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Krald

Have I gone as far as I can? - Northern Ireland Premier

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Hi. My FM2015 save has been Annagh Utd, a team that plays in the Northern Ireland leagues, I'm at 2023 and try as I might I cannot get the club to grow attendance-wise. We've won a lot of domestic trophies, and we've even won the euro cup once, yet despite the growth in stature I just cannot get those attendances up. We're stuck at a little under 400 people going to each game domestically, with no real signs of growth, no amount of success has seen sizeable increases in attendance.

In every previous FM I have played, club size, and location size has never been more than a temporary barrier, it has always been a case that if you stuck to it, your club would grow, and you could even have Truro (City of 20,000 people) packing out stadia of 100,000 people given enough decades.

Yet am I forced to adhere to the fact this might be one I cannot possibly win? are there restrictions in place that quite simply stop me from making this little club and league huge in this version?

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Not limited but certainly takes a lot of time.

You are only in 2023 while your Euro Cup win means very little tbh. You would need to grow the league & the other clubs in it which could easily take 50+ years to get to a point where teams were regularly competing in Europe.

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Sorry, 400? For a Northern Ireland club? They would be legends irl.

1 Linfield Belfast FC 2.222

2 Cliftonville Belfast F&AC 1.408

3 Glentoran Belfast FC 1.338

4 Crusaders Belfast FC 1.246

5 Portadown FC 982

Surely people would go watch you play, at least in Europe?

Anyway, this might be hard to model into the game.

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Its a restriction of the game, the way its designed isn't the best for such dynamic growth. I've got an Ipswich save where I've won 3 back to back prem's and 2 CL's, ranked no.1 in Europe and no 3 on rep globally, yet my sponsor deals are £20m a year (vs 160m for UTD), and I struggle to sell out my 30k ground.....

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Its a restriction of the game, the way its designed isn't the best for such dynamic growth. I've got an Ipswich save where I've won 3 back to back prem's and 2 CL's, ranked no.1 in Europe and no 3 on rep globally, yet my sponsor deals are £20m a year (vs 160m for UTD), and I struggle to sell out my 30k ground.....

But again what year are you in?

Growth is slow, especially if you come from a town/city with a lower population.

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In every previous FM I have played, club size, and location size has never been more than a temporary barrier, it has always been a case that if you stuck to it, your club would grow, and you could even have Truro (City of 20,000 people) packing out stadia of 100,000 people given enough decades.

My experience is similar to yours, but shouldn't growth really be much slower and only to a certain extent in smaller nations than in big ones? It is certainly more realistic that the market can't just be expanded infinitely...

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Raise it as a bug which it clearly is in that the dynamics of support aren't sufficiently factored for this event. Given that many people take the challenge of a non-league / low league team through to the top league and success in Europe then its very clearly an important factor.

In real life where this happens attendances do increase. Take Bournemouth as an example. Continued success would expect a rise in attendances

I've no idea how difficult this is to model in FM but thats the challenge for them which i'm sure they have already / are already looking at

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Hi. My FM2015 save has been Annagh Utd, a team that plays in the Northern Ireland leagues, I'm at 2023 and try as I might I cannot get the club to grow attendance-wise. We've won a lot of domestic trophies, and we've even won the euro cup once, yet despite the growth in stature I just cannot get those attendances up. We're stuck at a little under 400 people going to each game domestically, with no real signs of growth, no amount of success has seen sizeable increases in attendance.

In every previous FM I have played, club size, and location size has never been more than a temporary barrier, it has always been a case that if you stuck to it, your club would grow, and you could even have Truro (City of 20,000 people) packing out stadia of 100,000 people given enough decades.

Yet am I forced to adhere to the fact this might be one I cannot possibly win? are there restrictions in place that quite simply stop me from making this little club and league huge in this version?

My advice to you would be to persevere with the save. The attendance growth will happen eventually but not so early in the career save. You really need to get to the later stages of the champions league or win it for the reputation of the club to really take off which is the reason why you have stagnating attendances. It never used to be like this but now in football manager you can never have club reputation higher than league reputation unless you win a major trophy. Therefore for all your domestic success in the grand scheme of things it's relatively meaningless outside N. Ireland.

Have you just won the Europa League? If you have then you are going to need to wait to see that boost to your reputation come through. Also check your ticket prices and season ticket prices, sometimes you won't get an attendance rise because each year the board keeps putting up the ticket price (supply and demand). Also what is the competition ranking of the Danske Bank Premier? Is it 2 stars? You really are going to have to make the top division at least 2.5 stars to start seeing some progress but that could take a good few years to achieve. Also check to see the attendances of your main competitors such as Linfield, Portadown, etc., have their attendances increased? Are any of them professional?. If so then it is likely that it is just the ticket prices going up annually which is holding down your attendances.

Finally bear in mind that Annagh United ground is very small (only 100 seats) so increasing prices may be the only way that they can capitalize on the success you're bringing. If you request an expansion they won't be able to justify it and they won't build a new ground either. Go as far as you can in the Champions League, that's your only hope of improving things.

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Raise it as a bug which it clearly is in that the dynamics of support aren't sufficiently factored for this event. Given that many people take the challenge of a non-league / low league team through to the top league and success in Europe then its very clearly an important factor.

In real life where this happens attendances do increase. Take Bournemouth as an example. Continued success would expect a rise in attendances

I've no idea how difficult this is to model in FM but thats the challenge for them which i'm sure they have already / are already looking at

You can't really compare a team like Bournemouth to Annagh United. Bournemouth being successful means promotion to one of the most reputable leagues in the world and all the money that brings where as N. Irish football is barely acknowledged outside of N. Ireland. If Bournemouth win the Premier League automatically they would gain worldwide recognition, Annagh United winning the Dankse Bank Premier wouldn't really register even on a continental level.

