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FM14: The Sky Bet Football League Thread - Sponsored by William Hill

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Got relegated with Hull so looking to storm the Championship this year haha..

Got Balanta, Correa, Bellusci, Mitrovic among others...

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Got relegated with Hull so looking to storm the Championship this year haha..

Got Balanta, Correa, Bellusci, Mitrovic among others...

If you can keep hold of them all that team should be excellent second season!

I'm just getting through pre-season now with Bolton, our finances are truly terrible :herman:

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Looking to begin a longish save, until my pc craps out on me, with a team in the football league.

A decent starting block and something to push on with but also a challenge toe when I am promoted.

Any suggestions? Great thread btw!

Brighton are a good shout, good spine to the side with Kusczcak, Greer, Upson, Bridcutt and Ulloa and with a relatively decent budget to play with. Then you've youths like Jake Forster-Caskey and Lewis Dunk who have the potential to play in the Premiership. There's also the added benefit of the new stadium and the high revenue that comes with it.

The only downside is the standard of the training and youth facilities really.

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My game is currently moving on at quite some rate, so I am behind in terms of updates. As you know I was promoted on the last day of last season which was great. My initial instinct was that we are lacking any sort of premier league quality, most of our players have never played there and our wonderful chairman decided to give me 9, yes 9, million to spend on new players. With no real assets to sell to generate funds we would have to find players cheap.

Players to leave where Jonathan Hogg for 1.7m to fellow promoted team Reading. Martin Paterson joined sheffield Wednesday for 500k and Adam Hammill went to Leicester on loan for a nice monthly fee. A large amount of other players left for minimal fees or on loan, mainly youth players. Hogg was let go due to his numerous knee injuries, missing 5 months of last season made my mind up. Hammil simply doesn't get into the team and Leicester are now covering his 10k per week and Paterson again was unhappy at a lack of football so was let go.

Incoming is where this gets interesting and in some respects desperate. I generally hate overpaying for old players who only have 1 or 2 seasons in them, but as I said above, I desperately need premier league experience.

First in is Jonathan Walters from relegated Stoke City for just 400k and a nice 14k per week wage. He is only 30, hardly prolific in front of goal but works extremely hard and can become a real fans favorite. Max Clayton re joined the club on loan from Newcastle again with us only covering 50% of his wages, i.e 1k per week. A bargain signing if he fires, but this may be a step too far for him. However, he was excellent in the championship and can provide us with some good cover if nothing else. Harry Maguire also joined from Sheffield United for 1.5m. A quality young English centre half who has the potential to be premier league class in the future, however i need to get him some game time which he may struggle for depending on how we perform in the league.

Next through the door was ex-Huddersfield winger Anthony Pilkington, who joined on a free transfer after being released by Norwich. Similar to Walters really, a hard worker, premier league experience and quite low wages, plus the fans seem to quite like him which is a boost. Another youngster came in as our back up goalkeeper, this time Sam Johnstone who was released by Man UTD. My scouts believe he can a premier league quality goalkeeper so it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next year or two.

Tony Watt also joined from Celtic on loan, similar to Clayton, a player who can provide good cover but has the potential to score a goal or two.

The last few are were I perhaps got slightly desperate and dived all over the ex premier league players. Peter Crouch signed from Stoke for just 100k but 25k per week which was quite high, especially as he only scored 5 goals last season!!! Mental as it may sound, I believe he can score a goal or two for us and most of our strikers are small fast players, so a taller player gives us something different. Stephan Ireland and Phil Bardsley also joined on free transfers after being released by Aston Villa and Sunderland. Low wages but they can certainly add something to my squad, in particular Ireland who at 27 still has a lot to offer.

Last in on deadline day is a strange one (and that's me saying that!) In has come Tim Cahill. The ex Everton player signed from New York for 20k (his contract was due to expire) and 22k per week. I still feel that we are lacking something up front so his experience could be vital.

Now for the start of the season, get this lot for a mixed bag!!!

Firstly, the fixture computer through us out a appalling start,

A Newcastle,

H Man City,

A Man UTD,

H Chelsea,

A Fulham (this is the easy fixture!!)

H Everton

A liverpool

H Tottenham

A Arsenal

Have that for a start!!! All bar Fulham, that is basically what is expected to be the top 8 this season.

