Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
Jogo Bonito

FM16 - The Sky Bet Football League thread

Recommended Posts

Football%20League%20logo_zpse3drbkho.jpgFM16%20logo_zpsylbd62zj.pngSkyBetShield_zps2c7bf62b.jpg

Welcome to the FM16 thread for the Sky Bet Football League

Table of Contents





1. Introduction

2. Championship preview

3. League 1 preview

4. League 2 preview

5. Reserved

6. Reserved

As usual, opening credit goes to Plainlayzee who had the original idea to devote a thread to the Football League clubs. Following the threads made by him (FM13) and Hoarau (2014), it fell to me last year to try and continue their good work. And now here we are again, ready for FM16...

This is the place where I hope familiar faces and new visitors alike will come to enjoy the fun, tension and drama that you can only find in the Football League. There are 72 clubs to choose from, with 24 teams in each of the three leagues (Championship, League 1, and League 2). And you’re free to try as many of them as you like.

So, whether your desire takes you to promotion seekers at the top of the Championship, or to relegation battlers aiming to just stay in League 2, there are plenty of different types of challenge to keep you entertained. And don’t worry - promotion to the Premier League (or relegation to ‘Vanarama National League’ levels, if you’re brave enough to admit it) will not preclude you from continuing your stories in this thread.

Feel free to give updates on your team, your tactics, your players, transfers, results and anything else - as long as it's about one of the 72 Football League clubs in FM16! You can make suggestions, share information, ask questions, or debate/discuss anything in our friendly little place.

So, without further delay, let’s take a look at each division (and each club) in more detail. Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sky Bet Championship



Champ%20logo_zpsgi6mdlju.jpg

The second tier of English football is commonly referred to as The Championship, and because of the riches and rewards on offer for promotion to the Premier League, it is one of the most competitive leagues in world football.

Two teams are promoted automatically, with the next four teams entering a play-off system (3rd plays 6th, and 4th plays 5th). After home and away semi-finals, it boils down to a Wembley final to find which other team will join the elite of English football. As a side note, the play-off final is often said to be the most valuable one-off club football match in the world.

fl72-preview-football-league-logo-general-generic_2990217_zpsmjgdgxzi.jpg

Below we run through the Championship teams, in order of the FM16 media prediction (with title odds, stadium details, club value and season ticket sales)

1. Hull (5-1) - The Circle (25,586) - Estimated Value £74m (Loan Debt £84m) - Season Ticket Holders 13,000

The Tigers have been installed as title favourites after their relegation last season, and do indeed seem to have a very good chance of making an early return. Capable of playing with three or four at the back, they have players that can easily adapt to different strategies. The squad looks quite well balanced, with a mixture of experienced pros and younger talents, although you might want to look at bringing in a younger 'keeper. Looking a little further ahead, the same may apply to your central defenders too, but in the short-term you look well set. In summary, there's good depth - and plenty of quality from the likes of left-back Andrew Robertson and striker Abel Hernandez. Attacking midfielder Robert Snodgrass will be another one to watch when he returns from injury. For a more detailed look at the club, please have a look at their own thread.

2. QPR (8-1) - Loftus Road (18,136) - Estimated Value £66m (Loan Debt £196m) - Season Ticket Holders 9,000

Relegated Rangers, not for the first time in recent years, seem to have some financial issues. It never seems to stop them adding players to their squad, and it seems as though they have some sort of exemption from punishment. If finances don't defeat you, then this West London club have some good talent on the books, although a promotion push might be a little bit beyond them. Striker Charlie Austin has scored goals at every level including the Premier League, and remains the key component here - but Massimo Luongo, Matt Phiilips and Leroy Fer will need to support him consistently. Whilst the attacking elements look quite decent, the defence is really poor and needs immediate attention. How you'll do that whilst trying to slash your wage bill will be the real test.

3. Derby (12-1) - Pride Park (33,597) - Estimated Value £73m (Loan Debt £9.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 23,000

Last year The Rams threw away a really strong position, and so they'll be hoping it's going to be third time lucky on their promotion challenge. The club finances look really strong, and when you look at the squad on paper it probably has no equal. To me, there don't seem to be any obvious weaknesses, and yet I've been saying that for two years now and they're still stuck in the second tier. If you get your formation and tactics right - and keep key men like striker Chris Martin fit - you should be expecting a very positive season. Young midfield prospect Will Hughes will be a big loss until he returns from injury, but summer recruits like Bradley Johnson, Jacob Butterfield, Tom Ince and Andi Weimann should all make good contributions.

4. Middlesbrough (12-1) - The Riverside Stadium (34,766) - Estimated Value £50m (Loan Debt £2.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 14,800

Boro are another club who look to be in excellent shape on and off the pitch. After a good effort last year, they're well placed to make another big challenge this term, and you'll be disappointed if your season doesn't end on a high. New forwards David Nugent and Christian Stuani should be good replacements for the departed loanees Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford, whilst bringing Stewart Downing home was another big coup. A competitive midfield and strong defence will also be evident here, and this is a club that are ready to take the next step.

5. Burnley (14-1) - Turf Moor (22,546) - Estimated Value £62m (Loan Debt £6.25m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,900

The third of the teams demoted from the highest tier, and like the others, they'll expect to be there or thereabouts. Despite the loss of their two best players in the summer (Danny Ings and Kieran Trippier), they've added good quality in those positions with the acquisition of Andre Gray and Tendayi Darikwa. Central defender Michael Keane is another new arrival with pedigree, whilst the midfield strings continue to be pulled by Scott Arfield and George Boyd. The Clarets are a well-run outfit, and is another good pick.

6. Cardiff (14-1) - Cardiff City Stadium (33,316) - Estimated Value £49m (Loan Debt £137m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,000

In contrast, well-run is not a phrase usually associated with Cardiff. The club has a fair bit of debt, and this prediction seems optimistic to me. There is some quality in the ranks, particularly between the posts where David Marshall is amongst the very best at this level. There are plenty of options in your midfield and attack, but getting the best out of them consistently will be your challenge. A top six finish looks a big ask to me, and will that keep your erratic owner happy?

7. Fulham (20-1) - Craven Cottage (25,700) - Estimated Value £72m (Loan Debt £26m) - Season Ticket Holders 15,500

Following Fulham is like watching two teams. In attack they can be devastating, but at the other end of the pitch you're never surprised to see them carved open and conceding. Following a good run at the highest level, they're still readjusting to life one division down, but they're in good financial shape and with a better balance, they must expect to be in amongst the promotion candidates. Ross McCormack cost a pretty penny when he arrived from Leeds in 2014, but he's a proven goal scorer at this level, and his sharp and clever movement always causes problems for opposition defences. The youthful support from Moussa Dembele and Cauley Woodrow gives optimism for the future, and Tom Cairney and Ben Pringle were good signings for your midfield alongside Lasse Vigen Christensen. If you can sort your defence out, you can definitely take this club further.

8. Nottingham Forest (25-1) - The City Ground (30,576) - Estimated Value £35m (Loan Debt £15m) - Season Ticket Holders 15,500

This prediction for Forest is a little bit surprising. With key striker Britt Assombalonga still out injured for an estimated 10 months, several other injuries in your squad, Michail Antonio sold on, and a transfer embargo seriously restricting your ability to trade, a top-half finish would still be a job well done. That's not to belittle the players you do have, as Henri Lansbury is just one of a number that can perform well at this level. You'll note that you already have five loan signings on board - and that's already the maximum number you can name in any match day squad. Once the embargo finishes, things will certainly improve - but the days of European Cup wins and top-flight trophies remain a long way in the distance. For more information and ideas, please visit their specific club guide.

9. Ipswich (33-1) - Portman Road (30,311) - Estimated Value £26m (Loan Debt £62m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,289

The Tractor Boys had a really good campaign last time around, but the odds remain stacked against them exceeding it this year. Traditionally, Town are solid in defence, and an attacking quartet of Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Brett Pitman and Freddie Sears is a good mix. If there's any weakness, it could be in midfield, where you have hardworking grafters but perhaps lack a little spark out wide. They've tried to address that in the summer with loan signing Ryan Fraser providing a lively presence, which might give you a shout at claiming a play-off spot again.

