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About CFuller

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    Third Team


  • Biography
    FM storyteller from Romford, Essex

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    Dagenham & Redbridge (FM13)

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  1. Many years ago, I had a similar situation in another football computer game (well, it barely resembled football). Managing Premiership champions Millwall, I got through to the FA Cup Final, where I played Division 3 Mansfield. I replayed that Final so many times, but it seemed almost impossible for my team to lose... and then Mansfield finally got a 10-9 win on penalties. Anyway, to answer your question, I wouldn't throw the Final in your situation. For starters, if you haven't won the septuple before, you might never have a better opportunity to do so. Also... it's MK Dons. There haven't been many less likeable underdogs than them, you have to admit.
  2. CFuller

    FM18 Steam price

    No, I don't agree. In fact, I need to reiterate that FM18 was heavily discounted last week because it was "on sale". It isn't heavily discounted now because the sale has ended. Imagine if a shopper complained in February that the Christmas sale wasn't still on. I can understand you not wanting to pay full price for FM18 now, but I can't understand this complaint when you had ample time to take the offer up. Like you said, you could get a better deal elsewhere. Even at full price, FM is tremendous value for money for a lot of players. For example, you could get 20 hours out of a triple-A video game and never play it again after completing one playthrough, whereas you could get countless more hours out of FM during its life cycle.
  3. CFuller

    FM18 Steam price

    It isn't standard practice to permanently reduce a video game's price within 12 months of release, let alone 9. To give you an example, I believe that Grand Theft Auto V was full price on Steam for three-and-a-half years (except in Steam sales) before it was reduced for good a few weeks ago.
  4. CFuller

