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The English Switcheroo experiment

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The Great English Switcheroo experiment is one I've done over a number of previous FMs for a number of reasons. Not only is it satisfying to see the demise of Manchester United (a dream I'm sure I share with many a FM gamer), or to see teams like Solihull Moors dominate the Premier League, but fundamentally, it is interesting to see how the AI of every FM version varies when we screw it up a little.

The rules are simple:

- Switch the Premiership and Championship with the Vanarama Conference North/South

- Switch League One and the Vanarama Conference.

Reputations stay the same, money stays the same. Just new teams in different leagues than usual.

The reason for this is to test:

- The game's dynamic league reputation (with the new lower quality teams in the Premiership, will the league suffer and lost European qualification places?)

- The spending AI (spending has usually been affected by club reputation and clubs spend loads of money on crap players)

- The change in club reputation (how long does it take the reputation of a team constantly in the Premiership for a number of years to go up?)

Throughout the years I have been doing this, the trend has tended to remain the same - some trends more bizarre than others.

- Even though every new Premiership side now has a lot of money, they never know how to spend it, get in a flap and end up buying some average players from the Conference.

- Eventually, Man City and Chelsea end up getting back to the top again. Always.

- If a side gets relegated from the Premiership, they will freefall into oblivion (or the non-playable leagues if you will). Any side that gets relegated from their division for that matter, will freefall due to the quality beneath them.

- Macclesfield Town, despite usually remaining a mid-table side in the Conference, will become a English powerhouse.

- Some big players, like Rooney, will go abroad, yet most will stay at their clubs despite the league's reputation (which is why they always go straight back up).

So, onto this year. I have a couple of predictions, feel free to post some of your own under here as well. Also, if there's anything you'd like to see, just let me know and I'll try and post some info about it.

- Man City and Chelsea will be back in the Premiership by the 2019/2020 season. This will give the new teams six seasons to get good.

- The team that finishes last in the new Premiership will be non-playable by the 2020/2021 season.

- Macclesfield will rise to dominance again and become huge.

- The first teams to be promoted to the Premiership from League One will dominate the Premier League for a couple of seasons until the big boys come back.

- After the first season, the next Champions League game to be won by an English side will be in the 2018/2019 season (probably by Macclesfield).

Premiership

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Championship

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League One

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League Two

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Conference

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Conference North

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Conference South

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The 2014/2015 post will be up this evening. In the meantime, feel free to predict away!

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Cool experiment, I will be interested to see how this pans out.

My prediction is that Whitehawk will become the most successful out of the current premier league teams by 2021/22.

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I won't be attempting anything like this, as I'm going to be on Ultimate Manager saves all the way through FM17, but this is a VERY interesting idea and I look forward to seeing what happens, very much so.

Thank you for posting, and best of luck to you in this endeavor!

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SEASON ONE - 2014/15

The first season tells us the teams which will be in the Premiership over the next few years. Anyone getting promoted is going up into a weaker division, so inevitably they will be powering their way to the top very soon.

Premiership - The Premiership was won by Chelmsford City. This season's Premiership consists of the bottom half of the Conference North/South when it comes to reputation, so it was literally out of the best of a bad bunch. Bit of a surprise to see Bishop's Stortford and Gosport doing so well considering they usually struggle in the normal games I have played so far. Chelmsford's team consists of the usual Conference North/South quality you'd expect - with no money spent. Even the attendances weren't as high as they would be in the Conference North/South, which is slightly odd.

On a sad note, we bid farewell to our three relegated comrades - lest we knew ye. Your fans are in for an awful next few years.

Saying that, the only transfer that cost anything substantial was Hyde's purchase of Carlisle striker Mark Beck. Wahey.

Championship - Ebbsfleet led the way here, along with Boreham Wood. With these sides being the stronger out of the Conference North/South bunch, I'm expecting them to make waves next season. These teams will be successful despite being millions of pounds poorer than the Premiership sides, mainly because of reputation. Club reputation factors a lot in all games it seems despite the Premiership sides being able to splash the cash (which they haven't)

League One - Barnet, Gateshead and Wrexham will be in the Championship next season. With two of those being ex-league sides, and both still having relatively good reputation, these will be the trendsetters before the big boys muscle their way up. Big shout out to Macclesfield, who have let me down by finishing 17th.

