squander a 2-1 lead. Next was Burnley at home – we were 3-2 up after 90 minutes and somehow lost 4-3. We only one 1 match out of the 6 and were 19th, 3 points off safety. Newcastle, in 20th, were the only team we had beaten and we were still searching for our first home win. The next 3 matches saw us take on Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool. I was not confident. Arsenal at home saw us put on a magnificent display and win our first ever league home game at our new stadium. 4-1 to boot! Then the next week we only wenty and beat Man City 2-1. And then won 4-1 at Anfield. 2 draws followed and we were at Old Trafford – we won 3-2. Suddenly we were mid-table! Our good form continued for the rest of the season and at one stage we were 6th, the last European qualification spot. However, 3 defeats in the last 6 meant we slipped just outside, missing out by 2 points. Considering we were 19th in mid-December it’s a pretty good finish though. For the second half of the season we were 4th – if we can carry that form into the new season I’ll be very happy Cups Made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup. We were away to Burnley, where we’d just won 4-2 in the league a couple of weeks previously. We were utterly awful and they beat us easily. League Cup saw us get to the quarter final where we lost away at Liverpool Transfers I spent big for the first time. French international defender Thomas Soulas came in for 33m while England international Pat Colquhoun came cheap from newly relegated Huddersfield at only 22m. Both did well but by far my best signing was Diego Camargo for only 2.2m. He was only supposed to be a back up option but turned out to be a wonderkid and ended the season our most important and in-form forward Finances Made about 4m profit despite splashing out on transfers and pushing the wage bill right up. Notable players Pete Wilson – The governor played a much more important role than I had envisaged and never let us down. He lost his place towards the end of the season to Camargo but whenever he played he chipped in with a goal or an assist. 18 goals, 16 assists, in 23 appearances is not bad for a 30 year old journeyman striker sadly, it’s likely to be his last season with us as at the end of the season he came to see me How can I say no? he’s a club legend, spending 9 seasons with us scoring 268 goals in 372 appearances (7.62 ar as well) Julio Delgado – has come a long way since the youngstrer we brought in on loan as a back up. Now one of the most accomplished midfielders in the side and made himself first choice over this season. Really pleasing to see him develop into such a good player. Goran Cerina – the future of the club, if we can keep him. Started the season phenomonally well with 17 goals in his first 19 games. Tailed off towards the end of the season though, with only 4 goals in his last 17 games but that didn’t stop us turning down a 112m offer for him from Spurs Next season Aiming for European competition. With our forward line we stand every chance
  7. Season 2034/35 Championship League Expectation: 8 Finish: 2 Despite having a much stronger squad than the last time we were in the championship it wasn’t as easy to get out as I’d hoped. Our first 9 games returned only 4 victories and left us outside the play-off positions. The next 17 saw us win 14 and lose only 2, at the end of which we went top. We were looking strong, in excellent form, and I thought it would be a coast in for the rest of the season. 2 defeats and a draw later and Brentford were 8 points clear and we were looking over our shoulder at Palace. Luckily, whenever we slipped up they seemed to as well and by match 44 we were 6 points clear with a +20 goal difference. Just as well as our last match of the season was against Palace, and they smashed us 4-1. We made it, but only just. Cups After last years excitement it was almost a relief to return to normal ways. The 3rd round of the FA Cup saw us home to fellow championship side Barnsley. We were in phenomonal form, unstoppabe in the league. We lost 5-1 We managed to make it to the QF of the league Cup but lost 2-0 to Brighton Transfers Only lost 1 player due to relegation release clause, Tetteh, which was a relief. In Vera and Olivera we finally had keepers worthy of the rest of the team, while with Olivera and Cerina we also had our first bone fide wonderkids. Although we had a few failed to make any impression it was a pretty successful tansfer window. Finances We made a loss of 30m but with 100m in the bank it was easily dealt with. We move into our new stadium as well after 2 years in the Amex, the imaginatively named Burgess Hill Stadium. 13k capacity at the minute but can be extended to 30k. Things are looking up! Notable players Pete Wilson – the governor struggled a little in the premiership with only 9 goals to his name last season. The championship is clearly his natural level and he really thrives there, his return gave an even better season than the last one with 28 goals, 25 assists and 12 PotM awards. Problem is I’m not sure he’s really up to it in the Premiership so he may find himself a bit part player next season, which is sad for a club legend Goran Cerina – Croatian wonderkid snapped up on a free. I was amazed he was willing to come down the championship such is his quality. He struggled with injuries worryingly but when he played he was awesome. 21 goals and 15 assists in 33 appearances in an injury ravished season bodes well Andy Willoughby – Now in his fourth season he really stepped up and performed to a consistently high standard. We really need him to carry that on next season, he could be a really important part of the team Next season Again, survial is key. We got a stronger squad and a much bigger bank balance so we should be able to do it... I'm planning to quit when FM19 comes out as well and start a new challenge so we're running out of time!