Anyway, we started at St James park and were defeated 2-0, we never really got started and only managed 1 shot on target which was disappointing. Next up, Man City @ home. Our first ever Premier League game at the John Smiths Stadium. Now over the course of the 90 minutes, Man City managed 29 shots at goal, hitting the target with 23 of them. We managed 2, 1 on target and guess what....it went in!!! Jonathan Walters scored a 78th minute winner to secure our first ever win in the top flight.

In the same week, it was back down to earth with a massive bump. Bristol City away in the League Cup was never going to be an easy game, but after making a lot of changes i still fancied we would get the win. It was a poor game, but we never really got started and they won 2-0, Harry Maguire at fault big time for both goals which is worrying!!

Next up was Old Trafford and again we lost, this time 3-1, however losing at Man UTD is nothing to be ashamed of.

Bring on Chelsea eh....

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Some tough fixtures there, at least you get all of the tough games out of the way at the beginning and then you can hopefully go on some sort of run against the smaller sides. Just treat any points, such as those against City, as a bonus really.

Perhaps being knocked out of the cup could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

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If you can keep hold of them all that team should be excellent second season!

I'm just getting through pre-season now with Bolton, our finances are truly terrible :herman:

First season?

If so, you really need to push for promotion or the heavy debt will punish you.

@Plainlayzee, it'll be interesting to see how your players react to the (poor) start! Likewise, it'll be interesting to see how you manage the situation for the other games. Good result against City though and interesting signings. How do you plan to get Walters/Crouch and Cahill to work together?

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First season?

If so, you really need to push for promotion or the heavy debt will punish you.

@Plainlayzee, it'll be interesting to see how your players react to the (poor) start! Likewise, it'll be interesting to see how you manage the situation for the other games. Good result against City though and interesting signings. How do you plan to get Walters/Crouch and Cahill to work together?

Yeah I had a game with them back in October some time, managed to reach the play-off semi final before Spearing and Beckford decided they were injured in the last 5 minutes of the second leg (both went off the pitch) leaving us with 9 men. Naturally we conceded and lost out in extra time. The next season my budget was halved and I had to sell half the squad.

Being a fan in real life makes this extra satisfying. Going to be bringing through some of the youngsters, I'll do a full transfer write up shortly.

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First season?

If so, you really need to push for promotion or the heavy debt will punish you.

@Plainlayzee, it'll be interesting to see how your players react to the (poor) start! Likewise, it'll be interesting to see how you manage the situation for the other games. Good result against City though and interesting signings. How do you plan to get Walters/Crouch and Cahill to work together?

I don't have a clue yet! Walters out side perhaps, Cahill behind crouch I suppose gives us a lot of aerial options although I do like a Dm to cover my defence. 4-2-3-1 is an optio as well or a 4-5-1. Will haw to figure it out for the next few games anyway.

How you lot all getting on? Interesting save with Bolton there, a bit challenge with the debt I would assume but at the same time I team that could and perhaps should be in the premier league.

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I don't have a clue yet! Walters out side perhaps, Cahill behind crouch I suppose gives us a lot of aerial options although I do like a Dm to cover my defence. 4-2-3-1 is an optio as well or a 4-5-1. Will haw to figure it out for the next few games anyway.

How you lot all getting on? Interesting save with Bolton there, a bit challenge with the debt I would assume but at the same time I team that could and perhaps should be in the premier league.

The squad actually isn't all that, a lot of players with pretty average ability. I also had to sell to buy, and not many players attract interest - it's quite a challenge.

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Good to see all the updates guys, and the variety of clubs being managed. Bolton is a new one for here, I think - is the debt as bad in game as it is in reality? Congrats to you, Plainlayzee, for the promotion with Huddersfield - good luck with your PL season.

Sorry it's a general response to most of the thread participants, I just haven't the time for anything more as I've been travelling about and unable to play or post, but should be able to remedy that in the next day or two.

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I'm currently spending around £1.3m a month on loan repayments, with the total debt around £105m - which is quite conservative against real-life figures released recently! I have a balance of ~£18m in the black, but I'm losing a couple of million a month consistently despite bringing in just over £6m profit in transfers (whilst keeping the wage budget roughly the same). Annoyingly, the best two players in midfield; Mark Davies (6 months) and Stuart Holden (16 months) are both injured at the start of the game which makes it tough.