League Two - It was as usual for League Two, as no sides have been changed. Morecambe and Cheltenham are in for a bit of a shock next season.

Vanarama Conference - This is the most interesting league for me, as the limited number of promotion spots will create a bottleneck for decent teams getting promoted from the leagues below. Expect this league to be a mini Premiership in the coming years, with only two teams going up every year. So your big four will struggle to get up straight away.

Vanarama Conference North - The Manchester sides dominated here, with both Liverpool sides stuck for another season in the league. It'll start to get a bit easier going forward for these teams when the regional sides come up. Poor regional sides.

Vanarama Conference South Chelsea and Arsenal went up - Arsenal beating Tottenham in the playoff final. Tasty. Just to show you all the difference in transfer spend - here's the Conference South transfer page

Cups

FA Cup - Both teams had to play a significantly larger number of games to get to the final - Cardiff keeping up their tradition of swanning into FA Cup finals unexpectedly.

Capital One Cup - This was less of a thrilling encounter, Mansfield and Southend playing out the final in front of one man and his dog.

FA Trophy - The FA Trophy, however, was a bit interesting. Bristol City beat Man Utd on penalties in front of a near capacity Wembley crowd.

Paint Trophy - Expect some big name wins for this one in the season after next.

Europe

Champions League - Chelsea will be in the Champions League next year as they won, but they'll be the only English side winning anything.

Europa League - A lovely run for Everton to circumvent their misery at spending another season in the Conference South.

Next season, Chelsea, Chelmsford, Bishop's Stortford, Gosport and AFC Fylde will be playing in the Champions League. Cardiff, Whitehawk, Southend and Chorley will be in the Europa League. As it stands, England has retained all qualification spots.

Finances - The Premiership sides have the money, but it's all for show. Will be interesting to see if the top six's finances go down any time soon.

A bit of general analysis

- The first season panned out as you'd expect. The next few seasons will be interesting to see how the new Premiership forms and who will dominate. We currently have a team of Arsenals, teams that have the money and are in a fantastic league, but they won't spend any of it. Will the promoted teams start splashing the cash?

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By the way, if there's any screenshots of any thing you want to see, please let me know and I'll try my best to post something up.

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Aah, didn't click the screenshot & given you'd described it as "lovely win" i just assumed they'd lifted the cup

I apologise for that - I meant to put run! I've edited it now.

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SEASON TWO - 2015/2016

This season has completely thrown me off - the AI is very different to previous years and the Premiership teams are spending big money to bring relatively good players in. It's just made the whole experiment a lot less predictable.

Premiership - I did predict last year's Championship sides to challenge for the title this year and one of them did so, Ebbsfleet United are the new champions of England. Whitehawk did a lot of big spending this year to come in second place - they actually spent millions to bring in some pretty good players, as this transfer page shows. Interesting to see that the investment has been made by a lot of clubs for younger players, but it's refreshing to see considering in previous editions no one ever really spent anything.

Many stadiums are being upgraded to 12,500 seater stadiums, so for now the sides are playing in decent stadiums - and attendances are on the rise, which is great to see.

Championship - This league had a couple of surprises, sure the big teams went up, as expected, but the teams relegated from the Premiership held their own, Oxford City actually challenged Wrexham in the playoff final.

League One - As you'd expect really, here come the professionals!

League Two - Again, another great year for MK Dons and Bristol City - the sides relegated from League One struggled to cope with the league and two have again been relegated.

Conference - Arsenal and Chelsea romped it this year, they've retained most of their players, so that's why. Note the gulf in points between the top four sides. Morecambe and Cheltenham, as expected, fell again.

Conference North and Conference South - I've grouped these two together due to their similarities. I've called this level purgatory as some of the sides will eventually get promoted - those who struggle seem to be suffering with high wage bills and low revenue. A few teams are now in administration, which makes it interesting to see how they will change and whether they will suffer in the long term if they can't keep up with the high wage bills to compete. Big well done to Dorchester for surviving a season in the league of doom!