  8. Season 2033/34 Premiership League Expectation: 20th Finish: 19th We had a great pre-season and went into the new season full of confidence. An opening day draw at home to leicester was followed by a 4-3 defeat away at Southampton – we had been 3-0 down, got it back to 3-3 and lost it in the last minute –, a narrow home deat to Man City and a battling win away at West Brom. After 4 games I felt confident we could stay up. 9 matches later I was sure we were doomed as we drew 2 and lost 7, not looking like winning any of them. A little mini revival of 3 wins in the next 4 gave me a little hope but then we lost a huge 6 pointer, and it set the tone for the rest of the season. With 9 games left we were in this position:- Still a lot of work to do but a favourable run of matches eant we had a good chance of escape. We won 1, drew 1 and lost 5 of the next 7 and I was sure we were doomed, but by some miracle we still had a chance. With two games left the table looks like this:- We played Everton at home and ran out 2-1 winners in our best performance of the season. Miracualously, we went into the final day of the season with half a chance! We won comfortably, but so did Brentford and Liverpool, and we were down. We can have no complaints really – at times we were hopelessly out of our depth and we lost too many home games against teams in the bottom half of the table. 35 points is pretty pathetic really. Cups We got Liverpool at home in the third round of the FA Cup and played magnificently, beating them 3-0. Our first foray into the 4th round saw us beat Blackburn while the fifth round saw us take on Man U. I expected our run to end there but we managed to salvage a dra and then won on penalities. Our first quarter-final was against Arsenal. We got a credible 0-0 draw at home and then in the replay we scored 3 second half goals in a 10 minute spell to go 3-0 up. They pulled two back in the last two minutes but weren’t able to get the equalizer, meaning we ran out unlikely 3-2 winners Our first FA Cup semi-final! Against Championship strugglers Fulham! After beating Liverpool, Man U and Arsenal to get here surely the final was our destiny! Nope, we were appalling and lost 5-2….. Transfers My scouts found a 20 year old German midfielder playing for HSV in the second division whose contract was about to run out. They gave him a glowing review so I signed him up. Turned out to be better than they thought! He looked so good I decided to build the team around him. So I did and he thrived. I wasn’t too concerned when big clubs came sniffing around as he had a 45m release fee. Deadline day in January saw Man City make a derisory 20m offer. I scoffed. They came back with 24m. I called their bluff and asked for 45m. They agreed! My best player and the future of the club cruelly ripped from us after only 22 matches! But we did make a 45m profit after only 5 months…. Players I actually spent money on were generally underwhelming… Finances Ridiculously good. Thanks to the money from the Wojdake sale, the cup run and using the Amex with it’s 30k capacity we made a £79m profit! We now have a huge wage and transfer budget to fund Mission Re-Promotion Notable players Antonio Jesus – Missed the first few weeks of the season through injury and had to wait for his chance. Once he got it he wasted no time scoring 8 in his first 10. Highlight was his 10 minute hat-trick away at Arsenal in the FA Cup. Finished with 18 in 27, it could have been so different had he been fit the whole season. Milan Varga – Found floundering in PSG’s reserves and signed for only 3.5m, he was a consistently high performer and made a great partnership with Jesus. Just have to try and hold on to him now. Next season We need to get back asap. Most players have relegation clauses in their contracts so it might involve a major rebuilding job. Luckily I have a cack load of cash to fund it now so anything short of champions will be a failure really.
