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Anyone taken a non league minnow to the premiership if so who with and your best tips on how to do it.....

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Patience, accept it will likely be over 10 years until you make premier league (optimistic)

 

Best Ive done is got Basingstoke from National North up to the championship, took me 13 seasons.

Played another 3 seasons in Championship and couldn't improve upon fighting for survival every year, couldnt make enough money to invest in club save ended up going stale.

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I've currently got Hemel Hempstead from National South to League 1 and did it 5 years and now in my 3rd year in League 1.

Around September I start getting a scout report on lots of U23 players with realistic wages whose contracts are expiring at the end of that season. Been able to pick up a few good players.

Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 08.39.54.png

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Not sure if it counts since its FM19, but took me 17 seasons with Blyth Spartans. I am in my 20th season now, sitting 8th in the Premier. Was 8 seasons in National before managed to get to League 2 :-)

Be patient, get some new players every year that is better than what you have. I thrust my scouting. Oh, and always make sure you keep an eye on economics! I found it more difficult in the two bottom leagues, the money got easier higher up in the leagues.

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On FM19 I am potentially 2 games away from getting FC United of Manchester (From National League North) to the prem. I think i spent 3 seasons the the national league (having one automatic spot is hard as F?@!) all others were straight promotions.

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On 18/01/2020 at 08:40, Grifty said:

I've currently got Hemel Hempstead from National South to League 1 and did it 5 years and now in my 3rd year in League 1.

Around September I start getting a scout report on lots of U23 players with realistic wages whose contracts are expiring at the end of that season. Been able to pick up a few good players.

Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 08.39.54.png

Managed to sneak through in the play off final (my 3rd promotion this way) so am in the Championship. About 3/4 of the way through the season and currently mid table after a fine run of 7 wins in a row.

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I'm well on my way. Just got Weymouth promoted to League 2. The biggest challenge is trying to get them professional status. I could only do it through winning promotion to League 2. They rejected all my requests even though I won the league first year with some ridiculous points haul and had a really good side. Josh Mcquoid was so good for me in non league and Vanarama Prem. Highly Recommend. 

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I'm currently on my fave FM save of all time. 

First season finished 1st in National League North, second season came 1st in National League. In my third season finished 5th in League Two after only getting into the playoffs after the 45th game. Had the momentum going into the Playoffs and went up. Fourth season, came 2nd in League One. 

I think prioritising the FA Cup above everything has done me wonders financially though. I've beaten PL teams such as Leeds, Saints, Man City in the Third Round over the years. The income has meant bigger wage budgets next season - I'd spent a grand total of £81k (sold more than 250k) in the four seasons prior to getting to the Championship. 

When signing players, bring them in on trial for 4 weeks... make sure your assistant manager (Gary O'Neil has been epic) has good judging CA and PA. You can get a good judgement that way. When looking at free transfers see who they are wanted by. If they're wanted by a bigger club, try get them! In April start to look at U18/U23 players from big teams. One season I signed 3 from Spurs, 4 from Norwich, 5 from Liverpool. They were at these teams for a reason and there's a depth of talent available every season. I've just nabbed Charlie Savage (Robbie's son from Man United) on a free and 20 games into Champ season he has the league's highest average rating. 

Don't worry about loyalty one bit. I've had a few guys come far with me but there comes a point when you have to be stern. After going up from L2 to L1 I lost 6 loan players and released 8 others. That's 14 players to replace. The squad I assembled though for L1 was on another scale. Keeping short contracts allowed me to cull ruthlessly. 

Send your coaches on coaching courses as much as you can! They improve rapidly. I have the best coaching department in the second tier and they were with me mainly from the National League.

I've not played a LLM save like this before but it's honestly been so rewarding. My target was PL in 10 seasons but to have got four promotions in four seasons was so unexpected, albeit slightly unrealistic. 

Also, sign a washed up legend if given the opportunity. No doubt they'll underwhelm... but for Wayne Rooney's last ever professional game to have been lifting the League Two Playoffs at Wembley for King's Lynn, it's something! He's currently managing Plymouth U23s. 

KLGraph.thumb.PNG.b708944335f343a52656d4d13397a58f.PNG

RooneyKL.PNG

Edited by tobybilton1

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Managed it on FM14 with Sutton Utd, from National South in about 7 or 8 seasons. Finished a respectable midtable in my first PL season. 

Absolutely rinsed the loan system and managed to stay loyal to a couple of players pretty much all the way through. Stuck with 442 early on and transitioned into more adventurous formations higher up. 

Remains my greatest ever save. 

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Nice one @tobybilton1 love a lower league save. Think I'll do one with a custom English database for my next save. What's your attendances like now you're in the championship? Love that you had Rooney too what a time he must have had :D

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@ajt League attendances in the Champ have been between 6500 and sold out (7300). I'm making hefty monthly losses now compared to previous seasons which must be the higher wages, although I am well within the wage budget. I'll need to beat Tottenham at home in the 3rd Round and go on another run. The FA Cup is the bread and butter of this Lynn team though, we love it!

