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Pompey1978

The affect of catchment area on a club's potential growth

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Something that I've often wondered is whether, in FM, a small club from a small town can grow from humble origins to become a big club, with a 30/40/50,000 seater stadium selling out every week.

Say you took a club from a small rural town at Skrill N/S level up to the Premier League. In real life, that club possibly only has a catchment area population of a few thousand, even if you include the surrounding countryside, so you wouldn't necessarily find that the attendances would grow by sufficient volume to justify building a new super-stadium.

But does FM include that when "growing" a club's support? Is there a calculation based on local population? Or can a club grow bigger than it probably would, should that club have a real-life journey up the divisions?

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It was back on FM12, but I had a 134000 capacity stadium with a club based in a village in Northern Ireland with a population of around 3000.

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Well I'm currently playing as Wick Academy in Scotland. The town is based in Caithness County, 16 miles from John O'Groates (Lands end). Wick has a population of around 7k, and the next nearest town is Thurso 20 miles away with 9k inhabitants. Caithness and Sutherland have a population of just under 40k together despite having a landmass of ~2,700 square miles. About as obscure as you can get!

I've got us up to the Championship from League 2 in 3 seasons. Attendances in season 1 was around 200, and we're now up to 300, so a 50% increase. Will let you know how much we can grow.

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I don't think it matters too much, as your catchment area gets larger as your club grows bigger. If you manage a club of Champions League level, you will get players in your academy from all over the world. Which kinda makes sense that the most talented kids in the world want to be with a club with great stature.

Also depends on your affiliate clubs and staff nationality. I'm playing in the Skrill Premier at the moment and just got a Nigerian through my academy and I think it's because I have a English/Nigerian coach at the club, and I have 2 Nigerians playing in the senior squad. The other 95% of my youth intake is English, but I'm assuming that will change as I move up in the leagues.

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Very interesting question. I'm sure it depends on the country and the next nearest league team. I'm sure if the nearest league team happens to be a Barcelona/Bayern Muinch etc then that will have a different effect to if the nearest league club is Accrington Stanley! Maybe if it was a small rural village in, for example, Lancashire then it would be lot harder as there's a lot of league clubs around there (ranging from Accrington Stanley and Morecombe up to Man U and Liverpool), but if it was a small village miles from any league club, then you would probably get a higher percentage of the local population following you once you get success. I've never tried it with a small village before, so I wouldn't know. Let me know how you get on!

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Some interesting answers. I've spent time on Wikipedia when deciding on a new club to manage for a Small Club to Big Club career, looking at not only the club itself but also the town/village, and surrounding areas. And then opening up Google Maps to see what other towns and cities are in the region, and therefore which clubs. But if FM doesn't take that into account, and will allow any club to grow in stature, then I'm wasting my time (although I do enjoy a bit of research!).

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I think it depends a lot on other clubs in the vicinity, as it does in real life. For example, on the south coast/south of London, there's only really Saints and Pompey (other than Bournemouth, and who cares about them really :p ) before you get to other league clubs such as Bristol in the west and London to the North East. So that's why you get a lot of people from the Isle of Wight supporting Pompey and a lot of people from Winchester supporting Saints, and the further you get towarda London, the more and more people support a London club. Of course, why anyone would want to supprt Pompey is beyone me :brock: (can you tell which of the 2 south coast teams I support yet? lol). But to get back to the point, it's all location, location, location! I usually choose minor teams in larger cities (previously have had saves as Union Berlin and Cisco Roma, and my current save is 1860 Munich) which, although there's a large population there, they pretty much all have eyes for the more successful cross town team.

Out of interest, which team are you managing in your current save? Assume you are doing a small team in the lower leagues? And as for google maps/wiki, I also kinda do this as I always have my own personal challenge of putting as many local players in as possible, so I'm also checking where villages are etc and praying the 5* regen I've got my eye on is a local boy!

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When it comes to Academy players isn't there a limit or zone from where club's can recruit up to U 16's in terms of travel distances with allowances for Club's such as Carlisle who would struggle with a 50 mile/1 hour limit?Big EPL Clubs can get round this with Foreign U16'S by recruiting and moving families into the area.