The best example I can give you to back up my point would be the story of Gretna in Scotland. They rose through the leagues (with financial backing) but their attendances even when in the SPL were terrible. If Portsmouth were to get promoted back to the Premier League they would quickly be able to sell out Fratton Park for every home game where as if Gretna were to return to the SPL they wouldn't have much chance of doing so. The baseline level for the two clubs is so vastly different that Portsmouth probably could sell thousands for games in the Conference South whereas I doubt Gretna are selling more than a few hundred (if that) in the lowland league.

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You over estimate Bournemouths reputation. Its certainly grown in reaching the Premiership. It doesn't matter whether the team is Bournemouth or Gretna, the point is that dynamics in FM are not able to reflect in game success when achieved consistently.

Krald is likely right this is as far as he can take them but not due to his FM management skills but to FM's inability to recognise sucess in a dynamic way. It has been improved but its not there yet. Anyway I agree the principle of what you say but I really doubt Bournemouth gain worldwide recognition for winning the premiership, they may gain some European recognition but it would need to be consistent

By the way Portsmouth are already near enough selling out their ground in league 2 matches:D

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You over estimate Bournemouths reputation. Its certainly grown in reaching the Premiership. It doesn't matter whether the team is Bournemouth or Gretna, the point is that dynamics in FM are not able to reflect in game success when achieved consistently.

Krald is likely right this is as far as he can take them but not due to his FM management skills but to FM's inability to recognise sucess in a dynamic way. It has been improved but its not there yet. Anyway I agree the principle of what you say but I really doubt Bournemouth gain worldwide recognition for winning the premiership, they may gain some European recognition but it would need to be consistent

By the way Portsmouth are already near enough selling out their ground in league 2 matches:D

Personally I think you are wrong.

If you achieve success over & above what is realistic then you are going outside of what the coding is designed for so of course its going to struggle. To win the EURO Cup with a Northern Irish club in 2023 is totally unrealistic and has been done by either an extreme amount of luck or by way of bending the rules.

When teams improve quickly there is always an element of catch up in other areas whether that be IRL or FM.

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Personally I think you are wrong.

If you achieve success over & above what is realistic then you are going outside of what the coding is designed for so of course its going to struggle. To win the EURO Cup with a Northern Irish club in 2023 is totally unrealistic and has been done by either an extreme amount of luck or by way of bending the rules.

When teams improve quickly there is always an element of catch up in other areas whether that be IRL or FM.

What should be coded in is "boom" periods. If you're successful and do the impossible by winning back to back Premiership titles with Accrington Stanley, the surge of popularity should rise. Like hipsters ;) However, it would be balanced by a severe drop in fans if that success is not sustained, where all the plastics and glory hunters go flocking for the next big thing. But a small core of that fanbase should become permanent fans year on year like it is now, and if that success is sustained for over say 6-10 years then the boom period simply ends as by that point an entire generation should be getting converted to what should be a massive club by then!

Course, there's so many factors to consider it probably isn't as simple as that.

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What should be coded in is "boom" periods. If you're successful and do the impossible by winning back to back Premiership titles with Accrington Stanley, the surge of popularity should rise. Like hipsters ;) However, it would be balanced by a severe drop in fans if that success is not sustained, where all the plastics and glory hunters go flocking for the next big thing. But a small core of that fanbase should become permanent fans year on year like it is now, and if that success is sustained for over say 6-10 years then the boom period simply ends as by that point an entire generation should be getting converted to what should be a massive club by then!

Course, there's so many factors to consider it probably isn't as simple as that.

You could also argue that a very quick boom period for a small club - which is a pretty valid play style in FM - would alienate some fans. Not as many as it'd bring to the club of course, but could still be a factor. I would even go as far to say that other clubs may experience a slight boost - ten years ago did anyone really hate Man City? Now that they've become successful (or more accurately, since they've become rich) you'll probably find a lot of football fans that dislike them. Same with Man Utd, or pretty much any big club that has had sustained success.

The generational idea is a good one though. I don't think the game goes into that detail, but take a person who is just getting into supporting a football team in the present day. 10 years old or something. They're coming into a World where Man City are super-rich, and building for the future. Chelsea are one of those things. Man Utd are stumbling a little, but still a force. Arsenal are frustrating, rich, and sometimes successful. This hypothetical child's generation - if they don't grow up supporting their local team - will probably grow up supporting one of the bigger clubs. Rewind by twenty years to the previous generation, and Man City and Chelsea will not be on that list. Fast forward twenty years, and who knows who will be. Maybe it's Accrington Stanley, like you say. I think fanbase changes should be gradual from year-to-year, but generational changes would see larger shifts.

As for the OP, thankfully I don't think there is any kind of limit on how far you can go with any team. It's just a matter of timelines. You can build an English lower league side into a World beater far, far quicker than most small nations. You've probably picked the nation with the longest timeline, but it'll certainly be possible.

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My experience is similar to yours, but shouldn't growth really be much slower and only to a certain extent in smaller nations than in big ones? It is certainly more realistic that the market can't just be expanded infinitely...

I agree that it shouldn't be expanded infinitely, but isn't the lack of interest based on not having good clubs instead of a general disinterest on football?

A meteoric rise for a NI club would probably mean that more people come to see their matches -- specially in CL.

There is a rating for interest in football in nations. Wonder how it works ingame :)

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It doesn't matter whether the team is Bournemouth or Gretna

Of course it matters. The "maximum reputation" that a club can possibly reach is obviously higher the bigger the nation they're playing in. If Gretna won the SPL 10 times and Bournemouth just qualified for Europe once, Bournemouth's rep would still be higher than Gretna's. That is certainly true IRL and should be in FM as well...

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isn't the lack of interest based on not having good clubs instead of a general disinterest on football?

Of course football is more or less "important" (to use the FM term) in different countries, but I maintain that the size of the country is a very important factor as well.

I don't think football as a sport is considered much less important in Northern Ireland than in England (correct me if I'm wrong, but I would imagine that many people in NI support the top EPL clubs anyway). But with only 1.8 million people in total (half a million in the Belfast metro area, under 100k in Derry), the population (and thus the economic foundation) just isn't there.