Cups

Community Shield - I figured the winner of this would be a given, but it thought it would be interesting for you to see the players Chelsea have retained despite the league they are in.

Capital One Cup - Interesting final between Bristol City and Portsmouth - Bristol City experiencing success two years in a row.

FA Cup Final - Liverpool and Spurs contested this one. Spurs yet again suffering cup woe.

FA Trophy Final - Hotly contested between Man City and West Ham - yet again see the quality of players in their sides, even in the second season.

Paint Trophy - This will most likely be won by Chelsea or Arsenal next season.

Europe

I didn't anticipate any side to win any games in Europe (from the Premiership anyway) - but some of them pleasantly surprised me.

Champions League - AFC Fylde; Bishop's Stortford; Chelmsford City; Chelsea; Chorley and Gosport Borough

Europa League - Southend United; Whitehawk and Cardiff City

Very surprised to see Chelmsford getting a draw against Sporting Lisbon and Fylde drawing against Dnipro. If they keep spending like they do, then I'm sure they'll be winning soon.

Next season, Ebbsfleet, Whitehawk, Barrow and Chelmsford will be in the Champions League, while Liverpool, Gosport, Bristol City and Gloucester will be in the Europa League - Gloucester for their fair play record.

General Analysis

The second season has set a good tone for this experiment. If sides continue on the spending trend they have now then they'll be able to compete with the big boys when they return to the Premiership. The AI has been amended for the better this year, sides are spending according to leagues and amount and they aren't blowing stupid amounts of money on awful players. The players they have bought are good youth prospects, which sets a good tone for the next few seasons.

The Premiership sides do have it easy now, but it'll be interesting to see how they cope when the League sides come up (by that I mean your Plymouths and Southends). Now they've spent well, will the League sides struggle? We'll have an early indication when Barnet and Wrexham come up next year.

The reputations are rising - even though all the most reputable clubs are in the Vanarama leagues (you wouldn't expect someone to forget about Man Utd or similar that easily!) - Ebbsfleet now rank with the same popularity as Bristol City. That's a huge spurt in reputation.

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This is awesome! Do you have the editor file handy? I'd love to play around with it!

Of course - I'll upload it to Dropbox and post the link

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Really cool experiment. Would be fun to try with other leagues aswell.

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This is awesome! Do you have the editor file handy? I'd love to play around with it!

The editor file can be downloaded here. Have fun!

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SEASON THREE - 2016/17

There were some big name signings in the Premiership this season, which changed the standard completely. The competition reputation is starting to have an effect now though - the Premiership is now the fourth best league in Europe.

Premiership - Chelmsford City regained the title again this season, propelled to the top by Romelu Lukaku. A cracking buy for Chelmsford - them and Whitehawk have spent very well, as have most of the teams as it goes - have a look at the top scorers on the summary page. The attendances have remained poor - hopefully this will increase when bigger teams come in. Most surprising to see Wrexham struggling, it demonstrates how much the AI has changed.

Championship - This league sums up how much the AI has changed. Here we have league sides who have gone straight into a league of a poorer standard compared to the last one and whereas they have done well, teams like Oxford City and Stalybridge have spent wisely to ensure they go back up into the Premiership. This shows that now clubs that aren't controlled by humans do spend their money wisely and invest in the team. This surely means that the game is a bit more competitive when it comes to any general game.

League One - Bristol City continue their ascendency, not long til they start challenging in the Premiership.

League Two - Here come the big boys! From now on, the top two will most likely always be former Premiership sides.

Vanarama Conference - It's evident that this league will become the new mini Premiership (in terms of quality anyway) as only two sides go up - note that Man Utd and Man City missed out this year.

Conference North - Morecambe suffer a third successive relegation. Poor them.

Conference South - Dorchester couldn't stay up for a second season - Kingstonian taking their place.

Cups

FA Cup - An interesting one here - AFC Fylde challenging Man City in the final!

Capital One Cup - Fylde won this one in the end!