    FM18 Steam price

    FM18 was heavily discounted on Steam throughout the World Cup. Now it isn't. You had several weeks to take up that offer, and there was a clear end-of-sale time, so to wait until today to decide that you want to buy it is just poor timing.
  5. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    DECEMBER 2040 (continued) With the Manchester giants both spluttering, the Premier League title race was now wide open. We would be firmly in the mix if we could win our next two fixtures, both of which were against surprise contenders. Reading had been the story of the season, claiming 23 points from nine matches before suffering back-to-back defeats against Manchester City and Arsenal in mid-November. The Royals had since returned to winning ways, climbing back up to 2nd place, just behind Arsenal. With two heavy scorers in club legend Ryan Galbraith and late-bloomer Jamie Spice, they were not a team to be taken lightly. We therefore arrived at the Madejski Stadium with some trepidation... and without our midfield talisman. Orlando Salvador had been ever-present in our Premier League and UEFA Champions League fixtures thus far and now badly needed a rest. That meant right-back Enrique Álvarez would get another chance to lead the Daggers out. 8 December 2040: Reading vs Dagenham & Redbridge For a match between two high-scoring teams, the standard of shooting in the opening stages couldn't have been much more polarising. Much to the concern of many at the Madejski Stadium, Reading's early attacks weren't very threatening. Right-winger Carl Hubert miscued a shot in the sixth minute, while another effort from Ryan Galbraith in the 15th was also off target. We'd almost taken the lead after eight minutes through Antonis Siafos' powerful header from Gianfranco Torre's lob. The attempt was stopped by teenage Reading keeper Bradley Saunders, who was making his league debut after Patrick Braspenning had been injured in training. Saunders stopped another header in the 17th minute, though he appeared to make heavy work of Hicham Martin's close-ranger. That Martin chance had been created by Mirko Saric, who was playing in an attacking midfield role rather than on the left wing. Mirko certainly looked comfortable in his new position, mind you. After 20 minutes, the young Croatian ran onto Siafos' square pass and slotted in our first goal! Saric wasn't finished there. On 25 minutes, after successive headers from Tumelo Mofokeng and Siafos in the Reading area, he got through a misshapen Royals defence to volley in a second goal! In fact, our new hero could have had an unlikely hat-trick were it not for a poor third strike in the 28th minute. It wasn't until the 31st minute that we started seeing what our opponents could do. Galbraith took the ball deep in our half after his fellow Reading stalwart Ricky Hales had been tackled by Daggers destroyer Lee Allen. Galbraith raced past our centre-back Vicente Gridelli and then knocked the ball past Kayo Rowe as our goalkeeper charged forward. Jamie Spice finished the move off with a simple tap-in, and our 2-0 lead became 2-1 before half-time. Reading had not really threatened us in the latter stages of the first half after pegging a goal back. The Royals' next real attack came in the 52nd minute, when Hubert swung a right-wing cross into our box. His left-wing colleague Georges Robert then leapt above Daggers right-back Enrique Álvarez to meet it with a header that went just over. To tell you the truth, I'd been quite concerned about Álvarez's defensive positioning since Spice's goal. The Spaniard also looked nervous, which was never good for a captain. I decided to take him out of action after an hour's play, with Nolan Barber replacing him both as right-back and as skipper. At the same time, Torre made room for another substitute in Elliot Cook. Reading now looked far more likely to score the next goal. A strong tackle from their iron-willed midfielder Dale Shotton on Daggers defender Michael Walters on 64 minutes began a worrisome attack that ended with Rowe saving Robert's header. Kayo held his ground there, but he couldn't do the same again two minutes later. As Galbraith flicked Barber's clearance into our box, Spice jumped ahead of our goalie to nod in an equaliser. From 2-0 up, I was now seriously thinking about the prospect of defeat. Reading's 32-year-old Spice 'boy' was proving too much for our defenders to handle. He certainly would've made the headlines had he completed the Royals' fightback in the 69th minute. Spice intercepted a slack pass from Allen close to goal, but the Golden Boot 'wannabe' was stopped by a brave save from Rowe. Had it not been for Kayo, Lee might well have hollered for his mama. We weren't going to be saying goodbye to our chances of victory any time soon, though. Allen went from potential zero to hero in the 71st minute, as his cross from the left was chested on by Saric for Cook to finish at the near post! 3-2 to the Daggers! Barely a minute later, Elliot's cameo got better still. Allen played a pinpoint pass to the overlapping run of Martin, whose first-time pass into the box was then met by a clinical low finish from Cookie! We were now 4-2 up... or at least we were until Hicham pushed Spice just outside our penalty area moments after the restart. The referee would soon point to the centre circle once more, after Reading's longest-serving player Hales powered his direct free-kick into the net and made it 4-3! In the aftermath of Hales' goal, I turned to my assistant Fabio Saraiva and asked, "We aren't going to chuck away a two-goal lead AGAIN, are we?" Just as I was finishing that sentence, Siafos silenced me - and about 20,000 Royals fans - by lashing Saric's through-ball past Saunders for 5-3! Seconds later, I chuckled, "Okay, maybe not!" Tony's goal was the FOURTH in the space of five minutes, but if Reading had been shaken by that, they hid it well. Spice's perseverance was admirable, as the treble-chasing journeyman had a header saved by Rowe on 80 minutes before putting another effort wide two minutes later. Galbraith also wanted in on the fun, though another great Kayo save on 88 minutes ensured that the Royals captain wouldn't get on the scoresheet. It was the Daggers who would strike the final blow in a nine-goal thriller. As injury time began, Royals sub Adam McNamara had a pass blocked by Saric before Kenneth Jorgensen lifted it into the opposition area. Siafos then rushed forward to break clear and beat Saunders again, thus completing a hat-trick of Dagenham braces! Tony's second strike put the finishing touches on what was a thrilling 6-3 victory for the Daggers. The final score was perhaps a little harsh on Zema Abbey and his brave team, but they had certainly provided plenty of entertainment for both sets of fans! Reading - 3 (Spice 31,66, Hales 73) Dagenham & Redbridge - 6 (Saric 20,25, Cook 71,72, Siafos 75,90) Premier League, Attendance 23,597 - POSITIONS: Reading 2nd, Dag & Red 4th DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Álvarez (Barber), Gridelli, Walters, Martin, Jorgensen, Mofokeng, Allen (Pereira), Saric, Siafos, Torre (Cook). No Salvador? No problem! Okay, maybe we had a few in defence, but now it was our attacking players who had hit top form. We were now on a five-game winning run in all competitions, with Antonis Siafos having found the net five times in the last two of those. Tony now had eight goals for the campaign, Elliot Cook had seven, and Gianfranco Torre had six, as did Orlando. Talk about sharing the goals around! Salvador, Dzenan Genjac and Frédéric Pereira all returned to the starting line-up four days later, for our first East London derby of the season. A stubborn West Ham United team would surely be a real danger to the free-scoring Daggers at Rainham Road. Like Reading, West Ham had got off to a flier, winning six consecutive matches to kick off their first full season under Matt Lowton's management. Though recent results had been more inconsistent, the defensive-minded Hammers remained in the top three and were more than making up for their dreadful 15th-place finish last term. 12 December 2040: Dagenham & Redbridge vs West Ham United George Darvill returned to the Dagenham line-up by making a great early interception at centre-back. George cleared away a third-minute corner from Marcus Cowley to keep West Ham at bay. Darvill's Hammers rival Nathan Guppy would also come good for his team five minutes later, cutting out Dzenan Genjac's weighted lob before it could find in-form striker Antonis Siafos. Both defences