There's a reason why all the biggest leagues in Europe are also in the biggest countries.

Again, all of the above applies to real life. I'm not saying it works that way in FM - but I think it should...

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What is the attendance in European games?

His attendance is 400 on average. Linfield puts roughly 5.5 times that per game. If they win trophies outside NI, people would become more interested. At least that's how it should be in the game: the club/player/manager reputation should be boosted.

I understand the team not having enough population to put in 10000 constantly, but I'm interested in the matches against 'big euro' opponents.

Of course football is more or less "important" (to use the FM term) in different countries, but I maintain that the size of the country is a very important factor as well.

It already factors in FM, afaik.

There's a reason why all the biggest leagues in Europe are also in the biggest countries.

Ok, but in the game world, the shift of power to a lower rated nation should be possible. And it is -- check dafuge's games in NI. Just wonder if it takes too long.

If Gretna won the SPL 10 times and Bournemouth just qualified for Europe once, Bournemouth's rep would still be higher than Gretna's. That is certainly true IRL and should be in FM as well..

Certainly true is hard to say, we are all biased. But if Gretna won the Uefa Cup and was constantly in the mix in the CL, would you say that Bmouth > Gretna?

And this bothers me:

You are only in 2023 while your Euro Cup win means very little tbh.

:(

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And this bothers me:

:(

Thats my comment that you quoted and I don't think I was clear enough.

Obviously winning matches will increase your club rep but the OP will be limited by the rep of the league he is in.

Winning the EURO Cup with a team from a league thats expected to be in with a chance will get a good boost to club rep but winning it with a team from a league with a much lower rep won't provide the same boost.

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My advice to you would be to persevere with the save. The attendance growth will happen eventually but not so early in the career save. You really need to get to the later stages of the champions league or win it for the reputation of the club to really take off which is the reason why you have stagnating attendances. It never used to be like this but now in football manager you can never have club reputation higher than league reputation unless you win a major trophy. Therefore for all your domestic success in the grand scheme of things it's relatively meaningless outside N. Ireland.

Have you just won the Europa League? If you have then you are going to need to wait to see that boost to your reputation come through. Also check your ticket prices and season ticket prices, sometimes you won't get an attendance rise because each year the board keeps putting up the ticket price (supply and demand). Also what is the competition ranking of the Danske Bank Premier? Is it 2 stars? You really are going to have to make the top division at least 2.5 stars to start seeing some progress but that could take a good few years to achieve. Also check to see the attendances of your main competitors such as Linfield, Portadown, etc., have their attendances increased? Are any of them professional?. If so then it is likely that it is just the ticket prices going up annually which is holding down your attendances.

Finally bear in mind that Annagh United ground is very small (only 100 seats) so increasing prices may be the only way that they can capitalize on the success you're bringing. If you request an expansion they won't be able to justify it and they won't build a new ground either. Go as far as you can in the Champions League, that's your only hope of improving things.

Danske Bank Premier is up to 3.5 stars, and it is rated 38th in europe by reputation. Annagh are rated 32nd in europe by coefficient at present, which puts them four places beneath Roma, and ahead of Ajax. Linfield have got an average attendance of 3397 in the league, and Portadown (the other local club I understand) is at 1189 despite some poor performances.

The Euro Cup win as long enough ago I would have thought that I would have seen raises in attendance in the subsequent season, but I have not.

I was asked about the European attendances, they are a lot higher, in Europe the game makes me play at Winsor Park due to having too small a ground, we have packed it out a few times, that's 11862 attendance. Although we just played Bayern and we only got 4257 for that, so the average attendance including all european and domestic games has gone from 98 in my first season, up to 1000 in 2020/21, peaking at 1431 in 2021/22, and then dropping again (after the euro cup win) to 1063 in 2022/23. It was also only 1291 on 2022/23.

So while it's good we can pack it out for the "big games" I'm still puzzled why I get zero domestic growth, if Linfield and Portadown can pull in so many domestically, why can't my club start to edge up? I haven't seen any domestic attendance growth for years, and even factoring in Europe, it's going down more than up.

Have other people tried with such a small club/league in this version? I know dafuge had success in previous FM with NI teams, even I have, although not on his scale, but is there some mechanic holding me back in this iteration? I will keep trying, but it's difficult to motivate myself when growth is so slow, it makes me half tempted to go back to FM2013 in truth.

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Danske Bank Premier is up to 3.5 stars, and it is rated 38th in europe by reputation. Annagh are rated 32nd in europe by coefficient at present, which puts them four places beneath Roma, and ahead of Ajax. Linfield have got an average attendance of 3397 in the league, and Portadown (the other local club I understand) is at 1189 despite some poor performances.

The Euro Cup win as long enough ago I would have thought that I would have seen raises in attendance in the subsequent season, but I have not.

I was asked about the European attendances, they are a lot higher, in Europe the game makes me play at Winsor Park due to having too small a ground, we have packed it out a few times, that's 11862 attendance. Although we just played Bayern and we only got 4257 for that, so the average attendance including all european and domestic games has gone from 98 in my first season, up to 1000 in 2020/21, peaking at 1431 in 2021/22, and then dropping again (after the euro cup win) to 1063 in 2022/23. It was also only 1291 on 2022/23.

So while it's good we can pack it out for the "big games" I'm still puzzled why I get zero domestic growth, if Linfield and Portadown can pull in so many domestically, why can't my club start to edge up? I haven't seen any domestic attendance growth for years, and even factoring in Europe, it's going down more than up.

I suppose from reading the thread, I am drawing closer to the impression that perhaps there is no hope for my save - I can't repeat this success every year and the achievements so far have not quite provided the growth I imagined I would get. However - have other people tried with such small a club/league in this version? I know dafuge had success in previous FM with NI teams, even I have, although not on his scale, but is there some mechanic holding me back in this iteration?

