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4 hours ago, mrdanbartlett said:

What are your attendances like now? 

Capacity is just over 5200, average attendance is around 4800. 

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After our bad start, things have picked up a bit. We still can't defend but our strikers have started scoring again and helped us to some valuable points. Can we keep it up and push for the playoffs or will we fall away? I'd love to be optimistic and hopeful but we've been lucky in some of our wins so far and I don't think it will last.

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Lots has happened since the last update.

Firstly, Brexit:

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Probably the best outcome for this type of save. Hopefully one day the board will allow me to scout outside of the UK!

Everybody wants Howsham:

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The January Transfer Window sees the usual high demand for my players. I made a nice bit of money again for the future. I couldn't find anyone worth buying so filled in the gaps with more loans.

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The finances are looking healthy.

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On the field, we have continued our good performances and despite not being great defensively, our strikers have been doing the business for us. Can we do the unthinkable and somehow grab another promotion?

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Another trophy for our cabinet... surprising as I tried to lose every game up to the semi finals as I didn't want the extra games. My reserves just kept winning and once we got to the semi finals I decided we may as well try and win it.

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However, bad news soon followed. Meet my star player:

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A major blow considering the stats he has posted this season. This could affect the run in...

 

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With one game left, the table looks like this for our first season in league 1:

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The final day fixtures:

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We have the easiest game on paper I think.

 

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WE ARE GOING UP, SAY WE ARE GOING UP! 

Another unbelievable promotion to add to an incredible save game so far. 

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After a slow start adjusting to the new level, we found form, and I rotated the squad heavily, which I think helped get results.

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Part of me is delighted. Part of me is terrified that we are going to be annihilated in the Championship. 

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Portsmouth won the playoffs, beating Preston in the final.

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Season 5 Preview- Championship 

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This season is all about surviving in the Championship.

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The bookies don't give us a chance. The bookies didn't give us a chance last season either. We showed them. Can we do it again?

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I'm going to say no. No because look at the outgoing players list. That's most of last seasons squad. I didn't feel any of them could do a job in the Championship, apart from Coutts. He wanted more money than I decided he was worth at his age. So he went too. I don't mess around and sentiment plays no part. It all comes down to results and if I don't think the player fits that model, they aren't required.

For the second year running, nobody wants to join that I determined was good enough. This is a massive issue given all the players who have left. I had 8 players in the first team left. 

So, having reached July and having no players, I signed as many loans as I could. At least I can field a team to begin the season with.

I will spend the season manually going through every national team's under 21 and under 19 sides and trying to sign anyone I think is good enough. The board have finally upgraded our scouting to Europe so I have tasked my scouts with searching for players as well.

As long as we survive the season, anything else is a bonus. All I want to do is be in a better position next summer, by having signed players throughout this season ready to have a better go next year. Hopefully people will want to sign for me soon! 

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Great read! As a Braintree local, I've been tempted to try this. Not sure it could match up to your save though!  

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8 hours ago, Marshdweller said:

Great read! As a Braintree local, I've been tempted to try this. Not sure it could match up to your save though!  

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed reading. I never thought it would go as well as this. I guess if you commit to the save, there's no reason you can't replicate what I have done... I'm not really that good at FM, certainly compared to people on here/who have their own sites (Cleon, Guido etc).

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We last looked at a preview to our first season in the Championship. With a team cobbled together in July, comprising lots of loan players, I was expecting a struggle. 

Pre season started badly, with a heavy defeat to our STILL PARENT CLUB EVEN THOUGH THEYRE IN LEAGUE 2 Southend. After that, things improved greatly with three wins to zero.

We seem to do well on opening day, and this season was no different. A fantastic win away at Pompey, with a late goal stealing the points. The reserves then lost in the Cup to Wycombe before a disastrous 2 points from the next 12. QPR away was a turning point. A game where everything comes together and the team performs exceptionally well. 

Points started to follow and even though the defence is as porous as Spongebob Squarepants, our attack looks very good. BTTS is a regular occurrence in our matches.

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With Christmas out the way, the league table is looking very pleasing for our first season at this level. 1000/1 the bookies said! We seem to hammer team's in the bottom half but lots of late goals cost us points against the bigger and better sides. 