continued to hold firm in an end-to-end opening quarter-hour. The first shot on target came after 15 minutes, with Siafos' drive being caught by West Ham's former Daggers loanee Denzel Gallen. Five minutes later, Tony outmuscled Hammers defender Boris Bolongo to flick the ball towards Elliot Cook. The ball bounced into the United area and took a slight deflection off midfielder Ben Clarke, from which Cookie took advantage with a tidy finish! West Ham almost cancelled Elliot's opener out within a couple of minutes. Daggers right-back Nolan Barber blocked a centre from Cowley, but Shaun Greaves got to the rebound and crashed it against the crossbar. That was shortly followed by a narrow miss at the other end from Cook. We next attempted to increase our lead in the 33rd minute. Our left-back Thulani Mazibuko drilled a delivery into the Hammers box before Elliot cut it back to Frédéric Pereira. The French midfielder whipped a shot against the upright, but West Ham's defenders panicked under pressure, allowing Siafos to bury the follow-up! Tony's sixth goal in two-and-a-half matches gave us a solid 2-0 lead over our great rivals at half-time. One of the Hammers players who'd flinched for that second goal was left-back Amani Douglas, who was substituted by manager Matt Lowton at half-time. Lowton made another big change shortly before the hour mark. Argentine forward Armando Raimundo had been awful for West Ham, so Portuguese wonderkid Hugo Cunha took his place and formed an all-teenage strike partnership with Jordan Gray. Needless to say, Darvill and co weren't exactly quaking in their boots. The second half was a masterclass in game management from the Daggers. We coasted through the minutes by keeping the ball well and greatly limiting West Ham's scoring opportunities. Goalkeeper Kayo Rowe didn't really face a serious test from United until five minutes before full-time. Right-back Brian Sealey - the grandson of former Irons goalkeeper Les Sealey - curled in an excellent cross that Cunha flicked deftly to Robert Dekker. Dekker's stunning volley rebounded off the crossbar before Cunha stuck in the rebound, only for the offside flag to go up! Cunha and his Hammers colleagues were incensed, as that decision effectively removed their last chance of coming back. After one final off-target effort from West Ham midfielder Luke O'Leary in the 89th minute, we saw the game out and recorded a fantastic 2-0 win. There was just no stopping the Daggers! Dagenham & Redbridge - 2 (Cook 20, Siafos 33) West Ham United - 0 Premier League, Attendance 25,719 - POSITIONS: Dag & Red 2nd, West Ham 5th DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Barber, Gumede, Darvill (Gridelli), Mazibuko, Mofokeng, Salvador, Pereira, Genjac (Twardzik), Siafos, Cook (Torre). That made it six wins in a row for the Daggers in all competitions, and six in a row when it came to the Premier League. The table now made very happy reading: P W D L F A GD PTS 1. Arsenal 16 11 3 2 35 17 +18 36 2. Dag & Red 16 10 2 4 35 16 +19 32 3. Wolves 16 9 3 4 26 15 +11 30 4. Reading 15 9 3 3 31 21 +10 30 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. West Ham 15 9 3 3 21 17 +4 30 6. Man City 14 8 4 2 23 10 +13 28 7. Liverpool 15 8 3 4 26 13 +13 27 8. Man Utd 15 7 5 3 32 16 +16 26 You'd better believe it! With a little under half the season completed, Dagenham & Redbridge were 2nd in the Premier League! Admittedly, quite a few teams close to us had games in hand, but we were surely going to take some stopping on our current form.
  6. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    DECEMBER 2040 The Premier League's awards committee gave our youth policy a resounding vote of confidence when announcing their nominees for November's Young Player of the Month accolade. Right-back Enrique Álvarez, striker Stevie Merson (on loan at Fulham) and midfielder Paddy Rattle (on loan at Huddersfield Town) were ALL in contention! In the end, it was Merson who claimed the honour, winning it for the second time this season. Merse really had come on leaps and bounds since starting a year-long stint at Fulham. If he could keep his excellent form up, he would surely go straight into the Daggers first-team upon his return. The first of our seven Premier League matches in December was at home to Norwich City, whom we had comprehensively beaten at Carrow Road in the League Cup in midweek. I expected a tougher test from the mid-table Canaries this time around, even though we had most of our regular starters back after being rested. Sadly, Dzenan Genjac would not be returning to the line-up just yet. He'd bruised his thigh in training at the end of November, ruling him out of not just this match, but also our UEFA Champions League decider against Real Sociedad three days later. 1 December 2040: Dagenham & Redbridge vs Norwich City We'd not exactly had our way when it came to the aerial battles at Carrow Road, but things were vastly different at our ground. The opening 10 minutes saw Gianfranco Torre get his head to a couple of right-wing deliveries from Enrique Álvarez, but one went well target and the other clipped the crossbar. There was another miss by Vicente Gridelli from captain Mark Washington's free-kick in the 9th minute. Two minutes later, Mark's game was brought to a premature end. The American was floored in a crunching tackle from Norwich's defensive midfielder Aldin Hodzic, and the agony on his face made it clear that he wasn't getting up. Michal Twardzik was sent on while Washington was stretchered off, and the captain's armband was passed over to Orlando Salvador. Our new skipper didn't take long to get us back on track, combining with another Iberian outfielder to get us the opening goal after 14 minutes. Orlando played a superb one-two with Enrique and then majestically stroked the ball beyond Canaries keeper Stuart Burns! Salvador made another big impact in the 22nd minute - on Norwich's veteran midfielder Darren Croft. He was booked for that rash challenge and had to watch his step thereafter. Three minutes later, another middleman - Lee Allen - found the side netting with a shot that could've put us in an even stronger position. Save a wayward 24th-minute strike from Luís Soares, Norwich had barely come close to threatening our lead. That all changed three minutes from half-time, thanks to a disastrous headed clearance by Daggers left-back Hicham Martin. Hicham's interception of a long ball by Canaries right-back Jay Atherton bounced towards visiting striker Travis Richardson, who was behind our defence and free to drive his shot past Kayo Rowe. Such a glaring error left me enormously frustrated, though Martin could well have been let off the hook before half-time. Torre and strike partner Elliot Cook each came close to restoring our lead via headers in the closing stages, with the former only being denied by a strong catch from Burns. Hicham was hauled off at half-time and replaced by Thulani Mazibuko. The versatile South African had a powerful drive caught by Burns in the 48th minute, while a similar effort from fellow substitute Twardzik two minutes later narrowly missed the target. Michal's luck would turn after 51 minutes. Our young Czech midfielder found space in the Norwich area, allowing him to receive a square pass from Franco and power it into the net for a 2-1 Daggers lead! In the 56th minute, though, we were lucky not to be pegged back. Soares dribbled past Daggers centre-back George Darvill and then struck a 20-yard shot that took a heavy deflection off Darvill's colleague Gridelli. Rowe wasn't fooled by the ricochet, with an assured catch retaining our advantage. We then pushed further forward, with Burns stopping Salvador from doubling his tally in the 62nd minute. Norwich's 36-year-old goalkeeper was beaten by a header from Torre in the 65th minute, though our Italian forward impeded him in the process, and the goal was rightly disallowed. Though the Canaries never looked like levelling in the latter stages of the second half, they had Burns to thank for keeping the deficit down. He pushed behind a venomous half-volley from Dagenham midfielder Tumelo Mofokeng in the 79th minute, punched a Cook flick-on away from Torre in the 81st, and then blocked Elliot's drive in the 83rd. Neither of our strikers would find the net, with each spurning their greatest opportunities on 88 minutes. Cook drove a shot over the bar when one-on-one with Burns. Moments later, Twardzik's through-ball sent Torre clear, only for Franco to swerve it against the woodwork. We still emerged victorious from a match that we'd