10. Brentford (33-1) - Griffin Park (12,802) - Estimated Value £33m (Loan Debt 9.75m) - Season Ticket Holders 6,000

Brentford seemed to be on a good thing, but a change of strategy referred to as 'The Moneyball Approach' saw well-respected manager Mark Warburton depart. Following him out of the club were main marksman Andre Gray and talented Moses Odubajo, whilst loan star Alex Pritchard returned to parent club Tottenham. All of that has proved a difficult obstacle to overcome this year, and a long-term injury to the exciting playmaker Jota hasn't helped the cause. Alan Judge can create and score goals from midfield, but there will be lots of pressure on Danish striker Lasse Vibe to score goals for his new club. Another club who might struggle to repeat last season's effort.

11. Brighton (33-1) - American Express Community Stadium (30,384) - Estimated Value £54m (Loan Debt £131m) - Season Ticket Holders 23,000

The Seagulls can boast one of the best stadiums in the country now, and they have a very healthy number of season ticket holders who obviously appreciate the surroundings too. On the pitch they didn't give much of a performance last season, but things have started very brightly for them this time around. Whether they can last the distance remains to be seen, but they're definitely strong at the back and a tough nut to crack. New striker Tomer Hemed has hit the ground running, and the Israel international looks to be the man to finally fill the void created when Leonardo Ulloa left for Leicester. If you can coax some consistency from winger Kazenga LuaLua, you should go close with Albion - but keep an eye on the debt level.

12. Wolves (33-1) - Molineux (30,852) - Estimated Value £42.5m - Season Ticket Holders 14,000

I'd expect Wolves to beat this prediction. It's a club of decent size, history and tradition, with a good stadium, healthy finances and a strong group of players. Despite the departure of star winger Bakary Sako in the summer, an injury to striker Nouha Dicko, and a chairman who is willing to sell the club, there are still plenty of reasons to be positive at Molineux. In striker Benik Afobe you have one of the top marksmen in the division, and Danny Batth is one of the most reliable central defenders at this level. A sprinkling of talent through the rest of your squad should give you realistic aims of a promotion challenge.

13. Sheffield Wednesday (40-1) - Hillsborough (39,812) - Estimated Value £39m (Loan Debt £2.1m) - Season Ticket Holders 16,526

The Owls are a similar club to Wolves - with good tradition and history, and a famous old stadium. They're also under a resurgence and look much stronger now than they have for a number of seasons. New ownership seems to have really lifted the mood around the place, and with finances much more stable, they could make a good impression this term. Over the last few seasons they've been quite solid at the back, and goalkeeper Kieren Westwood is a big part of that. What's changed this summer is the introduction of winger Marco Matias, and strikers Fernando Forestieri and Lucas Joao. With that extra spark in attack, this club would now be a good choice. If interested, please take a look at their own club thread too.

14. Reading (40-1) - The Madejski Stadium (24,197) - Estimated Value £37m (Loan Debt £6.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,250

The Royals had a really poor season last time out, and there was doubt whether the necessary squad overhaul would be seriously supported by the Thai owners. What followed in the summer was possibly their best ever transfer window, and the supporters could eventually face the new season with renewed optimism. Despite allowing a number of established players to leave, the club moved swiftly to add quality in most positions, with the goalkeeping department being the only question mark. The pick of the new men was probably striker Matej Vydra (on loan from Watford), but so far he has been overshadowed by the prolific form of forward Nick Blackman, who has put a couple of mediocre years well and truly behind him. The squad is well set (you might want cover for your right-back), the finances are much better, and you have one of the best Academy set-ups around. Don't hesitate to give the youth a chance here, it's tradition. For more information, please have a look at their own club thread.

15. Leeds (40-1) - Elland Road (40,242) - Estimated Value £34m (Loan Debt £15.25m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,000

The Yorkshire club are another of the big teams that have had tougher times in recent years, but they're somewhat behind their counterparts on the road to recovery. Served by the biggest stadium in the division, and some of the most passionate fans in England, they're crying out for better days. But with arguably the maddest chairman too, you never know what to expect if you take this job on. In their favour, they have developed some really good youth prospects in recent years - and with Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt in your first team, the future could be much brighter. New striker Chris Wood also has a good record of goals at this level, and might make a big impact for you. Check out their club thread for more detailed information.

16. Bolton (40-1) - Macron Stadium (28,723) - Estimated Value £31m (Loan Debt £108m) - Season Ticket Holders 11,000

The Trotters are another club who have slumped a lot in recent years. Relegated after a decent spell at the top table, they've fallen into big debt, and have been more likely to face relegation than win promotion in the last few seasons. The squad is now looking sub-par to me, and lacks any real quality with the possible exception of young forward Zach Clough. If you want a big challenge, and don't mind a massive debt then good luck - but I'd suggest even finishing 16th would be quite an achievement.

17. Blackburn (40-1) - Ewood Park (31,154) - Estimated Value £34.5m (Loan Debt £151m) - Season Ticket Holders 10,800

Another Lancashire club with a massive debt, and another one that might find it difficult to get back to the top flight. Like Nottingham Forest, they start under a transfer embargo, and therefore you'll need to be in this for the long haul if you want to get anywhere. On the plus side, in Jordan Rhodes they have one of the division's most deadly strikers - although he starts with an injury. The service to (and form of) Rhodes will be crucial to any success you have, and the onus will be on wingers Ben Marshall and Craig Conway to create those opportunities.

18. Charlton (40-1) - The Valley (27,111) - Estimated Value £36m (Loan Debt £8m) - Season Ticket Holders 10,500

The London club have lost a bit of their identity in recent years, which I believe can be traced back to the ownership change they had. Traditionally, they had a good reputation for developing their own youngsters, and although a few still do come through, the squad has a much more cosmopolitan look about it these days. With affiliate clubs in four other European leagues all part of the owners 'footballing empire', it's probably a natural path to take, but with little expectation and workable finances, I'd suggest the best way to manage this club is to go back to the old ways of making and using your own youth prospects. Right-back Chris Solly, midfielder Jordan Cousins and striker Karlan Ahearne-Grant are just some examples of how this can work - try it and you may find something enjoyable here.

19. Birmingham (40-1) - St. Andrews (30,016) - Estimated Value £32.5m (Loan Debt 35.75m) - Season Ticket Holders 10,000

The Blues are another club that haven't enjoyed the best of seasons in recent years, and have looked more likely to exit south than head back to the Premier League. Last season they started slowly again, but form and results improved greatly and they began to encourage their fans that better days await them again. This season they have continued that progress, and look set for a top-half finish at the very least. With young starlet Demarai Gray on one wing, David Cotterill on the other, and Clayton Donaldson playing the lone striker role to good effect, they look ideally suited to a counter-attacking approach - one that should be entertaining to watch too. Look to strengthen your defence, add another striking option and you won't be far from the top six.

20. Huddersfield (40-1) - The John Smith's Stadium (24,590) - Estimated Value £21m (Loan Debt £4.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 9,700

A sensibly run club, Town have held their own at this level for a few years now. You can't help but feel that one day they will fail, but they deserve credit for competing with bigger clubs, and picking up enough points year on year. Their philosophy has largely been to find younger players at lower league clubs, or even non-league, find some cast-offs from the top flight, and then add in a few experienced heads to the mix. It's a method that has worked well for them, which is important as they don't have the financial muscle enjoyed by most of their opponents. The strength of this team is definitely the strike partnership of Nahki Wells and James Vaughan, but you'll need to improve other areas - particularly in defence.

21. Rotherham (50-1) - New York Stadium (12,053) - Estimated Value £7.25m (Loan Debt £5m) - Season Ticket Holders 6,200

Rotherham surviving at this level is an even bigger achievement than The Terriers above. They have a neat little stadium, but a look at their budget and their playing staff makes you realise they're battling the odds big time. Personally, I'd say that finishing out of the drop zone again would be a massive result, but maybe that's the kind of challenge you're after. This is the part where I write a couple of names that impress me, but, erm, well, erm, yeah. Joking aside, they must have a good team ethic and spirit, and there is more than one way to pick up points in football. It's certainly a different kind of management test, but maybe a rough and ready, up and at 'em approach might bring rewards. Midfielder Richard Smallwood would seem to epitomise that description, but if you want more encouraging views and more information please have a look at their own club guide.

