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Posts posted by grungeandgaze

  1. 4 hours ago, RickH said:

    It's definitely the fee's you pay to these clubs in order to get them there for the friendlies. So whilst revenue will be showing much higher, the fees for these friendlies now go into Expenditure - Other.

    That doesn't explain why I'm losing money compared to every other season where the money flowed in, same types of friendlies, same types of fees and revenues.

  2. 29 minutes ago, Thebaker said:

    @grungeandgaze I suspect that the other is the fees you are paying to get these clubs to come, i find you normally only make 10k profit if a big club comes unless they owe you a friendly when you don't pay. I have even had to pay parent clubs to play friendlies.

    As I've said, I've done this many times before. When booking the friendlies, I always select the teams that offer the best return, usually 4k to 8k, so this is unlike any other preseason I've done in the game. In all fairness, I usually get anywhere between 300k to 500k profit over the preseason. So getting close to -60k is unusual.

  3. Could anyone explain this, I organised a bunch of high profile friendlies as I usually do to balance the books. On the countless occasions I've done this before, I've always managed to make a very large profit. I was expecting to go from -96K to at least 200K. However, there's large amounts going on 'other' expenditure meaning, the income generated by these friendlies has been nullified. The club is in discussions in regards to a takeover, does anyone know if this could what is affecting this income.


    Screenshot 2018-12-14 at 09.53.29.png

  4. PooleTownFC.png

    National League South - 7th Place, defeated in first play-off round

    League | Squad | Finances | Transfers | Released | Manager Profile | Tactics

    It turned out to be a decent first campaign. We struggled at first, but once a few players had come in, the team found some form. We managed a play-off spot, but I wasn't expecting much as we'd lost most of our games against tough opposition, we were just dispatching many of the mid to bottom table sides. We finished with a good goal difference thanks to the leagues 5th best attack and 4th best defence. 

    Financially, the first season was a struggle. When I arrived, many average players were on high wages and the squad lacked in several areas. This means anyone willing to join wanted wages to match the others in the squad. I've resigned  contracts with a bunch of players as the season closed and I've managed to reduce their wages as well as sign the back-up players on non-contracts, so things may go a little better next season. Although there's a scheduled stadium expansion if we remain in the league, or are promoted.

    I bagged my first badge over the course of the season, and improved several staff members. I have not renewed the director of football's contract, he was there when I arrived, but is not really needed. The club is currently in the process of a takeover, which worries me as some players are retiring and I need replacements.

    The transfers were plenty, mainly because I brought in a lot of youth. The club didn't really have any youth players when I took over, so I grabbed a bunch of high potential players on youth contracts, so no extra costs to give the Under 18s some depth, and hopefully one or two of them may prove useful.

    Unfortunately, my best player, left-back Moore, will not sign a contract on a wage less than 900/week, this means he'll likely have to be released, I have already found a replacement, but he's no where near the same level. I hope this doesn't impact the squad too much, Moore provided a number of important goals and assists, finishing with a 7.4 rating.

    I'm expected to avoid relegation again next season, but my players believe they can get mid-table. I will be personally aiming for another play-off spot. Hopefully one or two acquisitions, if the takeover doesn't drag on, will provide us with that extra quality to take on the better teams.

  5. Hey all, unfortunately my save file corrupted and because I had modified the save file to one file and save every three months while I holidayed, but forgot to switch back, I had no older save to fall back on. I'm currently doing a different save, my own club, but I will probably come back to this at some point.

  6. South_Shields_F.C._New_Crest.png

    2021-2022 National League, 7th

    League|Squad|Finances|Transfers|Released|Manager Profile|Tactics

    Well another season is over, we were predicted to finish 19th and after a great start to the season which saw us flirting with the play-off places, we started to fade. The tactics from the previous season no longer worked and we stopped scoring whilst conceding enormous amounts. This led to lots of tweaking as I tried to patch things up and the club's worst ever run of games with 11 league games without a win. We found ourselves all the way down in 18th spot. But with a new tactical set-up we picked up a surprising win that led to the club's best ever run of 13 games unbeaten which saw us finish up in 7th and a play-off spot. Unfortunately our good run came to an end against our local rivals Gateshead in a 3-2 thriller. Gateshead went on to win the play-offs and joined York City in promotion.

