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[FM19] Derby County - Director of Football Challenge

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Game date: 8 August 2024

RAMS SIGN CALABRIA

RamsFanzine: Derby County have signed 27 year-old right-back Davide Calabria from AC Milan.

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Game date: 8 August 2024

MATHENIA SNUBS BARNSLEY

RamsFanzine: Rams goalkeeper Christian Mathenia has been unable to agree personal terms with Barnsley and his transfer deadline day move now looks dead in the water.

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Game date: 8 August 2024

NACHO JOINS DERBY

RamsFanzine: Derby County have completed the signing of 34 year-old centre-back Nacho from Real Madrid.

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Game date: 8 August 2024

CHAPMAN’S RAMS MOVE COLLAPSES

RamsFanzine understand that Derby County were all set to sign Burnley's 20 year-old right-back Daniel Chapman until the player failed his medical.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 8 August 2024

TRANSFER WINDOW CLOSES

RamsFanzine: A busy transfer window for Derby County saw Director of Football Igor Stimac bring nine players into the club for a combined total of £69M. Stimac oversaw eight players leave the Rams permanently for a combined £70M, with three more leaving on loan.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 11 August 2024

Derby County 0-4 Fulham

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Game date: 1 September 2024

RAMS AUGUST ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: Derby County end August rock-bottom of the Premier League with no points from three matches and the Rams have yet to score a league goal. The only consolation for caretaker manager Aljosa Asanovic was a 3-1 victory over League One Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup.

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Game date: 1 October 2024

RAMS SEPTEMBER ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: Derby County moved off the bottom of the Premier League, in a month that saw the Rams lose only once (to Manchester United), drawing twice and winning once, as well as progressing to the next round of the Carabao Cup after a penalty shootout against Championship side Bristol City.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 1 November 2024

RAMS OCTOBER ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: Derby County continue to struggle under caretaker manager Aljosa Asanovic, losing all three of their Premier League matches in October.

The Rams did progress in the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 victory over League Two Barnet.

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Game date: 25 November 2024

STUNIVERSE SACKED

RamsFanzine: Derby County today sacked manager Stuniverse at the conclusion of their internal investigation. The club issued a short Press Release confirming the sacking and stated they would be making no further comment as they were expecting to have to defend a claim of wrongful dismissal.

In a surprising development, Assistant Manager Aljosa Asanovic, who had been managing the first-team during Stuniverse's suspension, also left the club together with first-team coach Stefano Eranio and goalkeeping coach Mart Poom.

U18s manager Justin Walker has temporarily been placed in charge of the first-team.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 29 November 2024

RAMS NOVEMBER UPDATE

RamsFanzine: Derby County Caretaker Manager Justin Walker got off to a winning start as the Rams beat second-bottom Leeds United 2-0 to leap-frog them and move off the bottom of the Premier League.

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Game date: 31 December 2024

RAMS DECEMBER ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: Derby County had a successful December under new manager, Croatian Dinko Jelicic, moving out of the Premier League relegation zone and reaching the Carabao Cup semi-final with a  3-1 victory over League One Millwall.

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Game date: 1 February 2025

TRANSFER WINDOW CLOSES

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football signed 33 year-old midfielder Jorginho from Chelsea and sold 31 year-old attacking midfielder Tom Lawrence to Newcastle, plus a few more departures on free transfers and loans.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 1 February 2025

RAMS JANUARY ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: A win, a draw, and a loss in January keeps Derby County one place above the relegation zone.

The Rams defeat Crystal Palace 1-0 on aggregate to reach the Carabao Cup Final, where they will play Manchester City, but go out of the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea.

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Game date: 23 February 2024

DERBY COUNTY WIN CARABAO CUP ON PENALTIES

RamsFanzine: Derby County's goalkeeper David Raya was the Wembley hero as the Rams beat Manchester City to win the Carbao Cup on penalties. Raya made three penalty saves in total, two during the penalty shootout, as Dinko Jelicic's side lifted the Trophy.

Life-long Rams fan, and former Derby County manager Stuniverse was at Wembley Stadium to see the Rams liftvthe trophy he was unable to win during his five full seasons at Pride Park. Croatian Jelicic, by contrast, has won silverware after a mere three months at the helm.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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6 hours ago, kidthekid said:

:lol:

So Stuniverse was a miracle worker after all.

tbf, I think Stuniverse would have struggled with his best centre backs being replaced by past-it veterans and having no team cohesion whatsoever. Can't blame him for falling out with Igor over that

The Carabao Cup's an interesting twist though

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1 hour ago, enigmatic said:

tbf, I think Stuniverse would have struggled with his best centre backs being replaced by past-it veterans and having no team cohesion whatsoever. Can't blame him for falling out with Igor over that

Thank you, @enigmatic. And Derby County are struggling this campaign compared to the last couple of seasons I was manager.

1 hour ago, enigmatic said:

The Carabao Cup's an interesting twist though

Yes, I expected Derby to lose the two-leg semi-final against Crystal Palace, but they won through... so I attended the Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City. I’ve supported the Rams my whole life so I wanted to go to Wembley.

I’ll be honest, Derby rode their luck at times, but goalkeeper David Raya stepped up magnificently to make three penalty saves and, effectively, win the cup.

I was pleased for them... but I’d be lying if a part of me wasn’t jealous that we’d not managed to lift a trophy during my time at the club 🤢

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 28 February 2025

RAMS FEBRUARY ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: The highlight of February was Derby County's incredible Carabao Cup Final victory over Manchester City.

