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Ross County Staggies. Celtic finally dethroned.

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It took a long time, but I managed to do the impossible -- displace Celtic as the winner of the Scottish Premiership. Not that I have managed to beat Celtic. The best I can do is draw with them. I guess you could say Ross County displaced Rangers as the second-best team in Scotland. Started my first season with payroll of about 1 million pounds. I started season 10 with a payroll of 15 million pounds. The board expanded our stadium from 6,000 to 10,000 capacity, and we opened season 10 in a new stadium with 23,000 seats. We consistently sell 90 percent of the seats. 

Season 1 -- Won promotion from Championship

Season 2 -- 8th in Premiership

Season 3 -- 2nd in Premiership, Runner-up for Scottish Cup, Manager of the Year Award

Season 4 -- 2nd in Premiership; Scottish Cup winner, reached knockout round of EURO Cup, Manager of the Year

Season 5 -- 2nd in Premiership, Runner-up for Scottish Cup Manager of the Year Award

Season 6 -- 2nd in Premiership, Runner-up for Scottish Cup, Manager of the Year Award

Season 7 -- 2nd in Premiership, Runner-up for Scottish Cup, Manager of the Year Award, reached knockout round of EURO Cup

Season 8 -- 2nd in Premiership, Runner-up for Scottish Cup, Manager of the Year Award, reached second level knockout round of EURO Cup

Season 9 -- 1st in Premiership, Won Scottish Cup, Won Betfred Cup

Season 10 -- Recently started after financial takeover (we have 49 million pounds in the bank). In European Champions Cup, we have managed to win first three games in our group, against Zenit, Borussia Dortmund, and Tottenham! Yet we still can't beat Celtic.

Most of this was done in 4-2-3-1 control possession (attacking), with two midfielders playing as ball-winning midfielders against tough opponents, so we had 6 defenders; against others, one midfielder was playing attacking/support. In Season 9, we had a streak of nearly 20 games without conceding a goal. Stretching from Season 9 and into Season 10, we have not lost a game in more than 20 league matches. On occasion I play 4-2-4 tiki-taka. And when get I behind I switch to a custom 4-1-5 to pressure the defense.


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Actually beat Celtic in a league match and lost to them in Betfred Cup Final.

Reached knockout round of European Champions but was eliminated by Sevilla.

Unbeaten in more than 50 league matches.

Four points ahead of Celtic for first place about three-quarters through the season. Annual salary budget has reached 20 million pounds.

Holding on to two wonderkids, a striker and a right winger. Paying each a million pounds per year.

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Season 10 -- 1st in Premiership. Won Scottish Cup. Lost to Manchester United in the first knockout round of European Championship League. (Man U. won it all.)

Season 11 -- Big salary increase from the board: 1.5 million pounds per year. Won Betfred Cup. In 1st place about halfway through season.

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Things have continued in the same vein. We won the league in season 11,  12, 13, and 14.  Won the Scottish Cup in three of those seasons, and won the Betfred Cup in three as well. Made it out to the knockout round of the European Champions in each season.

The board agreed to expand the new stadium to about 30,000 seats. I regret asking for that expansion now. Even though we are selling out every home game, I believe the Dingwall-Inverness region cannot support a 30,000-seat stadium. That area might not be able to support the 23,000-seat arena that we recently built.

In season 13 the board gave me a raise to 2 million pounds per year. 

Season 15 now. Salary budget of 38 million pounds. Leading the Premiership by 21 points before the annual division, when the top six teams play each other and the bottom six play each other. In other words, we most likely will have won the league before that break.  Just defeated Napoli in the European Champions League and will play Sevilla in the Quarter Final. (Our European Champions co-efficient is now 100.00, which places us among some of Europe's elite clubs.)

Having a hard time hanging onto star players. At the end of Season 14, lost our right winger to an EFL Premier team for 25 million pounds. During the January transfer window of Season 15, we lost our right fullback to an EFL Premier team for 27 million pounds. (They both doubled in value as soon as they hit the Premiership.)  Now I eliminate minimum release clauses in contracts whenever possible. This is a good problem to have, though; it means we scout well. We consistently find young two-star players that can become 4-star players. (I do a lot of manual scouting.) 

The board offered me a new contract without a raise. Pretty much any suggestion I made was rejected, even the token bonuses of 100 pounds for winning the league, the Scottish Cup, and the Betfred Cup. So I saved one file to test a holdout with the board -- will they seriously let me go at the end of the season? In the other save, I accepted the contract -- who needs more than 2 million pounds per year?  Will play out the reason of both seasons to see what happens.

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Season 15 -- Made it to the European Champions League final, but lost to Tottenham. Won the league, won Scottish Cup. Got a raise! 3 million pounds per year now. Sold elite left winger to Paris SG for 30.5 million pounds. He didn't want to renew his contract, so I had to sell him while I could. Plus, I had a three-star, homegrown left winger waiting.  The elite left winger was from Portugal, and I have found recruiting players from there has worked for me, plus they enjoy having fellow countrymen on the roster. So I signed a striker from Portugal with 4-star potential. And brought in my first American player, a fullback from Toronto FC for 7.5 million pounds. My Champions League coefficient placed Ross County in top 10 teams in Europe. The elite right winger we lost was replaced by a wonderkid from Feyenoord for 18.5 million pounds. Our stadium now seats 46,000. Every home game is a sellout. 

Season 16 -- Made it back to the European Champions League final, again against Tottenham, and won. Won European Super Cup. Won Club World Championship. Won Scottish Cup. Won the league. Lost again in Betfred Cup competition. I guess we just don't care to win that one.

Season 17 -- Got spanked by Atletico Madrid in the Quarter Final of the European Champions League. Total collapse by three players, whom I made moves to replace. Won the league, Scottish Cup, and Betfred Cup (finally). Salary budget is about 62 million pounds now. I spend it all.

Season 18 -- Made it back to finals of European Championship League. Lost to Atletico Madrid, but my Dutch winger won the Golden Boot Award for the competition. Won the league and the Scottish Cup. Started getting bids from Atletico Madrid for my Dutch winger. Turned down 54 million pounds.

Season 19 -- I have started preparing to lose my Dutchman. He has two years left on his contract, but he does not want to renew. Atletico is offering more than 100 million pounds for him now. But what would I do with that money? (I already have more than 100 million pounds in the bank.) I can't replace him straight up; I pay him less than 3 million pounds per year. I could pay the transfer fee, but I would not want to pay the salary his equivalent could demand (5 to 6 million pounds). My recruitment comes from leagues below mine, because I cannot afford players from teams with a reputation equal to mine. I have to find wonderkids from lower leagues and then grow them. So probably will hang on to my Dutchman for another season, make another run at the European Champions League final, and then sell him with one year left on his contract.


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