Paint Trophy - Wycombe (my team! WAHEY!) won this one over Burton.

FA Trophy - This one was hotly contested - note that Hull have kept most of their players from the start - Jelavic and Hernandez are up front, along with N'Doye.

Community Shield - Liverpool narrowly beat Ebbsfleet - the gap is narrowing.

Europe

Even though the gulf in team quality is narrowing, the quality is getting worse and it's showing in Europe.

Champions League - Whitehawk, Barrow, Chelmsford City and Ebbsfleet United

Europa League - Gosport, Liverpool, Bristol City and Gloucester

Sure, there were a couple of wins here and there and some great draws, but the quality is getting weaker. Will the Premiership teams pick up the league reputation any time soon?

The reputation has already reduced the amount of qualification spaces. Next season, Chelmsford and AFC Fylde will be in the Champions League group stage, Whitehawk in the Playoffs, then Man City and Barnet in the Europa League, Hyde in the third qualifying round of the Europa League and St Albans in the first round thanks to its Fair Play record.

General Analysis

Another interesting season with a lot of good spending going on. The key season will be in three seasons time, when Chelsea and Arsenal reach the Premiership. Will they just dominate?

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Always enjoy these sorts of experiment, nice start. :thup:

An interesting thing I noticed is that the regional sides getting promoted to, and then staying up in the North and South Conferences just seems to be a matter of luck. Due to the north/south re-alignments after promotions and relegations, it ends up with four smaller sides in one league, and only two in the other.

Good to see Reading getting promoted pretty quickly.

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Always enjoy these sorts of experiment, nice start. :thup:

An interesting thing I noticed is that the regional sides getting promoted to, and then staying up in the North and South Conferences just seems to be a matter of luck. Due to the north/south re-alignments after promotions and relegations, it ends up with four smaller sides in one league, and only two in the other.

Good to see Reading getting promoted pretty quickly.

It is literally a mini league of the four regional sides in the Conference South - however the best side out of them isn't necessarily safe the next season. This will change as the seasons go on and I think there will be a good mix of league teams and regional teams in a few seasons time.

One interesting thing to note (and I'll be highlighting this in my next post this evening), is the fact that teams who have been relegated from the Conference North and South see a dramatic decrease in reputation. Blackpool, as I will show, were one of those teams relegated and then promoted into the playable leagues. Their reputation has gone down to local. However, the sides who have been in the Conference North and South for a number of years without being promoted or relegated have seen no change in reputation over the years.

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SEASON FOUR - 2017/18

This save continues to bring up surprises - there's drastic changes in reputation and time is starting to make a bit of a difference for some sides. Whereas the Premiership used to revert back to normal in previous versions of FM, I think we'll see a completely new Premiership in a few seasons time. It's hard to predict when everything will calm down (ie when sides don't completely dominate a league and it's a bit more normal)

Premiership - The Premiership is now starting to see consistent contenders for first place - and it's surprising that they've grown that quickly that a league team like Plymouth sits in mid table obscurity. Players like Danny Ings and Romelu Lukaku dominate the scoring charts, while up and coming players IRL like Adam Campbell of Newcastle United is scoring loads for Stalybridge, despite their awful position.

Chelmsford move into the inventively-named Chelmsford Stadium in a couple of weeks, with an attendance of 22,705. It'll be good to see if they fill it. Attendances are on the up - note Bishop's Stortford.

Championship - This league is not what I expected. Bristol City have had it easy over the last couple of seasons, they couldn't cut it this year. Nor could any of the League sides. I predicted that sides relegated from the Premiership would slip into the Regional Leagues very quickly, how wrong I was. Gloucester, Staines and Hayes and Yeading will be playing Premiership football next season, where teams like Burton, Bristol City, AFC Wimbledon and Tranmere will be battling against more League sides next season.

League One - It wasn't hard to predict who would be the top two sides this season. Macclesfield still tinkering with the relegation spots - shame on you Silkmen.

League Two - In a fashion not to dissimilar to Noah's Ark, the big teams came in two by two. Odd to see York bottom with Ferriby and Farnborough surviving.