  9. Season 2032/33 Championship League Expectation: 8th Finish: 2nd A draw and a defeat in our opening two games didn’t really prepare me for what came next. A stutter start gave way to a 9 gaem winning run in November and December and at the halfway point we were second, with 50 points. It quickly became clear we were in a three horse race with Brentford and Barnsely, and by late February Brentford had started to pull away. They were 6 points ahead when they came to Burgess Hill. With Barnsley right behind us we needed a result. For 80 miutes it was a very cagey affair, with neither side really making any inroads. Then, in the 81st minute, we scored. And then this happened…. We kept up our good form and with two games left to play we went top on goal difference. Our last two games were away at 23rd place wolves and home against mid-table QPR. Match Brentford’s results and we would be champions! We lost and drew them, and finished second. But it was ok, we were promoted! Cups Finally a cup run! It was only to the fifth round, where we lost 1-0 at home to Man U, but it made a change to actually win an FA Cup game for a change!League cup was a similar story, we won a couple and then crashed out. Transfers It was a bit strange finally having some money to spend. I spent it on two Spanish players who were languishing in their clubs B teams but looked like they might be useful. They both started the season as back-ups, both forced their way into the team and both finished as two of the best performers. I’m very pleased with how they turned out!Delgado, Djorordovic and Broccoli were great finds and all 3 integral to our promotion. All in all one of the best transfer windows I’ve ever had. Finances Despite me being under budget on everything we made a loss of 9m. Promotion didn’t come soon enough really! First thing the board did once we got promotion was announce this:- It means for our first Premiership season we’ll be playing at the Amex, the bonus of which is a 30k stadium. Plus, it’s not too far to travel. Notable players Pete Wilson – My favourite thing about these challenges is how there’s always one player you pick up who comes on the journey with you and becomes an absolutel legend. I love Pete ‘the governor’ Wilson – he was immense again. From the player whose golas gpot us promoted to the league to the player whose goals got us into the premiership! David Djordjovic – picked up on a free from the Serbian first diviosn, he was bought as a back-up for Spall-Weaver. As Spall-Weaver struggled for form and fitness Djordjovic stepped in and never once disappointed, completely outperforming who he was supposed to understudy. Ended the season as first choice partner for Wilson and completely deserved it. Andy Willoughby - spent the last two seasonsa on loan from Manchester United and has been fantastic. His contract ran out at the end of the season and I've snapped him up on a free. He's been a lynchpin for us in the Championship and still only 22 Next season Just going for survival really. Then I can really start building.