bossed from start to finish, but the final scoreline could've easily been better than 2-1. Dagenham & Redbridge - 2 (Salvador 14, Twardzik 51) Norwich City - 1 (Richardson 42) Premier League, Attendance 24,588 - POSITIONS: Dag & Red 5th, Norwich 13th DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Álvarez, Gridelli, Darvill, Martin (Mazibuko), Mofokeng, Salvador, Allen (Jorgensen), Washington (Twardzik), Cook, Torre. BOOKED: Salvador. Following that match, I consulted head physio Adam Hutchings for his thoughts on Mark Washington's injury. Adam confirmed my worst fears - Mark had broken his foot, and it would be at least four months before our captain could contemplate playing again. Washington probably wasn't as huge a loss as he would've been at his peak. Nevertheless, his injury left us with just three senior strikers - four if you included player-coach Joel Honeyball, who was now 33 years old and little more than a reserve. Stevie Merson could well return Fulham earlier than anticipated... The FA Cup Round 3 draw took place the following afternoon. It was at that stage of the League Cup where we'd come up against West Bromwich Albion, and we would face the Championship high-flyers again in the New Year. Unlike in the League Cup, though, we would have home advantage over the Baggies. Home advantage was something we'd have to make the most of in our next match. The midweek visit of Real Sociedad in the UEFA Champions League really was a case of 'win or bust' as far as we were concerned. Victory - and revenge for our 3-0 thrashing in Spain two months ago - would get us through Group B and into the Round of 16 at Real's expense. Anything else would see us 'demoted' to the UEFA Europa League's Round of 32, whilst allowing Los Txuri-Urdin to continue their exploits in the elite event. I'd rested star defender George Darvill for our previous five group games in order to keep him fresh for the league. As there was no guarantee that we'd ever play in the Champions League again, I decided to give Darvill his long-awaited debut in the competition proper. It was nothing less than a club legend like George deserved. 4 December 2040: Dagenham & Redbridge vs Real Sociedad Michal Twardzik fired wide an opportunity to put us ahead within the very first minute. Three minutes later, a couple of his midfield colleagues linked up to great effect. Dagenham captain Orlando Salvador dribbled towards goal before selflessly laying the ball off to Lee Allen, who drilled in a sumptuous low finish! We were off to the perfect start! Just two minutes after taking the lead, however, we lost it through a shocking back-pass from Twardzik. Real Sociedad striker Ricardo Pesaola got to the ball before it could find George Darvill on the halfway line, and he then advanced into our area. Though Pesaola's angled shot was parried by Kayo Rowe, his Italian compatriot Stefano Baraldi converted the rebound. After just six minutes, it was already 1-1. Twardzik's evening didn't get any better in the 12th minute, when he was injured in a challenge from Real midfielder Francisco Javier Vázquez. Michal recovered, though, and we were soon putting Los Txuri-Urdin under more pressure. Antonis Siafos' first shot of the game, after 15 minutes, was pushed wide by goalkeeper Matsipa Mulonzo. The Greek would have another attempt at goal six minutes later. Siafos knocked Allen's lob past Real captain Juan Manuel Abad and then half-volleyed it right into the far corner of the net! Tony was back in form, and our fans were back in full voice! A third Daggers goal looked likely on 24 minutes, when Rowe's goal kick bounced very long to Gianfranco Torre. Franco's drive was parried by Mulonzo, and our lead remained a somewhat fragile one. Real Sociedad's left-winger Darío Ovejero didn't threaten it with a long-distance drive in the 29th minute, though a couple of team-mates did get closer. Pesaola had further attempts saved by Rowe in the 33rd and 39th minutes, while Daniele Gatti's free-kick three minutes before half-time swerved inches off target. Having survived extended pressure from Real Sociedad late in the first half, we regathered our thoughts at the interval and then started to do some more attacking of our own. Once again, it was Salvador who would provide some much-needed inspiration in the 47th minute. Orlando found Tony in space, and the forward breached Real's backline before blasting the ball home! We were now 3-1 up and fast closing in on the Round of 16! Siafos drove wide a chance to seal his hat-trick in the 52nd minute. A fourth goal would surely have finished Los Txuri-Urdin off... but seven minutes later, the Spaniards' chances of mounting a comeback were given a massive boost. A clever weighted pass from Real midfielder Tayfun Gunay sent Pesaola virtually through on goal. Pesaola only had to get past Kayo and George to pull one goal back... but just yards short of the halfway line, he went down clutching his face. It soon became clear why. Darvill had thrusted an elbow into Pesaola's face - a cynical foul that would've earned him a red card any day of the week, regardless of whether he was the last man or not! The 27-year-old was sent off for the first time in his Dagenham & Redbridge career, on one of the biggest nights of his life! Darvill's dismissal prompted me to bring on Vicente Gridelli to fill our defensive hole, with Twardzik vacating his spot. Once the dust settled, Ovejero lined up a free-kick on the edge of the box. The Argentine curled it towards Rowe's top-right corner... but Kayo read it perfectly and caught with ease. Despite being down a man, we didn't let up on the attacking front, as we looked to put the match beyond all doubt before Real Sociedad could get back in the running. Allen, Siafos and Torre all missed chances midway through the second half before the latter was replaced with Mirko Saric. Mirko would make a huge contribution a little over seven minutes before full-time, clearing Gatti's corner for Real out of our area. Allen then ran onto the loose ball, taking it deep into opposition territory as his team-mates streamed forward. Once Nolan Barber had arrived, Lee moved the ball out to the right-back, who swung it first-time to the far post. It was there that Siafos rose above Txuri-Urdin defender Welle Sylva to flick in a superb header! Tony's hat-trick was complete, and it was now 4-1 to Dagenham! Siafos could yet have finished his best Daggers outing yet with a quartet of goals, sending an effort inches wide in the 87th minute. 17-year-old substitute midfielder Kurt Walker also missed out on a late goal, but our job had already been done. We needed a win to reach the Champions League knockout phase, and boy did we get one! Dagenham & Redbridge - 4 (Allen 4, Siafos 21,47,84) Real Sociedad - 1 (Baraldi 6) UEFA Champions League Group B, Attendance 26,772 - POSITIONS: Dag & Red 2nd, Real Sociedad 3rd DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Barber, Gumede, Darvill, Mazibuko, Jorgensen, Salvador (Walker), Allen, Twardzik (Gridelli), Siafos, Torre (Saric). SENT OFF: Darvill. P W D L F A GD PTS 1. Q PSG 6 3 2 1 9 6 +3 11 2. Q Dag & Red 6 3 1 2 7 6 +1 10 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Real Sociedad 6 2 1 3 12 10 +2 7 4. Dynamo Kiev 6 2 0 4 6 12 -6 6 George Darvill's Champions League dream had become a nightmare, and he would be suspended from our next three European fixtures, as well as being fined a week's wages. That didn't take away from the heroics of his team-mates, who'd beaten the odds and fired us into the knockout phase of the continent's showpiece competition. We had to wait over a week for the Champions League Round of 16 draw, though our wait to find out who we'd be playing in the League Cup Semi Finals would soon be over. Wolverhampton Wanderers would provide the penultimate obstacle in our bid for back-to-back League Cup triumphs. The first leg was scheduled for 8 January at Molineux, with the return fixture coming a fortnight later at Rainham Road. Meanwhile, the other Semi Final would be contested between Rochdale and either Fulham or Manchester City.
  7. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    November was a very good month for us in the Premier League. We really had to up our game that month, otherwise we would've needed a very strong second half to the season, much like last time. The home game against Real Sociedad is massive. The prospect of playing in the Europa League again doesn't fill me with much excitement, so victory is a must. You'll find out whether we get it in the next update.
  8. CFuller