Conference - The big surprise here was Reading - who are on the up and up. Man Utd finally got out of non-league at the expense of sides like Man City and Spurs. Note the dwindling attendances for Man Utd though - wonder how long this will go on for?

Conference North - Big shout out to Rushall this season - that season sucked. Blackpool narrowly survived the drop after being promoted back into the Conference North - check out the poor reputation though. Proves that if you become unplayable, you are screwed when it comes to reputation.

Conference South - More regional sides getting in on the action now. Well noted by DaneBramage - it's strange that four regional sides are coming up in the Conference South each year due to the North/South divide.

Morecambe and Chesterfield are up next season - how will they fare?

Cups

FA Cup - League One Chelsea beat Southampton in the final

Capital One Cup - Whitehawk winning the silverware here - note the absence of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle here.

Community Shield - Chelmsford beat Man City - are the tides turning?

FA Trophy - A close one between Watford and Man Utd.

Paint Trophy - Arsenal and Liverpool in this one.

Europe

The teams are getting better - just not the quality you'd expect of an English side yet though!

Champions League - Whitehawk, AFC Fylde andChelmsford

Europa League - Barnet, Hyde, Man City and St Albans

England's position in Europe is continuing to dwindle. Chelmsford and Hyde will be in the Champions League group stage, Fylde will be in the Champions League playoff. Chelsea and Barnet are in the Europa League group stage and Whitehawk in the Europa League third qual. round.

A bit of general analysis

Thought I'd highlight the reputations this time round. Everything is starting to change now we're in season four - so we will see if reputation has a large role when it comes to positions. Chelmsford are now up there as one of the best sides in England, it is obvious that a constant appearance in Europe is huge for reputation.

Man Utd are now a two and a half star side - despite their 53,000 season ticket holders. Getting relegated from the Conference North/South has a detrimental effect on reputation - Rotherham, Blackpool and Brentford are now smaller than the mighty Dulwich Hamlet.

England are in the World Cup at the moment - still using players which have frequented in non-league over the last four years. Only Jordan Henderson is playing in a top league at the moment after his move to Serie A.

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If anyone does want to see anything in particular - I save the previous season before I post the next one - so just post something on the thread and I'll post it up.

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If anyone does want to see anything in particular - I save the previous season before I post the next one - so just post something on the thread and I'll post it up.

Have there been many total shock managerial hires or dismissals? Did the Premier managers get the shaft the first season after the change (almost as if the loss in rep were their doing?) Or was it more stabilized and only held toward their performances in the situations they were in? I couldn't see someone on the level of a Mourinho or a Van Gaal staying in a place where Champions League football wasn't on the cards, either... But you don't need to make screenies or anything like that, just anything that actually stands out in your mind that you've noticed!

Thanks again for doing this, it has been incredibly entertaining!

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Have there been many total shock managerial hires or dismissals? Did the Premier managers get the shaft the first season after the change (almost as if the loss in rep were their doing?) Or was it more stabilized and only held toward their performances in the situations they were in? I couldn't see someone on the level of a Mourinho or a Van Gaal staying in a place where Champions League football wasn't on the cards, either... But you don't need to make screenies or anything like that, just anything that actually stands out in your mind that you've noticed!

Thanks again for doing this, it has been incredibly entertaining!

I will have a look at this season as there have been a few. Wenger quit Arsenal when they were in League Two and the Premiership managers are getting to be a better standard.

One thing is that you're getting managers like Paul Ince leaving Alfreton Town to go manage Norwich in the lower leagues, so managers are influenced by reputation, as you'd expect really.

I'll do a bit of digging and write up something on managerial movements tonight.

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Ok, so as of June 2018:

- Brendan Rodgers is manager of Arsenal after Wenger retired in 2017. Considering Arsenal have just won League One - it's obvious that reputation is important.

- Jose Mourinho is still in charge at Chelsea, as moody as ever.

- Jamie Carragher has taken charge at Liverpool. Raheem Sterling is still there.

- John Carver is still manager of Newcastle (who saw that one coming!??)

- Louis Van Gaal hasn't left Man Utd, while Man City is managed by..... Steve Cotterill....