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Another month has gone by and we have picked up far more points so far than I thought we would all season! Lots of big wins in there but still losing to the best teams. I guess that's to be expected really but if we could just get the odd point against these teams, we would close the gap on the playoffs rather than fall further behind.

I decided to play the reserves in the FA Cup. The league is the priority, especially considering our current position, and extra games I feel would see the league form struggle. So having tried to lose the games, the reserves had none of it and beat both money bags Cardiff and high flying Newcastle! 

Cardiff approached me to be their new manager... Obviously I am refusing all offers but out of interest...

League 1 side, transfer budget £47 million, wage budget 1.1 million!  Compare that to my paltry budgets and it made me smile at how Moneyball this all is!

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Southend have just had a takeover and their new board have cut the affiliate link! Thank goodness for that! They're two divisions below us! How were they still our parent club?!

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FA Cup 5th round

Home against Premiership leaders Man City.

David v Goliath

A real Moneyball story. The minnows of Braintree get to play the oil rich multi millionaires. 

Biggest game of the season, maybe in our history. So I decided to play the reserves. I figured we would lose anyway and with key league games coming up, the first team don't need a morale hit or any further injuries. 

Step up my reserves side (compiling players who rarely featured in the league squad and a couple who needed fitness)

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How?! No idea how my reserves managed this one but what a performance and a result. 

3 days later in the league, we managed to lose. How can the reserves beat Man City and the first team lose at home to Wolves!? I would have rather had the points in the league to be honest. 

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Injuries are piling up and costing me greatly in the league.

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6 of the 7 listed are first team players. 

You'll notice some more exotic names on the list compared to last season. My scouts have returned ZERO players so I went through every European nation and looked at their U21 and U19 sides. I scouted everyone I thought was any good and managed to get a few to agree terms. 

Yes, you read that right. SOME PLAYERS HAVE AGREED TO SIGN!

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FA Cup Sixth Round

Home v Everton

Another televised game so more money for our coffers. Again, reserve team to play this one. Still prefer the league.

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Maybe the reserves need to play more often! 

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League form has been poor since the City game. My dreams of another promotion are slipping away. More late goals keep costing us. Reading scored in the 90th minute to steal the points. 

As a Sheff Utd fan, doing the double over the Pigs was very nice! 

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With 6 games to play, we are pretty much fighting for sixth place. We are too far behind the rest.

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The FA Cup draw has pitted us against Man Utd at Wembley in the semi final.

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FA Cup Semi Final

Wembley Stadium

Braintree v Man United

My first major mistake of the season. Should have played the reserves but in front of 90,000 in the stadium and a global TV audience, I wanted to show the world what Braintree was all about. Huge mistake Howsham. Feckin huge.

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Gabigol ran riot. The difference in class and budgets was so evident and we were lucky to only ship 5. 2 more to the injured pile, a major morale blow and all at a key point in the season. With three games left, we needed at least 6 points to make the playoffs having lost ground again.

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Zero points from 9 going into the final day meant we couldn't make the playoffs. The effects of the Man Utd game seemed to have lingered and we looked very weak in the following two games. Having missed out, there was no pressure going into the final game, against bottom place MK Dons. I'm glad we put in a good final day performance because the two teams below us also won, meaning had we failed to win, we would have finished 9th.

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Missing out on the playoffs is very disappointing, especially as we occupied 6th place for a long time. However, let's be realistic. With our budget, our cobbled together squad of loan players and our pre season expectations of last place, what a season! 

The FA Cup run was incredible and provided a lot of money. The board have already announced my budgets for next season. 8 million to spend is a step up and hopefully I can sign a few more players so I don't rely so much on loans.

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Not sure whether I can take the club any further than I have. If I can get players to sign for me this summer, I will give next season a go. If like the last few years, no one will join still, I feel it may be the end of the road.

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My scouting begins. Watch this space. 

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Keep up the good work! I think you are much better tactically than I am, so you will have no problems surviving the Championship.

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On 05/09/2017 at 15:22, inthisspace said:

Keep up the good work! I think you are much better tactically than I am, so you will have no problems surviving the Championship.

Thanks! Ideally I want to get to the Premiership as soon as possible, because the money there is crazy and should help me begin to build a decent side.

On 05/09/2017 at 12:17, mrdanbartlett said:

You just need to be patient and the rep should slowly rise.  Might have to spend a couple of seasons in the championship. 