    General help questions for FM18

    I might be wrong, but if you ask your assistant or DOF to sell a player "at any price", they will literally try to sell that player at any price. That's an option you should only use if you simply want to get a player off your books ASAP. If you wanted to sell Rojo for as much as possible, asking your assistant to sell "for value" would probably have been better. That way, your assistant will not accept any offers that are less than Rojo's value, and they might even get you a better deal. I don't usually ask my assistant/DOF to sell players on my behalf, but I think that's how it works.
  9. CFuller

    Women's Football

    This feature has been requested countless times before. Essentially, SI won't consider adding women's football to FM unless there is enough interest in it to make it commercially viable. When you consider that the FA WSL is barely competing with the National League when it comes to average attendances, that is still some way off.
  10. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    Premier League Table (End of November 2040) P W D L F A GD PTS 1. Arsenal 14 9 3 2 31 15 +16 30 2. Man City 13 8 4 1 23 9 +14 28 3. Reading 13 8 3 2 26 14 +12 27 4. West Ham 12 8 3 1 18 10 +8 27 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Wolves 14 7 3 4 22 14 +8 24 6. Dag & Red 13 7 2 4 25 12 +13 23 7. Fulham 15 6 4 5 24 24 0 22 8. Liverpool 12 6 3 3 19 9 +10 21 9. Man Utd 12 5 5 2 23 13 +10 20 10. Chelsea 11 6 1 4 18 14 +4 19 11. Derby 13 3 7 3 17 12 +5 16 12. Norwich 14 4 4 6 20 30 -10 16 13. Huddersfield 14 4 4 6 16 28 -12 16 14. Brighton 14 3 5 6 13 20 -7 14 15. Rochdale 14 2 7 5 9 16 -7 13 16. Blackburn 13 3 3 7 14 21 -7 12 17. Everton 13 3 1 9 15 27 -12 10 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18. Nottm Forest 15 3 1 11 15 37 -22 10 19. Southampton 14 1 5 8 8 20 -12 8 20. Coventry 13 1 4 8 5 16 -11 7
  11. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    NOVEMBER 2040 (continued) We had now come to the biggest match of our UEFA Champions League season. Victory at the 71,830-capacity Grand Stade Paris against the mighty Paris Saint-Germain would put us on the brink of qualification for the Round of 16. Having held PSG to a 1-1 home draw in our Group B opener, we believed that anything was possible in the French capital. 21 November 2040: Paris Saint-Germain vs Dagenham & Redbridge We tried to attack PSG early, only for a sloppy pass from Daggers captain Mark Washington to unravel us after just five minutes. Within moments, the hosts' star striker Mario had made his way into our penalty area. After evading a slide challenge from Siphesihle Gumede, Mario cut the ball back to Les Parisiens' right-back Cristian Soriano. The Argentine's deep cross back into our box was then powered home by unmarked left-winger Julián Vargas Sánchez. PSG had scored from their first shot on target, but ours would not be as successful. Dzenan Genjac's hopeful low drive in the 10th minute was comfortably secured by goalkeeper Fabián Acosta, who didn't have much more work to do in the first half. Gianfranco Torre fired a 30-yard shot just over the bar in the 21st minute. Our next long-range attempt - a banana shot from Frédéric Pereira in the 28th minute - was met by another catch from Acosta. Pereira's game came to an early end just two minutes later, as he painfully twisted his knee in a slide tackle on Soriano. Losing Frédi was a devastating blow to our chances of equalising. Thankfully, our defence did well to restrict PSG's chances to increase their lead, and thus we remained only 1-0 down going into the second period. The Daggers backline would have to hold firm again shortly after the restart. A wicked inswinging corner from Vargas Sánchez in the 49th minute almost bent straight into our net, but Thulani Mazibuko's last-ditch header denied the Colombian an extremely rare 'Olympic goal'. PSG's other winger Matteo Caurla would be forced off injured after 54 minutes, having fractured some ribs in a hefty collision with Dagenham substitute Lee Allen. On 58 minutes, Lee played his part in our best attacking move yet. His first-time pass to Genjac was slotted through to Torre, but the Italian striker's drive was parried clear by the onrushing Acosta. Genjac was then booked five minutes later for a trip on Les Parisiens midfielder Mikhail Puchkov. Vargas Sánchez lifted the resulting free-kick to PSG defender Henry Enyeama, whose header was caught by Kayo Rowe. Acosta passed another examination at the other end in the 65th minute, keeping out a half-volley from Dzenan. PSG then looked to finish the game off, only to find Rowe in fine form. Our Scouse shotstopper superbly denied Tony Mathieson in the 72nd minute, and then arguably bettered that ten minutes later. Puchkov muscled the ball off Gumede and then raced through on goal, but Rowe stood firm and pushed the strong Russian's drive wide. Kayo's heroics, and a similarly valiant display from centre-back Vicente Gridelli, helped to keep the hosts' winning margin down to a single goal. Were it not for a couple of late misses from Daggers substitute Elliot Cook, we might well have left France with more than just our pride. I hoped that Dynamo Kiev had done us a favour in the group's other match at Real Sociedad. In truth, the Ukrainians had put up little resilience against the Spaniards, crumbling to a 5-1 defeat. With one round of fixtures remaining, Dynamo were out of contention, PSG were into the Round of 16 as Group B winners, and it was a straight shoot-out between us and Real as to who would also quality. Paris Saint-Germain - 1 (Vargas Sánchez 5) Dagenham & Redbridge - 0 UEFA Champions League Group B, Attendance 69,310 - POSITIONS: PSG 1st, Dag & Red 3rd DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Barber, Gridelli, Gumede, Mazibuko, Jorgensen, Salvador (Twardzik), Pereira (Allen), Genjac, Washington (Cook), Torre. BOOKED: Genjac, Allen. P W D L F A GD PTS 1. Q PSG 5 3 2 0 9 5 +4 11 2. Real Sociedad 5 2 1 2 11 6 +5 7 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Dag & Red 5 2 1 2 3 5 -2 7 4. Dynamo Kiev 5 1 0 4 5 12 -7 3 We now knew where we stood going into our final group match at home to Real Sociedad on 4 December. We had to beat the Spaniards to join PSG in the knockout stages. Anything else would see us return to the UEFA Europa League in the New Year. Unfortunately, Frédéric Pereira was now a major doubt for that crunch game, the Frenchman having twisted his knee half an hour into our match in Paris. Frédi would definitely miss our next few games, starting with our Premier League visit to Coventry City. Coventry were a team in dire straits. Though Jordan McGhee's Sky Blues were always defensively robust, their strikers - including Daggers alumnus Gerald Parsons - had forgotten how to score. City's last nine PL matches had seen them pick up three goals, three draws, and no victories. Unsurprisingly, they now found themselves mired in the relegation zone. Mark Washington was struggling for confidence, and Orlando Salvador was a wee bit tired, so I decided to test another Dagger's captaincy credentials at the Ricoh Arena. Enrique Álvarez was only 21, but the Spanish right-back had a tremendous attitude and was honoured to receive the armband for the first time. 24 November 2040: Coventry City vs Dagenham & Redbridge As expected, Coventry battened down the hatches, leaving our attacking players enormously frustrated. Though our wingers got plenty of crosses into the box for our target forward Gianfranco Torre, he didn't really have enough space to make the most of them. Indeed, we didn't even get a proper shot at goal until