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(FM13) Super Caley go ballistic or they are atrocious: a Scandinavian Shankly story

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Apologies for the slowdown in this. Hoping to pick it up again this evening. 

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September

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Not a great deal to report, in terms of drama. We've made an electric start to the new season, and we're already pulling away from the sides in the play offs. The victory over Newcastle was obviously sweet too, but I'm not that concerned with progression in the League Cup, particularly with 46 league games to cope with. The squad is looking a little short at the moment, especially when you consider we've just lost our best central midfielder to injury for the next three months. Hopefully that won't cause us too many issues, but we'll have to adapt if it does. Oh, and our front two are now up to 22 goals between them. Not bad at all.

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A proper update to come on this either today or tomorrow, but just a little transfer news now. 

We're a little bit light in midfield, so when my scouts unearthed this lad I had to move in:

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He'll cost us £2.4m from Sevilla's reserve side, which is a steal as far as I'm concerned. That means I'll need to move on one of the overseas contingent, but Swedish international Robert Mirosavic has been a wanted man for almost the entire season so far, so that shouldn't be an issue. 

I've also turned the loan deal of winger Vinicius into a permanent transfer thanks to his very reasonable buy-out clause of £5.5m. 

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October, November & December

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Apologies again for the delay in updating, but I have been cracking on. With a 17 point lead from 3rd place, I'm already beginning to think about life in the top flight next season, and which of our players will be good enough to step up. While we've had a couple of dodgy performances over the last couple of months, I'm delighted with how the season is panning out, and I hope I can secure a couple of deals for next season over the next month or so. 

I do anticipate struggling with the need for homegrown players over the next few years, especially if we are able to sneak into Europe any time soon, but hopefully I can solve some of that over the next two or three windows. 

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January

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I'll be honest, with a 22 point lead at this stage of the season, I'm already thinking about next year in the Premier League. We've been absolutely outstanding to this point, and our front two now have 55 goals between them so far. With the top flight in mind, it's important that we add two or three more homegrown players to the squad to meet the Premier League's requirements. I'd wanted to turn the loan deal of Oliver Green into a permanent transfer, but his club wanted £7.5m for me to do that. A bit much for a rotation player, so instead we moved for Callum Reilly of Burnley:

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He isn't a world beater, but he has no weaknesses according to the scout report, and he can definitely do a job as a back up. For £1.5m, I can't complain at all. 

I've also confirmed a Bosman deal for a young Russian international, who is capable of playing on either flank:

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February

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Almost there now. So close we can almost touch it, so the fans have plenty of time to celebrate and enjoy it. Very pleased with our cup run too, and you can see our reward for knocking out Fulham is Premier League leaders Manchester City in the quarter finals, in a sell out on Wearside. You never know...

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Insane physicals and defensive technical on that kid

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March & April

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The Championship title secured at a canter, 107 points, 111 goals, simply ridiculous. You'll also notice we have the small matter of an FA Cup final to come, too. As much as I'd love to win the trophy, European football next season would be a real pain considering how few of our squad have been developed at the club. Still, you take it whenever you can get it. 

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The 2023 FA Cup Final: Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur

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:cool:

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Edited by withnail316

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Sunderland_logo.thumb.png.156d8adea41784dd30a452ba8d473af6.png

Sunderland AFC
Season summary 2022/23

League (The Championship)
Media prediction: 5th
Finished: 1st (promoted as champions)

Cups
The FA Cup: winners
The League Cup: eliminated n the 4th round (won by Arsenal)

Europe
Champions League: Napoli
Europa League: Inter

Top scorers
Janne Hyvärinen: 49 appearances (44 starts): 47 goals (40 in the league)
Sebastian Haller: 51 appearances (46 starts): 35 goals (30 in the league)

Positives
An absolutely ridiculous season, I'm not sure where to start summing it up. Our form in the league was stupendous, hence why we only lost three league games all season. Winning the league by 25 points is baffling, but I've thought since the first few weeks that we have a Premier League starting 11 playing in the Championship. I have no idea how Sunderland managed to get relegated before I arrived, but there we go. Obviously winning the cup too is a wonderful bonus, although I'm a little bit concerned about qualifying for Europe so quickly. We have lots of work to do in the transfer market this summer to ensure we have a Premier League squad and not just a starting 11 by the time the summer transfer window closes. I also need to ensure that Hyvärinen signs a new deal, and quickly! 

Concerns/ disappointments
No disappointments at all, but I am a little worried about being involved in the Europa League next year. I'd wanted to evolve the squad gradually, but it looks like I'll have to spend some serious money if we're to cope with the extra games next year. That is, of course, providing the board make some decent funds available to me. We end the season in debt, but only by a million or so. 

Ambitions
After a nomadic period in my career, it would take something extraordinary to tempt me away from Sunderland just yet. 

Average attendance
35,160 (72% of capacity) - 35,522 in the league

Finances
£711,000 in debt
 

Edited by withnail316

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I'm not one for taking jobs at "elite" clubs, I tend to prefer grinding them into the muck, but when I get an offer from one of the Milan clubs that attitude is severely tested. 

If Inter's huge offer had come next summer, I'd probably have gone. As it is, I have work to do on Wearside.

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Definitely had a gamble with how much we've spent this summer (paying in instalments makes that easier) but the squad is beginning to look quite tidy.

Update to come tonight, before we tour America.