Whats the criteria with Youth set up grade in FM can a higher set up attract better player regardless of location?Torquay or Plymouth may get top class academies but could stilll struggle to attract the numbers that Wolves or Villa could due to population.Also Bury,Oldham and Rochdale would be affected by competition from nearby established EPL clubs

When it comes to the UK I think that FM has taken RL demographics and immigration into account. A lot of regen players in SE England will have dual nationality in common with the area.I get a lot of dual Romanian and Bulgarian or South Asian regens depending on who I am managing.

When it comes to attendances though some clubs will never get big increases regardless of success and if they do for a while they soon retract(Wigan).

How well can FM reflect this?

Can it predict depopulation as well as increases?

Will it take competition with Rugby/NFL into account?

Has anyone tracked MK Dons' attendances on FM too see what happens to them?They have the catchment area that could comfortably support a Championship level Club yet have well documented reasons why they haven't come close to filling it,but have built a Stadium in anticipation.

I understand that Winkleman believes that as Milton Keynes is a new Town that it will take a few generations for supporters to start establishing roots and start watching MK Dons instead of following their Granddad's and Dads clubs.

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Was something in the news around the time of Bale's transfer to Madrid about Southampton and the way they recruit from pretty much the whole of the south of England and even Wales. Said they've got academies, or something similar, in places such as Bath due to the fact that they're the largest club in that area by quite a bit.

Equally though, teams such as Crystal Palace almost solely recruit from Croydon and the surrounding boroughs with the majority of recent youth stars being very local to the stadium (Zaha, Moses, Clyne).

Of course whether or not that is coded into the game is another factor, albeit a tricky one.

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Just to clarify that when I'm talking about catchment areas, I'm talking about it in terms of where supporters and potential supporters live, rather than where they can recruit youngsters from. That's a whole other - albeit interesting - topic.

I was just musing about it really, as I'm about to start a new career in Conference N/S level, and wondered if I was artificially limiting my options by only looking at small clubs in areas with a large population.

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I read about this one guy who (I think it was FM11 or 12) had an icelandic team with some totally wicked number of supporters on his matches, like 130.000 each match. Considering that's like a third to a quarter of the islands population I'd say it doesnt take that into account (local population that is).

Best I've ever done is 65.000 with Coventry on FM12, which isn't too unrealistic considering it was year 2027 or something like that I got a new stadium.

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In the editor you can see that the stadium is located in a city, and that city has properties like the average population. Based on that I always asumed that the attendance was dependant on that matter

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I've gone from around 200 to selling out my 9829 capacity ground almost every match with Newcastle Town on FM11. Newcastle-under-Lyme does have a population of around 75,000 though and neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent has a population of around 250,000. In my game, Stoke City are now in Conference Premier, Port Vale in Conference North and I'm in the Championship.

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There doesnt have to be a massive local population to have a decent attendance and big revenues. Tv money, merchandise, etc all can become huge to help. But nothing is saying if a club becomes big, that it wouldnt get people from outside regions following and going to games. Also, houses could be built over time. In Qatar a whole town is being built for the world cup....

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Well I'm currently playing as Wick Academy in Scotland. The town is based in Caithness County, 16 miles from John O'Groates (Lands end). Wick has a population of around 7k, and the next nearest town is Thurso 20 miles away with 9k inhabitants. Caithness and Sutherland have a population of just under 40k together despite having a landmass of ~2,700 square miles. About as obscure as you can get!

I've got us up to the Championship from League 2 in 3 seasons. Attendances in season 1 was around 200, and we're now up to 300, so a 50% increase. Will let you know how much we can grow.

I'm second season in the Scottish Premiership with Wick, stadium has been improved to 8767 (6000 seated)

Home gates have risen to around 1000-1500 for league games, rising to around 2000 for Celtic and 'The Rangers' games.

Our current 'Home' record crowd is 10,153 for a Europa League qualifier against Marsailles, but that was at Pittodrie in Aberdeen.

Our genuine Home record at Harmsworth Park in Wick is 8,583 for a pre-season friendly against Man U, so not quite got that magic sellout yet.

Interesting to see how much we can grow, given our geographic isolation.

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Are you from Newcastle nobby mcdonald?

Yes, Newcastle Town are my home town team. I live a five minutes walk from their ground. I haven't been to a match for around five years though as I play golf to a decent level at club level, good enough to represent my club in the local league and being honest, I much prefer playing golf to watching football. I always look out for how Newcastle Town do though.

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I'm Yeovil on FM and I'm getting 45k at most games. Yeovil IRL has a population of 40k according to wiki. Not sure if there is pretty big clubs around who I could poach fans from though.

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