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[FM13]'Let me start at the (IK) Start and then take it away...'

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RCD Espanyol de Barcelona SAD
2016/17 season summary

League (La Liga)

Media prediction: 7th
Finished: 4th


Copa del Rey: 4th round

Top scorers

Erik Trondsen: 15 goals in 29 games (all in the league)
Steve Bourhala: 13 goals in 28 games (all in the league)


A magnificent league campaign, to break into the top four in my first season is a massive over-achievement in terms of my own expectations, and indeed the board. There's a really useful nucleus of a squad at the club at the moment, which should only improve with the business I've already done for next season. I'm quite hopeful that we'll make a decent chunk of cash selling off the players I consider to be dead wood this summer too, which I'll aim to reinvest back into the squad. If we are able to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League next season, that money will ideally be spent upgrading our youth facilities, which could do with a bit of a boost but we can't quite afford it at this stage. Overall then, lots to be happy about ahead of next year. 


Nothing major, but I do need to address a lack of homegrown players within the squad pretty soon. We're particularly short on players developed by the club, although that should change in the next couple of years thanks to us signing a few young kids this year. I'm slightly concerned about money too - our wage bill this year was €29.5m, which I would expect to see increase next year. We can't sell any more season tickets in the stadium, and our TV deal won't change for a couple more years, so I could feasibly have to sell a player I'd rather not in order to keep us in the black. 


Another competitive year next year, ideally secure CL football once more, and hopefully have a better run in the cup. As for Europe, that depends on what competition we end up in. 

Player of the season

Erik Trondsen. In his first year in Spain, he scored 15 goals and created 8 more, despite missing 3 months to injury. A bargain at €1.3m, and very much a key part of my plans for the next year at least. 


Lowest attendance: 28,931 (v Real Zaragoza)
Highest attendance: 40,000 (sell-out x4)
Average attendance: 33,046 (32,931 in the league, 8th highest in division)


€900,000 in credit

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On 15/11/2017 at 06:05, kidthekid said:

Great first season

Cheers, it was a really enjoyable season too.

On 15/11/2017 at 11:47, deltablue said:

The 4th place trophy is yours ;)

The open-topped bus parade was lots of fun...

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Hmm. During the winter, I went all out to sign an AM from Feyenoord, but he chose to sign for Valencia so I signed Zivkovic instead.

It's now July 1st, and the deal to Valencia has fallen through. I need an AML, not a third (or fourth!) AMC, but this kid is a monster...

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11 minutes ago, BoxToBox said:

Any way you can shuffle the pack?


All theoretical at the moment as I won't get to play until tonight, but one of my current CMs is in the last year of his contract and wants an enormous pay rise. I could try and sell him, then use either Zivkovic or the lad from Feyenoord in midfield. Otherwise it's just a case of retraining for AML, which is something of a risk...but this kid is insane.

I'll post a screenshot of him later whether I sign him or not.

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Got him! We have to pay a small tribunal fee of €1.6m, but we got him!


Now I just need to work out where I'm going to play him. I'm leaning towards retraining him to play AML as an inside forward, but he's going to be a monster wherever he gets in the team. 


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RCD Espanyol de Barcelona SAD
2017/18 season preview

Media expectation: 7th (out of 20)
Board expectation: qualify for Europe

Transfer budget (remaining): €4m
Wage budget: €901,000p/w (€275,000p/w under budget)

A really busy summer as I look to put my own stamp on the squad and the club. We've brought in no fewer than TWELVE players in this window so far, costing a total of €8.25m in transfer fees, while ten players have left the first team squad on a permanent basis, bringing €17.5m back in to the club. I am a little concerned about the inevitable upheaval caused by such a fundamental change to the squad, but it is absolutely necessary if we're to be competitive in Europe and the cup as well as the league this year. 

I must admit I did worry the board would ramp up their expectations on the back of such a good season, but I think they've been sensible aiming for Europe. I would hope we can get a little closer to the big three this year, but I'd take 5th or 6th if it meant we got into the tail end of one the cup competitions. I'd like to ask the board to invest in our youth facilities this summer (they're currently at a good standard, unlike our top training facilities) but I'm still waiting on the television contract being paid out. I shall see how we're looking once that arrives. 

