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Lower League player recruitment issues – “offer it and they will come”…. or not


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(AKA The “would I travel halfway around the world for £50 p/w” thread)

There has been some lively debate about Skrill level clubs recruiting unrealistic youth and or foreign players in the beta feedback thread.

I suggest we keep any further debate in this thread.

To kick off I would ask "What contract would entice a player to relocate to a different country/region (EDIT: Region means both internationally and within a geographical area - eg the relationship between Africa/ Europe, France/UK, England/Scotland) for a Skrill level team?"

There will be no right or wrong answer but I hope any debate may help SI when reviewing this perceived issue.

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In real terms it wouldn't just be the money (or the job) there would also be family factors. Fewer family ties would mean a move could be made cheaper and/or with less hassle. A single 18 year old would have more freedom to move, and could arguably do so for less than a 28 year old with a partner and children.

There's also the location as well. If the lower league team, say Skrill level, is London based then suddenly the contract needs to take into account the relative living costs. In contrast to that though there may well be places with a lower cost of living but less opportunities for work along side the football.

To be honest I'm not sure it's something FM will ever get completely right, it's a difficult thing to model.

Playing along though, assuming the average national pay to be £16K after tax, a part time football contract would have to offer £8K a year after tax (assuming a 50/50 split in work). So roughly £153 a week, or £615 a month (my maths could be wrong). That would just be to maintain the average wage within the UK. For it to be worthwhile to move country for that then there'd have to be a significant difference in the average 0.5 FTE wage and the 0.5 FTE wage here, with enough wiggle room for relocation costs.

So £150 a week based on several (ropey) assumptions:

1) It's a 50/50 split

2) There is a second job at 0.5 FTE to make up the rest

3) That it takes the individual to significantly above the average they could earn before moving.

4) And (before anyone points it out) that the national average is a meaningful comparison point.

But those assumptions are fairly rubbish though. As Macshimmy points out it's going to depend on the job of the individual, and they'll have a full time job outside of football. So you'd have to either match/improve what their full time job was paying them, or hope they get a similar job when they move and then essentially top them up with a part time wage.

If we assume that they move and they are going to go to a full time football contract to meet the national average then they would need to be on £307 a week or £1228 (ish) after tax. And again if you're going to move country for that then it needs to be significantly better than the average pay they could expect in their place of origin. Which I guess raises the question of what would be a sufficient raise? How much extra would we want to be paid to give up our career, move to another country and start there (on a time limited, potentially performance based contract).

Thinking about my wage and what I'd need to convince me to give it up and move I'd need a contract that I think most Skrill or lower league clubs couldn't afford (also I'm crap at football so I wouldn't last long. I'd need a big loyalty fee!).

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Ok maybe not great examples, but three off my top of my head, Kevin Phillips, Grant Holt, Jon Walters all were released by bigger clubs and had to start again in the non league

True but the debate mentioned by the OP is around...

There has been some lively debate about Skrill level clubs recruiting unrealistic youth and or foreign players in the beta feedback thread.

Moving to the non-league for the players you mentioned is a big thing, and I don't know if it's done that well in FM14 (I've not tried with established names) but it is still quite different. They're all settled in the UK or Ireland. They have links here and the level of upheaval arguably isn't the same as moving to another country or continent with an entirely different culture to boot. I know nothing about their financial status at the time but it might also have been the case that they had funds enough to take a wage drop for the sake of playing football and continuing the career.

I do know that in previous versions getting bigger names that had fallen from grace to play non-league, even after months of being a free agent, was frustrating.

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As I said in the other thread I find it hard to believe that a player would not move say from Scotland to a team in the Skrill Premiership.

If the player is not getting any football in Scotland and he truly wants to have a proper go at having football as his career then surely he would give it a go.

The debate got started as I said a young player in Scotland would not accept a part time contract, actually the words used is he would only move to another country if it was a part time contract. Now he is not moving country just moving down the motorway from Scotland to England.

I remember watching an interview, I think that it was Michael Owen and him saying he had played with quite a few footballers that did not even enjoy playing, it was just a job to them.

Now here lies the word job.

I was just 20 when I left Scotland and moved to London in search of work, I had no part-time contract of 400 quid a week waiting for me, I just went looking for a job.

I was there for a year and it did not work out, a couple of years later I came to Holland, I had a temporary job waiting for me, it was paying around 400 quid a week and while paying for a room in a house and basically chasing my dream of a good job and a decent way of life I made it work, some 15 years later I am still in Holland.

I came here for a job, why oh why would someone that has a chance of playing football for a living not be willing to move from Scotland to England if they had a part-time contract of 400 quid a week waiting for them?