I think you are right. As much as I don't want to spend seasons in the Championship, I think that is the most likely scenario. 

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Season 2022/23 Preview

After the disappointment of narrowly missing out on the playoffs last year, we go again and try to assemble a squad that can go one better.

I began scouting the day after the final match and managed to assemble a decent squad this time. Bolstered with a few loans again, I have more than enough cover for injuries and to be able to do my usual rotating of players. 

Do I think the squad is good enough to reach the playoffs? No. The players will need time to gel, my attackers all need retraining to play as AMC in my Strikerless system and the gap between the small clubs like ours, and the big teams like Newcastle, is just getting bigger. The money they are spending is ridiculous. 

Thankfully, the board have not let last seasons anomalous position affect their expectations.

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The season preview highlights the size of the task ahead. Yet again, we are predicted dead last. The bookies don't learn do they?! If only that was the case in real life...

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Having got to work early, I was able to make a considerable number of transfers.

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I have focussed on young players who should develop to being good enough at this level, and will almost certainly increase in value so I can sell for a tidy profit (like in the previous seasons). This is part of my Moneyball approach. In addition, I found a few players who were Transfer listed at well below their value as their club didn't want them anymore. Another aspect of Moneyball - identify talent that other clubs don't see or undervalue. 

Pre season went well I think. I tried to play as many players as I could across the four games so as to get everyone close to full fitness. 

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We need to get off to a good start as the early fixtures avoid any of the biggest teams in the division. The run of games including Newcastle, Villa, Reading and moneybags Cardiff, is going to be a struggle. Therefore, we have to get points against the others so that we aren't stuck at the bottom of the league. 

I wont be bothering with the cups again. Reserves can play those. (Look how that ended up last year!)

My prediction: Mid table/bottom half finish but safely above the relegation. I don't think the players have the quality to get near the playoffs. Most are rated as conference or league 2 currently (all signed based on potential not current ability). 

 

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Lafont? The goalkeeper wonderkid is in the English Championship? My word, what has the league become to? I guess you managed to find a good regen or two to supplement your squad? 

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33 minutes ago, inthisspace said:

Lafont? The goalkeeper wonderkid is in the English Championship? My word, what has the league become to? I guess you managed to find a good regen or two to supplement your squad? 

Yep that's the one! Shows you what I'm up against! 

Yes, I've built a squad of regens and I'm currently scouting all the national sides again as I type. Hoping to add a few more.

Edited by BuryBlade

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So, having spent yesterday scouting and finding a few more players to join my merry ranks, I proceeded to spend the rest of the evening and night playing through the season.

We started slowly again, lots of new signings need time to bed in and gel together. Reading away was the turning point. An amazing performance and one of three games where we hit 6 goals on this screenshot. 

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I'm very pleased with this start and if we can be consistent then maybe we can hold on to a playoff spot unlike last year.

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Not the most consistent of mid seasons but enough wins in there to keep us in the right part of the table.

I deliberately lost the FA Cup game by playing the worst possible XI. After the reserves got to the semi final last year with me trying to lose, I wasn't taking any chances this time round. I feel the extra games contributed to us missing the playoffs last season.

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Despite us not being the most consistent through the mid season, we have closed the gap on second place. Look at the teams around us though. Much bigger names with much bigger budgets. One thing in my favour at this point is our incredible goal difference. 

The run in looks like this - we play a lot of teams in and around us.

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Last season we fell apart in the run in, costing us a playoff place. This season has been strange so far, with some big wins one week, followed by poor defeats the next. 

However, this is one of the best runs I've ever had.

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To go unbeaten from the 11th of February is incredible and we thoroughly deserved the playoff spot we achieved...

Just kidding... we won the title on the last day!

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Champions in our second season at this level! In just six seasons we have gone from the Conference South to the Premiership on a shoestring budget using a Moneyball style approach. 

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The elation of having secured the title lasted all of about 30 seconds... right up to the point I read the email with the budgets for our first season in the Premiership...

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You have to be joking?! Both the wage and transfer budgets are simply pathetic for the Premiership. 6 million to improve the team to face the billionaire clubs? 