- West Ham stalwart Steve Lomas is the manager of Spurs, while Micky Mellon is at West Ham.

- Sunderland have continued their tradition of spinning the managerial merry-go-round. Gus Poyet was replaced by Alan Devonshire, formerly of Braintree, then Kevin Blackwell and Lee Johnson.

-Everton has seen a change in managers, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and now Dougie Freedman boss of the Merseyside club.

In the Premiership:

- Premiership champions Chelmsford are managed by former Heybridge Swifts manager Marc Hawkes.

- Former Tranmere throw in specialist Dave Challinor (before Rory Delap became a thing) is still at AFC Fylde - as are most managers - teams such as Hyde, Barrow and Chorley haven't changed managers.

- Nigel Adkins is at Ebbsfleet, David Moyes at Gateshead and Tony Pulis has brought his baseball cap to Hemel Hempstead.

There's no huge surprises - club reputation is dominant here. League reputation seems to have little to no influence. I'll post these updates every few seasons if requested.

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SEASON FIVE - 2018/19

This is the final season of what I like to call the first phase - the phase where the Premiership teams need to get it together before lots of elite teams come up two by two.

Premiership - Surprisingly won by Whitehawk this season, with Chelmsford slipping to eighth. AFC Fylde have kept consistent and both the top two bought well and kept their players, as shown by the profile. Attendances are on the up as well, with reputation having a big factor in this. I'm noticing a trend - and I'm wondering if you all agree - but teams with chairmen that are reputed to be good spenders (such as Whitehawk, AFC Fylde and Hyde) are finding it much easier in these leagues because they're spending the money they're earning and spending it well.

Championship - Here they come!! Next season changes everything. The big teams will be absolutely fine in this division over the next few years, but look at the League sides struggling against the teams I'll dub as 'Championship regulars' - MK Dons couldn't even get in the top half.

League One - Liverpool and Newcastle are on the way up - check out Solihull!!

League Two - Man Utd and Reading follow suit. Wahey Wycombe!

Vanarama Conference - This mini Premiership sure is getting interesting. See the split between the quality of the sides here.

Vanarama Conference North - The Championship sides are coming up now. Note the Premiership sides still in the Conference North after five seasons.

Vanarama Conference South - We're safe to say this league is starting to resume some feel of normality.

Cups

FA Cup - Barnet just overcoming Hyde. Note the absence of the big sides again!

Capital One Cup - Hyde beating Chelmsford - again no big sides!

Community Shield - Such a close game!

FA Trophy - The season doesn't end in a one, so Spurs miss out here.

Paint Trophy - A close one between Liverpool and Reading.

Europe

Y'know what - the English sides are getting better. Chelsea even made a final.

Champions League - Chelmsford, Hyde

Europa League - Chelsea, Barnet, Whitehawk AFC Fylde

Next season, Whitehawk, AFC Fylde and Leamington will be in the Champions League - while Barnet, Hyde and Barrow will be in the Europa League.

A bit of analysis

It's looking better for English football. Now the big guns are back, will English football return to norm?

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Thought it was quite interesting to note that the league reputation is now worse than France's Ligue 1 - now it sits just above Portugal and Russia.

If I'm right, the league reputation takes the last five seasons into account - including European performance of clubs in that league - so the next few years should be really interesting.

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Ok, so as of June 2018:

- Brendan Rodgers is manager of Arsenal after Wenger retired in 2017. Considering Arsenal have just won League One - it's obvious that reputation is important.

- Jose Mourinho is still in charge at Chelsea, as moody as ever.

- Jamie Carragher has taken charge at Liverpool. Raheem Sterling is still there.

- John Carver is still manager of Newcastle (who saw that one coming!??)

- Louis Van Gaal hasn't left Man Utd, while Man City is managed by..... Steve Cotterill....

- West Ham stalwart Steve Lomas is the manager of Spurs, while Micky Mellon is at West Ham.

- Sunderland have continued their tradition of spinning the managerial merry-go-round. Gus Poyet was replaced by Alan Devonshire, formerly of Braintree, then Kevin Blackwell and Lee Johnson.