I use 400 quid but I could have offered up to 600 quid for the player.

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As I said in the other thread I find it hard to believe that a player would not move say from Scotland to a team in the Skrill Premiership.

If the player is not getting any football in Scotland and he truly wants to have a proper go at having football as his career then surely he would give it a go.

....

I came here for a job, why oh why would someone that has a chance of playing football for a living not be willing to move from Scotland to England if they had a part-time contract of 400 quid a week waiting for them?

I use 400 quid but I could have offered up to 600 quid for the player.

Yeah, that does seem a bit off.

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Like i said in the other thread, find some exampes. There must be a list somewhere of transfers to these clubs, have any players left Scotland to move to that level of football recently? If so, then yes you have a point, if no, then your example is nothing more than anecdotal really.

I do get what your saying, but you moved for a career, a football player at that level is highly unlikely to make a career of it, if they were, the chance is they would already be at a higher level, yes i know there are exceptions to that rule, but thats the general norm for most players. Will many be willing to move country for a hobbie? Even if its just from Glasgow to Newcastle.

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In real terms it wouldn't just be the money (or the job) there would also be family factors. Fewer family ties would mean a move could be made cheaper and/or with less hassle. A single 18 year old would have more freedom to move, and could arguably do so for less than a 28 year old with a partner and children.

There's also the location as well. If the lower league team, say Skrill level, is London based then suddenly the contract needs to take into account the relative living costs. In contrast to that though there may well be places with a lower cost of living but less opportunities for work along side the football.

To be honest I'm not sure it's something FM will ever get completely right, it's a difficult thing to model.

Playing along though, assuming the average national pay to be £16K after tax, a part time football contract would have to offer £8K a year after tax (assuming a 50/50 split in work). So roughly £153 a week, or £615 a month (my maths could be wrong). That would just be to maintain the average wage within the UK. For it to be worthwhile to move country for that then there'd have to be a significant difference in the average 0.5 FTE wage and the 0.5 FTE wage here, with enough wiggle room for relocation costs.

So £150 a week based on several (ropey) assumptions:

1) It's a 50/50 split

2) There is a second job at 0.5 FTE to make up the rest

3) That it takes the individual to significantly above the average they could earn before moving.

4) And (before anyone points it out) that the national average is a meaningful comparison point.

But those assumptions are fairly rubbish though. As Macshimmy points out it's going to depend on the job of the individual, and they'll have a full time job outside of football. So you'd have to either match/improve what their full time job was paying them, or hope they get a similar job when they move and then essentially top them up with a part time wage.

If we assume that they move and they are going to go to a full time football contract to meet the national average then they would need to be on £307 a week or £1228 (ish) after tax. And again if you're going to move country for that then it needs to be significantly better than the average pay they could expect in their place of origin. Which I guess raises the question of what would be a sufficient raise? How much extra would we want to be paid to give up our career, move to another country and start there (on a time limited, potentially performance based contract).

Thinking about my wage and what I'd need to convince me to give it up and move I'd need a contract that I think most Skrill or lower league clubs couldn't afford (also I'm crap at football so I wouldn't last long. I'd need a big loyalty fee!).

Excellent post, fleshed out my initial thinking really well. I will add a further twist though, a teenager who had never flown the nest and never had a full time job could, it could be argued, be both more likely or less likely to relocate for an average wage than any other example. Also would commitments to further education have an effect? (could the new regulations prevent a student dropping out for a part time wage / insecure position?)

In response to MofS surely as with the Chimbonda example any player relocating for a Skrill club is putting themselves in the shop window. I never actually considered that a migrant to the UK with the dream of playing pro football would consider Skrill as his apex and would be looking to move up the career ladder with a much larger club.

My OP was meant to open up the debate to include British players and their travels within the region, relocating from Plymouth to Aberdeen is both a big deal and less of a big deal depending upon your circumstances.

I know a number of Poles who have relocated to the UK for minimum wage (pretty much) in unskilled labour, all within an area with one of the UK's highest regional cost of living. I cannot believe that a Polish footballer who is earning less in his own country would not be tempted to move to an English club, whatever level, for a similar circumstance unless his character prevented it (the real life examples I give are tough hard working people).

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Yeah but Polish people, as an example, are usually moving over here for full time work on minimum wage, hoping that it leads to something else, with amateur football its a bit different, the likely hood of getting paid much more is unlikely, so is it worth the move just for the football? As FM cannot be expected to code in part time jobs we are looking at these players moving only for football, so with that in mind, its not unreasonable to think there is little chance of say a 28 year old moving country for what could turn out to be 3 years, to make barely enough money to cover his time in that country.