This has really annoyed me considering the money we will receive for simply being in the Premiership. I may have to view this like I did on FM16 with Weston Super Mare. I got to the Premiership and had no money. We had about 3 points at Christmas so I sold all my players and accepted relegation (with 13 points I think). The logic being that I could then assemble a team using the money from the Premiership and destroy the Championship the following year with a team that would already be good enough to survive the Premiership. It worked and I was able to build the year after for a European push. 

Really interested in your thoughts for how to approach the next season with these budgets? If you were Manager, how would you go about this? 

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Kubson   
31 minutes ago, BuryBlade said:

Last season we fell apart in the run in, costing us a playoff place. This season has been strange so far, with some big wins one week, followed by poor defeats the next. 

However, this is one of the best runs I've ever had.

zkQ82oU.jpg

To go unbeaten from the 11th of February is incredible and we thoroughly deserved the playoff spot we achieved...

Just kidding... we won the title on the last day!

S1cyohl.jpg

Champions in our second season at this level! In just six seasons we have gone from the Conference South to the Premiership on a shoestring budget using a Moneyball style approach. 

LkLgLQw.jpg

The elation of having secured the title lasted all of about 30 seconds... right up to the point I read the email with the budgets for our first season in the Premiership...

VtTukI4.jpg

You have to be joking?! Both the wage and transfer budgets are simply pathetic for the Premiership. 6 million to improve the team to face the billionaire clubs? 

This has really annoyed me considering the money we will receive for simply being in the Premiership. I may have to view this like I did on FM16 with Weston Super Mare. I got to the Premiership and had no money. We had about 3 points at Christmas so I sold all my players and accepted relegation (with 13 points I think). The logic being that I could then assemble a team using the money from the Premiership and destroy the Championship the following year with a team that would already be good enough to survive the Premiership. It worked and I was able to build the year after for a European push. 

Really interested in your thoughts for how to approach the next season with these budgets? If you were Manager, how would you go about this? 

I'd probably try and go after free agents/players with expiring contracts, look at transfer listed players, i had worse situation with Nottingham Forest, i had about 5 milion pounds to spend, so i did what i just said and sold off deadwood and I managed to finish in 10th place, so I think you should try and do that.

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I suspect in Jan the bank balance will be v big and the board will give you a big budget for that Window, or try asking them for more a week before transfer deadline day in Aug.

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On 09/09/2017 at 11:07, Kubson said:

I'd probably try and go after free agents/players with expiring contracts, look at transfer listed players, i had worse situation with Nottingham Forest, i had about 5 milion pounds to spend, so i did what i just said and sold off deadwood and I managed to finish in 10th place, so I think you should try and do that.

Thanks for your advice. I spent yesterday afternoon searching through all the released players and the transfer market for free, contract expiring or listed players. Sadly, due to the club rep still not having got anywhere near the level we are at, Premiership quality players were few and far between. And then those who would agree to talk wanted stupid wages. I'm currently paying around the 5k a week mark to my good players. I had people demanding 100k a week!

9 hours ago, mrdanbartlett said:

I suspect in Jan the bank balance will be v big and the board will give you a big budget for that Window, or try asking them for more a week before transfer deadline day in Aug.

I will have to try this. I did look to see if I could ask this yesterday as I need more money but the option wasn't available. I will look again before the window shuts. 

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Season 2023/24 Preview 

Following our incredible promotion to the Premiership, we are left with the daunting task of trying to survive in a league where players earn more in a week than my entire weekly wage budget! Moneyball approach is definitely going to be in order again. We can't compete with the other teams off the field so we have to find an edge to compete with them on it. 

Here's the board expectations for the season.

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Pretty straight forward really. Try not to get relegated. As mentioned before, this could end up as badly as my Weston Super Mare save last year. 

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1000/1 they say... where have we seen that before?!

Transfer business has been fairly limited due to funds and club rep. 

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I spent my budget on a new Goalkeeper (Lopez) and a new striker/amc in Johnsson. The GK position was essential and I desperately tried to bring in an experienced head but the two I found I could not agree a transfer fee for that was in my budget. The two other signings on frees were players I found on the released pile. Both attackers so we have plenty of fire power (just no defence!)

In terms of the released, all were out of contract and not rated anywhere near good enough for this level. 

Let's have a look at my record signing.

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Not my first choice but the best I could find and afford. I think h should develop into a decent keeper for this level. At only 19 years old, he has lots of time to improve. 

The signing I was most excited about was Cabrera.