Transfers

Bolton_TransfersTransferHistory_zps968c6140.png

Reasonably happy with this. Ngog was arguably the stand out Striker in the squad, but he was also the most saleable asset. Hopefully Davies, Beckford and young Clough can step up in his place. I also brought in Will Keane for competition, with a view to taking him on permanently. Losing Pratley was a no-brainer, particularly for the fee!

In terms of buys, I had a comb through the Wigan squad when they made a bid and noticed Jordi Gomez listed; with Mark Davies and Holden out injured for so long he's a great replacement for those too. There is more than the initial £250k payable depending on whether we gain promotion.

Connor Hunte looks like a great prospect and joined on a free, he'll mostly get cup games and substitute appearances for a few years. Larnell Cole is another solid prospect and looks like he could play all across the midfield in future, reasonable fee as well from United. With Mark Tierney being the only left-back in the squad it was imperative that I signed someone to shore up the position, and Carles Planas offers a good deal going forwards as well as defensively. Finally Boyata is a solid championship-level centre back who wanted pretty cheap wages whilst providing competition for places. Replaces Knight, who left for West Ham, and looks a lot more solid.

Pre-season

BoltonWanderers_FixturesSchedule_zps89b8ddf4.png

Pre-season was hectic but necessary to get the team used to my tactics. We rarely played challenging teams but it was a good boost for morale, which we carried forward with solid wins against Burnley and Rochdale. Reading and Forest proved too tough for us, although we played better against Forest, who punished us on the counter.

A well-fought draw against QPR was followed up by a solid 2-0 win against Tranmere using a side mainly filled with youngsters such as Hunte, Hall, Clough and Vela.

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Nice write up D0bi and congrats on not losing 7-1 to the 'mighty' Royals*.

It looks like results and debts are both better in-game than in reality, but still a great challenge to take on, especially for an actual fan. You did well to receive so much for Pratley, and were brave selling Ngog - but the reasons make sense. You've done well with your signings too, decent players for modest costs.

*Ironic talk, they really aren't mighty.

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Yeah, we could have played our Under 9's and done better than the 7-1 result - there was some schoolboy defending in that game.

After beating Tranmere, I've managed wins against Blackburn (2-0 up to 2-2 before an 85th minute winner), Leeds (1-0) and Derby (1-0). Next up is Brighton before we face Wigan in the Capital 1 Cup.

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I don't have a clue yet! Walters out side perhaps, Cahill behind crouch I suppose gives us a lot of aerial options although I do like a Dm to cover my defence. 4-2-3-1 is an optio as well or a 4-5-1. Will haw to figure it out for the next few games anyway.

How you lot all getting on? Interesting save with Bolton there, a bit challenge with the debt I would assume but at the same time I team that could and perhaps should be in the premier league.

My concern was that you have a lot of brute strength (and hard working) forwards up front, yet lack the creative edge that can sometimes determine a game. Crouch should be a superb signing, I have a target man with Yeovil (I'll one day update, maybe at the end of this current season). Good luck mate!

D0bi, it'll be interesting to see the budgets if you manage promotion, especially as you'll need to heavily strengthen to survive. Keep me updated

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I'm going to have to say adios to this page my friends as i have been head hunted in my wolves save with Fulham making me an offer i cant refuse.

Mid December 2014 - sitting healthy in promotion/playoff contention and scaring the players available to me when Fulham's new owner approaches me with the following.

Fulham 18th in league but 4 points from 12th. Squad that suits my formation, and a war chest of £25m to save them from relegation - challenge accepted.

Now I've been approached by other teams before on this save but i have a wee soft spot for Fulham as I won the champions league with them back in FM05, who says there's no feelings/nostalgia in computer games. so its adios for now, unless i manage to get them relegated and will be talking to you all again in the next couple of days.!

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I'm going to have to say adios to this page my friends as i have been head hunted in my wolves save with Fulham making me an offer i cant refuse.

Mid December 2014 - sitting healthy in promotion/playoff contention and scaring the players available to me when Fulham's new owner approaches me with the following.

Fulham 18th in league but 4 points from 12th. Squad that suits my formation, and a war chest of £25m to save them from relegation - challenge accepted.