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Like i said in the other thread, find some exampes. There must be a list somewhere of transfers to these clubs, have any players left Scotland to move to that level of football recently? If so, then yes you have a point, if no, then your example is nothing more than anecdotal really.

I do get what your saying, but you moved for a career, a football player at that level is highly unlikely to make a career of it, if they were, the chance is they would already be at a higher level, yes i know there are exceptions to that rule, but thats the general norm for most players. Will many be willing to move country for a hobbie? Even if its just from Glasgow to Newcastle.

But the character descriptions in FM of the players are things like "Professional" or "Ambitious" and some a little less positive, I never read one saying "regards football as a hobby" or "sees football as a stepping stone to being a car mechanic" (no disrespect to car mechanics intended!). One has to assume that if a player is willing to relocate they are prepared to deal with the crunchy as well as the smooth otherwise they are effectively clogging up the game with rubbish player profiles. There may be many who fled to the UK expecting to become David Beckham but never getting paid for kicking a single ball and possibly ending up at Her Majesty's pleasure (so to speak). This would not be represented in the game at all of course. Which begs another (rhetorical) question unrelated, are there any players in the game that actually are unsuitable for any team at any level?

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Yeah but Polish people, as an example, are usually moving over here for full time work on minimum wage, hoping that it leads to something else, with amateur football its a bit different, the likely hood of getting paid much more is unlikely, so is it worth the move just for the football? As FM cannot be expected to code in part time jobs we are looking at these players moving only for football, so with that in mind, its not unreasonable to think there is little chance of say a 28 year old moving country for what could turn out to be 3 years, to make barely enough money to cover his time in that country.

I appreciate this whole debate is a lot more complex than most but turning your example a 19 year old footballer who earns min wage for 2 years before discovering he will not progress further could then take a "proper" job, all he loses is 2 years progression, the price of chasing his dream. If his character permits (I must use that caveat all the time as it is vital) then such an adventure would be considered worthwhile, and although the Polish example was my own there are many more Countries/regions much more poor than any EU country from which football migrants could move with greater motivation for self progression.

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I will add a further twist though, a teenager who had never flown the nest and never had a full time job could, it could be argued, be both more likely or less likely to relocate for an average wage than any other example. Also would commitments to further education have an effect? (could the new regulations prevent a student dropping out for a part time wage / insecure position?)

...

My OP was meant to open up the debate to include British players and their travels within the region, relocating from Plymouth to Aberdeen is both a big deal and less of a big deal depending upon your circumstances.

Ta :D

I think maybe this is where player personality, especially those that centre round ambition or confidence, could (or should) be important. An ambitious young player might leave for less and I think that would address milnerpoint's point :D to an extent (though as pointed out we're not working with real examples here). An ambitious or overly confident player might make a move to non-league football if they see it as a realistic stepping stone, whether they are right or not. A more conservative or realistic player might recognise that it's not worth moving such a distance for an insecure job with little room for improvement, again whether they are right about their level of ability or not.

Distance should be part of the equation as well. For a young player at least a move from Edinburgh to Newcastle is much 'safer' than a move from Edinburgh to Truro. Not that Truro is a hot bed of crime and violence but if something goes wrong they are much more cut off from friends, family and the security they provide than the player in the first example. The distance would bother some, and not others - again down to personality I guess.

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I can only speak with experience of FM2012 but in that game the movement of players from abroad to lower league teams was far too high. I'd agree with those who say that moving around the UK and Ireland should be slightly easier and similarly it might be better for transfers between other neighbouring countries

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I appreciate this whole debate is a lot more complex than most but using your example a 19 year old footballer who earns min wage for 2 years before discovering he will not progress further could then take a "proper" job, all he loses is 2 years progression, the price of chasing his dream. If his character permits (I must use that caveat all the time as it is vital) then such an adventure would be considered worthwhile, and although the Polish example was my own there are many more Countries/regions much more poor than any EU country from which football migrants could move with greater motivation for self progression.

Yes, but jobs are not included in the game, so you cannot expect SI to code in players willing to move to a country to take up a job outwith the games mechanics.

But if we are taking it to extremes like that, who pays for these players to move to a new country? Who pays the flights, accommodation and everything else whilst this player is waiting for his first small pay?

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Yes, but jobs are not included in the game, so you cannot expect SI to code in players willing to move to a country to take up a job outwith the games mechanics.

But if we are taking it to extremes like that, who pays for these players to move to a new country? Who pays the flights, accommodation and everything else whilst this player is waiting for his first small pay?