-Everton has seen a change in managers, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and now Dougie Freedman boss of the Merseyside club.

In the Premiership:

- Premiership champions Chelmsford are managed by former Heybridge Swifts manager Marc Hawkes.

- Former Tranmere throw in specialist Dave Challinor (before Rory Delap became a thing) is still at AFC Fylde - as are most managers - teams such as Hyde, Barrow and Chorley haven't changed managers.

- Nigel Adkins is at Ebbsfleet, David Moyes at Gateshead and Tony Pulis has brought his baseball cap to Hemel Hempstead.

There's no huge surprises - club reputation is dominant here. League reputation seems to have little to no influence. I'll post these updates every few seasons if requested.

Well, its up to you if you want to do reposts in the future... I am doing the "Ultimate Manager" challenge in this same sub-forum, and I just find it very interesting to look at what happens to different managers and star players in different saves as the years progress. Your "turning the world upside down" I figured would provide even more craziness than I see. :)

I definitely will be reading every post in your thread, but don't feel like you have to provide further updates like that if it isn't convenient for you! :) Thank you very much for taking the time to provide this summary on top of all the other stuff you are showing!

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SEASON SIX 2019/20

This is the first season with the big boys back in the Premiership - can the new Premiership sides challenge Chelsea and Arsenal for the title?

Premiership - Ultimately, no they couldn't. But they gave it a good go. We're now starting to see a group of teams from the new Premiership breaking off against others - AFC Fylde, Ebbsfleet, Whitehawk, Leamington, Bishop's Stortford, Chelmsford and Hyde make this group up. You can see this in the reputation list for English clubs. The attendances are up - but the Premiership is now worse than the Portuguese league and the Russian Premier Division.

Championship - Well - this is a surprise. Liverpool went up, which is great - but check out Newcastle!! Couldn't hack it in the playoffs and subjected to another season in the Championship. Hemel Hempstead and Boreham Wood yo-yoing back up.

League One - Reading are cooking on gas, bolstered by some quality players. They've bought well and it's paying dividends.

League Two - No surprises here - the two London clubs romping the league.

Conference - Man City finally break into the league after a six year absence.

Vanarama North - Leeds and Sunderland this time around.

Vanarama South - Two surprising sides going up. Check out the amount of Premiership teams still in the North/South stage six years on.

Cups

FA Cup - Chelsea beating Fylde

Capital One Cup - Barnet continuing on their cup run by beating Barrow

Community Shield - Barnet beating Whitehawk.

FA Trophy - Conf South Aston Villa beating Watford

Paint Trophy - Bristol Rovers beating Bury

Europe

English sides are starting to get somewhere in Europe, but with Europe dramatically affecting both club and league reputation, these sides better get improving fast.

Champions League - Whitehawk, AFC Fylde

Europa League - Barnet, Hyde, Leamington

Next season, the qualification spots have reduced further. Chelsea will be in the Champions League group stage, Arsenal in the Third Qual Round, with Hyde in the Europa League group stage and Barnet and Fylde in the Europa League Third Qual Round.

A bit of general analysis

Even though Chelsea and Arsenal did rank highly this year - I don't think it's the last we've seen from the others. With Newcastle struggling in the Championship, it isn't a given that it will just return to normal. It does seem that league reputation is affected by Europe and with the English sides getting better, I do anticipate this could be the last of the reputation decline.

I welcome your theories and thoughts on any of this - please feel free to share!

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SEASON SEVEN - 2020/21

This season has thrown a curveball - and I like it.

Premiership - I was not expecting this - now we have Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premiership, I was expecting them to dominate. Sure Arsenal won it, but AFC Fylde came above Chelsea and the less said about Liverpool the better. Chelmsford have upgraded their stadium and filling it too - that's great to see. That group I mentioned of new Premiership teams are still going strong - check out Plymouth!! Russia's leagues had a bad year and the Premiership is up one spot.

Championship - Looking great for Reading and Man Utd as part of a Gateshead sandwich. Man Utd needed the playoffs to go up. Doesn't look good for Newcastle and Bristol City, who suffer in mid table.