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Far better than anyone at the club and probably won't want to stay at Braintree very long. Hopefully he can have a good season then I can kick him for a big profit. 

The defence looks thin on the ground. The three main targets all chose other offers and rejected the move here. I am now looking for loan signings to complete the defence as there is no more money left for transfers. 

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I feel for you, having experienced players rejecting to play for my club for a much lower wage at another club (one division lower even!).

May we see a screen shot of your current squad? I wonder how many real players and regen players there are. 

If I may suggest a few players to look at, which you maybe able to attract:

Ben Garratt (GK, Crewe)

Niklas Kolle (DLC, Mainz)

Miguel Lopes (DC, Tondela)

Jonjoe Kenny (DR, Everton)

Emil Aduero (GK, Juventus)

 

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22 minutes ago, inthisspace said:

I feel for you, having experienced players rejecting to play for my club for a much lower wage at another club (one division lower even!).

May we see a screen shot of your current squad? I wonder how many real players and regen players there are. 

If I may suggest a few players to look at, which you maybe able to attract:

Ben Garratt (GK, Crewe)

Niklas Kolle (DLC, Mainz)

Miguel Lopes (DC, Tondela)

Jonjoe Kenny (DR, Everton)

Emil Aduero (GK, Juventus)

 

Screenshots of current squad. All regens as I always focus on youth when I play FM. Easier to implement my Moneyball strategy with young players with lower wage demands and more scope to add value. The other advantage to young players is that due to the lower wages, I can build a bigger squad with my budget. I like having a big squad as I rotate players a lot to keep them fresh. 

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Thanks for the list of players. I will have a look at the players you have listed and see if any are affordable, available and willing to join. 

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Unfortunately only Ben Garratt is on my game. I assume as it is the iPad game, the database is so much smaller than normal FM so they were never part of the database at the start of my save. 

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Keep tabs on released players who are still free agents after the transfer window shuts, as time goes on their demands will start to lower and you may be able to sign them.

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On 11/09/2017 at 21:41, mrdanbartlett said:

Keep tabs on released players who are still free agents after the transfer window shuts, as time goes on their demands will start to lower and you may be able to sign them.

I've kept a few shortlists of players but so far none that are within my wage budget. 

On 11/09/2017 at 23:12, Nobby_McDonald said:

Good luck in the promised land. I think you'll need it...

Haha, I think we will need more than luck to finish outside the bottom 3.

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Not updated for a while as I haven't really played. Been playing FIFA recently. 

However, the Premiership campaign has begun.

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I set up an easy pre season to try and get morale high before the inevitable defeats in the league. 

We were very poor on opening day, losing to Newcastle. Thankfully we won our first home game of the season - albeit we are no longer at Cressing Road. The board announced the building of a new stadium so for now we are ground sharing with Millwall.

Lukaku scored all 4 goals in a narrow defeat at Everton. Very disappointing really as we deserved a point. 

I played the reserves in the cup and was happy to lose - less games the better. 

We were poor at home to Arsenal and 0-1 flattered us really. A late equaliser at home to West Ham saved a point but we were demolished against league leaders Southampton. Man City dispatched us comfortably in the following match and things are looking bleak already. 

We finally got things to click in the following game at home to Brentford and we thoroughly deserved our big win. 

My assessment so far is that we can match the weakest teams in the league but are getting hammered by the best. 

DgxghpQ.jpg

 

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Not the worst of starts given the circumstances - I'm confident if you can stay within say 4 points of the safety zone by Xmas then with the inevitable big bugdet in Jan you will be able to sign enough quality to keep you up.   

How big will the new stadium be, what is it costing and how has it affected the overall bank balance?

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47 minutes ago, mrdanbartlett said:

Not the worst of starts given the circumstances - I'm confident if you can stay within say 4 points of the safety zone by Xmas then with the inevitable big bugdet in Jan you will be able to sign enough quality to keep you up.   

How big will the new stadium be, what is it costing and how has it affected the overall bank balance?

Currently, it is in the planning stage so I don't have any details as of yet other than they have decided to build. All the message said was it would be 2-3 years and would be called the Quinton arena (annoyed it's not named after me!)

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10 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Quinton Arena does sound better than BuryBlade Arena.

On FM12 I got Howsham Arena. I think in this make believe FM world, I've done more for the club than Brad Quinton did! 

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