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Sunderland AFC
Season preview: 2023/2024 (Premier League)

Media expectation: 18th
Board expectation: safe mid-table position

Transfer budget (remaining): £7.4m
Wage budget: £830,000p/w (£150,000p/w under budget)

A busy summer is about to come to an end, and the new season is on the horizon. I'm a little surprised those in the media are tipping us to struggle, I think the combination of us emphatically taking the Championship title last year and then winning Cup would suggest we're much better than that, but the board have been fairly realistic. Speaking of the board, while I was initially disappointed with a provisional transfer budget of £17m, I can accept we need to get settled into the top flight again before I start asking for upgrades, so that can wait until next summer at least. The cashflow situation at the club is currently a little bit tight, we've been in the red most of the summer, so I want to get an idea of where we are before I start being too extravagant in the transfer market! What will help a little is the board announcing a partnership with Bayern, which will also allow us to bring in some quality loanees over the next couple of years. 

Unlike last year, we seem to have got pre-season about right. Everybody was back for the first weekend in July, and fitness is pretty good ahead of a tour to the USA. I suspect I'm going to need to rotate a lot more this season than last considering we have European games to cope with, so I'm already planning to bin off the League Cup, but in the league I'd like to think we have a chance at a top 10 finish if we don't suffer too much with injuries. 

In terms of transfers, it has been a little bit busy. To date we've brought in £25m, while our spending could reach as high as £35m (have to love paying in instalments when things are a little bit tight!) Unfortunately I've not been able to bring in two or three of my primary targets (they were interested in moving until the day the board announced the budget, then turned me down flat) but I think we are stronger this season than last. The biggest fee received this the window was for defender Alessio Romagnoli, who has joined Fiorentina for £10m. Striker Pal Buzasi had wanted to leave for the second half of last season, and got his wish - he's gone to Everton for £7.5m, while defender Gary Gosney has joined Wolves for £3.5m. Japanese international goalkeeper Yukiya Takayanagi is off to Levante for £2.5m, while a couple of ineffective reserve players have also left for around £1.5m. I don't expect there will be anything else going out of the club, but the window is open for two more months, so who knows? 

With players in, it was important I added more homegrown talent, and I think I've done that. I certainly won't be scratching about in a desperate attempt to ensure we meet Premier League criteria (8 homegrown players in the 25 man squad) although it's a bit tougher for the European squad. My scouts have been hovering around Inverness all summer too, so it shouldn't a shock that a couple of additions are familiar faces. The two joint biggest deals (for now - there is one that will surpass it if a work permit is granted) both came from Inverness - academy graduate Kevin Cheyne can play all across the back four, and Argentine winger Franco Alba both join for £6m each. With Romagnoli leaving I needed some defensive cover, so brought in Dutchman Kevin den Breejen for £5.5m from Ajax, and I've also promoted a 21 year old from the reserve side to take Gosney's slot. Both left backs last year were only loanees, and while I attempted to bring Samassa back for another year, he wanted to stay at Inverness. Luckily, Luke Shaw was available for £5m, so he comes in from Cardiff. Former Sunderland striker Steve Roughton rejoins us from Aston Villa for £4.5m specifically to help with European registration, but he looks a handy reserve for Haller and Janne Hyvärinen, so I can't complain too much. I also signed goalkeeper Frank Fielding for £10,000 specifically as a number 2, so I don't anticipate him playing much football. Bayern also sent us our first loanee, in shape of midfielder Gert de Beer. 

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My DoF also made an addition for the future, for a mere £425,000. Top work, sir!

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The one deal I'm waiting on is for this lad:

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£7.75m is a lot of money, but he's versatile and capable in three positions, and can become homegrown in future, so it makes sense. 

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12 hours ago, withnail316 said:

The one deal I'm waiting on is for this lad:

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£7.75m is a lot of money, but he's versatile and capable in three positions, and can become homegrown in future, so it makes sense. 

Deal done. We've also raided Bayern again for a fifth striker in on loan, but he's very much an emergency option:

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10 hours ago, deltablue said:

7.75M is a pretty good deal for him. 

Yeah, it's all relative I suppose. It just seems like a lot for potential. 

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One last bit of news, and then the season can start. I've been trying for most of the summer to convince one of two Inverness strikers to join us, and although both were interested back in May, that interest had ended by the time the club had a confirmed budget. Offers of £10m were accepted by Inverness for both Nilsson and Johnston, but neither would even discuss a contract. Sadly I'm going to have to give up on both of them for now, but I'll keep following in case it can work out in future. 

I did however believe we were a bit short up top. While Sebastian Haller was outstanding for us in the Championship, I didn't view him as a long-term solution when I signed him for £900,000 last summer. He's had interested clubs sniffing around him most of the summer, and so when Forest offered £7m for his services, I was happy to let him go. A replacement wasn't an emergency as we still had four strikers, including the one on loan from Bayern, but my magic scouts had a trick up their sleeve:

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This 19 year old wonderkid had a release clause in his contract for £6.5m. An absolute steal. 

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There's a horrible tycoon takeover rumour going round. That might bring my resignation.

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It was all going so well, we'd lost in the Community Shield but were unbeaten in the first five league games, had picked up a win in Europe and were still in the League Cup. Then, a huge tycoon takeover went through, promising me obscene riches to sign the best players in the world. 

No thanks, lads. I'm out of here. On to the next challenge...

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12 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

I'd love a tycoon at my club, probably because I've never had one.

I don't mind them further down the pyramid (loved the one I had at Notts in particular) but at this level, I get bored quickly. I already had plenty of money, now it's ridiculous.

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Thanks for following along for the best part of a year, everybody. I have really appreciated the support and interest, but I'm sorry to say this thread is now dead.

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I'll be making a decision on what to do next very soon, but like the greatest Autobot of all, Optimus Prime, I shall return.

 

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Cheers.

 

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