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    SC Fortuna Köln

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  1. 4-1-2-1-2 narrow always seems to work for me against three at the back formations. I can't explain it. But it has done the trick.
  2. Just an update: the next instalment of this will be some time in May/June. Exams etc to get out the way first. But there will be more!
  3. Excellent. I made make-shift arrangements for the leagues that are absent from the game. It will be good to have a more authentic experience managing in South America. Some of the teams in the lower leagues of Argentina are pretty decent too. Definitely a lot of fun to be had managing down there.
  4. I'm in a similar financial predicament. I started as an unemployed nobody in Italy. Took the job at Milano City, as it was the only one available. Serie D. At the beginning there are players on between 150-300 quid a week. I thought nothing of it at first. I was under my wage budget and had even lowered it by selling a few players and bringing in no-wage loan players. Checked the finances out and we are heading towards the cliff edge at an alarming rate. I don't think there is enough money to pay any players weekly wages. What I have been doing with signings is offering them a contract based on bonuses. Very modest fees. But unless I sell the players who were here originally and get them off the wage bill, we will be hurtling towards administration. The window is closed and I have started the league season well. I might give it everything to get up to Serie C and see if that changes anything. I wish the club was originally set-up to live within its means.
  5. I had created separate competitions. It made the scheduling easier. Plus I wanted to change the structure of the other competitions to make them more competitive.
  6. Podgorica The Slovenian media had been full on with its praise for the retiring Adrijan Brkic. The thirty-eight year old central defender had loyally served his club, Olimpija Ljubljana, for twenty-seven years, and had amassed one-hundred and forty caps for the national team. Both the Yugoslavian and Slovenian parliaments had chosen to recognise his achievements in his final match for the club. Before kick-off, the minister for Slovenian affairs at the Yugoslavian parliament awarded Adrijan an honorary role as an ambassador for Yugoslavian sport. A key to the city of Ljubljana was to follow. Even though Adrijan was a fine defender and undoubtedly one of the better Slovenian players of his generation, the honours and praise that fell upon him that day were more to do with his apolitical stance throughout his career than anything he performed on a football pitch. Indeed, during a brief period of tension between Slovenian nationalists and Yugoslavian internationalists, Adrijan was one of the few national team players that saw it as his duty not to weigh in on the politics of the day. This was a trait he had inherited from his father, Josip. "True strength comes from restraint and silent reflection" his father would tell him. It was unclear whether Josip Brkic truly believed his own words or felt that it was a survival technique that he had best pass on to his only son. Despite all of the lavish praise and honours bestowed upon Adrijan, he found no consolation in them as he contemplated his new life off of the football pitch. Retirement was something he had always dreaded. Growing up in the youth ranks of Ljubljana's primary club, his secondary socialisation took place on the training pitches and old school buses that used to transport the young players around the country for away matches. The talk of which football players they wanted to emulate evolved into talk of which girls they'd like to ****, as boys moved up the age ranks together. They would attend each others' birthday parties, family funerals, festival gatherings and so on. Many of them attended the same high school and would form cliques together. As they reached their mid-teens some of the young players would be let go, failing to make the grade. But for Adrijan turning fifteen was a watershed moment. It was in his fifteenth year that he was given the opportunity to train with the senior players. He would always refer to this period as the most daunting, but happiest of his life. He impressed the coaches so much that as he approached his sixteenth birthday, he made his debut for the first-team off the bench in a home game against Domzale. By the age of seventeen he was a regular in the midfield of Olimpija. Playing as a holding player in a midfield-three, he earned a reputation as a tactically intelligent destroyer. The manager at the time, Jedinko Perica, respected Adrijan so much, that despite bringing in a holding midfielder from Croatia to play in his position, he found another place for Adrijan in the team at centre back. This would prove to be a masterstroke; Adrijan went on to become a stalwart at the heart of Olimpija's and Slovenia's defence for the next decade. Despite fears that his abilities would be noticed by one of the regional giants, or worse, one of Western Europe's rich clubs, Adrijan never entertained the notion of leaving his hometown club. Retirement meant a life away from Olimpija after twenty-seven years. Football was all that he had known in life, so naturally he gravitated towards remaining in