Now I've been approached by other teams before on this save but i have a wee soft spot for Fulham as I won the champions league with them back in FM05, who says there's no feelings/nostalgia in computer games. so its adios for now, unless i manage to get them relegated and will be talking to you all again in the next couple of days.!

Good luck with Fulham, I assume they still have most of the starting squad?

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So... I've finally got my laptop back from repair. The bad news is that its had a factory restore done so I've lost my Argyle save.

I come to you for advice! Which team should I start a new save with?

I'm tempted by a Championship semi-fallen-giant type save. Either QPR, Bolton or Blackburn for their recent history and financial woes. Or a Nottingham Forest, Leeds 'used to be huge' fallen giant save. I'm erring towards the former as I do like the good challenge of a skint club!

But what do you fine folks think?

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Dobi, you could still stay around. I play in the Premiership with Yeovil and I update here.

Meester, QPR seems a good challenge, FFP makes it interesting as you have to sell before you buy. Likewise, Bolton has the incredible debt that has to be sorted if you are to achieve long term sustainability. Maybe you could consider somebody along the likes of Barnsley.

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So... I've finally got my laptop back from repair. The bad news is that its had a factory restore done so I've lost my Argyle save.

I come to you for advice! Which team should I start a new save with?

I'm tempted by a Championship semi-fallen-giant type save. Either QPR, Bolton or Blackburn for their recent history and financial woes. Or a Nottingham Forest, Leeds 'used to be huge' fallen giant save. I'm erring towards the former as I do like the good challenge of a skint club!

But what do you fine folks think?

So sad mate :( i am having fun with my Argyle save posted in fmcu too , how tight where u financially with the debts till they got repayed?

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Dobi, you could still stay around. I play in the Premiership with Yeovil and I update here.

Meester, QPR seems a good challenge, FFP makes it interesting as you have to sell before you buy. Likewise, Bolton has the incredible debt that has to be sorted if you are to achieve long term sustainability. Maybe you could consider somebody along the likes of Barnsley.

I agree Michael Brown -if it really is you- Barnsley would be a good challenge

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YEAH they do but they didn't take the option to buy on Bent and Tarabet - but decent 1 - 11.

29th Jan now - got taught a lesson up until the transfer window opened as morale at squad rock bottom with the big names/earners wanting out - now with 6 new signings and a formation that suits the players already on the turn - 17th now with 4 point gap till 18th and 8 point gap till 10th! league is so tight, but transfer deadline day approaching, Christmas eve for fm'ers

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Thanks for replying guys. I decided to go for Blackburn in the end. I know their finances aren't as horrific as QPRs, but I like that they have a better youth setup and some young prospects in the first team already. However they are still in a dodgy position financially and have some bigger earners that need to go. Hopefully it'll be fun!

I've not had much of a chance to get my teeth into the save yet because of spending all evening clearing the bundleware off the laptop and getting FM reinstalled, but I have brought have a clear out of some staff and brought in a few scouts. Somehow I need to remove Leon Best from the club along with probably Etuhu and Robinson. I'm in the market for a free or loan attacking LB so I know that my next FM session will involve hours and hours of scouting!

@Setzel: It's a pain it's gone. I;d had a break from it, but I was raring to start up again. I've been reading your career update; I must post in there actually. The finances actually weren't too bad. I'd been really, really strict in Season 1 and reduced the wage bill without spending any money on transfers. Promotion to League 1 for season 2 meant that our sponsorship rocketed from about 150K to £1.1mil and I continued to be really strict with wages. I also only spent a combined £50k on Gary Martin and Frederik Torsteinbo. But that's as far as I got. :(

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The Stadium sponsorhips saved my behind there i got in the 3rd season i think three 900 k 1 year stadium sponsorships , insane money :)

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My Capital Cup run was going all too well, then I went and drew City at the Etihad. Bye Bye cup run :rolleyes:

BoltonWanderers_FixturesSchedule-3_zps2b314182.png

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Meester, Robinson would be the perfect keeper in that league and would be good enough in the prem. What's his wages like?

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Yeah he's a good keeper and were we in the Premiership I'd keep him. His wages are the problem - about £35k p/w - plus Jake Kean looks, on paper, like an excellent and much cheaper option.

I think I need to got some games played before I see what's what. Robinson is injured from the start anyway, so I may end up keeping him anyway!