22. MK Dons (80-1) - stadium:mk (30,582) - Estimated Value £16.5m (Loan Debt £17.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 7,500

So here we are. The three promoted teams from League 1 last year are all tipped to go straight back down. MK Dons (under their new name), have never been at this level before, and it will be interesting to see how they get on without midfield prodigy Dele Alli. Left-back Dean Lewington has been at the current franchise for over a decade, having been with the original Dons (of Wimbledon) before that. His experience may be important to you, but it might be the likes of midfielder Ben Reeves that step up to the mark. Lots will depend on Southampton loanee Sam Gallagher and injury-riddled Nicky Maynard in attack, but your squad looks to be in need of improvement across all areas.

23. Bristol City (80-1) - Ashton Gate (16,000) - Estimated Value £19.25m (Loan Debt £21.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 12,500

Impressive champions of League 1 last season, City have found things understandably harder on their return to Championship football. Persisting with their back-three makes them interestingly different to most other clubs, and I think you could find a way of making the 352 work well enough to avoid the drop. You're blessed in attack with a quality new striker, as Jonathan Kodjia (having lit up Ligue 2 in France last year) has settled well in the English second tier. Left wing-back Joe Bryan and loan defender Liam Moore will probably also play a big role, but the squad doesn't look to be one of the worst three if you get your tactics working.

24. Preston (80-1) - Deepdale (23,404) - Estimated Value £14.5m - Season Ticket Holders 6,500

The last word goes to Preston. Another club with a proud past, they took a few years to get back to this level, but now have to kick on and establish themselves here. Combative striker Joe Garner has been a big part of their recent success, and will be a key player again if you're going to make an impression at Deepdale. You'll also need Daniel Johnson and Paul Gallagher to perform in midfield, but might need to scout round for some defensive upgrades. Survival can be achieved, but it won't all be plain sailing.

Sky Bet Championship Transfer & Wage Budgets



TBCH_zpscqppabtn.png

Championship_zpsb0d7f01a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sky Bet League 1



L1%20logo_zpsso3wnpxl.jpg

League 1 is the third tier of English football, and contains a variety of clubs with different stories to tell. Some have fallen down and are struggling to get back, whilst others have rarely if ever been above this level. Promotion to the Championship gets you significantly more exposure, and of course puts you one step closer to the 'promised land'.

Like the league above, two teams qualify for automatic promotion and the next four contest play-off matches in the same format. Possibly the biggest difference here is that four teams suffer automatic relegation to League 2 each season - one more than gets relegated from the Championship. There are still thrills, spills and rivalries, so don't expect an easy ride!

fl72-preview-football-league-logo-general-generic_2990217_zpsmjgdgxzi.jpg

Below we run through the League 1 teams, in order of the FM16 media prediction (with title odds, stadium details, club value and season ticket sales)

1. Wigan (3-1) - DW Stadium (25,133) - Estimated Value £25.5m - Season Ticket Holders 7,000

What a difference a few years can make. Having consistently survived in the lower reaches of the Premier League for a good number of years (and making it in to Europe through Cup exploits), the Latics followed up a poor first season in the Championship with an even worse campaign last term. They now see themselves relegated to League 1, where they're expected to be one of the teams to beat. Looking at the squad, there are some very decent players for this level - and you're probably on shaky ground if you don't take them back up quickly. There's plenty of experience in your defensive ranks, with great quality coming from new goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell and centre-back Jason Pearce. In attack you have the likes of Will Grigg and Craig Davies, and the lively Michael Jacobs supporting them from just behind. One word of caution is that your loan slots are close to the limit, with four already at the club - but a whopping transfer budget of £3m should compensate nicely.

2. Sheffield United (8-1) - Bramall Lane (32,609) - Estimated Value £28m - Season Ticket Holders 12,500

The Blades have found it surprisingly hard to exit League 1 in the past few years. They're the biggest club at this level, and have good finances with their backing from the Saudi Royal family. Apart from that, they have a decent stadium, a great fan base and lots of tradition and history. You'll be expected to get them out of this division immediately, and with the likes of club supporter Billy Sharp and the pace of promising teenager Che Adams in attack, you should score goals. The injured Matty Done will also add something to your ranks when he returns, but the central defensive options look limited in terms of quality and numbers. This is a massive chance to revive one of the better English clubs, but failure (although unlikely) will probably cost your job. On a nostalgic point, it's good to see club icon Brian Deane back on the coaching staff.

3. Millwall (10-1) - The Den (20,146) - Estimated Value £18.5m (Loan Debt £20m) - Season Ticket Holders 6,000

The relegated Lions will also be looking to make a challenge, and are another club with very passionate supporters. They seem to have a bit of a yo-yo existence, often too good for League 1, but not really good enough for the second tier. Your playing pool sees lots of promising youngsters with some veterans and experienced pros added to the mix. I'd suggest really giving the youngsters a go, as many of them are local and that would keep the fans on side. You could try to build something for the future with the likes of defender Sid Nelson, midfielder Jack Powell, Fred Onyedinma and a number of others involved, but you can also look for contributions from the more experienced Shaun Cummings, Shaun Williams, Ed Upson and Steve Morison.

4. Doncaster (16-1) - The Keepmoat Stadium (15,231) - Estimated Value £4.9m (Loan Debt £11.75m) - Season Ticket Holders 4,200

A bit like last year, I'm scratching my head as to this prediction. Rovers didn't make much of an impression last time out, don't look to be one of the stronger squads, and have that debt to hamper their progress too. New signing Andrew Williams has had a few good seasons at this level and should get goals, but your season might rest on the creativity provided by the skilful Harry Forrester after he returns from his injury absence. You'll do well to match this prediction, but a play-off challenge shouldn't be ruled out.

5. Bradford (16-1) - Valley Parade (25,136) - Estimated Value £9m - Season Ticket Holders 16,000

The Bantams are a bit of an enigma. They have a good sized stadium, and (due to a really attractive pricing structure) the highest number of season ticket holders in the division. Average attendances are very impressive here, and everything is there to support you if you can get it right on the pitch. The squad has underwhelmed me for a few years though, and although there seems to be a bit more about them with the additions of the versatile Josh Morris plus wingers Paul Anderson and Mark Marshall, there is still more strengthening required. Target man James Hanson remains a key focal point in attack.

6. Oldham (25-1) - Boundary Park (13,581) - Estimated Value £3.1m (Loan Debt £6m) - Season Ticket Holders 3,000

The Latics must have friends in high places, as they don't justify this lofty billing at all. The squad is a distinctly average group of players, with little star quality and little chance of seeing this prediction come true. There's some pace in attack with Jonathan Forte and Dominic Poleon, and they might need to be used well if you want to make any impression. Oh, you do also have James Wilson in the squad. Which is all well and good until you realise it's not the Manchester United prospect.

7. Walsall (25-1) - The Bescot Stadium (10,989) - Estimated Value £4.3m (Loan Debt £2.1m) - Season Ticket Holders 3,000

This is more like it. A well-run little club, who tick along nicely who have developed and signed some good players in recent seasons. The loss of goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell to league rivals Wigan will be a blow, but star striker Tom Bradshaw remains after an impressive first season in the West Midlands. Elsewhere, Sam Mantom is an inspirational driving force in midfield, Romaine Sawyers a good link player for your attack, and new right-back Jason Demetriou was a tidy acquisition. I like the youthful left-sided options that Rico Henry and Kieron Morris provide, and feel this is a team that can have a really good crack at promotion.

8. Peterborough (33-1) - London Road (14,084) - Estimated Value £8.25m (Loan Debt £5m) - Season Ticket Holders 4,300

The Posh are another team that always have ambitions to improve. Last season they didn't really fire, but flamboyant chairman Darragh MacAnthony will expect better this term. You have a strong starting squad and should see the play-off spots as your minimum target, especially if transfer clauses kick in. That's something the club have done very well on in recent years, buying low and selling high (with on-going benefits attached) and the club continue to scour the Irish and non-league markets for hidden gems. You have some very competent defenders in your ranks, and lots of attacking options from the likes of wingers Jon Taylor and Marcus Maddison, plus striker Conor Washington. Your midfield ranks have also been boosted with ex-Welsh international Jack Collison arriving, he should be a good influence on young prospect Jermaine Anderson.