the game. The Ministry of Employment for Sports Professionals (MESP) was a body set-up to find employment for out of work footballers and managers. A list of vacancies from all over Yugoslavia could be obtained from the ministry, and if you knew the right people you could guarantee an interview or two. The Ljubljana branch was situated near Adrijan's apartment and he knew some of the staff. Even though it would seem beneath a decorated national hero to go asking for work at an employment agency, it was par for the course in Yugoslavia. Within a couple of weeks Adrijan had two interviews; one in Bosnia with Zrinjski Mostar; the other in Montenegro with Buducnost Podgorica. The interviews were largely ceremonial as both clubs were keen on appointing a man with such international experience. In order to make his mind up on what job he would be taking, Adrijan felt it was necessary to consult his father. Josip Brkic was a psychology professor at the University of Ljubljana. He earned a reputation from writing many groundbreaking papers on the evolutionary origins of psychoanalytic primary defence mechanisms. He was a stern looking figure with a disciplinarian glare. He would often wear a chestnut-brown tweed jacket over a beige cardigan; both smelling of his one addiction in life: cigars. His glasses always sat at the end of his nose, causing him to give people the impression he was looking down on them disapprovingly. By now, Adrijan was used to his father's unsettling mannerisms. In fact, they had become a source of comfort for him. Sitting in the small office Josip had at the university, Adrijan told his father what his options were. Being a university professor provided Josip with a stream of information that would regularly circulate around the campus. If ever a recession was on the way, or a serious act of political protest, Josip would be among the first to know. In fact, he often could sense it before word of mouth had started to ricochet off the campus walls. He was a world-class reader of people, and given his background in psychoanalytic theory, he could sense when those in the economics and political science departments were in denial or were trying to repress something that troubled them. One of his colleagues, and long term friends, was a Bosnian professor from Sarajevo. Recently he began to notice that his colleague became uneasy when the issue of nationalism had been brought up after the anniversary of the Skopje rebellion. From this, he inferred that something must be afoot in Bosnia and so when asked to give his son advice on which job he should take, he unequivocally told him "Montenegro". A few days later it was confirmed: Adrijan Brkic was going to be leading Buducnost Podgorica into the 2018/19 season. The news of his appointment was met with enthusiastic approval in the Montenegrin press. Adrijan was unfazed by the prospect of making the transition into management, but he was trying to adjust to a new culture. He could communicate quite well with most people, but the feeling of the place was different from Ljubljana and Slovenia in general. Settling in would take time, but he didn't have much time to prepare for his first match in charge. The opening game of the season was a Yugoslavian Summer Tournament fixture; Buducnost were in Group A and would face Sarajevo (H), Osijek (A), and Milano Kumanovo (H). The tournament offered the prospect of financial rewards, with the winner of each match receiving £1,000,000. Buducnost's President had made it clear to Adrijan that he should do everything in his power to win the two home matches. His future transfer and wage budgets would depend upon it. The Yugoslavian Summer Tournament was one of the highlights of the season. It was fiercely contested and offered teams the opportunity to improve their finances before the climax of the transfer window. Teams would face each other once in the group stage, with two sides progressing to the last sixteen. Knockout round fixtures were one-leg affairs, with the final due to be held in Tirana, Albania. Adrijan's first game was against Bosnian side Fudbalski Klub Sarajevo at home. With only a few days to prepare he opted to keep things simple and asked the players to adopt a 4-4-1-1 shape in the training matches. Sarajevo were known to play a very compact game, with their manager Husref Musemic preferring to play 4-1-3-2. The key would be to take advantage of the wide areas, while remaining competitive in the middle of the park. Naturally defensive minded, Adrijan spent a lot of his training sessions carrying out drills that aimed to improve defensive-organisation. Unaware of the physical qualities at his disposal, he instructed his players to simply regroup once possession had been squandered. The pressing game that had usually been employed at Olimpija required good physical conditioning and tactical intelligence; dropping back was the safer bet at this stage. The training sessions had been hard work, but Adrijan was pleased with the preparation. The backroom team was a little bit short, but the club had contacted MESP and advertised vacancies. All that was left to do before the game was address the Yugoslavian press. Given the stature of the competition, no expenses were spared in the build up to the Summer Tournament. Journalists from Belgrade, Zagreb, Tirana, Skopje, and elsewhere in the