    This bodes well for the upcoming season. We will look to strengthen certain key areas. We have already agreed a contract with 18 year old right winger Billy Dunn from Liverpool on a free. Other areas of interest will be the goalkeeper, right full back and attacking playmaker.

    Financially we are doing very well with 1.4M in the bank. Another strong preseason helped. The board are being difficult though, refusing to invest in the facilities and claiming we are not financially strong enough to go professional. They have given me a ridiculous transfer budget of 650k, which I would much rather see invested elsewhere.

    Daniel Wright who played in the advance playmaker spot was our best player, he scored 14 in 34 and made 12 assists, picking up 9 PotM awards and an average rating of 7.42. He was voted National League player of the season. I finished third in the manager edition. The aim for next season has to be promotion, so fingers crossed.

  7. 1 hour ago, Orangedale said:

    Very nice work.

    Do you find yourself tinkering with tactics much for different opposition and/or during games? I'd call myself an average FM player, but really stuggling for form this season. Think I've been sitting back a little too much though with the new line of engagement option, now I have a much more committed and hard working squad I'm going to experiment with a higher press.

    Not at all, I tend to tinker during the season. If I see results begin to drop, I look at changing things around. I believe that if you go on a good run, teams change their approach so it's important to adapt. But I keep it as close to the original set-up as possible. I have began the new season well, but that soon dropped with some dreadful results, so I'm currently looking to balance it up again. During the matches, I just use a lot of shouts to keep the players on their toes.

  8. South_Shields_F.C._New_Crest.png

    League|Squad|Finances|Transfers|Released|Manager Profile|Tactics

    2020-2021 What a season! South Shields finished firmly top of the league, breaking several records along the way, and grabbed themselves an FA Trophy in front of 19,000 fans at Wembley.

    Finishing well above expectations, South Shields ran away with the title. The team finished with a record amount of goals scored and the best attack in the league, this was coupled with the best defence. They beat the league's record for points and wins. After a disappointing elimination in the FA Cup, South Shields mended this with a great FA Trophy run beating Solihull in a 3-2 thriller at Wembley. Highlights in the season included an 8-1 thrashing of mid-table Southport and a 5-0 thrashing of play-off qualifiers Kidderminster on the final day of the season.

    Financially, the club are in a good position. The FA Trophy win boosted the coffers and another windfall is expected for the league win. The board injected close to 700k for a stadium expansion, which will increase the capacity to 4,500, around a 1,000 increase. During preseason, we managed to recoup the funds invested into the youth facilities. I have asked the board to go professional, but they do not believe the finances are adequate enough, which may mean a struggle in the National League, or at least a 2/3 build up to promotion.

    Let's look at the squad more closely. Several players stood out this season:

    Jake Beesley efficient in front of goal, the striker netted 32 times in 46 games, finishing as the league's top scorer on 27 goals, a new record.

    Josh Gillies, a player at the club when I arrived, was our inside forward. He won the player of season award thanks to his 18 goals and 18 assists in 42 games. He also grabbed 9 PotM awards over the season.

    Simeon Oure, a player who was released by Sheff Utd, was our main winger. He got 1 goal and 19 assists in 43 games. Both he and Gillies equalled the league's most assists with 15 each in the league. Unfortunately, Oure's contract cannot be renewed as the Frenchman was denied a work permit in the new Brexit rules. He will be a loss.

    Daniel Wright, another player who was at the club when I took over, is our attacking playmaker. He got 8 goals and 10 assists, he also got the squad's best average rating with 7.36 over 43 games.

    Tyrone Duffus, came in after being released by Fylde. The defensive midfielder was a rock but also a creative force netting 11 goals and assisting 5 times over 49 games.

    Oliver Byrne was a solid presence in goal. The ex-Man Utd academy keeper who we picked up on a free from Blackburn the previous season conceded 47 and kept 17 clean sheets in 53 games.