9. Scunthorpe (33-1) - Glanford Park (9,144) - Estimated Value £3.8m (Loan Debt £3.4m) - Season Ticket Holders 2,000

The Iron have one of my favourite lower league logos, and seem to be improving their squad too. Left-back Scott Laird is one of a number of recruits from promoted Preston, whilst Stephen Dawson is just one of a few that make central midfield look strong. Winger Hakeeb Adelakun is a bright prospect with bags of pace, and you can rely on Paddy Madden to score goals at this level. If you can get Dutch forward Kevin van Veen to perform consistently - and strengthen your defensive quality - a promotion push is on the cards here.

10. Barnsley (33-1) - Oakwell (23,287) - Estimated Value £8.25m (Loan Debt 5m) - Season Ticket Holders 7,000

For a more in-depth look at The Tykes, please check out their own club guide. My own summary is that this is a decent club, with a young squad that can go on to improve. I think the striking pool looks more powerful than last season, and Michael Smith on loan is a bonus - although he seems to be rated rather cautiously on the back of a good season with Swindon. Conor Hourihane and Josh Scowen remain impressive central midfielders, and although the youthful back-line is a bit inexperienced, it should settle down nicely. I think there is a lack of quality and depth on the wings, but address that and a promotion spot could be yours. The stadium and support are already in place, and I won't even mention the sell-on clause potential that John Stones offers...

11. Coventry (33-1) - The Ricoh Arena (32,604) - Estimated Value £9.5m (Loan Debt £5m) - Season Ticket Holders 6,000

A big club that used to be regular top flight stalwarts, but they've seen tougher times in recent years and are constantly in turmoil off the pitch. Having returned to their own city after exile, there are small signs of better times ahead. Whether that is done at the current ground or not is doubtful, but in the meantime you have a stadium with good capacity. It would be nice to see blue skies rather than dark clouds hanging over the Sky Blues, and although your brightest young talent James Maddison starts out with a long-term injury, teenage striker Adam Armstrong (on loan from Newcastle) is proving to be a great signing. Midfielder John Fleck is a creative orchestrator from deep, and experienced defenders Reda Johnson and Sam Ricketts should be reliable old heads around your younger generation.

12. Bury (40-1) - Gigg Lane (11,376) - Estimated Value £5m (Loan Debt £180k) - Season Ticket Holders 1,800

After promotion last season, away-day specialists Bury are well placed to consolidate their position at the higher level. Chairman Stewart Day has serious ambitions for the Gigg Lane outfit, and the acquisition of the famous Carrington Training Centre has strengthened that view further. An abundance of striking options that score regularly at this level should mean you can focus on other areas of your team, with central defence looking most in need of a boost. Midfield creativity and flair from Danny Mayor (League 2 player of the year in the last campaign) and new signing Chris Eagles should keep the fans entertained, and the lack of debt and good financial position makes this a club well-placed to push on.

13. Chesterfield (40-1) - The Proact Stadium (10,504) - Estimated Value £4.5m (Loan Debt £5.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 4,500

The Spireites (nickname is from the spire, not anything to with ghosts) had a good thing going over the last couple of years. But the departure of manager Paul Cook and the loss of Sam Clucas, Jimmy Ryan, Gary Roberts and Tendayi Darikwa in the summer (following the departure of top scorer Eoin Doyle last winter) makes me think that momentum has probably been lost. There are still a few decent players left, with Sam Morsy and Jay O'Shea in midfield being good examples, but promotion would look to be beyond them now. Rejuvenated forward Sylvan Ebanks-Blake was a good recruit and should score goals if he stays fit, and hard-working loanee Lee Novak might be useful if utilised correctly. Pay attention to your defence, which looks a bit tired and weak to me.

14. Rochdale (40-1) - Spotland (10,208) - Estimated Value £3.6m - Season Ticket Holders 1,500

A well-run club, free from debt and with a tradition for playing good football and giving youth a chance. That kind of introduction makes them sound like Crewe of years gone by, although they don't have quite the same success in selling starlets for big sums. This is a solid little operation though, and anybody searching for a club with low expectations, a reasonably good squad, and nice philosophies could do much worse than look here. Ian Henderson and Peter Vincenti look like remaining your best source of goals and chances, whilst young midfielder and captain Jamie Allen looks to have a bright future. Give youth a chance and see if you can propel them to the second tier for the first time ever.

15. Burton (40-1) - Pirelli Stadium (6,912) - Estimated Value £3.5m - Season Ticket Holders 425

That leads us nicely on to The Brewers. Following promotion last year, they're now in the third tier for the first time in their history. Albion are a tiny little club, and yes that number of season ticket holders does really say 425! They're fortunate to have St George's Park as their training ground (the one that England use), but deserve admiration for how they have progressed in recent times. If you're going to take over from the uber-cool Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager, you'll have to work hard to keep this club progressing, but they're another well-run and debt free outfit. Looking through your squad, Anthony O'Connor and Phil Edwards are solid defenders, your midfield is workmanlike, Lucas Akins provides a threat from the flanks and Mark Duffy is a good player to have on loan. You might be missing a prolific marksman but mid-table stability is achievable.

16. Swindon (40-1) - The County Ground (15,547) - Estimated Value £7m (Loan Debt £3m) - Season Ticket Holders 3,500

The Robins imploded last season because for all their attacking prowess and good football, they shipped goals for fun. That turned a probable promotion in to a lame finish which ultimately ended with a play-off defeat, and expectations have now dipped. A host of key players departed in the summer to higher-placed clubs, including your goalkeeper, two best strikers, and three best midfielders. Your new strike force will be spearheaded by Wes Thomas (on loan), with Jonathan Obika and Jermaine Hylton needing to provide support. As usual with Town, your five match day loan slots are already filled, making recruitment more tricky. Defender Nathan Thompson may have a crucial role to play if you want to finish in the top six this time.

17. Shrewsbury (40-1) - The Greenhous Meadow (9,875) - Estimated Value £4.4m - Season Ticket Holders 2,359

Promoted back to League 1 at the first attempt, Town will now be looking to establish themselves at the higher level again. The sale of central defender Conor Goldson to Brighton won't help, but they have a solid if not spectacular group of players, and should be able to reach mid-table safely enough. It's a club with no debt, and a modern (but modest) all-seater stadium at Greenhous Meadow. The goals of striker James Collins will be important if you want to get anywhere.

18. Gillingham (40-1) - Priestfield (11,440) - Estimated Value £3.8m (Loan Debt £900k) - Season Ticket Holders 2,150

Like I said last year, I think the media prediction for the Kent outfit is very low. As real form shows, it's a good squad here, particularly in attack where Cody McDonald, Rory Donnelly and Ben Williamson are decent League 1 quality. Midfielder Bradley Dack and centre-back John Egan are your other main men, and I think this is a club that you can definitely take on a promotion chase. I've managed this club before, and their location helps them to attract new fans. With a decent stadium and squad, you have a good base to work from and it wouldn't be a bad pick.

19. Blackpool (40-1) - Bloomfield Road (17,000) - Estimated Value £4.2m - Season Ticket Holders 4,600

The Tangerines recent history has been in sharply contrasting segments. A handful of years ago they were the cash-rich club looking to get in to the Premier League. Having done just that, they entertained the vast majority of people with a really exciting brand of football, and were a bit unlucky to be relegated at the end of their first season there. The last couple of years have been completely different, with the bizarre approach to ownership taken by the Oyston family, including numerous disputes between the owners and fans, and a completely amateur method of team planning. It's little surprise that the managers installed have been unable to perform, and last season's relegation was pretty much guaranteed from August. On the face of it, the club has a healthy balance sheet, a great history, and a stadium that was good enough for the top flight, but in reality why would you want to work for the Oystons? Having managed the trio at Carlisle last time, I'm quite happy to see them recruit Brad Potts, Jarrett Rivers and Jack Redshaw (only Potts was actually a Carlisle player), but with Nile Ranger on the books it's clear that not every tool there will be useful. Finally, in case the family solicitors are reading it, this is just a game preview, ok?

20. Colchester (40-1) - The Weston Homes Community Stadium (10,105) - Estimated Value £3.5m - Season Ticket Holders 1,950

Can I just repeat what I wrote about them last year? Something like 'they're a well-run little club with a neat, smallish all-seater stadium and a tradition for developing and playing plenty of youngsters'. Having just escaped the drop again last year, these Essex boys are not likely to be pulling up many trees, but there will be some satisfaction if you can use your youthful squad to make an impression. New striker Marvin Sordell has unfulfilled potential and will be an important player, and Darren Ambrose brings plenty of experience to a midfield that includes promising youngsters George Moncur and winger Callum Harriott (who is on loan from Charlton).