So what is new then for this season? Well, the first thing is we're a much quicker team this season than last. Around half of the first team squad have an acceleration/pace combination in the 30s, and so I'm aiming to tweak our style of play a touch so we hit sides on the counter attack more often. We scored 68 league goals last season, which isn't bad, but it was 13 fewer than the champions, who also conceded 12 fewer goals. I'm optimistic we'll be more clinical this year with the attacking talent we now possess, but I still have some work to do on our centre backs, I suspect. 


Nine players left for transfer fees: winger Gabriel Intriago joined Ajaccio for €6.5m, while defender Edson returned to Brazil to join Santos for €1m. Milan Stojkovski was 33 years of age and struggling for game time, so he went to Granda for €500,000, and forward Fernando Arbeloda joined the same club for €1.5m the very next day. Full back Enrique joined Rayo for €1m, and record goalscorer Carlos Alberto went to Sporting Gijon for €750,000, in the least popular deal of the summer. Branislav Radosavljevic went to German club Aue for €1.7m, and Ivan Novoa joined Levante for €4m, Finally, Isaac Angel Pons accepted a contract offer from Las Palmas and left on a free transfer. 

You've seen most of my new arrivals already on the previous page, but here are the missing two:


Sala was released by FCB, so took the simple step of remaining in his home city and signed for us on a free, while Paraguayan Merlo (who is homegrown in Spain too) joins from Granda for €5.5m. He is likely to slot straight in to the back four ahead of the ageing Schmidtt and the youngster Bellan. 

Right, on with a tour to Mexico, and then to a new season. 


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UEFA Champions League

1st Leg: Manchester United 1-0 Espanyol
A horrible draw in the Champions League sees us off to Old Trafford in the first leg, and while we were terrific defensively, we were toothless up front. The only goal came 9 minutes from time, and it took a stunning free kick to break the deadlock. Hopefully we'll offer a bit more going forward in the home leg.

2nd Leg: Espanyol 0-0 Manchester United
A short Champions League adventure for us this year, then. Disappointing, but we weren't done any favours at all by the draw. Another good performance though, but we just couldn't quite get the job done on the night. The Europa League it is, then.


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Hmm. Contemplating doing one of those things I hate doing - making a major signing on deadline day. I've identified a winger, who is brilliant, but his fee is nearly double my transfer record.

He'll cost a huge €11m, and I may not have time to sell my back up, but he will dramatically improve us. A big decision for tonight.

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Here he is:


€11m seems a huge sum of money when I think about the club's previous record deal, but l'm comfortable with it. I'd originally offered Toulouse €5m for him on deadline day, and increased the offer to €7m and then €9m after rejections. Toulouse negotiated for €14m, but when my non-negotiable €11.5m offer was rejected, the player took matters into his own hands and demanded a move. The club set a price of €13.75m, but accepted a non-negotiable €11m, with just €3m paid up front. Pretty good business, I think.

Looking at the overall window, I've rebuilt the squad this summer for a total outlay of €1.75m (which could yet change as back-up winger Vasile Lupu is currently discussing a move the other way, to Toulouse) so I really can't complain about spending a little more than I had wanted on one individual deal.

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Considering we were in pot three in the EL draw, I'm chuffed with that:


This, however, is a bit of a shock:


Edited by withnail316

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16 hours ago, kidthekid said:

That expectation was indeed shocking. Cleber looks like a future La Liga player of the year

He does look quite handy, it could be an excellent piece of business if he settles. I'm rather grateful that his buy-out is as much as €55m, as I suspect we'll have bigger clubs sniffing around if he's successful.

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August & September



A bit of a mixed bag to start the season with. I'd probably have taken 10 points from the first five games had it been offered to me, but I can really tell I've had a huge overhaul this summer. Some of the performances have been mediocre at best, but I'm confident we'll improve as the season goes on.

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Struggling with this at the moment. The game seems to have slowed down to a snail's pace, and considering my time is now much more limited with the arrival of our second kid, I'm not able to make any kind of progress. 

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