Yugoslavia would show up in Podgorica for a game that didn't seem to hold much significance for those in other parts of the region. The competition was seen as a showing of solidarity among all Yugoslav nations and most people were given the day off work for the semi-finals and the final. The furthest Adrijan had ever been in the tournament as a player was the Quarter Finals in 2004. Olimpija were beaten 4-2 on that occasion by Rijeka. He didn't hold out much hope for bettering that performance in his first season with Buducnost. He explained to the press that the group was very competitive in its initial appearance, but that he expected Osijek to progress as the top team. The luck of the draw had given Buducnost two home matches against their Bosnian and Kosovan opponents, and so there was an expectation that they would be second-favourites to qualify. The match against Sarajevo was going to be a litmus test for his side. Building a reputation as a manager was a tough job and beating a similarly ranked side in the Yugoslavian Summer Cup would do no harm to his standing in the business. Everything was set; a sizeable away support had made its way over from Bosnia. The atmosphere in the Montenegrin capital was building up. It was time to stand up and be counted.
  7. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; May 31st, 2018. The directors' box at the Ashgabat stadium was full of military uniforms and expensive suits. Turkmenistan's political elite had chosen to attend the Yokary Liga match between Altyn Asyr and Merw Mary, and had invited representatives from the Soviet Parliament to join them. The match itself was of little interest to the dignitaries, but Turkmenistan was due to host the final of the U.S.S.R Cup, and it was considered customary to show off the facilities to foreign guests before the big event. Yuri Smirokov, the Chair of the U.S.S.R Cup's organising committee, had just taken his seat behind the head of the Soviet Intelligence Ministry, when a series of loud bangs forced him and the rest of the dignitaries to duck for cover. The smell of smoke and the threat of further explosions delayed even the most seasoned military personnel's ascent from underneath their seat. Yuri was the first to chance a peek at what was going on down below, and what he saw would stay with him for the rest of his life: the military police were running down the stairs at either side of the director's box. They were trying to form a protective layer between the dignitaries and the baying mob that were making their way up from the standard seating below. As the angered fans reached the line of police, fists were exchanged with batons, and the crashing together of bodies created a scene of terror. Some of the officers could not keep their footing on the steps and fell forward into droves of people hungry for violence. More fireworks were hurled in the direction of the director's box, and the rows of dignitaries started to empty, as politicians and military personnel alike climbed towards safety at their nearest exits. Down on the pitch, the players had escaped up the tunnel and the local police were doing their best to keep the fans from chasing them into the dressing rooms. A group of supporters with Turkmenistan flags draped around their shoulders started to destroy the advertising boards one by one. It would later be discovered that the adverts were the source of the problem. Turkmenistan's majority Muslim population were unhappy with the advertising of alcohol and gambling at continental cup games. The adverts had been put up for the present match because the chief executives of the U.S.S.R Cup's biggest sponsors were present. But as far as the dignitaries, who were by now locked in a secure room in the bowels of the stadium, were concerned, this was political rebellion. The head of Soviet Intelligence, Dmitri Rodchenko, made some calls to his contacts in Ashgabat. Within the hour the stadium was surrounded by the Soviet military's Turkmen regiment. Tanks stationed themselves at the mouths of streets feeding into the stadium, and troops secured all of the exits. The renegades and innocents alike were trapped in the stands and on the pitch. A stadium announcement was made warning the agitators to stand down or face certain death. The message had the unfortunate effect of neutralising the agitators but stoking the flames of panic in everyone else, and so those who were innocent of any wrong doing were suddenly battering against the officers who were blocking the exits. This latest burst of violence was met with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. The stands began to empty as the blinding gas forced the rest of the supporters onto the pitch. The soldiers emerged from various corners of the ground and kettled the fans. The pointing of rifles extinguished the last scuffles of resistance, and the crowd was successfully pacified. For the next few days the stadium became a holding pen for the fans. Dmitri Rodchenko had decided to process each supporter at the ground, and transport them in groups to different "facilities" around the country. The media was forbidden from reporting the event. Those who knew someone that had attended the match would never learn the fate of their family or peers. Twelve thousand people were about to learn the ugly truth about the supposedly reformed U.S.S.R.