I had the same issue with falling attendances after winning the europa league but don't pay too much attention to this as it is deceptive. Your attendances are artificially inflated due to the european games. What are your ticket prices like? I feel this has a lot to do with this issue. As you start from such a low ticket price base the price has to first rise to be equivalent to the Danske Bank Premier then to rise to become one the most expensive in the league. Then it usually tops out and doesn't increase further...at that point you start to see increased domestic attendances.

After experiencing the same frustration you will get an improvement it just takes a long time.

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Personally I think you are wrong.

If you achieve success over & above what is realistic then you are going outside of what the coding is designed for so of course its going to struggle. To win the EURO Cup with a Northern Irish club in 2023 is totally unrealistic and has been done by either an extreme amount of luck or by way of bending the rules.

When teams improve quickly there is always an element of catch up in other areas whether that be IRL or FM.

LOL - Why is it unrealistic if its actually able to be done. The forum is full of stories like this. when you say catch up, if you read somewhere up the thread someone mentioned 50 years which is far to long

Plenty of clubs have come up to the premiership and done well and their attendance increased

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Thats my comment that you quoted and I don't think I was clear enough.

Obviously winning matches will increase your club rep but the OP will be limited by the rep of the league he is in.

Winning the EURO Cup with a team from a league thats expected to be in with a chance will get a good boost to club rep but winning it with a team from a league with a much lower rep won't provide the same boost.

Now we have a better argument - thats a good point

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LOL - Why is it unrealistic if its actually able to be done. The forum is full of stories like this.

Do I really need to spell it out?

Most of the stories where its done in a short space of time involve exploiting the game in some way.

when you say catch up, if you read somewhere up the thread someone mentioned 50 years which is far to long

Plenty of clubs have come up to the premiership and done well and their attendance increased

and that was me as well.

We aren't talking about a team in the likes of England, France, Spain, Germany or Italy that come up into an established league with a massive rep. We aren't even talking about a team coming up in a secondary nation like Portugal, Holland, Scotland etc.

Its a low ranked nation where most of the clubs aren't even professional. For the league to improve you need all the clubs and a few from the league below to gain enough money to turn professional before you even start to consider earning enough coefficient points to get several teams in Europe, they then need to have consistent success to build a bank balance, attract better quality/rep players and earn more sponsorship/prize money. Even if you overachieve consistently with a human managed club you still need another 10-15 AI managed clubs doing the same. That simply doesn't happen in a small space of time.

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Obviously winning matches will increase your club rep but the OP will be limited by the rep of the league he is in.

Winning the EURO Cup with a team from a league thats expected to be in with a chance will get a good boost to club rep but winning it with a team from a league with a much lower rep won't provide the same boost.

This limitation is bad though, don't you think?

It always appeared to me that this limit does not exist -- clubs reputation are not upper bounded by league rep.

A club with no business of winning the UEFA Cup should get a major boost to its rep, not the other way around it.

I don't know how it works in FM precisely, and I guess SI won't talk much about it.

Even if you overachieve consistently with a human managed club you still need another 10-15 AI managed clubs doing the same. That simply doesn't happen in a small space of time.

Indeed. Money talks and you need a few years of the other teams in the league playing in the CL. Plus, if you really want to improve the league, you can help by distributing some money around through transfers.

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Reputation increases aren't always predictable in real life. I'm thinking of Blackburn winning the Premier League and I don't think anyone in Europe took them seriously. Newcastle nearly won the league and I don't think that would have made much difference. It needs to be sustained success. If Aberdeen won the SPL this year, I honestly don't even think I'd know or remember a few weeks later. But if they won it 10 times, and qualified from a Champions League group etc then I'd start to pay attention to them.

The Europa league barely registers with me. I couldn't even tell you the English teams in it this year - I think it's Tottenham and Liverpool, and soon Arsenal but I'm not sure if Everton are there. I vaguely remember Hull being there but not sure what year. Millwall were in a cup final and they haven't had a boost to attendances or reputation.

Your problem is that, even with sustained success domestically, no one cares, not even people that live there, enough to increase your attendances. You'll need to make a mark on the wider European stage consistently.

No one is interested in watching you beat other NI sides. They are interested in watching you beat Bayern. The advice is to save money, focus on being a consistent presence in Europe, maybe build a new stadium and then as the NI reputation increases, you'll see an increase in people. I'd also try and improve other sides around you too. The better they do, the quicker your nation will improve.

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in the game world, the shift of power to a lower rated nation should be possible. And it is -- check dafuge's games in NI. Just wonder if it takes too long.

A valid point, and it's not that I think FM should be 100% like the real world - which it will never be anyway. But I do think that for a nation as small as NI to improve that much should take at least a generation or more.

if Gretna won the Uefa Cup and was constantly in the mix in the CL, would you say that Bmouth > Gretna?

Fair enough. But my point is that EPL > SPL by a large margin and always will be, so Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd > Celtic, Rangers. And realistically that won't ever change.

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I agree with Damian.

I've got a Dinamo Minsk save about 10 seasons in. Its taken me time but getting there. Gone from 3,000 to 15,000 attendance. Im a regular in ECC. And league is now 10th in reputation Europe.

So got 2 places for ECC and 3 for EC. Been lucky in that two teams been taken over for tycoons in the league. Both doing well in Europe.

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A valid point, and it's not that I think FM should be 100% like the real world - which it will never be anyway. But I do think that for a nation as small as NI to improve that much should take at least a generation or more.

Fair enough. But my point is that EPL > SPL by a large margin and always will be, so Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd > Celtic, Rangers. And realistically that won't ever change.

I think it took dafuge 50-70 yrs.

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What should be coded in is "boom" periods. If you're successful and do the impossible by winning back to back Premiership titles with Accrington Stanley, the surge of popularity should rise. Like hipsters ;) However, it would be balanced by a severe drop in fans if that success is not sustained, where all the plastics and glory hunters go flocking for the next big thing. But a small core of that fanbase should become permanent fans year on year like it is now, and if that success is sustained for over say 6-10 years then the boom period simply ends as by that point an entire generation should be getting converted to what should be a massive club by then!