Kenneth Jorgensen drove a long-ranger wide in the 20th minute. Kenny's midfield colleague Tumelo Mofokeng had a free-kick saved by Jonathan English on the stroke of half-time, but that was about it as far as the Daggers were concerned. There was no real incisiveness about our game, and that allowed the Sky Blues to coast through the first half. Coventry even had a chance to hit us on the break shortly after Mofokeng's free-kick. Peruvian right-winger Alberto Lovera crossed to Gerald Parsons, and the one-time Dagenham striker's header ended up safely in Kayo Rowe's safe hands. Such an uninspiring first-half performance showed just how badly we needed Orlando Salvador. The Portuguese maestro wasn't fully fit, but I threw him on to replace Dzenan Genjac in attacking midfield for the second half. Orlando's first chance to make an impact was a 60th-minute free-kick that he could only fire into the Coventry wall. Three minutes earlier, Cameron Johnson had blasted wide what would prove to be City's last shot of the entire match. Both sides were in danger of sleepwalking to a goalless draw... but my decision to send Antonis Siafos on to accompany Torre in the Daggers frontline would change the game. When Franco was hauled down in the Coventry area by defender Ian Lea after 72 minutes, Tony had the chance to open the scoring from 12 yards out. Siafos' spot-kick was as clinical as anything, easily beating English for a 1-0 Daggers lead! Coventry boss Jordan McGhee immediately sent on an additional striker of his own in Dougie Gould, but that change had come far too late as far as the home team were concerned. All the attacking momentum was with us, and in the 83rd minute, Torre narrowly headed wide a Siafos cross that would've clinched a 2-0 win. We would get our second goal shortly before full-time, as Salvador and George Darvill rekindled their corner partnership from the 5-2 win over Arsenal a fortnight earlier. Orlando floated in another fantastic set-piece delivery to George, whose third goal of the month consolidated our top-five place. Make that five wins in seven league games for the Daggers! Coventry City - 0 Dagenham & Redbridge - 2 (Siafos pen73, Darvill 90) Premier League, Attendance 25,413 - POSITIONS: Coventry 18th, Dag & Red 5th DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Álvarez, Gridelli, Darvill, Martin, Danchev (Siafos), Jorgensen, Mofokeng (Allen), Saric, Genjac (Salvador), Torre. I'm not expecting that match to sell many DVDs, or whatever media today's youths watch videos on, but it was a step in the right direction for us. Breaking down defensively resilient teams had been an old problem of ours, so it was pleasing to see us get past Coventry, even it was only thanks to our dead-ball prowess. Another City awaited us at the end of November. Carrow Road was the setting for our League Cup Quarter Final with Norwich City, which doubled up as a dress rehearsal for our league meeting at Rainham Road three days later. 28 November 2040: Norwich City vs Dagenham & Redbridge Norwich had caused us more than a few problems in the past, and it looked like they would do so again here. Cypriot striker Marios Sofroniou, who'd spent over a decade at Rangers before moving south in the summer, unleashed a fierce shot at goal in the 10th minute, only to be thwarted by Antoni Giménez. Another Canaries attack in the 16th minute saw Sofroniou lift an excellent ball ahead of midfielder Eros Guzmán, who somehow sent a shot wide when left with just Giménez to beat. Five minutes later, our Spanish goalkeeper pushed away a close-range header from Aldin Hodzic before Daggers left-back Hicham Martin removed the danger. At the other end, Dagenham target man Antonis Siafos was struggling. Norwich's defenders regularly beat Siafos to our wingers' crosses, and whenever the Greek did get his way, he couldn't get his headers on target. One particularly glaring miss came from Benjamin Guerin's inswinging corner in the 25th minute. Tony nodded Beni's delivery against the bar, and the follow-up from Michal Twardzik was hacked clear by Canaries midfielder Toshiyuki Inoue. Siafos was wasteful again in the 35th minute, knocking the ball past City centre-back Habib Mejri before entering the area and pulling the ball disastrously wide. Two minutes later, Dagenham right-winger Milen Danchev - frustrated by his team-mate's profligacy from his crosses - took matters into his own hands. The Bulgarian starlet cut past left-back Sibusiso Radebe before slipping his first competitive Daggers goal into the far corner! Milen's masterstroke would send us into the interval 1-0 up. Mind you, we still had to survive a couple of equalising attempts from Norwich's attacking midfielder Paul Priestley before returning to the dressing room for some respite. Norwich manager Russell Hendry went for broke early in the second half, using all his substitutions by the 51st minute. Amongst those who came on was experienced striker Travis Richardson, who nearly levelled after 56 minutes. Radebe knocked Hodzic's direct ball towards the Guyana international, whose attempt to squirm the ball in at the near post was stopped by Giménez. Antoni held his nerve twice more before the hour mark, catching a free-kick from Guzmán and a long-distance effort from Priestley. After 62 minutes, the Catalan pushed away an excellent swerving effort from another Norwich sub - Tunisian midfielder Chaker Radhouani. By that point, I'd freshened up our attack with Elliot Cook and 16-year-old debutant Andrija Marjanovic. The former had the ball in the net within two minutes, but Elliot's finish from Milen's cross was ruled out for offside. It didn't matter, though, as Danchev did set up our second goal in the 68th minute. His fantastic outswinging corner was sent crashing in off the bar by Daggers centre-half Michael Walters, and we were 2-0 up! Having been completely overshadowed by his opposite winger, the left-sided Mirko Saric tried to make his mark on 70 minutes. The Croatian weaved through the Canaries' defence before driving his shot off target. However, there was no doubt that this was 'The Milen Danchev Show'. A minute later, his cutback from the byline was crossed into the Norwich box by right-back Nolan Barber and then headed home by Cook! 3-0 to the Daggers! We went looking for a fourth goal in the closing stages, but to no avail. Midfielder Lee Allen struck a couple of promising volleys, one of which was tipped over by City's beleaguered goalkeeper Diederik Reekers in the 74th minute. Reekers also prevented Marjanovic from heading in what would've been a dream debut goal shortly before full-time. The Canaries had chances to claw back a consolation goal, but Giménez held firm for another clean sheet, and we coasted through to the League Cup Semi Finals. Norwich City - 0 Dagenham & Redbridge - 3 (Danchev 37, Walters 66, Cook 71) League Cup Quarter Final, Attendance 27,067 DAG & RED LINE-UP: Giménez, Barber, Gumede (Cullen), Walters, Martin, Danchev, Guerin, Allen, Saric, Twardzik (Cook), Siafos (Marjanovic). It said a lot about the strength in depth we now have that our second-string had made it to the business end of the League Cup. The draw for the Semi Finals would take place in the first week of December... and who would now bet against us going all the way and retaining the trophy?
  12. The Under-20s and Under-17s didn't get parades for winning their World Cups last year. The women's team didn't get a parade for finishing 3rd in 2015. The men don't deserve a parade for finishing 4th. If they'd got to the Final, I could understand there being one. As it is, all they have done is exceed expectations.
  13. CFuller