  10. Season 2031/32 Championship League Expectation: 22 Finish: 4 (play off runners up) Almost a dream first season in the championship. We started really well, with 4 wins out of our first 5 matches and although we had a mini wobble in September, only winning 1 in 8, we rallied in November, winning all 6 league games. We could never breaj into the top 2 but were able to maintain play-off form and ended up comfortably in fourth. The play-off semi-final saw us exact revenge on Bournemouth, who had knocked us out of the FA Cup, a 2-2 draw away from home followed by a fantastic 6-1 drubbing at home. We headed into the final high on confidence and put in a really good display against a very good Middlesbrough side. With 86 minutes gone we were deadlocked at 1-1 when they snatched a winner. A disappointing end but we can be very proud of our efforts. Cups *shuffles feet uncomfortably* our customary first round defeats again......but we finally made it to the 3rd round of the FA Cup! Transfers Biggest signing took place in October with Spall-Weaver. He’d been released by Liverpool in the summer and had spent the previous 3 seasons banging them in for fun on loan at various championship teams. He had no interest in joining us then and had a lot of teams interested in him. I kept tabs on him and, bizarrely, he was still without a club in October. We made an offer, he accepted, he joined and transformed our season. Chris Dillon joined, a Northern Irish international, but only 20. He played a couple of matches and then threw his toys out the pram that he wasn’t a first team regular. In mid-september. So I told him he could leave, he said good, and Swansea offered me 1.8m for his services which almost made me spill my cornflakes. A great piece of business for a cash-starved club! Finally, at the end of the season, we paid our first transfer fees. Only time will tell if they’re good deals…. Finances Thanks to the Dillon money and the play-off final we made a huge profit this season. We even took 12k fans! Finally, the bank balance looks rosy! It also helped that we had by far the smallest salary expenditure in the division at 3m pa – the highest, Brentford, had 51m! Notable players Lewis Spall-Weaver - I'm still a bit in shock we managed to sign him. He's clearly Premiership quality and tore the Championship apart once we signed him. Keeping him is key to our pormotion push. Pete Wilson - The governor keeps performing! i'd love to take him up to the premierhip with us, it would be an amazing journey. we got to get there first.... Sam Dunn - one of the best gambles i ever took, he was outstanding in the middle of the park. Not many goals or assists as he played as a defensive playmaker, but he did crack a 30 yard free kick in the top corner in our play off semi-final. Got me out of my seat! Next season Surely we can push on and get promotion? If we cam keep Spall-Weaver and get the right loan signings in then we got every chance
  11. Season 2030/31 League 1 League Expectation: 11th Finish: 1st Our best season yet! We started well, with 8 victories from our first 9 games, and although we couldn’t quite keep that pace up we found ourselves in a 3 horse race with Villa and Bradford and we always seemed to manage to just keep ahead. In Feb/March we finally left them behind as we went on a run of 8 wins and 2 draws and suddenly found ourselves one victory away from promotion with 6 games to play. We lost that game, but secured promotion the next game. 4 wins from our final 4 matches ensured the title was ours as well. It’s been such a long time since I had such a good season (and a very long time since I had to beat Bilericay away to save my job!) Cups Second round o the FA Cup saw us with our best chance yet of reaching the 3rd round. We were top of L1 and flying, Luton were mid-table in L2. We were at home. We had 24 shots on goal, they had 5. They won 1-0. I still haven’t reached the 3rd round! I refuse to care about the checkatrade cup with it’s idiotic use of U23 teams saw played mainly youngsters and squad players, who surprised me by reaching the final! We played Liverpool U23s who had a 30 year old, 69 capped by Spain, 60m valued, man in their midfield. They won 1-0, I blew a raspberry. Amusingly, I only too 263 fans to Wembley! Transfers Deadline day saw MK Abomination offer 200k for Bob Hill, and the board thought it too good an offer to refuse. To be honest, he probably was as far as he could go in terms of ability so it was a good deal. Luckily, we’d brought in replacements in the shape of Gary Bailey (this one has beter hair and is a better keeper, depite being an MC) and Sam Dunn, released by LA Galaxy, so he wasn't badly missed. Styill not spent any money on a transfer either! Finances Still not great, still making a loss and still paying off a huge loan. losses again stood at just under a million, even though i kept well under budget again. Notable players Peter Wilson – The governer! Was an absolute superstar in easily his best season for us. Head and shoulders the best player in the whole division. 46 goals in 47 games with a 7.99 rating says it all. Should be a good fit for championship football. Sam Dunn – Arrived on a free from LA Galaxy - a bit of a gamble as i knew little about him but he turned out to be a class act. Considering the wages I gave him it was a huge relief Gary Bailey - Not the crap 80s keeper but a solid midfielder released by championship barnsley. slotted well into the midfield replacing Bob Hill, ensuring we never missed him. Next season I'd be happy just to stay up at this stage. There's no way the club has the infrastructure for a further promotion yet. I still barely get 4000 fans a week as well.