Course, there's so many factors to consider it probably isn't as simple as that.

This is a very good point, I agree with this

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A valid point, and it's not that I think FM should be 100% like the real world - which it will never be anyway. But I do think that for a nation as small as NI to improve that much should take at least a generation or more.

Fair enough. But my point is that EPL > SPL by a large margin and always will be, so Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd > Celtic, Rangers. And realistically that won't ever change.

There is the flaw in your statement. Has rangers fan base decreased following their enforced demotion? Chelsea only in recent times have been a big club, the same applies to man City. Once the foreign backers pull out they will slip away

There are many clubs in premiership time enjoying increased attendance, and there are some clubs at the top whose attendance is worse than clubs in league 2. However the OP's point was that achieving national success in winning league titles and enjoying European success should result in attendances peaking more than 400.

This is the element that is not realistic. Boom and Bust would be. The game just cannot cope with this dynamic at the moment

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There is the flaw in your statement. Has rangers fan base decreased following their enforced demotion?

Yes, it did. By their nature, being one of the big 2, there was a glory-hunting element who did do walking away. Then there was the years of mismanagement and dirge following it. So not sure where the flaw in the statement was. What part of saying that the EPL will always beat the Premiership was particularly controversial? It's absolutely 100% true.

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My point was that the glory hunting fans are dynamic . In this case they would have supported Annagh Utd and so increased their home attendances. The OP is saying there was no dynamic FM attendance increase as the clubs fame and fortunes increased. This IMHO is an issue in FM

You would not really expect to need a 50 year success period to achieve this.

Given one of the challenges of FM football has always been for an FM manager to take on a non-league or low league club and take them to the top of the national league and into Europe. Whilst the realities of this happening in a short space of time may be limited, likely because the human FM manager is better than the FM AI manager......should this be possible in real life then the attendance of the club would significantly increase, even if its, as you say, the glory hunter fans.

This is the element which i think is not allowed for in FM currently. I'm happy if you dont agree with this, but i just wanted to try to present this in a real world scenario. Its this FM attendance dynamic which is missing and I think the reason for why the OP posted.

It would be good for someone from the SI team who looks at this area to comment. I'm sure its very complex but if elements aren;t highlighted then they can never be improved / adjusted

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PS - I wonder if the annual attendances of Celtic may also have dropped as result of missing the 2 big home derbies plus also even the Celtic glory hunters would get bored watching an unchallenged side win their national title each year. No disrespect to the other clubs but a title normally contested by 2 teams, when one drops out of the league some of the challenge and excitement goes which is what most fans want to watch

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I think it's not that the game cannot cope with this dynamic it is that how do you program this simulation to generate something that doesn't have any real life analog. Adminstration has been programmed in as it has happened in reality so they can put this in. Such things that the OP and dafuge did have never happened IRL and never will happen especially now with the FFP rules that exacerbate the inequality in football and mean that unless you're a big club now you most likely won't ever be one (even with huge backing like what is happening at Monaco).

I think you are being slightly disingenuous when you state that Chelsea have only become a big club in recent times. In the recent past they were always near the top end of the league but the backing from Abramovich pushed them over to become consistent challengers. Fair enough with Man City.....

The problem with the 'glory hunter' point is that the base of support is so low where do the extra fans come from? In a city of ~20000 like Portadown where you have a bigger rival, how do you begin to attract new fans to the club? Especially given the much bigger leagues across the Irish sea. That's why I say you can't make the comparison with other leagues as even with Rangers demotion the lower limits of their fan base is still huge (probably bigger than that of all the teams in the entire N.Irish league system put together), the lower limits of a team like Annagh United fanbase can't be more than a few people.

To the OP original question -

Have you gone as far as you can with them?

No, it will just take a lot of time

Can you expect a rapid rise in domestic attendance quickly without working miracles in Europe?

No, the rest of the league needs to improve which again is going to take a long time

Should the time for a club to rise be changed?

Probably not...If it's too quick it distorts the game too much...even after winning the Champions League it still doesn't make the game at home to Ballinamallard United any more attractive for fans in reality. If it's too long then it becomes overly frustrating and players of the game attempting LLM saves will just get sick of waiting. The balance is about right as it is, especially since you can supercharge it by doing well in the champions League.

As a side note:

I seriously question whether dafuge could have had success in N. Ireland that quickly in FM15. For his FM12 save game he was signing talented foreign players whilst in the N. Irish 3rd division, that wouldn't be possible now. He also generated huge amounts of cash by player sales + a bug which gave him huge amounts of money for playing in the All-Ireland Cup. Once the snowball starts for the human manager the AI gets left behind and will never recover, getting to that point however is what takes the time, his save game in Wales is a testament to that (overturning TNS then trying to win the Champions League took many seasons). I don't doubt he could do it as he is persistent and puts the time in but success with his playing style in N. Ireland would take a lot longer in FM15.

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I do believe it does have a real life analogue, and I'm surprised how quick you are to dismiss it. Look back at clubs over the last 100 years and how their fortunes have waxed and waned, Wimbledon may be a good one to start with since they have been a non-league (Isthmian I think) for a very large part of their history. Whilst they never never won the top league they won the FA Cup beating the league champions of that year Liverpool. Not quite the same as the OP 's example but pretty close

Neither of us can predict the next 100 years buts being simulated based on the current FM evolution which include its frailties and inability to create a long term AI Manager that can match an FM human manager. The difference is real life can not progress at the speed an FM Manager can through a season.

My view, and I appreciate we differ, is that the game cannot cope with this dynamic and its something which has been highlighted in the past. How this is resolved is not of my concern. Thats a challenge for the SI guys subject to the importance of how they value a resolution.