    Alex Kempster is also a player worth mentioning, despite only being a back-up to Gillies. We picked him up on a free after he was released by York City. He scored 12 and made 4 assists in 29 appearances (11 from the bench). There's a strong chance he may become the first choice inside forward next season as he has more potential than Gillies.

    Tactically, the team started with a balanced mentality but shifted to a positive over the season. Duffus being a natural defensive midfielder allowed us to go back to a 4-1-4-1 which proved more efficient defensively, whilst allowing the attacking minded players to bomb forward. I have already signed a couple of players to strengthen for the upcoming season in the National League.

    I am currently preparing for my next badge and have just won the manager of the season award.


  9. But looking in-game Brighton are said to be based in Brighton, so that database error could explain it. So whereas South Shields are down as based in South Shields, part of the Newcastle urban area. Brighton, who are based in Falmer, part of the Lewes urban area, are put down as Brighton. Not sure how this affects things in-game.

  10. 10 minutes ago, Orangedale said:

    Thanks. Possibly is it due to Brighton already having a PL level team and South Shields does not? I just had a look and for a city with a population of 50k - 100k there is no other team in South Shields. Guess that means when the supporters want to get to a game that's their only option. Something I didn't think about, I only considered total city population, possibly an oversight!

    It's possible, South Shields are kind of part of greater Newcastle though, and have Gateshead to contend with. From what I read (if I understood properly), the team became Gateshead in the past, and a new team was formed. Personally, I think the Whitehawk reputation may be misleading. I read up about them, they have been in the media quite a bit over the past few years as their supporters are anti-rascism, pro-LGBT... and the club do a lot of work in those areas, which makes them interesting. On another note, Brighton and Hove Albion are not technically based in Brighton, but in Falmer, meaning Whitehawk are maybe the only real Brighton based club. Brighton (the club) are further from Brighton than South Shields are from Newcastle. 

  11. 10 hours ago, Orangedale said:

    Whitehawk Season 1 2019/2020

    "Few would have tipped Whitehawk to have been capable of avoiding relegation heading into the season but Whitehawk confounded every expectation by achieving a solid mid-table finish."


    Nice start. I would say the challenge financially will truly begin when they start expanding the ground, as it's needed to meet league regulations, but not needed in terms of support. It's weird how with South Shields I'm getting the same attendance in National League North that I got with Whitehawk in League One, especially considering the size of Brighton, you'd expect there to be a steady growing number.

  12. South_Shields_F.C._New_Crest.png


    League | Squad | Finances | Transfers | Released | Manager Profile

    My first season with South Shields is over and we exceeded expectations finishing up in 4th place. The season began in a non-consistant way, one win was followed by a loss seing us sitting just below the play-off zone, but with some decent signings and tactical tweaks, we ended up ending the season on a 10 match winning streak. The first play-off saw us dismiss Chester 6-1 before we went out in a 3-2 thriller away to Stockport. Promotion wasn't for this season, but with the squad we have, plus some additions that came in as the season closed, we should be able to mount a strong challenge next season (although we are predicted to finish 11th, so I've given the players the goal to finish mid-table, which is also what the board want). 

    In terms of finances, the preseason allowed us to bolster the balance to just over half a million and we ended the season having made a solid profit of nearly 200k. This has allowed me to provide extra training for the coaching staff and I got my first badge. The board agreed to improve the youth facilities, so a large chunk of money was thrown into that. As the season came to a close, the chairman put the club up for sale. This made me very happy that I had finalised most my transfers before as we had a lengthy embargo while things were sorted. The new chairman has injected 40k into the club and given me a 50k transfer budget, which I will likely leave unused.

    The squad was solid across the board by the end of the campaign. The struggle when I arrived at South Shields was that many average players were tied to long term contracts. We did manage to shift some of these on during the season and others retired or ran down their contracts. We also had to sort out our attack as our first choice striker Charlie Jolley was not finding the net, regardless of his role and duties. He was replaced with Jake Beesley who arrived in February and kicked started our great run of form, netting 9 goals in 13 games. Tactically, we began with a 4-1-4-1 tactic with two wide players (one winger on the right and an inside forward on the left allowing support for our striker), but eventually switched to a 4-5-1 (attacking playmaker, ball winning midfielder, mezzala) as we had no natural defensive midfielder. 