In the Premier League, one win, two draws and only one defeat, has put the Rams (17th) six points clear of the relegation zone with 10 matches left to play. Can Dinko Jelicic's Derby County avoid relegation to the Championship?

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 31 March 2025

RAMS MARCH ROUND-UP

RamsFanzine: Two wins (including a 2-0 victory over Arsenal) and two defeats and Dinko Jelicic's Derby County remain 17th. The Rams now have an 11 point gap between themselves and the relegation zone. With six matches to play, and the bottom three struggling to pick up any points, surely that's already enough for the Rams to beat the drop?

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Game date: 30 April 2025

SURVIVAL SECURED FOR RAMS

RamsFanzine: A win and a draw in April were sufficient for the Rams to climb to 16th and secure another season in the Premier League.

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Game date: 12 May 2025

DERBY COUNTY FINISH 14TH

RamsFanzine: A win and a loss in May sees Derby County finish 14th in the Premier League.

Buoyed by lifting the Carabao Cup in February, the Rams players grew in confidence and improved Premier League results after that Trophy win saw them comfortably pull away from the relegation zone.

Rams fans have taken new manager Dinko Jelicic to their hearts and are already asking: Stuniverse, who?

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Edited by Stuniverse

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[FM19] Derby County - Director of Football Challenge

Save in Summary

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Stuniverse - hired as Derby County manager 25 June 2018; sacked 24 November 2024 (suspended [holidayed] July 2024).

2018/19

Pld 46, W 28, D 8, L10, F 115, A 45, Pts 92 - 1st Sky Bet Championship

Carabao Cup - 4th Round (Cardiff City)

FA Cup - 3rd Round (Arsenal)

2019/20

Pld 38, W 9, D 7, L 22, F 55, A 74, Pts 34 - 17th Premier League

Carabao Cup - 4th Round (Tottenham Hotspur)

FA Cup - 3rd Round (Tottenham Hotspur)

2020/21

Pld 38, W 18, D 5, L 15, F 54, A 42, Pts 59 - 7th Premier League

Carabao Cup - 4th Round (Blackburn Rovers)

FA Cup - 5th Round (Liverpool)

2021/22

Pld 38, W 19, D 7, L 12, F 62, A 54, Pts 64 - 7th Premier League

Euro Cup - 2nd Knockout Round (Liverpool)

Carabao Cup - Quarter-Final (Arsenal)

FA Cup - Quarter-Final (Chelsea)

2022/23

Pld 38, W 20, D 6, L 12, F 59, A 35, Pts 66 - 8th Premier League

Carabao Cup - 2nd Round (AFC Bournemouth)

FA Cup - 3rd Round (Manchester City)

2023/24

Pld 38, W 16, D 5, L 17, F 69, A 73, Pts 53 - 9th Premier League

Carabao Cup - 4th Round (Chelsea)

FA Cup - Quarter-Final (Manchester United)

2024/25 - managed by Aljosa Asanovic (caretaker), Dinko Jelicic.

Pld 38, W 11, D 7, L 20, F 34, A 63, Pts 40 - 14th Premier League

Carabao Cup - Winners (beat Manchester City in the Final)

FA Cup - Third Round (Chelsea)

Edited by Stuniverse

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My closing thoughts...

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Overall, I really enjoyed this save and I'm glad I decided to do it. I'd never done a Director of Football Challenge before and, whilst frustrating at times, it definitely adds a different dynamic to managing a football club in FM. Yes, the AI needs improving and it's not 100% set-up for the Director of Football to completely run the show, but it definitely adds a uniqueness to the experience.

I'm proud that we won the Championship in our first season, and then improved every season (based on points won) for the next four seasons in the Premier League after promotion, even though my Director of Football Igor Stimac kept selling my best goalkeepers and centre-backs.

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I thoroughly enjoyed our Euro Cup adventure in the 2021/22 season, although I didn't appreciate how much that would take out of a relatively small squad in the Premier League campaign.

That was the season where we finished 8th and missed out on Euro Cup Qualification, only for Chelsea (I think it was) to win the Euro Cup meaning we qualified for the Euro Cup after all. And then a bug in FM meant we never did play in the Euro Cup that following season.

It was about that time, when the Football Club were raking in the BIG BUCKS, that Igor lost control of the wage bill, as well as selling players on the cheap, whilst paying over the odds on his signings, Igor was also offering ridiculously high salaries on contract renewals for players who weren't key players or regular starters. It became harder and harder for me to maintain my motivation and when the board reduced the transfer revenue retained to just 30% it reached the point where I really couldn't face another season as I knew it would be a long, hard slog and the summer proved that as, one by one, I saw my best players being sold by Igor on the cheap.

I'm sorry I decided not to manage Derby County through the final season of the save but, with my enthusiasm growing for my first FM20 save, I thought struggling through another season on this save woud take too much energy and leave me drained when the FM20 full version released.  At least doing it the way I did, you got to see how that final 2024/25 season unfolded and we can forever debate the fact that Dinko Jelicic was able to win a Domestic Cup, whereas Stuniverse failed to do so... 

I'd like to thank each and every one of you for following along with this save and especially those of you who took time out of your busy schedules to like, comment, or send me a direct message along the way. I can't tell you how much I appreciated it and the interaction on here really kept me going throughout the save.

Most of all, I hope you enjoyed the Derby County - Director of Football adventure.

Stuniverse got to work with his hero, Rams legend Igor Stimac...

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... and Stuniverse will return with a new FM20 adventure soon...

 

Edited by Stuniverse

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In case you wanted to follow my new FM20 save, well...

[FM20] Stuniverse's FM20 Adventure is now underway...

 

Edited by Stuniverse

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