I'm not going to get into a debate around real life football clubs, I've simply used them to example a point. As Portsmouth fan I should now all about boom, bust and club mis-management. I'm highlighting it to simply to show how the mighty can fall where clubs are either not self sustaining or can become frail when investment is pulled

Dafuge - You now have a Northern Ireland challenge :)

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I do believe it does have a real life analogue, and I'm surprised how quick you are to dismiss it. Look back at clubs over the last 100 years and how their fortunes have waxed and waned, Wimbledon may be a good one to start with since they have been a non-league (Isthmian I think) for a very large part of their history. Whilst they never never won the top league they won the FA Cup beating the league champions of that year Liverpool. Not quite the same as the OP 's example but pretty close

Neither of us can predict the next 100 years buts being simulated based on the current FM evolution which include its frailties and inability to create a long term AI Manager that can match an FM human manager. The difference is real life can not progress at the speed an FM Manager can through a season.

My view, and I appreciate we differ, is that the game cannot cope with this dynamic and its something which has been highlighted in the past. How this is resolved is not of my concern. Thats a challenge for the SI guys subject to the importance of how they value a resolution.

I'm not going to get into a debate around real life football clubs, I've simply used them to example a point. As Portsmouth fan I should now all about boom, bust and club mis-management. I'm highlighting it to simply to show how the mighty can fall where clubs are either not self sustaining or can become frail when investment is pulled

Dafuge - You now have a Northern Ireland challenge :)

I'm not dismissing you but I can't think of a similar rise to glory story which has happened in real life like that given by the OP so how can such a thing be modeled in-game. I don't think you can classify the Wimbledon story as close to Annagh United. The only real similarity between Wimbledon and the OP's Annagh United is that they came from a very low league to rise up through the divisions. Unfortunately that is where the similarity ends...Wimbledon was based in London with huge potential fanbase, Annagh is based in a town...Wimbledon played in the Premiership of England and benefited from that, the best Annagh can ever hope to play in is the Danske Bank Premier. They are literally worlds apart.

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Reputation increases aren't always predictable in real life. I'm thinking of Blackburn winning the Premier League and I don't think anyone in Europe took them seriously. Newcastle nearly won the league and I don't think that would have made much difference. It needs to be sustained success. If Aberdeen won the SPL this year, I honestly don't even think I'd know or remember a few weeks later. But if they won it 10 times, and qualified from a Champions League group etc then I'd start to pay attention to them.

The Europa league barely registers with me. I couldn't even tell you the English teams in it this year - I think it's Tottenham and Liverpool, and soon Arsenal but I'm not sure if Everton are there. I vaguely remember Hull being there but not sure what year. Millwall were in a cup final and they haven't had a boost to attendances or reputation.

Your problem is that, even with sustained success domestically, no one cares, not even people that live there, enough to increase your attendances. You'll need to make a mark on the wider European stage consistently.

No one is interested in watching you beat other NI sides. They are interested in watching you beat Bayern. The advice is to save money, focus on being a consistent presence in Europe, maybe build a new stadium and then as the NI reputation increases, you'll see an increase in people. I'd also try and improve other sides around you too. The better they do, the quicker your nation will improve.

This sums it up nicely for me. I couldn't tell you who won the Europa League last year.

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Can you expect a rapid rise in domestic attendance quickly without working miracles in Europe?

No, the rest of the league needs to improve which again is going to take a long time

But.. it *has* improved, the league itself has gone from 0.5 stars to 3.5 stars, that alone should be converting into more than 400 attendance from the top team.

Should the time for a club to rise be changed?

Probably not...If it's too quick it distorts the game too much...even after winning the Champions League it still doesn't make the game at home to Ballinamallard United any more attractive for fans in reality. If it's too long then it becomes overly frustrating and players of the game attempting LLM saves will just get sick of waiting. The balance is about right as it is, especially since you can supercharge it by doing well in the champions League.

As a side note:

I seriously question whether dafuge could have had success in N. Ireland that quickly in FM15. For his FM12 save game he was signing talented foreign players whilst in the N. Irish 3rd division, that wouldn't be possible now. He also generated huge amounts of cash by player sales + a bug which gave him huge amounts of money for playing in the All-Ireland Cup. Once the snowball starts for the human manager the AI gets left behind and will never recover, getting to that point however is what takes the time, his save game in Wales is a testament to that (overturning TNS then trying to win the Champions League took many seasons). I don't doubt he could do it as he is persistent and puts the time in but success with his playing style in N. Ireland would take a lot longer in FM15.

That's the thing really, I mean in old versions, FM2012 and 2013, I found that when I raised the reputation of the club and the league, attendances rose not just linearly, but quicker than that. To take the english league example, when they go up loagues it would be very likely that a club could go from 100 attendance up to 10,000 a game just by reaching the premier league in consecutive seasons. So I'm led to believe something has changed to how these attendances scale with reputation.

I had a similar game in FM2013 for example, except I used wales instead, in that game, I had similar attendance scaling or lackthereof for a while, but by 2024 in that game I had a meteoric rize in attendance from 253 to 2300, and I didnt even win a european trophy in that game. In fact it took me until 2031 for my first trophy in that game in europe, and by then I was up to 5.7k average attendance. Then there was a massive leap after first CL - and that was at 7k, over a few seasons raising to 13k. Okay, it took time, and the 13k was 2043/44, so I wouldnt despair in my current game, however - I'm seeing zero growth, not any. I should be seeing more than I am, that's what frustrates me. It's like if you took a conference club who had 100 average attendance, and took them up to the championship - wouldnt you expect better domestic attendance than 400?

I'm not dismissing you but I can't think of a similar rise to glory story which has happened in real life like that given by the OP so how can such a thing be modeled in-game. I don't think you can classify the Wimbledon story as close to Annagh United. The only real similarity between Wimbledon and the OP's Annagh United is that they came from a very low league to rise up through the divisions. Unfortunately that is where the similarity ends...Wimbledon was based in London with huge potential fanbase, Annagh is based in a town...Wimbledon played in the Premiership of England and benefited from that, the best Annagh can ever hope to play in is the Danske Bank Premier. They are literally worlds apart.