  8. Preface I'd like to say a few things before I embark on another FM Story. First of all, the story titled 'L'Etranger' will have a continuation. I am simply bringing the save to the end of the season, and from that I will have a lot of content to use for the story. But it may be a while before it gets going again. The second thing I'd like to say is that the other story 'Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina' is a non-starter really. I don't feel right with it, so I won't be adding anything to it. If there are moderators that can delete the story, then please feel free to do so. The main point of this preface is to explain the world in which this latest story, Notes From the Underground, takes place. I have manipulated the in-game world using the editor to create a different looking Europe in terms of the continental competitions. I will firstly explain these changes and then say a bit about the story behind them. The political and social world of the story will be quite different from our present one. More on that later. The UEFA Champions League has finally become the competition that the creme de la creme want it to be: a tournament for the elite clubs. England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy enter five teams to form a twenty-team league that runs throughout the entire domestic season. This will result in the domestic leagues and the Champions League running parallel with one another. Teams play each other twice. This is the first change. The UEFA Europa League has become the competition for mid-ranking nations. Like the Champions League, the format is an international league that runs throughout the entire domestic league seasons. The likes of Ajax, PSV, Anderlecht, Olympiacos, Celtic, Rangers, Benfica, Porto and so on will contest the Europa League on a regular basis. The last of our new UEFA competitions sees the minnows of Europe compete in their own league: the UEFA Trophy. The same format, only the teams come from the lowest ranked countries such as Andorra, Luxembourg, San Marino and so on. The story behind the split is easy to imagine: the usual formats lacked the competitiveness of old, and the elite clubs were licking their lips at the money to be made from an exclusive league. Being able to watch the big hitters play most weeks seemed like a good way to bring in major audiences and the money to be made from advertising and ticketing etc seemed better than having these games mainly in the latter stages of the old format. The clubs threatened to break away from UEFA and form their own competition, but the governing body decided to appease them and proposed the league. This angered the rest of Europe of course, but the proposal to bring in more European games for every club, and the prospect of greater income, quieted the discontent. In Eastern Europe there are several new competitions in place: Summer Tournaments: The Yugoslavian Summer Tournament; 32 teams from all Yugoslavian Nations - group stage; last 16; quarter final; semi-final; final. U.S.S.R Cup; same format at Yugoslavian tournament with clubs from former USSR countries. Karl Marx Cup; 16 team tournament using clubs from Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia; group stage; quarter final; semi final; final. International Competition: The International Cup of Socialist States; 128 teams - 2 qualifying rounds; group stage; last 16; quarter final; semi final; final. So we have an Eastern European Champions League that runs throughout the entire domestic season, much like the current Champions League does. We also have regional summer tournaments. Important note: all domestic divisions remain the same. So on to the interesting part: the world this story inhabits has an alternative history; one in which the U.S.S.R and Yugoslavia never truly dissolved. In an attempt to save themselves, the leaderships of the respective states agreed to transform the nature of the political entities they led. The U.S.S.R and Yugoslavia became unions of independent states, much like the E.U. Allowing each ethnic/cultural/national group a greater degree of autonomy helped stifle the desire for independence felt among some elements of each society. Furthermore, the Soviet leadership changed the economic priorities and moved away from the arms race and developed the economies of its member-states to a level consistent with Western States. In this world, Yugoslav and Soviet Republics are quite advanced. Although there are still