Am not disagreeing just commenting on the complexities. How do migrants finance their passage?, no idea but many do on a daily basis and someone following their dream would presumably make more effort to raise the costs than some though arguably less than a parent trying to feed their starving children.

So much pertaining to this is so complex and I would not expect SI to attempt to code it in but I feel the correct balance lies between the following scenarios:

A/ Dorchester Town sign a squad of 18 Reunionese Internationals

B/ Dorchester Town cannot sign any player who is not British and cannot sign any youths released by Premier League clubs although said players are clubless and have no interest from any club at any level.

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I do see what your saying, im just siding on the other side of it, for debates sake as much as anything.

I could understand Scottish/Irish/Welsh players making the move, but not every single avaliable one, as that would be unrealistic, but i really cant get on board with people moving to the country for amateur football.

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So much pertaining to this is so complex and I would not expect SI to attempt to code it in but I feel the correct balance lies between the following scenarios:

A/ Dorchester Town sign a squad of 18 Reunionese Internationals

B/ Dorchester Town cannot sign any player who is not British and cannot sign any youths released by Premier League clubs although said players are clubless and have no interest from any club at any level.

I do see what your saying, im just siding on the other side of it, for debates sake as much as anything.

I could understand Scottish/Irish/Welsh players making the move, but not every single avaliable one, as that would be unrealistic, but i really cant get on board with people moving to the country for amateur football.

I think this is what it comes down to, the balance. A blanket ban on all transfers isn't accurate, neither would open borders be.

Very complex to model though. We'd have to consider:

1) Age

2) Distance

3) Wage

4) Level

5) Personality

6) Time unemployed (if any)

7) Difference in finances between origin and destination

8) Squad role

9) Language (English speaking to English speaking easier than say English to Chinese)

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I do see what your saying, im just siding on the other side of it, for debates sake as much as anything.

I could understand Scottish/Irish/Welsh players making the move, but not every single avaliable one, as that would be unrealistic, but i really cant get on board with people moving to the country for amateur football.

I understand but I see it this way, the initial drive to leave the home nation is probably economic. The footballing dream is just the vehicle for movement. An example of an English youth released by a Prem team moving to playing in Scandinavia at non-league level for peanuts would clearly be a nonsense. Its not like I am saying that in Sims a Sim can only move to a different "world" to become a pro footballer, more that in FM any migrant has arrived with football as his primary motivation, that is the only way the game can associate to a migrant though it is not particularly realworld - but then footballers are the only slice of realworld that relates to the game.

(EDIT): Many posts back £400 p/w was quoted, if that is part time (amateur?) then it is the net income not the definition of hours worked that is important and I suggest £1600 p/m (netted to approx. £1300) would be a reasonable wage in that case

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Are you meaning, foreign players coming into the game as amateurs? So the game generating say a 25 year old Italian based in england? Or am i getting you completely wrong?

No I do mean migrants specifically, which doesn't help finding common ground I appreciate. As the thread has progressed I had lost track of the £400 p/w figure which I was assuming as realistic at Skrill level (having not played that level on FM14), I wonder now if £35-50 p/w is more representative as clearly that would tempt far fewer migrations but I insist would not deter all for the reasons stated before. I think at top and bottom ends of the scale I cannot accept the always-never scale, I see this as a very likely-very unlikely scale.

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Too many factors, one that's being overlooked is...

1. Youth could be students - i.e University/Part time - If you think their part time wages could be subsided by maintenance loans and scholarships from University / the local council.

2. Elder players can be students - It's uncommon but, I didn't go to Uni until I was 25.

3. Foreign youth could just be foreign students - I think this is a particular reason as to why Aberystwyth in Wales has a very high foreign recruitment count for their football team? The majority of their imports are via the University.

4. Part time contracts can usually be supplemented via odd jobs - its unrealistic now because, given the climate we're in, not many will move due to the lack of jobs going. But FM isn't going to simulate an economic model.

5. We're ignoring the fact that youth/foreigners could have family member within the country that they could stay with - Albeit it's probably rare that they'll be in the exact location of your club but eh...

Ok I'm rambling now but basically the main point is, student! :D

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I am in the Skrill Premiership, as I said I could have offered up to 600 a week for him but he did not want to talk unless it was a full time contract and not a part time contract, a shame really as if/when I get promotion he would have gotten a full time contract from me, looked a good player.

This is just an example as I have tried to sign a few players from Scotland but always with the same answer, they don't want to move country for a part time contract.