21. Port Vale (40-1) - Vale Park (19,148) - Estimated Value £3.6m - Season Ticket Holders 3,800

Having lost their top strikers during the summer, it's hard to see The Valiants being a major force tis year. Loan signing Uche Ikpeazu will be one to watch, but it's a big ask to replicate what Tom Pope had done in recent years, and beyond that I'm not sure where the goals are going to come from. You're light in central midfield and possibly at the heart of your defence, and although you have lots of wide options, I'm not convinced by the quality there. Vale have a stadium that can accommodate football above this level, but whether you'll get there anytime soon is questionable.

22. Southend (50-1) - Roots Hall (12,163) - Estimated Value £2.7m (Loan Debt £4.9m) - Season Ticket Holders 3,000

Promoted via the play-offs last season, the men from Roots Hall will be keen to ensure they stay clear of danger. I'd say they have enough about them to achieve that, but it won't be the easiest job in the division. The squad has plenty of experience - including your new 30-somethings strike force of David Mooney and Noel Hunt - but there will be doubts whether they can score enough goals. Young goalkeeper Daniel Bentley is regarded as one of the best prospects in the lower leagues though, and midfielder Ryan Leonard is a player that I like in the middle of the park.

23. Fleetwood (50-1) - Highbury Stadium (5,532) - Estimated Value £2.8m - Season Ticket Holders 1,500

A little bit surprised by this prediction, but it's a small club and maybe that has some significance in the rating. You should be able to survive at this level, but it's clearly not going to be easy to grow the club much further. New midfield arrival Jimmy Ryan was a shrewd signing, and Declan McManus had a good season on loan at Morton from Aberdeen last year. Whether he has the quality to make an impression at this level remains to be seen, and you might struggle to score a massive amount of goals with this team. Another new boy, Icelandic international Eggert Jonsson, should help your defence stay solid, as will right-back Conor McLaughlin.

24. Crewe (80-1) - The Alexandra Stadium (10,153) - Estimated Value £3.9m - Season Ticket Holders 2,500

Perennial strugglers and I'm not really seeing anything in here that makes me think this will be an easy season. The satisfaction of managing Crewe comes from the knowledge that you are encouraged to use youth, and you have a great tradition in the footballing world for doing so effectively. Performances haven't been great for a number of seasons now, and the sale of starlets has dried up a lot in recent times, but they're a well-run club that operate within their means. I make the comparison with Colchester again, but in fairness to Crewe they're the ones that started this approach a while back. Amongst your promising youngsters are George Cooper (League 1 Academy award winner last season) and goalkeeper Ben Garratt, who is attracting a bit of transfer attention.

Sky Bet League 1 Transfer & Wage Budgets



TBL1_zpsahmryq25.png

League1_zps6ddc983c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sky Bet League 2



L2%20logo_zpsjr4nrlzy.jpg

League 2 is the fourth tier of English football, and is a real battleground. Most of the clubs here are small and with similar resources, so the playing field is fairly level (not always the case literally though). A few of the inhabitants have previously tasted life in the top flight, but a lot of them have never been above the bottom two divisions. This is also the entry point for clubs more familiar with non-league life.

This league is a little different to the others, as the top three teams qualify for automatic promotion and the next four contest play-off matches (in the same format as the leagues above). Another variance is that only two teams suffer automatic relegation each season, but the fall into the Vanarama National League can have serious and long-term consequences as teams often take many years to claw their way back. You can wave goodbye to budgets, facilities and pleasant surroundings - it's time to roll up your sleeves.

fl72-preview-football-league-logo-general-generic_2990217_zpsmjgdgxzi.jpg

Below we run through the League 2 teams, in order of the FM16 media prediction (with title odds, stadium details, club value and season ticket sales)

1. Notts County (5-2) - Meadow Lane (20,300) - Estimated Value £5.25m (Loan Debt £1.1m) - Season Ticket Holders 2,150

The Magpies are the oldest club you can pick in the game. After relegation from League 1 last season, they've done an extensive re-building job during the summer - although a good number of those new recruits came from Holland, Belgium and across Europe, so how they will adapt is unclear. It also means you might be struggling to make too many changes to your squad in the first season, but in striker Izale McLeod you already have someone who could fire you to promotion. Whether they justify the tag as favourites or not, they should probably be playing at a higher level than this with their history and tradition. A decent size stadium is a bonus, and if you can bring some success to the club, you might be able to attract fair crowds again. The immediate challenge will be to try and bridge the gap with your Trentside city neighbours - who start off two leagues ahead of you.

2. Luton (5-1) - Kenilworth Road (10,110) - Estimated Value £3.3m - Season Ticket Holders 5,400

Although unlikely to ever be an established top flight club again, The Hatters remain quite a powerful presence at this level after returning from non-league football a year ago. You'll be able to draw on very good resources, and should expect to be right in the mix at the end of the season. The squad looks to have much more quality and depth now, and the defensive options have been boosted significantly during the break. New striker Craig Mackail-Smith might become a talisman for you if you can keep him fit and use him correctly.

3. Portsmouth (5-1) - Fratton Park (20,100) - Estimated Value £11.5m - Season Ticket Holders 11,099

Without doubt, Pompey are the big fish of League 2. After an alarming drop through the divisions, the fan-owned club have struggled to find a way back so far, but it looks to be a question of when - and not if - the better days will return. Armed with a large and fanatical support, and wealth that most of their rivals will never be able to compete with, everything should be in place to raise their status again. Despite the loss of Jed Wallace to Wolves, you still have enough to seal promotion, and that must be your minimum ambition. New signing Gary Roberts offers lots of midfield creativity, and Matt Tubbs should always be a reliable scorer at this level.

4. Yeovil (6-1) - Huish Park (9,565) - Estimated Value £2.8m - Season Ticket Holders 2,134

Relegated from the second tier the year before, the Somerset-based club made it a double after dropping down from League 1 last term. In fairness, they're a small club and had over achieved to ever get that far up the pyramid, but in my opinion these odds are totally unrealistic and consolidation would probably be a more sensible starting point. The Glovers also start with almost half of their first team squad injured, and with a modest budget it could be a really tough test to make your mark at Huish Park. Your young squad doesn't have any obvious star quality, but one of the injured men, Wes Fogden, may have an important role to play when he returns.

5. Leyton Orient (8-1) - Brisbane Road (9,311) - Estimated Value £3.5m - Season Ticket Holders 3,200

The O's are another of the relegated clubs, and their fall from grace last season was perhaps a bit unexpected. After going close to exiting League 1 in the right direction the year before, the decision of long-term owner Barry Hearn to sell out to Italian maverick Francesco Becchetti was the catalyst of their demise. The new owner made a real hash of turning a stable, prospering outfit in to a shambles, with poorly appointed managers and a loss of identity culminating in a confusion which eventually took them down. Tricky midfielder Dean Cox will be a key asset as you look to bounce back in style, but you'll need defender Mathieu Baudry to get back to the form he showed under his old chairman, and striker Jay Simpson to finally deliver a little of what was predicted when he was much younger. For a more in-depth view, have a look at their own club guide.

6. Stevenage (16-1) - Broadhall Way (6,722) - Estimated Value £2m - Season Ticket Holders 1,400

The Hertfordshire outfit were a tough opponent under Graham Westley, and it will remain to be seen how they get on under a softer manager. They're not likely to be far away, and with a little bit of good fortune could give you a decent run if you take them on. Central midfielders Charlie Lee and Dean Parrett are good players at this level, whilst Tom Pett and young talent Ben Kennedy could offer the attacking flair you need to worry defences. If finances allow, you may wish to bring in a consistent marksman though, as the squad appears a little light in that area.

7. Plymouth (16-1) - Home Park (16,388) - Estimated Value £2.4m (Loan Debt £3.9m) - Season Ticket Holders 4,000

I still think The Pilgrims are one of the better options in League 2. With a good fan base and a stadium with a reasonable capacity, there is plenty of potential in this Devon club. For the last few seasons they have been solid in defence, but this year they have tried to bring in some better attacking support for key striker Reuben Reid. If you can keep Curtis Nelson performing consistently at the back, that should give you the platform that allows your lively new boys including Graham Carey, Gregg Wylde, Jake Jervis and talented loan forward Craig Tanner, to boost your promotion chances. You might still need some more solidity in central midfield, but you should expect a decent season in any case.