League One - Lincoln in a London sandwich - it's interesting to see how much the League clubs have come on in seven years. Sure the former Premiership teams are slowly making their way up, but some teams are competing with them and that's reassuring.

League Two - Southampton would've been second if they hadn't have entered administration.

Vanarama Conference - I don't know what's happening with this league - it's like the waiting room of the English pyramid, although those who have been waiting too long are suffering as a consequence.

Conference North - Tamworth and Nuneaton demonstrate how much the sides who have been in this league for a while have suffered.

Conference South - The gulf in quality between this league and its sister is ridiculous, Preston and Walsall relegated in that league, teams like Stourbridge relegated in this one.

Cups

FA Cup - All trophies tightly contested this year.

Capital One Cup - Fylde and Chelmsford battling this one

Community Shield - Back to the norm for this trophy

FA Trophy - Everton and Coventry - look at the squads!

Paint Trophy - An exciting final between Hednesford and Spurs.

Europe

The teams are getting more competitive - demonstrated by Fylde's 8-0 thrashing. There was even an English side in the Europa League final!

Champions League - Chelsea, Arsenal

Europa League - Hyde, AFC Fylde, Barnet

A bit of general analysis

It's apparent that the reputation algorithms are changing a bit quicker than they used to - either that or reputation isn't as important as it used to be when it comes to the position of an AI team. League reputation seems much more important for AI teams - which for me is much more realistic. Naturally good players will want to play for Champions League sides, which is why Chelmsford have Lukaku.

It's now going to be interesting to see how many big sides get back into the Premiership over the next few seasons. I'll judge the impact of this experiment when club reputation balances out so that clubs are ranked more or less the same as teams in the same league as them.

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Very interesting to see how the dynamics have changed this time around when compared this experiment previously. It is a testament to the SI team, having teams / players make better decision, even in such extreme circumstance.

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Sorry about the lack of posts - work has been manic lately.

I'll try and upload the save file as it is to dropbox so you can have a look.

Leonavich - it really is- the SI team, in my eyes, have really gone extra lengths to make things more realistic when it comes to AI. Obviously human impact on a game will result in a different outcome than if it was solely AI run, but it is great to see that, when it comes to AI, the SI team has put algorithms in place to ensure that it reflects how most people would envisage the situation in real life.

I actually have thought of another experiment based on a reddit post I saw the other week but I'm going to save it for FM16. Changing the youth prospect rating of all national teams to the maximum level and seeing whether playable leagues, reputation has an effect on this etc, or whether a Tongan wonderkid can change the face of world football.

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I actually played this save using Man Utd (I'm an Everton fan, but had just come off the back of a long term save with them + I wanted a nice easy rise). Naturally I flew up the leagues as champions each season.

May aim was to play for 20+ seasons to get a new stadium built to replace Old Trafford (some I don't even remembering seeing in FM), and of course named after myself. I played for about 23/24 seasons, but no new stadium - I resigned and took over the Everton job (in Championship), and after 1 season of playing as Everton I see a message - Man Utd to get new Stadium, The Ferguson Stadium!!! WTF?!?

Slightly confused why I didn't get the new stadium (named after myself), but hey ho.

If anyone is interested in any details of how teams have done, just let me know.

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I actually played this save using Man Utd (I'm an Everton fan, but had just come off the back of a long term save with them + I wanted a nice easy rise). Naturally I flew up the leagues as champions each season.

May aim was to play for 20+ seasons to get a new stadium built to replace Old Trafford (some I don't even remembering seeing in FM), and of course named after myself. I played for about 23/24 seasons, but no new stadium - I resigned and took over the Everton job (in Championship), and after 1 season of playing as Everton I see a message - Man Utd to get new Stadium, The Ferguson Stadium!!! WTF?!?

Slightly confused why I didn't get the new stadium (named after myself), but hey ho.

If anyone is interested in any details of how teams have done, just let me know.

Well I have absolutely no idea why they hadn't named it after you cough cough cars Ferguson was a legend cough cough :)

And how did barnet do?

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