Oh and I only try to sign young players in my saves so all the players were between 16-21, also all could in time play at a higher level, providing they are getting football now and improving instead of not playing any football because they don't want to leave Mum and Dad :p

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In british-football-obsessed Scandinavia it would be a ton of players who would gladly hop on a chance to play in the conference. Part time as well. The adventure would be enough.

I have big problems getting players on loan in my Hampton and Richmond save. Some of it is non-logical. I can understand that the board refuses me to sign more free agents because of the wage cap, but I cant understand why clubs don't even consider loaning a player to me, short-term. It must be much better for a player to go on loan and play some first team football.

H&R is in London, and there should be plenty of London based team wanting to give their players some first team football on loan.

Look at this real life example: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/lipman-joins-boreham-wood-fc-on-loan.

That should be reflected in the game. And before anyone coming in and saying I want it easy, no I don't, but I want a clear logic and be able to work within the possibilities the system gives.

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Wrong sport, but same issue. I played village league cricket with a kiwi who had come here just hoping to make it to the pro game who was getting paid to play back in New Zealand. Our club chairman even gave him a 'job' so he would play for us for a season and was one of the top earners at their small firm....no working, just for playing cricket.

:D It wasn't funny even playing with him, he must have been bored, come the end he'd bowl and bat left handed and still smash everything. The pro's didn't work out, he married a fox and is now coaching at local top public school.

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I was doing my work in Greece when i met a guy who offered to find some clubs for me in England/Scotland.

He managed to find some clubs that were interested in giving me a shot.

12 clubs in total wanted to give me a trial, including York City, Doncaster, Exeter.

I was a guy with no money and was given no promises. I come from Norway. Working in Greece. Going straight to England, after my contract's up, to give it a shot.

I moved to England. Giving it all, with no money and knowing nothing. I had a weeks trial at a club but i also had to work in order to be able to live.

I failed the trial and i could've gone to any of those other clubs and continue trying. In retrospect that's probably what i should've done.

But i figured then that i wouldn't be able to live anywhere if i was all over the UK to those clubs.

The bottom line is. I went from Greece (actually Cyprus when that time came) directly to England to give it a shot.

Would players move for the lowest division in a different country if offered a contract? Absolutely!

And most likely i would've been playing with a non-contract deal. Probably a pay-per-play deal.

You'd be amazed what people can give up in order to pursue their dreams and how low their demands can get in order to get it.

If a club from a different country offered me to play, even for a very low wage, i'd probably do it. Even today. Wouldn't be a wise choice for that club though, but that would be their problem :D

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Crikey tigerhgrrrrrr, don't suggest to SI to make lower league management any harder than it is! :)

In all seriousness though, recruiting foreign talent is a lot harder in FM14 than it's ever been. Long gone are the days of popping over to Reunion or Curacao and filling your team with the likes of Guichard, Martha and Caro and Roberts. I see what you mean about the unrealisticness of the whole thing but I feel there's a nice balance this year regarding who will join a conference side.

This year I'm trying to just bring in players from the UK. It's a lot tougher but I'm having a really satisfying save as a result.

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I think before you can restrict foreign players moving for football you need to put in the game foreign players moving for non football reasons. Otherwise every lower league club is going to end up 100% of their own nationality which isn't realistic either.

I also think some people are underestimating just how badly some guys want to break into their chosen sport. A guy I went to school with moved from Melbourne to Perth to try to make it in cricket since he had a better chance of making the Western Australian team than the Victorian team. That's further than someone moving from Russia to try to get a gig with an English football team! I don't find at least some players being willing to move great distances for small amounts of money unrealistic at all. Some people really want to make a go of sport as a career and will make sacrifices that to an outsider seem insane to make it happen.

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Crikey tigerhgrrrrrr, don't suggest to SI to make lower league management any harder than it is! :)

In all seriousness though, recruiting foreign talent is a lot harder in FM14 than it's ever been. Long gone are the days of popping over to Reunion or Curacao and filling your team with the likes of Guichard, Martha and Caro and Roberts. I see what you mean about the unrealisticness of the whole thing but I feel there's a nice balance this year regarding who will join a conference side.

This year I'm trying to just bring in players from the UK. It's a lot tougher but I'm having a really satisfying save as a result.

LOL No I don't want it harder, loved the league of nations squads I used to recruit, however when I got my Dorchester team promoted to L2 in FM12 I found the player restrictions for the football league rendered my squad unselectable (of course in FMC that would not happen) - real life rules spoiling a good game, and this in essence is my conclusion, as a game I want a worldwide selection but when the "S" word (simulation) is applied then the restrictions on foreigners being recruited makes sense.

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