8. Wycombe (16-1) - Adams Park (10,264) - Estimated Value £1.8m (Loan Debt £1.2m) - Season Ticket Holders 1,600

The Chairboys had a very impressive time last season, and look well set to put in another good challenge this term. Their squad seems well balanced again, with defender Aaron Pierre likely to remain a key figure if he settles down with his new partner at the heart of your backline. You have some decent youngsters in your group, and with an addition or two in central midfield, you should have enough to go very close. One thing to be aware of here is that you have no youth team, so you'll have to remember this or progress far enough to put some investment in to this area of the club. A good pick, this one.

9. Cambridge (16-1) - The Abbey Stadium (8,696) - Estimated Value £2.4m - Season Ticket Holders 2,000

This time last year, I would have said - and probably did - that this would be one of the hardest tests in League 2. One year on, and things are looking much more encouraging, with the windfall from an FA Cup clash with Manchester United seemingly transforming their fortunes. They've recruited quite nicely during the summer, with Luke Berry returning from Barnsley and fellow midfielder Jeff Hughes joining too. Target man Barry Corr was also a surprising arrival, passing up the opportunity to play in League 1 with his promoted club in favour of a spell with The U's.

10. Oxford (16-1) - The Kassam Stadium (12,573) - Estimated Value £2.5m (Loan Debt £7.5m) - Season Ticket Holders 3,250

The other varsity club, and one that I think can be serious contenders. You have a solid defence with Jake Wright a driving force at the heart of it. The rest of your backline is also in good shape, whilst in midfield you have some reasonable choices too. Further forward you have options on the flanks and in central attacking areas, including Kemar Roofe, Danny Hylton and young winger Callum O'Dowda. There isn't any obvious weakness in your squad, although if you feel you need a prolific striker you may be hampered by the atrocious financial position. You have to be very creative to get any spending money at all, and only 10% of any transfer income generated would be yours anyway, so sales don't help. I would suggest a 433 with attacking wingers might work for you, and only a couple of loan signings would be needed to make a really good attempt at promotion.

11. Northampton (20-1) - Sixfields Stadium (7,600) - Estimated Value £1.5m (Loan Debt £15m) - Season Ticket Holders 2,400

If ever a club lived up to it's nickname, this is probably it. The Cobblers have been quite underwhelming for a number of years now, and for a town the size of Northampton, they should be doing better. It's not only on the pitch where you will face difficulties though. Along with the county cricket club, the football team are in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Loans had previously been granted but the money wasn't allocated correctly, and time might be running out unless a wealthy new owner can be found. Here, you'll inherit a club with a massive £15m loan debt - 10 times their estimated value. The squad itself is pretty average, and having lost talented young striker Ivan Toney, you might be over-reliant on evergreen forward Marc Richards. I'd be surprised if you're in a position to improve your squad with any expenditure, so this could be a tricky but satisfying test of your managerial skills.

12. Exeter (33-1) - St James Park (8,830) - Estimated Value £1.6m - Season Ticket Holders 1,600

I have a certain affection for The Grecians after managing them last time out, and visiting their stadium for business recently too. This year they at least start in slightly better financial shape, following the sale of Matt Grimes last winter. The squad you have is made up of youngsters and veterans, with little in between, and it's a homely little club with modest resources. The key assets will probably be winger David Wheeler and forward Tom Nichols, but you'll need to run a tight ship and recruit sensibly if you want to even come close to serving as long as Paul Tisdale.

13. AFC Wimbledon (33-1) - The Fans Stadium – Kingsmeadow (5,339) - Estimated Value £1.8m (Loan Debt £475k) - Season Ticket Holders 2,600

A club with a proud history, the original Crazy Gang stormed through the leagues before it all went controversially wrong. Reformed in 2002, the new fan-owned operation again surged through the leagues from much further down the pyramid, eventually battling their way back to League 2. They deserve respect for their resilience, but whether they can be taken to another level is doubtful. George Francomb may have to play an important role if you wish to be the one to make that happen, but you could do with a little extra sparkle. If you take the challenge though, you will benefit from seeing your team in their Football Manager home shirt, and SI Games away shirt. What more incentive could you want?

14. Carlisle (33-1) - Brunton Park (16,683) - Estimated Value £2.9m (Loan Debt £120k) - Season Ticket Holders 1,560

On the face of it, there is little debt and the value is quite ok for a team at this level. In reality, they're yet another mediocre League 2 club, who will have to perform surprisingly well to exit this division in the right direction. The stadium is big enough to cope if you make it, and your isolated Cumbrian location might help with attendances if you bring success on the pitch. Central midfielder Jason Kennedy may be one of your go-to men but the squad lacks any major quality after the departures of Brad Potts and Kyle Dempsey.

15. Morecambe (33-1) - The Globe Arena (6,476) - Estimated Value £1.1m - Season Ticket Holders 750

A well-run little club who deserve credit for rolling along safely every year. Ambitions are very limited here, but if you're a shrewd operator then you might be able to convert them from mid-table security in to promotion contenders. You won't have any star names, but striker Shaun Miller might be a handy player if you can get the best out of him. If you like a club with little history and a home-grown squad, this could be the one for you.

16. Barnet (40-1) - The Hive (5,233) - Estimated Value £1.4m - Season Ticket Holders 900

Another small club who are unlikely to ever achieve much in the game. Maybe that could be part of the attraction though, to do the unexpected. It's certainly not the worst squad in the league either, with defender Bira Dembele a good acquisition, and Andy Yiadom a useful asset anywhere down the right. John Akinde should deliver goals and keep an eye out for teenage striker Mathew Stevens too. He looks handy in game, which is deserved when considering his prolific scoring record in youth football.

17. Dagenham & Redbridge (40-1) - Victoria Road (6,070) - Estimated Value £1.2m (Loan Debt £120k) - Season Ticket Holders 1,200

The Daggers are another unglamorous side, and you would do well to take them far at all. Again lacking any star quality, it's hard to pinpoint exactly where your big performances will come from. Veteran striker Jamie Cureton is still as good as many in this division, but even 'Curo' can't keep up these performances for much longer. In their favour, the club has little debt, and seem to knit a team together with discarded and lower league types. Maybe you can emulate that strategy.

18. Hartlepool (40-1) - Victoria Park (7,856) - Estimated Value £1.8m - Season Ticket Holders 3,248

Unbelievable Jeff! Last season the club looked doomed, but under their new manager they performed a remarkable turnaround and managed to survive the dreaded drop. I think this media prediction is a bit off, and feel you can do much better than estimated here. A spine of centre-back Scott Harrison, midfielder Brad Walker and striker Scott Fenwick - plus the versatile Michael Duckworth - should help you mount a play-off challenge at least. A good option this year.

19. Newport (40-1) - Rodney Parade (11,676) - Estimated Value £1.4m (Loan Debt £375k) - Season Ticket Holders 1,200

This South Wales outfit seem to have imploded after their backer withdrew funding and sold out to the fans. With their playing budget slashed, there was a mass exodus during the summer, and the replacements have not proven to be better than those that moved on. The pick of those that remained would be Mark Byrne, who provides energy, leadership and determination from the middle of the park. New striker Lenell John-Lewis might be your best attacking weapon, but matching last season's effort will be a tough ask.

20. York (40-1) - Bootham Crescent (9,196) - Estimated Value £2m (Loan Debt £4m) - Season Ticket Holders 1,680

Based in one of England's most charming cities, The Minstermen are another club who could do with seeing better days. Although not widely fancied, I think the squad is surprisingly adequate, and a top-half finish is definitely an achievable aim. The loan debt isn't going to help and financial prudence will be important, but I think there are goals to be had from your strikers, and winger Josh Carson should be capable of carving out chances. The rest of the squad isn't too shabby on paper either, and with only one loanee on the books (David Tutonda, who comes with a fair reputation) you can use that market to boost your chances further.