I get that it's a smaller town - but what i have always enjoyed in FM games in the past is that this didn't seem a complete obstacle, but in this particular instance, I just find it strange, the other team in the same town or region, Portadown have enjoyed an increase from average attendance of 700 to 1200 despite underperforming in the league. It feels like there's a bug pretty much - yet I'm hesitant to treat something like this like a bug.

I was also asked about ticket price, mine at present is at £16, the lowest team in the league has £22 average, and Linfield, the most attended has £13. I dont know what the base was before I started.

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However the OP's point was that achieving national success in winning league titles and enjoying European success should result in attendances peaking more than 400.

And my point, which I will repeat yet again for your benefit, is that no matter how a successful a Northern Irish club becomes (IRL), it willl never ever reach the same stature in terms of attendances, finances etc. as a top English, German, or Spanish club. Because the market just isn't there.

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But.. it *has* improved, the league itself has gone from 0.5 stars to 3.5 stars, that alone should be converting into more than 400 attendance from the top team.

Lets be honest here, it doesn't go from 0.5* full of semi pro teams to a 3.5* league in eight years without some help.

Looking at it a bit more closely it probably didn't start at 0.5*, it seems to be around 1.5* with Linfield the only professional team. To compare 3.5* you are talking about a second tier league like Portugal, Russia or Holland just behind the five big leagues in Europe.

You can't cry foul when you are not being clear about whats happened in those eight seasons.

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Lets be honest here, it doesn't go from 0.5* full of semi pro teams to a 3.5* league in eight years without some help.

Looking at it a bit more closely it probably didn't start at 0.5*, it seems to be around 1.5* with Linfield the only professional team. To compare 3.5* you are talking about a second tier league like Portugal, Russia or Holland just behind the five big leagues in Europe.

You can't cry foul when you are not being clear about whats happened in those eight seasons.

So you're basically accusing him of cheating?

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So you're basically accusing him of cheating?

Well something has happened but it doesn't mean its that blatent.

We can look at the save setup for a start which may accelerate the growth as we know playable leagues do better in the long run.

He may have done some editing to help the league on its way which is fine but if thats the case he needs to be open about it else it gives a false impression.

He could be using tactics that exploit the ME and lead to huge overachievement but that wouldn't explain the improvement in the other AI teams that would be needed to increase the league rep.

Basically X+Y doesn't = Z at the moment, something is missing and before anyone can start discussing the attendance the gaps need filling in.

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But.. it *has* improved, the league itself has gone from 0.5 stars to 3.5 stars, that alone should be converting into more than 400 attendance from the top team.

Not necessarily over such a short period of time.

That's the thing really, I mean in old versions, FM2012 and 2013, I found that when I raised the reputation of the club and the league, attendances rose not just linearly, but quicker than that. To take the english league example, when they go up loagues it would be very likely that a club could go from 100 attendance up to 10,000 a game just by reaching the premier league in consecutive seasons. So I'm led to believe something has changed to how these attendances scale with reputation. I had a similar game in FM2013 for example, except I used wales instead, in that game, I had similar attendance scaling or lackthereof for a while, but by 2024 in that game I had a meteoric rize in attendance from 253 to 2300, and I didnt even win a european trophy in that game. In fact it took me until 2031 for my first trophy in that game in europe, and by then I was up to 5.7k average attendance. Then there was a massive leap after first CL - and that was at 7k, over a few seasons raising to 13k. Okay, it took time, and the 13k was 2043/44, so I wouldnt despair in my current game, however - I'm seeing zero growth, not any. I should be seeing more than I am, that's what frustrates me. It's like if you took a conference club who had 100 average attendance, and took them up to the championship - wouldnt you expect better domestic attendance than 400?

I think you have to forget about what used to be with previous versions of the game. A number of things have changed in that time which alter LLM careers in FM15. You won't get those sort of rises anymore in this game initially, you will have to be more patient.

I get that it's a smaller town - but what i have always enjoyed in FM games in the past is that this didn't seem a complete obstacle, but in this particular instance, I just find it strange, the other team in the same town or region, Portadown have enjoyed an increase from average attendance of 700 to 1200 despite underperforming in the league. It feels like there's a bug pretty much - yet I'm hesitant to treat something like this like a bug.

I was also asked about ticket price, mine at present is at £16, the lowest team in the league has £22 average, and Linfield, the most attended has £13. I dont know what the base was before I started.

I looked up the starting average ticket price for Annagh United and it is £5. So your ticket prices have more than trebled over your save game which could explain why your attendances haven't risen. That is a huge increase, can you imagine what would happen if a team like Arsenal say trebled their ticket prices over such a small period of time...to say the attendances would suffer would be an understatement.

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Well, I also went up a couple of leagues too - higher prices would be expected.

Anyhow, you say I forget about some changes to LLM, well, I suppose that's what the question of my entire subject was - what has changed? I also fail to understand why change things such, because taking 40 years to get to 14,000 attendance on my FM2013 save (despite a few champions league wins and always in contention) is not exactly a rapid rise.

Anyway, what has changed to alter LLM?

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Well, I also went up a couple of leagues too - higher prices would be expected.

True, but you have to see that there is a link between ticket price and attendance. If you think about it the dynamic actually makes sense. If they held the ticket prices steady the attendances would rise but you would soon run out of space to cater for the new supporters as the ground is so small. Seeing as the cost to expand the stadium is really high to justify any expansion the potential benefit has to match up with the initial cost. Therefore the far cheaper and logical thing to do is to raise ticket prices until you reach a point where an expansion can be justified.

I'd be interested to know if there is a preset figure for ticket prices to reach before a team will consider an expansion / new stadium and what this figure is based on as I feel that it would have to be vastly different for different countries.

Anyhow, you say I forget about some changes to LLM, well, I suppose that's what the question of my entire subject was - what has changed? I also fail to understand why change things such, because taking 40 years to get to 14,000 attendance on my FM2013 save (despite a few champions league wins and always in contention) is not exactly a rapid rise.