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Nobody will take Leon Best i know from experience had a save at blackburn when the game came out.

Well Watford have offered to loan him for the season for 30% of his wages plus £45k per month. Not great, but every little helps. (I'll find out if he accepts the offer when I'm next on)

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Just managed a 3-3 draw against City in the Capital One Cup quarter final, only for the game to refuse to allow me to continue to penalties. No doubt preventing the inevitable but now I can't even dream :thdn:

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Well what a mixed bag of results I continue to have.

Carrying on from my last update, Chelsea turned up and absolutely destroyed us, only winning 2-0, but they had 69% possession and we simply didn't get a kick. Then came the short lived up turn, firstly we played Fulham away from home in what was one of our first games against a team I would expect to be in/around us in the table. Not only did we win, we won 4-0 and it could of been more. Peter Crouch and Tim Cahill got on the score sheet. We followed this up with an equally impressive 3-0 home win against Everton, with the returning Paul Dixon scoring 1 and setting up 2 from left back. James Vaughan scored against his former club.

October

October started with a tricky game at Anfield against a Liverpool team who at the time actually sat one point behind us. They hammered us, pure and simply they hammered us. 5-1 was the final score, it would of been 25-1 in reality as Daniel Sturridge ran riot. In true style we went from the appalling to the amazing with a 1-0 home with against Tottenham, Max Clayton scoring a superb 20 yard free kick to win it. The month ended with a 4-2 defeat at Arsenal which rounded off a difficult run and was the last of our games against the so called 'big' teams.

November

Time for the season to kick start? Time to get some point on the board against those teams that will be in and around us?? No, not at all!!

We started the month with a 1-0 home defeat to Norwich and this was followed up by a 4-2 defeat away to Southampton. Three further draws against Swansea (home), Crystal Palace (away) and Reading (home) leave us sitting 14th in the table with 15 points from 14 games. Not bad in reality, but we now have just 1 win in 8 games and we dont seem capable of keeping a clean sheet!

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Just managed a 3-3 draw against City in the Capital One Cup quarter final, only for the game to refuse to allow me to continue to penalties. No doubt preventing the inevitable but now I can't even dream :thdn:

Probably too late now, but I believe if you go into a player profile and then into his international squad, and then back to the match, it will allow you to proceed to the shoot out.

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Yeah, I found out but only after I'd closed down the game. Decided to holiday the match and lost 2-1, but it was a pretty tight game which I only lost in extra time.

Oh well, it was a decent run and should hopefully boost our reputation. Plus a full-capacity crowd at the Etihad + television revenue will do the finances no harm.

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Playing my plymouth save , leicester are in deep trouble the chairman loaned them for 70 mils pounds with 44 mils interest and so reducing the club to 1 pound value CRAZY :)

As for my team i am doing a bit rubbish in Championship havent found a way to win home constantly and i am playing a control tactic at home , away i manage to easily make chances while at home just possesion and not chances some big names stil unattached like Cahill Gibbs and Giroud.

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Starting to pick up a good bit of form now as Bolton, sitting in 3rd after 27 games, although from 3rd to 9th is pretty close. Rob Hall is surprisingly my best player, scoring and assisting well from the left wing.

I'm surprised I'm doing so well without a settled striker. I've tried Beckford, Craig Davies, Will Keane and Zach Clough there with Clough doing alright in the cup, Craig Davies being awful and Beckford doing well in fits and starts. My best striker has been the loanee, Will Keane, although he's just coming back from a 5 week injury lay-off.

I'm quite annoyed with United; it was looking promising that I might be able to prise Keane away from United in the summer with David Moyes saying words to the effect of "If Keane wants to go we won't stand in his way. Cue United sacking Moyes and bringing in AVB, who instantly tells me where to go, offers Keane a new contract and states that Keane is going nowhere. Damn :(

Manchester City knocked me out in the Quarter Finals of the Capital One Cup although I was pleased to get that far. So far I've beat Sunderland and Bournemouth in the FA Cup and I have Stoke to play in the next round.

Finances are slowly getting worse, I've managed to attract ~£700k bids for Moritz who will hopefully leave to free up some money for a loan signing - although I only have a week left in January to make this happen.

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Great stuff in here everyone I've really enjoyed reading the updates.