21. Accrington (40-1) - The Crown Ground (5,070) - Estimated Value £775k - Season Ticket Holders 520

Stanley, the club that refuse to die. You have to admire their spirit after some tough times in the past, and they always manage to keep their heads above water despite limited resources and a tiny budget. The chances of success here are slim to nothing, but if that captures your interest then good luck to you. Maybe they could generate some extra cash from milk adverts or something, I don't know. But until something happens, you'll have to coax as much as possible out of a distinctly average group of players. One bright note is Josh Windass, who looks destined for bigger and better things if he keeps up his early form.

22. Crawley (40-1) - Broadfield Stadium (6,134) - Estimated Value £1m (Loan Debt £900k) - Season Ticket Holders 850

This is a bit surprising to me. The last of the four relegated clubs are predicted to finish 22nd. Don't get me wrong, it's not the best group of players by any means - and the club doesn't have much to brag about on their balance sheet either. But even so, you'd be disappointed to finish this far down in League 2. Looking at your strikers, I would say you need improvements there, but Jimmy Smith is a tidy midfielder, and Gwion Edwards looks like a lively option on the wing.

23. Mansfield (40-1) - Field Mill (9,186) - Estimated Value £1.5m (Loan Debt £625k) - Season Ticket Holders 1,900

Again, I think The Stags would expect to finish much higher than this media prediction. The return of former striker Matt Green should be a big boost to the club, as without injuries he probably would have delivered far more at a higher level. If you can keep him fit, and midfielder Chris Clements performs as he can on a regular basis, a top half finish is definitely attainable. Improvements to your pool of central defenders looks to be your biggest priority if you end up here.

24. Bristol Rovers (50-1) - The Memorial Stadium (11,485) - Estimated Value £2.3m (Loan Debt £6m) - Season Ticket Holders 2,700

Last year saw the Rovers return to League 2 after just one season of non-league football. Having achieved that, it's a bit harsh to see them ranked as relegation fodder for the coming campaign, and I don't think they would expect to be in a serious fight for survival. The loan debt might cause you a few issues, but the club can attract a decent following, and they'll be looking to get closer to their city rivals at Ashton Gate in the coming years. Forwards Ellis Harrison and Matty Taylor will be looking to build on impressive returns last year, and should play a major role in any success you have.

Sky Bet League 2 Transfer & Wage Budgets



TBL2_zps5pfukmje.png

League2_zps360303dc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers for getting the thread up, Jogo :thup: top job!

-----

Having a quality save with Portsmouth at the moment. Really enjoying FM16!

Wasn't sure whether to get a Portsmouth thread up at some point or post my updates in here. Currently halfway through season two, so would need to get a quick season one update if anyone was remotely interested :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made a throwaway save with Sheff United before I start with Yeovil.

Their squad is easily good enough to challenge from the off, with real strength in every position. Originally, I built my squad and formation around the strengths of three players: George Long (GK), Che Adams (RM/RW) and Marc McNulty (ST). The only addition I made was Guy Demel (RB) who was backup to John Brayford. Leaving the club was Michael Higdon (150k to Bristol City) and a few youth players who weren't going to make it.

In the end, I won the league pretty comfortably. Standout players were the four previously mentioned, plus Louis Reed (young CM, potentially top Champ/lower Prem imo), Jose Baxter (CAM) and Chris Basham.

Second season, I lost in the play-off semis, meaning that I resigned immediately as I fancied a new challenge. Some players worth mentioning were Jon Walters (a superb defensive forward, would recommend for anyone in a 4-4-2), Ben Watson (B2B CM), Jozo Simunovic (on loan from Celtic, CB) and Craig Conway (LW).

Following this, I applied at numerous places, with everyone rejecting me before AFC Wimbledon, still in League Two, gave me the opportunity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please do Ty! I'm doing Pompey too and would be very interested to see what you've done (signings, tactics etc).

Cheers for getting the thread up, Jogo :thup: top job!

-----

Having a quality save with Portsmouth at the moment. Really enjoying FM16!

Wasn't sure whether to get a Portsmouth thread up at some point or post my updates in here. Currently halfway through season two, so would need to get a quick season one update if anyone was remotely interested :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see this up and running, kudos to you Jogo!

I've started a save as my beloved Posh, getting to grips with anything then I intend on starting as a League 2 side and work my way up.

Tip for you all, check out the Irish league for some expiring contract players. Brandon Miele from Shamrock Rovers is a standout for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Portsmouth 2015/16 Update



5e54862b3ecf16aa88336fdffdd42d48.png

---------------------------------

Squad/Transfers

I wanted to play a 433/4231 and settled with a combination of the two, depending on whether I was home/away. What I really needed to create these tactics was some central midfielders, as the ones we have are so defensive and a bit scared to attack in anyway!

The squad also lacked any sort of full back cover or a recognised RB at all! So we had to sort that out with a couple of loans.

Season One Transfers

I raided the big teams of their quality, players such as Rothwell, Swift, Bianchi. The Liverpool players didn't quite work out, and was terminated within 2 weeks of joining. Harrop/Goss never really got much game time, but when Jackson joined in January, he soon became a favourite of mine and started to elimate Rothwell from the starting lineup.

Del Piero came in to say "Portsmouth have signed Del Piero!", he become the club captain and had a handful of goals to his name but he never really clicked properly. Lastly Beevers came in and what a quality player he is at League Two, if you get chance to grab him, definitely do it.

League/Cups

The cups aren't worth talking about, let's get them out the way now. We were rubbish.

In the league though;

8c78ade91ba9e055f3abf977a0b1555c.png

YAY! I did something I expect us to do this season in real life, get out of the division. I did it with style though and winning the league, no messing around with play offs. 7 losses wasn't bad in total, something went wrong tactically in all those games though as I think I was winning all of them and threw it away!

I have swapped a couple of my roles around in my tactics for my return to League One. Due to new players and wanting to get the best out of them, this has made us defensively a lot better and we seem to be scoring a couple more.

Next Season?

As you can tell, a lot of my players were on loan and it left me with a bare squad of rubbish. I was given a budget of £2.5m (crazy budget for League One!) and let me tell you, I have spent every single penny on improving the squad and not relying on loans so much. I still have 5/6 loan players around the squad to add quality, but I have invested in a couple players... some have worked, some haven't. I'll show them in my next update probably later today!

I am currently sitting top League One with 27 games played, 3 points ahead of 2nd place. Due to the budget and players willing to come in. I'll leave you with this January 2017 teaser...



5c7c63f15305cc46669f352253f609e8.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started a save with Brentford. Made a couple of loan signings to start.

Ins:

Alex Pritchard (Spurs) (Pre-season)

Harrison Reed (Saints) (Pre-season)

Sinan Kurt (Bayern) (Pre season)

Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham) (January)

Dele Ali (Spurs) (January)

Only 1 point clear at the top with 9 games in the league left to play. Just beat my closest challengers QPR in the Derby to take us top.

Started the season play a 4,2DM,3,1 but wasn't scoring enough so moved to a 41221.

Alan Judge in the B2B role has been a revelation and Kurt has the most assists in the league from the left hand side.

Will give a better update at the end of the season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Started the season play a 4,2DM,3,1 but wasn't scoring enough so moved to a 4221.

I enjoy the fact you wasn't scoring enough goals, so you thought the best thing to do was to start playing games with 10 men instead! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Found myself a cheap gem in Steven Hewitt from Burnley. Cost me around £7K to play for Leyton Orient in League 2, now promoted and one of my key midfielders. Highly recommend him for L1/L2 players

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I enjoy the fact you wasn't scoring enough goals, so you thought the best thing to do was to start playing games with 10 men instead! :D

Damn you Ty. I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling moderators.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to start reading your stories. Will add to the opening posts over time so keep checking back if you need any info or ideas.

Jogo, take a bow son

Haha, thanks. Hope to see you in here a bit more this year. You don't want to take back hosting duties do you? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Found myself a cheap gem in Steven Hewitt from Burnley. Cost me around £7K to play for Leyton Orient in League 2, now promoted and one of my key midfielders. Highly recommend him for L1/L2 players

Noted.

Thanks buddy, I just popped in to say top work Jogo, you've made this your own baby now. I also wanted to say I'm gonna try and stay active this year as my friend and I are starting our new league 2 save after last years success of taking both pompy(him) & Plymouth(me) all the way to premier league and onto champions(me! Ha!)