Anyway, what has changed to alter LLM?

Truth be told not that much has changed except that club reputation can never be more than league reputation unless you do well in Europe. This kind of caps the increases you can get since as you state attendances are correlated with reputation. So if you do poorly in Europe, you are unlikely to get a great boost to attendances by doing well domestically.

I don't feel you are being patient enough, you say it took you 40 years to get to 14000 attendance, if that's the case then why do you expect that a club which has come from a lower position to improve more in 8 years than the other club did in 40? When ticket prices stop rising you will see your increase, it is just going to take time but when it does it will happen rapidly.

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I'm not really sure how much I can add to the discussion, but not many people have given examples of their own smaller league growths in FM15 since we seem to think it's different to the likes of FM12. In my current save, I'm playing in Belarus with Volna Pinsk. The top division seems to be about the level that the OP has grown the N. Irish league into. 3 and a half stars and has dropped to 30th in the European League Rankings in my save. Volna started in the second tier and 900 was seen as a good attendance in my first season. Finished mid table and attendances grew to about 1,000 on a good day in the following season when we got promoted. Suddenly, in the top division, I'm filling my 3,000 seater stadium and the board would expand the stadium if the finances weren't in ruins. I've got nowhere near the level of success in less than 3 years than the OP has in 8, but I've got more than tripled attendances. The big thing to me seems to be the population. Annagh has 20,000. Pinsk has 130,000. Attendances of 400 and 3,000 respectively are both about 2% of the population of the towns/cities. Both teams are in the most successful periods of their history (Volna have never played in the Highest League IRL) and both are attracting roughly the sam percentage of their hometown's population. So it seems about right to me.

If I can get an expanded stadium and start matching the success of BATE, then I'll come back with the attendance figures and see how the development works in a smaller league with a larger population for comparison. If anyone else has done saves in smaller leagues, it'd be interested to see how they match up.

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I'm managing in Gibraltar, and have recently reached 2034. I've just moved into a new stadium (9950 all seater) and St Josephs also have their own stadium (~9400 all seater). The rest of the clubs (18 of them) share the Victoria Stadium (5000, of which 200 are seated). I haven't filled it yet, but getting attendances of around 5000-6000 for fairly big games. European games come close to selling out. In previous saves in Gibraltar, I've managed to sell out my 10k stadium fairly regularly, and end up getting it expanded to around 13k, which usually gets filled too on a long enough timescale.

This is in a country with a population of 30,001 as of the 2012 census. If ourselves, St Josephs and one other team played at home one day, and we filled our stadiums, all but 5000 of Gibraltar's residents would be at a stadium. A bit different to 400 filing in to watch Annagh.

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I'm managing in Gibraltar, and have recently reached 2034. I've just moved into a new stadium (9950 all seater) and St Josephs also have their own stadium (~9400 all seater). The rest of the clubs (18 of them) share the Victoria Stadium (5000, of which 200 are seated). I haven't filled it yet, but getting attendances of around 5000-6000 for fairly big games. European games come close to selling out. In previous saves in Gibraltar, I've managed to sell out my 10k stadium fairly regularly, and end up getting it expanded to around 13k, which usually gets filled too on a long enough timescale.

This is in a country with a population of 30,001 as of the 2012 census. If ourselves, St Josephs and one other team played at home one day, and we filled our stadiums, all but 5000 of Gibraltar's residents would be at a stadium. A bit different to 400 filing in to watch Annagh.

This leads me to another thought.. Maybe there should be something coded into the game about how easy/hard it is to get a permission to build a new stadium? I'm guessing the Gibraltar government probably wouldn't allow two clubs to build a brand new stadium each (especially when they're already building the Europa Point stadium sometime, but that one might not be in the game?) due to the fact that there's not to much space to find on the peninsula.

It's not like every club would get into trouble when they're trying to build a new stadium, with the local authorities hindering all the time, but in some cities, in some towns, in some places, there may just not be adequate space for a brand new stadium (especially when you're talking bigger than the 8-10k capacity stadia you've got here).

Maybe just factor it in somehow?

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This leads me to another thought.. Maybe there should be something coded into the game about how easy/hard it is to get a permission to build a new stadium? I'm guessing the Gibraltar government probably wouldn't allow two clubs to build a brand new stadium each (especially when they're already building the Europa Point stadium sometime, but that one might not be in the game?) due to the fact that there's not to much space to find on the peninsula.

It's not like every club would get into trouble when they're trying to build a new stadium, with the local authorities hindering all the time, but in some cities, in some towns, in some places, there may just not be adequate space for a brand new stadium (especially when you're talking bigger than the 8-10k capacity stadia you've got here).

Maybe just factor it in somehow?

I can say that on FM14 it was very difficult to get a new stadium approved, mostly down to planning permission being refused. So there's definitely something in there, although it seems to have disappeared in FM15.

Europa Point is in the game, set to be completed in 2016.

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I'm managing in Gibraltar, and have recently reached 2034. I've just moved into a new stadium (9950 all seater) and St Josephs also have their own stadium (~9400 all seater). The rest of the clubs (18 of them) share the Victoria Stadium (5000, of which 200 are seated). I haven't filled it yet, but getting attendances of around 5000-6000 for fairly big games. European games come close to selling out. In previous saves in Gibraltar, I've managed to sell out my 10k stadium fairly regularly, and end up getting it expanded to around 13k, which usually gets filled too on a long enough timescale.

This is in a country with a population of 30,001 as of the 2012 census. If ourselves, St Josephs and one other team played at home one day, and we filled our stadiums, all but 5000 of Gibraltar's residents would be at a stadium. A bit different to 400 filing in to watch Annagh.

And I would claim that this is completely unrealistic. So far the biggest crowd for a Red Imps CL game was less than 2,000. I don't know the average attendances for GIB league matches but surely they are much lower. There is just no way they would ever increase by that much, not even in 20 years.

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