    House of Flying Daggers

    NOVEMBER 2040 (continued) The Daggers ended a run of four straight home matches - and, I hoped, four straight home wins - by facing Premier League leaders Arsenal. The Gunners had lost just once in the league thus far, at Chelsea in mid-September. Their title challenge had been helped by the presence of the division's joint-top scorers Shane Hay and Javier Montenegro, who had eight goals apiece. 10 November 2040: Dagenham & Redbridge vs Arsenal We had a good recent record against Arsenal, and that looked set to continue when we took the lead after just two minutes. Gianfranco Torre rode past a tackle from Gunners defender Álvaro José as he bore down on goal, only for his shot to be parried behind from point-blank range by Marat Lepilov. Shortly after that, Daggers centre-half George Darvill rose above Arsenal right-back Romaric Mawéné to head Orlando Salvador's corner into the net! Mawéné tried to repair the damage in the 10th minute with a deep cross into our penalty area. The experienced England international's delivery found visiting winger Gustavo, who headed it towards goal from a tight angle. Dagenham goalie Kayo Rowe didn't look at all flustered as he made a simple catch. Rowe also diverted away a strike from Shane Hay in the 14th minute, only to be beaten by Javier Montenegro's close-range header four minutes later. The referee's assistant immediately raised his flag, ruling that the Argentine was offside when he received a cross from Gunners left-back Connor Smith. Arsenal's woes then continued, as we survived a couple of their corners before doubling our lead through another of our own. Almost exactly half an hour after Darvill scored from a Salvador corner, George made it 2-0 from a move that was a virtual carbon copy! The visiting fans must've thought it was déjà vu all over again! Curiously, in the 40th minute, Montenegro headed the ball into our net for the second time, only to AGAIN be flagged offside. This time, there was real doubt over whether Montenegro was in an illegal position when Roberto Bartlett lifted a free-kick into the Dagenham box for him to head home. While Arsenal's players complained about what many of them saw as unbiased officiating, it was business as usual for the Daggers. Three minutes before half-time, Torre sliced open the away defence with a superb weighted ball to Dzenan Genjac, who outpaced Álvaro José and prodded a shot beyond Lepilov. We were now 3-0 to the good, and bang on course for three more home points! Genjac missed a chance to match Darvill's brace in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, though, we very nearly had an unlikely hat-trick hero. Arsenal simply didn't have an answer to another excellent Orlando corner, which George flicked within inches of earning him a maiden career treble! Our next shot on target came in the 53rd minute, with Torre's header from Elliot Cook's right-wing cross being caught by Lepilov. Arsenal's Russian goalkeeper was not having a bad game per se, though he did look rather more suspect two minutes later. Another superb Daggers through-ball - this time from Frédéric Pereira - found Franco's run, and the Italian thundered it past the onrushing Lepilov for a 4-0 home lead! The Gunners were now battling simply for pride, and a powerful drive from Montenegro in the 60th minute gave Rowe his sternest test of the match. By the 67th minute, though, Arsenal's humiliation was complete. Their inability to deal with a right-wing centre from Enrique Álvarez saw Torre slot the ball home, securing his second goal of the afternoon, and our FIFTH! With victory effectively in the bag, our defenders could perhaps be excused for switching off. Shortly after play resumed, Dagenham left-back Hicham Martin had a poor header intercepted by Gustavo, who volleyed it forward for Montenegro to drive into the top corner. The Argentinean had beaten Rowe for a third time, but this was his first goal to actually count. Montenegro was now out on his own as the Premier League's top scorer, but only for three minutes. His slide tackle on Daggers centre-half Siphesihle Gumede allowed strike partner Hay to drill in his ninth goal of the PL season and reduce our lead to 5-2. With 18 minutes remaining, a full-scale fightback wasn't impossible, but I had no reason to worry too much. Arsenal's momentum was disrupted by an ankle injury to substitute full-back Albert Khumalo in the 74th minute. Nine minutes later, captain Liam Wood had his team's last scoring opportunity saved by Rowe. That was about it for a thrilling 5-2 Daggers win - our seventh victory from eight matches. Dagenham & Redbridge - 5 (Darvill 2,32, Genjac 42, Torre 55,67) Arsenal - 2 (Montenegro 69, Hay 72) Premier League, Attendance 26,772 - POSITIONS: Dag & Red 6th, Arsenal 3rd DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Álvarez, Gumede, Darvill, Martin, Jorgensen (Guerin), Salvador (Danchev), Pereira, Genjac, Cook (Washington), Torre. That result, along with the demise of Reading's unbeaten record at the hands of Manchester City, left things looking extremely tight at the top. Reading, City, Arsenal AND West Ham United were all on 23 points, though Arsenal had played one game more than the others. We were only four points off the top ourselves, and a strong result in our next game would certainly have some Daggers fans dreaming big. Before then, though, we had another international break. No fewer than 12 Dagenham players represented their countries at senior level in midweek. The latest player to join our ranks of full internationals was 20-year-old right-winger Milen Danchev, whose first cap for Bulgaria came in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Dzenan Genjac scored his second Croatia goal during a 3-1 loss against Frédéric Pereira's France, with Kenneth Jorgensen also getting on the scoresheet for Denmark. I found it incredible that, despite racking up five goals and six assists for us this season, Orlando Salvador had still not been called up at senior level by Portugal. The Seleccao das Quinas had no competitive matches on the horizon, as they would be hosting the 2042 FIFA World Cup, so why were they not giving our playmaking virtuoso a chance? I was also scratching my head as to why Vicente Gridelli was still awaiting his first Argentina cap, though he'd been an unused squad member for a few months now. In Orlando, Vicente and - of course - George Darvill, we now had three exceptional players whose club form was being criminally overlooked on the international stage. After the midweek internationals, we travelled to the Dagenham & Redbridge Old Boys' Club in Lancashire to face Rochdale. We'd never beaten the Dale at the Slovalco Arena, or indeed at their own Spotland ground, in the Premier League era. That being said, Joe Doyle's side were struggling in 14th after an indifferent, draw-happy start. 