Tomorrow we start all over again, he has choosen Notts County, I'm gonna with Leyton Orient(only to annoy my mate cause he's a West Ham fan).. So Hewitt will be scouted, cheers man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barkhuizen played very well for my morecambe side and developed nicely too now i am in Championship 2020 but he is stil a very big part of my team , oh yeah John Rooney or Conroy DC from chelsea after first season are a must very good players for 3rd and 4th tier .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just started a save as the mighty Daggers, the GF's dad supports them so thought I would give it a go. Hopefully I can do better than they are in real life (currently bottom of the table :thdn:).

So far played 2 games, lost to Portsmouth 0-2 at home as expected but beat Charlton in the League Cup 3-0 to progress to the 2nd Round with all 3 goals coming from juicy counterattacking football.

I can just imagine how happy he would be had this have happened in real.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to make any signings so far as it seems even loanees don't want to come to some pub team from Essex, but hopes are high I can finish mid table in the first season with the squad I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Promoted with The Dons.

Now in 2nd Season. Playing a 442. They build a new Stadium for 11.000 Supporters.

Some screens:

vvyC6VY.jpg

NmD2arh.jpg

o1dQGlV.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Found myself a cheap gem in Steven Hewitt from Burnley. Cost me around £7K to play for Leyton Orient in League 2, now promoted and one of my key midfielders. Highly recommend him for L1/L2 players

He is a little gem too! works tirelessly and can pick a pass. there's also Dan Agyei, a fast target man with a half decent finish if you can manage to prize him away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had an easy pre-season, although managed to get a great result vs Ajax in there. Start of the season was a bit rough, unbeaten in 5 league games now though!

pamwWf3.png

Table:

QliKT1Z.png

Getting injuries to my key players fairly often which is a real pain in the arse.

Transfers:

Out: Hesky, Ameobi, Dobbie, Eaves

In: Stephen Hunt (free), Falcinelli (£425k), Aarons (Loan), Andreas Perira (Loan), Adam Maher (Loan).

Needed a cheap striker and I thought Falcinelli would do me a job, so far, terrible buy. At least I have Clough, when he's not injured that is. Got Maher on last day of the window. Aarons has been immense so far, but he's just got injured :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I couldn't decide who to play this time round, so I loaded in a bunch of leagues, hit the random button a few times until it gave me someone outside the top flight of the big nations, and now I'm managing Cambridge, so I thought I'd stick my head in here. Was rather surprised with their budgets, but didn't feel like going over the top, especially as the team seems reasonably solid to begin with and kept my recruitment pretty limited - just picked up a couple of Nordic players recommended over in the Lower League Bargains thread. Will see how things are in January and maybe spend a bit more then.

Had a good but easy pre-season, beating a bunch of small local teams, won my first league match comfortably, then an excellent defensive performance and an extra time goal beat our rivals Peterborough in the League Cup to give us a second round tie at Swansea, which should be good for the club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to see a variety of saves under way already, at different levels too!

I've not even got to starting on the released version yet, but have virtually finished the preview and guide on the League 2 clubs now. I've chosen to do them first as they are less familiar to most and therefore more guidance might be needed on what to look for at each of those teams. I'll do League 1 next, and then finally the Championship teams.

I hope to see more and more people inspired to try one of the FL72 options, and look forward to hearing your stories as you go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any plans for a league-1 save? Might try my luck with Port Vale again..

I hope to see more and more people inspired to try one of the FL72 options, and look forward to hearing your stories as you go.

What is FL72?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I've started as Yeovil as I decided to end my journeyman career.. the squad is appalling considering the amount of injuries they've got, especially to their key players (the ones who helped me to win the league last year)

Wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I've started as Yeovil as I decided to end my journeyman career.. the squad is appalling considering the amount of injuries they've got, especially to their key players (the ones who helped me to win the league last year)

Wish me luck!

Keep us posted!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jogo Cracking job mate, thanks for doing so.

My first challenge on FM is currently with Darmstadt, but as soon as that finishes, i'll be delving straight in to FL72.

Maybe even offer you a little challenge with Exeter... :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to those for kind words, I forgot how long it takes to make a proper thread so it's still WIP! Hoping to have the main part of League 1 sorted today though.

Keep updating fellas, and enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

August Update



8916f0f64322.png

I decided to start as my hometown club, Carlisle. I attend all Carlisle games so I thought it would be perfect to play as the club I love. After loading up the save and having a look at the squad, I was quite impressed with the way it looked and I was quite confident I could work with the squad. I let the assistant play my friendlies so I could just concentrate on making transfers and messing around with the roles to try get the perfect balance and I reckon it's worked as you can see from my results in a minute.

9b0774190d622be9fae06d03b69f9236.png

Transfer wise I tried to limit the amount of money I spent so I brought in a few loanees, most to just add competition however Myles Weston, Joshua Webb and Josh Clarke were brought in as first team players. I also loaned out a few youngsters to Annan and Workington, hopefully they can come back better and eventually become first team players at the club.

2ccdf91f4fc4fa28bebcfd3f95dae354.png

So next is the results and all I can say is.. WOW. I am very shocked at how well we've started as I really didn't expect us to be playing this well. The whole balance of the squad just seems to be perfect as everyone works as a unit and they stick to their positions and work hard, which is brilliant. As I started the season, I was quite disappointed with Kevin Osei as he was getting much lower ratings than everyone else, however he really turned it around after scoring a three against AFC Wimbledon after just twelve minutes, which was fantastic and since then has been piled in the goals. We beat Preston as well and drew in normal time with Burnley, teams that are two leagues above us which is very pleasing and shows how this squad has a lot of potential! Hopefully we can carry on next month with similar form and I'd like to just say that I won Manager Of The Month, Alex Gilliead won Player Of The Month and Bersant Celina and Josh Clarke came first and second in Young Player Of The Month respectively.

5614a4f007a20848d119189e90b78c7b.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having similar problems in a test save with Cambridge. My laptop updated FM, so I thought I'd test the patch. Every formation I try isn't working well, conceding simple goals down the wings or long, long balls over the top.

No, I don't want to go into the tactics part of the forum and discuss with people who think they know it all*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just started a save with my beloved Birmingham City, judging by the last 2 releases, this year I seem to have a bit of stability in regards to finances.

Won all my friendlys quite comfortably and now down to business.

As it stands there's very little transfer activity with Middlesboro interested in Koby Authur but turned down a measly £300K offer, as for players in after spending my first 3 hours scouring the transfer market, I am about to sign Simon Cox for £500K, £125K up front, not a star signing as such but I need a back up to Donaldson and he was the best on offer with the budget I have.

Had a solid start.

Reading 4-1

Cambridge 2-1

Burnley 0-0

Still getting to grips the new ME, it really feels that you need to be on top of your tactics whilst watching the match which I really like.

Will update when the window opens but it might be some time being a new game and of course trying to sell the dead wood as I do on every version

KRO

:thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how I want my team to play but it just doesn't seem to work. I thought I had teamtalks down to a point on the last FM and I've not changed much. I just don't think I'm cut out for management above League One :D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here!, don't think I will be getting automatic promotion first season this year :lol:

Really like the Player overview Stat page....really nice touch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll ask in here as well as the Forest thread, but what sort of reps do you guys start with when you play in the Football League? Do you always go with a realistic representation of your career/non-career so far or do you go all out international?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always start with the worst for both. Going all-out is a bit pointless really as I think (correct me if I'm wrong) it would give the player a genuine advantage over poor managers in the lower leagues.

Although, I can understand those who have reps which represent the level they're managing at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the thing, I've always been the same. Which could explain why I have a lack of respect from some players at the club. But I just feel dirty starting with anything more than Sunday League and no quals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the thing, I've always been the same. Which could explain why I have a lack of respect from some players at the club. But I just feel dirty starting with anything more than Sunday League and no quals.

It's definitely more satisfying to an extent, although I wouldn't be bothered if people started with the ones that reflect the footballing level.

I wouldn't ever be international though, that would be a kop out for me personally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2 more games in and just beat Brentford 5-1 away and Derby 3-1 @ home, thinking twice now about signing Simon Cox...decisions decisions

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've decided to go back to Accrington. It seems they still have one of, if not the smallest budgets in the league. I got cruelly sacked last time after 5 seasons I think. Aiming to better that this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...