I'm looking to start my own save with one of the bigger league 1 sides. Torn between Preston, Peterborough, Sheff Utd and Wolves so was hoping someone could give me a bit of advice? Cheers.

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Just into January on my Brighton save, sitting in 5th position but it is ridiculously tight from 3rd (42 pts) through to 8th (38 pts). Really doesn't take much to move either way up the table. I should really be sat higher, having only conceded 19 goals from 24 matches, but unfortunately I've only scored 31. Don't really want to meddle with tactics mid season so I'll probably change the shape of the team next season assuming I'm still in this division.

In terms of transfers, I brought in Michael Keane and Conor McAleny on season long loans in the summer, as well as Aaron Taylor-Sinclair for £100k. Just signed Nicky Shorey on a free as a bit more cover as his Bristol City contract wasn't renewed and he looks a good tutor.

Having a bit of an issue with giving new contracts out for players. So many of my key players (Kusczcak, Upson, Bruno) are out of contract at the end of the season and demanding ridiculous wages. Bit frustrating as I don't really want to disrupt the core of the squad next season.

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Well I think that is me done with Huddersfield, the save seems to of lost its enjoyment. I am now in Jnauary 2014 and sitting 15th in the PL, however it is just a bit dull. We are playing OK etc however I can't seem to sell anyone, I have no money to spend and I generally dislike just about all of my current squad which is not good. I actually seem to have a personal dislike for them they are so bad haha!

Anyway, I think it has just lost its life. Will have a look at who I can start with I think

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Well, it's bloody good to be able to play FM again and join in this thread again.

The Blackburn save is actually going rather well, though it's still early days. Obviously the main priority is to reduce the wage bill, get some of the high earners out of the club and try and stabilise the finances. Oh and try and achieve a good league position. Preferably promotion.

On the first front I think I've done pretty well, at least for this season. I've managed to loan out Leon Best (Watford paying 30% of wages) and Dickson Etuhu (Celtic paying 100% wages :D ), plus removed Lee Williamson and Bruno Ribeiro. I've also made a whole bunch of loans. This has now reduced the wage bill below the budget, which makes me happy.

Coming into the club is, well... No one. Nada. Zilch. Although I have made an offer for Henrique to arrive when his contract expires in October and I'm tempted to see if I can get a decent back up DM on loan.

Scott Dann has been agitating for a move and I agreed to his request as at the time it would have dropped our wages back below the budget. However no one made an offer and I'm hoping that an extended run in the first team might get him to change his mind as I no longer need to sell.

Blackburn_TransfersTransferHistory_zpsb3384f1e.png

On the competition front, things are also going ok. We find ourselves in 4th and unbeaten in the league, though we've not looked particularly convincing at times. Our only loss so far was away to Fulham in the League Cup and we were a little hard done by. It was 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, they got a lucky rebound goal that should have been disallowed, then got a second when we went chasing an equaliser.

BlackburnAugust_zps728b63fb.png

Moving on to players and formations. I spent the pre-season and the first league game trying to use a lopsided 4231 but although it did ok, it didn't feel like it was working properly, so I've reverted back to my old favourite: the 4411. I've made a slight change by dropping one of the CMs into the DM spot, but that's mainly due to the PPMs of my best defensive midfielders. I tried Ruben Rochina in a number of different roles, but a bog-standard AM-A seems to have done the trick and he makes some great surging runs into the box.

Jordan Rhodes is an enigma. He's obviously a great striker, but I can't quite get the best out of him. He doesn't have the pace to be an AF, so I'm trying him as a CF-S at the moment, though I may change this to CF-A. I'm just trying to prevent him from becoming isolated.

BlackburnRovers_TacticsOverview_zps462d160a.png

I'm keeping team instructions simple as you can see. I may make other changes in future, but I want to get the balance of the roles correct first. The only player instruction I'm using is for the GK to Distribute to Defenders.

I'm hoping that come the Winter, I'll be able to move on a couple more players and bring in some of the youths that I have with high promise, namely Tim Payne, Josh Morris, John O'Sullivan and Anthony O'Connor.

(I want to apologise for the tiny screenshots. There must be some kind of way of zooming the interface as I'm at maximum resolution)

@plainlayzee: Sorry to hear about your Huddersfield apathy. I hate it when that happens. I think that's why I like to always go to clubs that have good youth systems - it stops me hating the club when I know I have prospects on the way! Do you have any preferences for a new club?