17 November 2040: Rochdale vs Dagenham & Redbridge I rewarded our new Bulgaria international Milen Danchev with just his fifth Premier League start at right-wing. The right-wing wonderkid nearly marked the occasion with his first competitive Daggers strike after eight minutes, with only Carlton John-Lewis' fine save keeping him off the scoresheet. Rochdale's goalkeeper also kept out a header by Orlando Salvador four minutes later. As far as our custodian was concerned, Kayo Rowe passed his first test in the 13th minute, stopping a daisy-cutter from Dale midfielder Cédric Moulin. Six minutes later, our own French middleman Frédéric Pereira conceded a free-kick for a clumsy tackle on Andrea Broli. Broli's set-piece sailed wide, and a similar effort from Alun Harding did likewise in the 22nd minute. It seemed to be written in the script that Harding would score against his former employers. Less than a minute after missing that free-kick, Alun did precisely that. The Wales centre-forward ran at our defence and entered the penalty area, where he unleashed a powerful AND accurate shot that we hadn't seen too many of during his season-and-a-half in Daggers colours. Typical, eh? Not satisfied with merely putting us behind, Harding looked to double his new team's advantage. He was set to make it 2-0 upon latching onto Dale captain Mario Tortora's right-wing cross in the 33rd minute, but Rowe produced a fine point-blank save. Kayo also kept out another drive from Alun on the stroke of half-time, meaning that we would still be pretty much in contention come the second period. Wingers Mirko Saric and Danchev were replaced at half-time as I reverted to the diamond. Substitutes Mark Washington and Dzenan Genjac each sent hopeless long-distance drives wide within the first 10 minutes of the second half, but the pair would soon help us get closer to the Rochdale goal. We won a couple of corners just before the hour, with the second of them coming after Washington's angled half-volley had deflected off ex-Daggers defender Tomo Kurtovic. By the 67th minute, we were pulling the Dale defence apart with some intricate passing. Genjac opened up space in the backline with an excellent ball to Washington, and Captain America did the rest with a clinical drive underneath John-Lewis! That was Mark's 99th goal for Dagenham & Redbridge, though his century would have to wait for another day. Rochdale attacked almost immediately from the restart, only for Dutch midfielder René Wijmer to completely mishit his shot from Broli's centre. Broli was later replaced with Marcel Game, whose off-target shot in the 74th minute proved to be Dale's last. The final 15 minutes were rather low-key, as some strong defending from Siphesihle Gumede helped us to grind out a 1-1 draw and take a point home to Essex. Rochdale - 1 (Harding 23) Dagenham & Redbridge - 1 (Washington 67) Premier League, Attendance 23,613 - POSITIONS: Rochdale 14th, Dag & Red 5th DAG & RED LINE-UP: Rowe, Álvarez, Gumede, Darvill, Martin, Danchev (Washington), Pereira (Mofokeng), Jorgensen, Saric (Genjac), Salvador, Torre. After the match, I caught up with another of Rochdale's ex-Daggers - Tristan Egueh, who hadn't been part of their matchday squad. The former England Under-21s striker told me that, since we'd last met, he had become a senior international for his native Djibouti, scoring six goals in his first five games. Egueh then expressed his disappointment that he'd played in only five matches for Rochdale since the start of the season. He might have scored 13 goals in his first campaign at the Slovalco Arena, but the arrival of former Daggers team-mate Alun Harding had rendered him obsolete. Tristan added, "I want to leave Rochdale, boss. There's no team spirit like there is at Dagenham. Everyone who's here is here only for the money. I think that's why our results this season have been poor." That sounded to me like a cry for help, maybe even a subtle call for me to take Tristan back home. He's a good striker, that's for sure, and at 25 years old, he should be coming into his prime soon. You know what? I would certainly consider re-signing Egueh, if the opportunity arose and it was in everyone's best interests. Another former wonderkid who'd fallen on hard times was Jonas Kjaerulff. Our 22-year-old Danish striker was playing in a reserve match at Nottingham Forest two days later when a horrifying collision with home midfielder Ignacio Barandiaran sent him crashing to the turf in searing pain. The full extent of Jonas' injury soon became clear. He had broken his leg, for the second time in barely 18 months. Kjaerulff had endured a wretched three years on the injury front, but this latest setback - which pretty much ended his season already - was truly devastating. Though he bravely vowed to resume his career next summer, I could no longer see him fulfilling the exceptional potential he once had. That was truly saddening.
  14. If you close FM or turn your system off as soon as the Saving Game progress bar disappears, you will almost certainly corrupt your save. That's because FM is still saving your game in the background, and anything that interrupts that process will cause corruption. I find that it's best to wait 15-30 seconds after the Saving Game bar disappears before closing the application. I also wouldn't advise holding the power button down to switch your computer off, unless your system has frozen or you absolutely have to. It's best to shut it down from the Start menu (on Windows).
  15. Who are Sigma? I presume you mean SI Games (the developers) or SEGA (the publishers). Those would require licences, though, and licences are expensive (especially if said licences are already held by EA or Konami). Managers don't negotiate with sponsors or do any other marketing business in real life. This would be more likely to come under the remit of the chairman or the chief executive.