concerns over human-rights, economic inequality, democracy and other social/economic issues, the unions have managed to survive right up until June 2018, where we begin our story. As was mentioned above, the domestic leagues are independent. There is no Yugoslavian league and Soviet Top League. The likes of Hungary, Czech Republic etc have aligned themselves with the Eastern Bloc. When the turmoil at UEFA was in full swing, and uncertainty reigned, the Eastern European football associations did not delay; they broke away and formed their own competition. With many powerful industries existing in the East, and a large population, the money from playing in the International Cup of Socialist States rivals anything UEFA were willing to offer. Our story will be centred around a Slovenian ex-international centre back who spent his entire career at Olimpija Ljubljana: Adrijan Brkic. Adrijan retired at the end of the 2017/18 season; a year in which he captained the team to a league and cup double. Heralded in the Slovenian and wider Yugoslavian press as one of the most gifted centre backs in the region, he has built a good reputation in his playing career. He is now aiming for success as a manager, and it is on this journey that we will follow him, as well as observing some of the wider events in the U.S.S.R and Yugoslavia as cracks start to appear in the social and political structures. Expect some breaks from Adrijan's story, as we learn about the going ons all over the reformed socialist states. I hope you choose to follow the story, and I will see you in Ashgabat for our first instalment. Pechorin.
  9. I have actually managed to sort this out in a roundabout way. So the initial problem I was having was I didn't comprehend the 'number of teams starting at this stage' feature. I assumed you filled this in right the way through. But I think you fill it in at the start, and it sort of works itself out down the way, unless you have something more sophisticated than halving the number of teams at every new stage. Anyway, I have a Karl Marx Cup of Champions from June-August. Then the Vladimir Lenin Champions Cup from September-May. I just added both because I like competitive football replacing pre-season games. The Lenin Cup will be the much more important one. So you can experiment in the Marx Cup. I adjusted the rest of Europe. The CL now only contains the top 5 leagues and works as a league in itself. The Europa League has become a best of the rest, with the middle ranked nations competing. Then I have a UEFA trophy for the minnow nations' clubs. So a transformation of the continental football right the way through Europe.
  10. Hello all. I am hoping that one of the editor whizzes on here will be able to create an alternative Champions League using clubs from Eastern Europe/Eurasia that were once Socialist countries. So former USSR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia etc. Obviously it would be more difficult to have East German sides, but I'd be happy enough to leave them aside. Anyone up for the challenge?
  11. Doing this seems to be beyond my capabilities with the editor. If there are any more competent individuals who would be willing to give this a crack, please do. I'd really like to have this as an option in the game.
  12. Where it says 126 added to stages, 64 teams in the competition, I am at a loss to know what to do. The setup is as follows: Qualifying Play-Off round: 64 teams, 32 games. 2 Legs. Group Stages: 32 Teams; 8 Groups; 2 Rounds of Matches First Knockout Round: 16 teams; 8 matches; 2 legs. Quarter Final: 8 teams; 4 matches; 2 legs. Semi-Final: 4 teams; 2 matches; 2 legs. Final: 2 teams; 1 match; 1 leg. If you add the number of teams from each round, you get 126. But that fails to account for teams being eliminated. I have entered 64 teams into the tournament. That's how many enter at the qualifying stage. So I can't see what the problem is.
  13. This is the file for what I have so far. The editor tells me that the current rules are valid. When I start up the game and include the editor file, I get an error message. It mentions something to do with the number of teams. I will try and post a screenshot of the error message in another post. But if anyone want to try and figure out how to make this work properly, feel free. I really fancy making this work and having an alternative to the UEFA CL in Eastern Europe. Eastern European Champions Cup.fmf
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