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Some very solid results there MeesterCat, especially using the default team. Unlucky on drawing a Premier League team so early in the Capital One Cup though! Hope you get Rhodes firing, in my current season him and Rochina single handedly destroyed me every time we played them. Rhodes finished top scorer (level with Connor Salmon) with 31 goals.

________________________________________________

Bolton Wanderers Season Review 2013/14

Transfers: [Profit ~£7m]

Bolton_TransfersTransferHistory-2_zps3f00e27d.png

The major outs initially were obviously Ngog, Pratley and Knight who were sold for two main reasons; financially the club couldn't afford their wages and needed the cash, and also because they were essentially the only "saleable" assets that could be easily replaced. Andre Moritz left in January to free up a small portion of the wage budget but he also brought in a decent amount of cash.

In terms of players coming in, the wage budget stayed essentially similar to its initial level despite an increase in numbers. Will Keane came in on loan to fill the gap left by Ngog, whilst Pratley was replaced by Larnell Cole, Jordi Gomez and Connor Hunte for lower wages. The departure of Zat Knight allowed the signings of Boyata and Planas to happen.

My main transfer philosophy is to bring in players that larger clubs have misused or simply given up on, such as Larnell Cole and Carles Planas who are both capable of developing in to premier league players in time.

Season Round Up

League:

SkyBetChampionship_OverviewStages_zps33f190c9.png

The Teams you can't see are: 23rd - Watford 41 Points and 24th - Ipswich 36 Points.

Well, my initial aim was to progress towards promotion within 2 seasons and to achieve it in the first season was unexpected to say the least. Blackburn and Reading pushed us all the way for an automatic promotion spot, whilst Derby only relinquished Top Spot (which they held all season) on the final day. Some major strengthening will be needed if we're to stay up next season though.

Capital One Cup:

BoltonWanderers_FixturesSchedule-4_zps7e78c2d0.png

We did well in the Capital One Cup not to face any sides that were technically better than us. Wigan and Leeds endured poor seasons overall with Wigan finishing 14th and Leeds getting relegated! The games against Tranmere and Rochdale allowed me to play some youngsters and blood them in to the team, and Zach Clough in particular took the chance. We did well against City, defended with our lives and looked to nick something on the break - it didn't work but we avoided a spanking. I think we had 26% of possession in the game.

FA Cup:

BoltonWanderers_FixturesSchedule-5_zpsca194efe.png

As you can see we went on an excellent run that involved knocking out three Premier League sides before being overcome by Chelsea. Reaching the Semis was a great achivement and I was happy to avoid the 5-0 beating that we took last time we reached Wembley (and against a team better than Stoke!) We were severely outplayed in the Semi Final by Chelsea, who could have scored 7 or 8.

Next season will be tough and it might not be long before I'm back in the Championship! Hoping but not expecting a decent budget. It might be a case of just counting the cash that a season in the Premier League gives you, before dropping back in the Championship for a season or two to really strengthen the squad.

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Good job MeesterCat and d0bi you did fantastic have no ideea with what patch you started the game but the finances at Bolton RL are a bit shaky so hopefully you stay up in the EPL because if u go down finances will be a mess.

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Good job MeesterCat and d0bi you did fantastic have no ideea with what patch you started the game but the finances at Bolton RL are a bit shaky so hopefully you stay up in the EPL because if u go down finances will be a mess.

Yeah the finances aren't as bad in-game as they are in reality but they're still pretty awful. If I hadn't achieved promotion I'd have most likely had to sell most of the top earners.

Does anyone know how the game works out finances? I got a news item saying I'd made £3m or so in terms of Financial Fair Play, but then I received a similar item saying that our total losses were £17m, with a total turnover of £27m. I understand they're worked out seperately but £20m difference is pretty huge.

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Well, it's bloody good to be able to play FM again and join in this thread again.

The Blackburn save is actually going rather well, though it's still early days. Obviously the main priority is to reduce the wage bill, get some of the high earners out of the club and try and stabilise the finances. Oh and try and achieve a good league position. Preferably promotion.