  13. 8 hours ago, Orangedale said:

    Have you considered using your preseason to make some coin? Home friendlies against the top 6 PL U23 teams as well as Leicester, Wolves, and Watford main squads had me at ~600k AUD balance before the start of the season. Not an optimal preseason but I think it's been worth it so far.

    I was having 16/17 games against PL and Championship sides to try and balance the books, the only reason the club weren't 10M in the red was because of that. As I've mentioned, the wages were always well within budget, and I made sure of no pointless expenses (such as yearly wage rises or unused sub fees...). The Whitehawk board were just very hard to deal with and they didn't once inject money into the club, apart from the one stadium expansion. I'm already seeing the difference with South Shields, a strong preseason and I'm over half a million in the positive.

    There's not much to do with 2000 attendance in League 1. That Man Utd game alone netting me over 800k.

    My mistake though was forgetting the director had retired during preseason, this meant my job security went from untouchable to secure. So when I insisted, my history with the club counted for nothing.

  14. sgK2o_Qa_400x400.jpg

    Well 13 games into my first season in League One and I was fired for requesting improved training facilities (they were still the basic ones I had all the way back in National South). I was lying in the relegation zone, my National League grade players struggling to do anything. My main problem was not being able to attract anyone above National League, decent League 2 level as the club's reputation was still at that level, then finances meant I couldn't offer the same wages as most League 1/2 sides. I had just played Man Utd in the 4th round of the league cup and lost 5-0, but the money earned from this meant we went 300k positive, the first positive balance since the first couple of weeks of the story. I requested the improved training facilities due to this money and when they refused, I insisted, which meant I got sacked.

    I will probably restart at some point with a different club.

  15. sgK2o_Qa_400x400.jpg

    The 2025-2026 saw Whitehawk gain promotion to League 1. In an unexpected over achievement, the team finished firmly in 5th spot after a consistent campaign which saw them finish with the second best attack and a good defence. In the play-offs Whitehawk dispatched Plymouth losing 2-1 away but securing a place in the final with a 2-0 extra time victory at home. In the final Whitehawk demolished Bristol Rovers 3-0. The media and board's prediction of dead bottom once again destroyed.

    As usual there was some business in the transfer market but only a couple of major reinforcements. There was some investment in under 18s seeing as the club produces nothing of note. The lack of a youth set-up also means we have to play without an under-23 team. The squad remained more or less the same with just the needed reinforcements to come and slot into the new tactic. The cautious 4-4-2 proved efficient, allowing us to be more lethal going forward and to maintain a solid defence. I will likely continue to use it in the upcoming season.

    Financially, it's still a downward spiral. The play-off final at Wembley (51000 attendance, 42000 Bristol Rover fans) offered a good boost at the end of the season to prevent a dire situation. With less than 2000 attendance per game, it's hard to rely on gate receipts and with a low sponsorship there's little else coming through. Poor cup runs also meant little income on that side of things. I have already done the preseason for the upcoming League 1 campaign and a host of friendlies, coupled with payments for League 2 and TV rights has allowed me to bring the balance back towards the zero mark, but the attendance will not likely evolve too much over the upcoming season, so I'm expecting another deep negative by the end of the season.

    On another unexpected note, Spain offered me the position of National Coach in the summer of 2026, that came out of nowhere.

  16. 3 minutes ago, Catley20 said:

    Hi all, just a question about how you all play these types of saves.

    For years i've always had attribute masking turned off, but recently i've tried it on as I don't see the point in scouts with it turned off, however for challenges like this it makes it a lot harder. Was wondering if people still play with it on or turn it off due to being in the lower leagues? Thinking of starting a save myself on this forum! 



    It's part of the challenge's rules to keep attribute masking on. 

  17. 52 minutes ago, Thebaker said:

    @grungeandgazeIts seems your finances are looking fairly grim, what sort of attendances do you have? You might look to give out shorter  1 year contacts rather than 2 or 3 years to make it easier to get rid of unwanted players, not sure why your best player (Thompson ) is not needed though. Getting in more loan players with little wage outlay could also help, i find letting the chairman bring in players and than just accepting or cancelling them works as they seem able to find more loan players willing to join.