  12. Season 2029/30 League 1 League Expectation: 23rd Finish: 8th One of the strangest and closest leagues I’ve ever been in! At one point only one point separated 2nd from 11th, and only 12 points from promotion places to relegation places. For the most part, we managed to stay in the top half of the table and with 10 games left to play found ourselves in second. A nightmare run of injuries saw us struggle in the final 10 matches though, for at least two games it was all I could do to put out 11 fit players, and we struggled to only two further victories. Still, a pleasing first season that shows we can hold our own in this league, even if there’s alittle frustration at how close we were to the play-offs. Cups Another season, another terrible cup run. First round exits in both league and FA cup although we did manage to make it out the groups for the daft checkatrade nonsense though. I refuse to take that seriously since they let U23 teams in though, what a nonsense. Transfers Still not spent any money but made some good free signings. Alex Warburton probably the best, a 19 year old central defender released by Liverpool. He went straight into the first team and he did ok. Last day of transfer window Middlesborough offered 350k, I asked for 500k, they agreed and being 1m in the red I couldn’t turn it down. Zak Keen was a hugely successful loan signing, so much so I got him again for next season I also got my first good looking youth player! Finances We were still losing money hand over fist, although the sale of Warburton help, and were the subject of our second takeover around March. First thing they did was take out anther loan to clear all debts. So although it looks quite healthy, we got another loan to clear. Notable players Peter Wilson - finally reaslising the potetial he showed for us on loan all those years ago, easily our best player and one of the best in the division. Part of the reason we struggled for consistency was the number of injuries he had this season:- Really frustrating. Without him we are a far worse team. Iker Pozo – Not sure how he does it. With his stats he shouldn’t be performing this well at this level this consistently, but he does! Next season I know where we need to strengthen (gk and midfield) so if we anage to do that, who knows? Hopefully we can build on the success of this first season. Sad news though, at 33 years old:-
  13. Season 2028/29 League Two League Expectation: 22nd Finish: 2nd A fantastic season overall but it didn’t look that way 4 games in when we saty 23rd with 3 defeats and 1 draw from out opening 4 games. Flashbacks to our relegation season kept appearing but we managed to turn it around and go on an 11 match unbeaten run, by the end of which we were in the play-offs. Our good form continued, at times we swatted teams aside, and by February we were first and looked odds on for champions. The final 10 games saw us only win 2 however and we were pipped at the post by Wrexham. An annoying end to an otherwise fantastic season Cups Fairly appalling again. We did at least win away at Championship Birmingham in the first round of the leaue cup, but Swansea knocked us out the next round. The FA Cup was yet again a didaster zone as we limped out to National League Tranmere with an awful display Transfers After his heroics with us a couple of seasons back I’d tried to get Peter Wilson back on loan from Fulham, but they refused, arguing they wanted him to play with better quality players. With Macclesfield. In the vanarama League North. So when I spotted they released him on a free I swooed in – easily my most risk-free bit of business ever. Finances I made sure to stay well under my wage budget for the year, and spent no money on transfers. We still managed to make a loss of over a million quid, which has led me to conclude our board are idiots Notable players Peter Wilson The governer is back! Snapped up on a free after being released by Fulham. Didn't quite match his goalscoring heroics of his first season with us but what a player. Bob Hill His fourth full season for us. I bought him as an 18 year old, mainly for his old school name, but he’s become a reliable presence in midfield. This season he was made club captain and set about again being a compete measure of consistency. L2 may be is limit however Iker Pozo lost his place for the first 3 games of the season. What was I thinking? As soona she returned he set about making me look like an utter fool for ever doubting him Next season survival is my main aim
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