On the first front I think I've done pretty well, at least for this season. I've managed to loan out Leon Best (Watford paying 30% of wages) and Dickson Etuhu (Celtic paying 100% wages :D ), plus removed Lee Williamson and Bruno Ribeiro. I've also made a whole bunch of loans. This has now reduced the wage bill below the budget, which makes me happy.

Coming into the club is, well... No one. Nada. Zilch. Although I have made an offer for Henrique to arrive when his contract expires in October and I'm tempted to see if I can get a decent back up DM on loan.

Scott Dann has been agitating for a move and I agreed to his request as at the time it would have dropped our wages back below the budget. However no one made an offer and I'm hoping that an extended run in the first team might get him to change his mind as I no longer need to sell.

Blackburn_TransfersTransferHistory_zpsb3384f1e.png

On the competition front, things are also going ok. We find ourselves in 4th and unbeaten in the league, though we've not looked particularly convincing at times. Our only loss so far was away to Fulham in the League Cup and we were a little hard done by. It was 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes, they got a lucky rebound goal that should have been disallowed, then got a second when we went chasing an equaliser.

BlackburnAugust_zps728b63fb.png

Moving on to players and formations. I spent the pre-season and the first league game trying to use a lopsided 4231 but although it did ok, it didn't feel like it was working properly, so I've reverted back to my old favourite: the 4411. I've made a slight change by dropping one of the CMs into the DM spot, but that's mainly due to the PPMs of my best defensive midfielders. I tried Ruben Rochina in a number of different roles, but a bog-standard AM-A seems to have done the trick and he makes some great surging runs into the box.

Jordan Rhodes is an enigma. He's obviously a great striker, but I can't quite get the best out of him. He doesn't have the pace to be an AF, so I'm trying him as a CF-S at the moment, though I may change this to CF-A. I'm just trying to prevent him from becoming isolated.

BlackburnRovers_TacticsOverview_zps462d160a.png

I'm keeping team instructions simple as you can see. I may make other changes in future, but I want to get the balance of the roles correct first. The only player instruction I'm using is for the GK to Distribute to Defenders.

I'm hoping that come the Winter, I'll be able to move on a couple more players and bring in some of the youths that I have with high promise, namely Tim Payne, Josh Morris, John O'Sullivan and Anthony O'Connor.

(I want to apologise for the tiny screenshots. There must be some kind of way of zooming the interface as I'm at maximum resolution)

@plainlayzee: Sorry to hear about your Huddersfield apathy. I hate it when that happens. I think that's why I like to always go to clubs that have good youth systems - it stops me hating the club when I know I have prospects on the way! Do you have any preferences for a new club?

Excellent post there mate, let's hope your form continues! Is it just me

Or is it impossible to sell players on this years game? I struggled to move so many good players that are worth say 2-3n but clubs would only offer 200k at most!!!

As for Rhodes, he seems good on all my saves, I regularly to try and sign him actually but it never comes off.

New club, perhaps Nottingham Forrest?bolton? Someone like that. Any thought s? I want a team I can get promoted and build with.

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I've having a great time with Bolton at the minute. It's a good challenge to reduce the wage bill whilst remaining competitive. Then again, I imagine there's a number of Championship teams in the same boat.

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Greetings to all. I've not been on to FM for a week or so as I've just relocated country (again). Hopefully I can pick up on my Pompey save, although so many other clubs have come in to my head - alot of them will qualify for this thread, although some won't!

It's good to catch up on this, and see those continuing, those starting out at new clubs, and those about to.

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In my Argyle save finished the first season in Championship not too great but i managed to sell and have a nice profit , now i am at the crossroads shall i spend a bit and take my chances that i promote in the EPL soon so losses will not be great or adopt the patient aproach rely on youngsters and only buy if i sell for me thats the major issue going forward :)

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Greetings to all. I've not been on to FM for a week or so as I've just relocated country (again). Hopefully I can pick up on my Pompey save, although so many other clubs have come in to my head - alot of them will qualify for this thread, although some won't!

It's good to catch up on this, and see those continuing, those starting out at new clubs, and those about to.

Welcome back Jogo, hope you either stay as Pompey or get a new save that continues within this thread.

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Thanks mate. I remember I have some players to enjoy at Portsmouth so plan to continue. Maybe the promotion with Huddersfield was a season too early, hence the spark was lost? Hope to see you start up again soon too.

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