    Thompson wasn't actually my best player. He spent most the year on 3 stars, O'Leary is better both in those terms (League 2 compared to National League) and in stats. Thompson left because he wanted to be first choice, which wasn't an option. I've not really had any trouble getting rid of players, if no one wants to buy them, there is usually a team willing to take them on loan and pay their wages in full. Long contracts means tying people up without them needed wage increases, I refuse yearly wage increases. If you do a year contract, they will want a rise the following season. I'll look in the chairman thing, but as I've said, the board are anti-loan. At the moment even getting Championship sides to loan is difficult. Attendances are roughly around 1,500.

  18. sgK2o_Qa_400x400.jpg

    2024-2025, the first season in League 2 is over and until very late in the season, it looked like promotion may have been on the cards. The form was consistent throughout but the players seemed to get tired in the latter stages meaning we moved from 3rd to 10th place over the last quarter. I've noticed that during this season my staff considered all but two of my players to be suitable for National North/South leagues. Only my goalkeeper is considered a decent League 2 player and Charlton loanee Prout is considered a good National League player. Prout had been on loan with us for four seasons and with his contract expiring I put an offer in which he immediately accepted. Are my team truly over-performing or are my staff just that bad at judging? With the media predicting us to finish dead bottom, and they have done so again for the upcoming season, as have the board, I think the players may actually not be very good. The other problem is that whenever my scouts do find someone they rate as 4 stars or more, they simply are not interested in joining us. Reputation-wise, the club are still considered lower National League status.

    The squad was very similar to that of last season with a couple of players coming in to strengthen. I did let some players go and sent some out on loan to reduce the wage bill. The tactics went more cautious at the beginning of the season, but evolved into something more balanced toward the end when teams started taking less risks against us. Financially, things are getting worse, low attendances and little sponsorship means little income, while staff and player wages, and upkeep and travel put strains on the balance. I have always kept within the wage budget but this helps little. The board still do not want to get affiliation as they want to protect their independence and do not believe in loans. This means I still cannot improve my training and youth facilities and cannot even send myself or my coaches to get better badges.

    For the upcoming season I will look at a jam-packed pre-season to reduce the deficit as a priority. I will also look at reworking the tactic, I want to go 4-4-2 to try and get more goals as that seemed a real issue last season, we didn't do too bad defensively. A mid-table finish would suit me as it would give me more time to strengthen the squad, going up leagues with National North/South players is just begging for failure. I will see who I can bring in on free transfers, hopefully I can upgrade some of the players to at least National League competence.

  19. sgK2o_Qa_400x400.jpg

    That was a crazy season but we overachieved the goal of a play-off spot to secure the national league in our final game, it was a close last couple of weeks. The day following our crowning as champions, the board announced that we were going professional and they injected 1M into the finances, which went straight back out to expand the stadium to 5,5K. So this means the finances are still quite dire going into the new season. I figured that the team that got us promoted deserve their shot at glory, so next season I will keep the bulk of the squad, just strengthening where needed and if the right player comes up. First up will be tying everyone down to full time contracts and hopefully seeing them improve thanks to extended training, most my players are far from their potential, the part-time training really making them poorer. 

    Tactically we had to go through some changes, after a solid but not very consistent start, we changed things up and went on a winning run that meant we were top at Christmas. After the holidays, however, we went into free fall and ended all the way down in 11th place. This meant another tactical shape-up happened and we went on another great run to clinch the title. Luckily for us this season was quite tight across the league. We did bring in some fresh faces and let some go (sealing 14k from sales), we also released some deadwood.

    Our aim for the upcoming season is simply to survive and build on from there. Hopefully finances can be steadied and the training facilities improved. Then it will be about improving our youth system to build for the future. I can already see the rules for League 2 demand at least one player trained by the club in the match squad, this is a challenge in itself as there's no talent so to speak.

    I won my third manager of the season award. The team finished with the best attack in the league and the third best defence.

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