In the previous summer it was announced that we would at some stage move to a new stadium. When I don't know, it seems the board are yet to establish somewhere appropriate. I've only just noticed that we will indeed be moving to a smaller stadium! What is the point? We are not Juventus.

Just checked finances, we are spending £95k a week on wages when the budget is £210k (this was initially £125k at beginning of pre-season).  

I've attached some screenshots of finances. Despite finances being 'okay', the losses and projections are certainly worrying.

Conclusion: Promotion is a must. How much is one season in the PL worth?!

LynnStadium.thumb.PNG.963744bc515a95832445aa846fb8c2bd.PNG

image.thumb.png.f121c579bc3ecac2feb542967961b22e.png

image.thumb.png.dbb50194bfaba0e84ac0875cc80ee57d.png

 

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Last time I did this was with FC United last year and it produced one of my all time favourite FM players in Keyendrah Simmonds. Started for me the entire time and actually turned out to be a decent staff member afterwards as well.

1999435612_Screenshot2020-01-18at17_28_00.thumb.png.067277825eddf91d1506f58acd86a3bc.png

1172351045_Screenshot2020-01-18at17_34_04.thumb.png.4e9408874345ed69dc54448841f58785.png

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1 minute ago, tobybilton1 said:

@likesiamesefish I think he peaked at League Two Mansfield on my save. Those 16 apps this season have all been starts too! 

image.thumb.png.c8e525ca12af0c06ee6d091c7dea0b01.png

Aw, bless him, I've never seen him do so well on any other save but then I find if you put trust in players they can perform way above their level on FM. He was rated as a 'good PL player' by my coaches at one point once I'd got there though so maybe it was just a good random PA load. I even managed to get his little brother Okera to score a couple for me in the lower leagues.

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43 minutes ago, tobybilton1 said:

@ajt League attendances in the Champ have been between 6500 and sold out (7300). I'm making hefty monthly losses now compared to previous seasons which must be the higher wages, although I am well within the wage budget. I'll need to beat Tottenham at home in the 3rd Round and go on another run. The FA Cup is the bread and butter of this Lynn team though, we love it!

In the previous summer it was announced that we would at some stage move to a new stadium. When I don't know, it seems the board are yet to establish somewhere appropriate. I've only just noticed that we will indeed be moving to a smaller stadium! What is the point? We are not Juventus.

Just checked finances, we are spending £95k a week on wages when the budget is £210k (this was initially £125k at beginning of pre-season).  

I've attached some screenshots of finances. Despite finances being 'okay', the losses and projections are certainly worrying.

Conclusion: Promotion is a must. How much is one season in the PL worth?!

Not a bad attendance actually! Although those finances are a bit worrying yeah.

A season in the Premier league is over £120 million iirc so maybe you could get your smaller stadium built :lol:

 

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On 18/01/2020 at 09:40, Grifty said:

I've currently got Hemel Hempstead from National South to League 1 and did it 5 years and now in my 3rd year in League 1.

Around September I start getting a scout report on lots of U23 players with realistic wages whose contracts are expiring at the end of that season. Been able to pick up a few good players.

Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 08.39.54.png

Good idea! That will help me also to find some good young players without transfer fees.

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I took Ebbsfleet a couple of FM's ago when they were in the National League South up to the Premier League.

  • Trial everyone. I'm sure there were seasons where I trialed several hundred players.
  • When the youth players were released (it was around June 1 on that save), trial anyone that the EPL teams released.
  • Get a Senior Affiliate. iirc, I had Man Utd and that helped to get loan players in.
  • Use loans like crazy, get as many quality players into your team as possible.
  • Play youth, the youngsters will improve over the course of the season and improve as you move up the levels.
  • Know that your star player in non-league is garbage and you'll have to release them soon as you move up.

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On 18/01/2020 at 07:33, Bcfclee27 said:

Anyone taken a non league minnow to the premiership if so who with and your best tips on how to do it.....

many good tips above.

my tips would be,

  • be patient, don't expect a meteoric rise through the leagues
  • plan for the future, how are you going to cope with the financial demands of higher divisions?
  • give plenty of attention to youth development. these youngsters will build you future. Major thing to remember, Home Grown Club rule, so keep the kids coming through.
  • scout youth. this will be hard to do early with minimal resources, but scouting trial games, trialing players and scouting whatever you can afford to, will unearth some gems.
  • don't break your budget. paying overs on wages will drag you down quickly.
  • affiliates and loans. make the most of them, they will help you build squad depth on a budget. Plus, quite often you'll get the opportunity to sign them permanently
  • players are replaceable. don't be afraid to offload a decent player and bank the funds, plenty of just as good free transfers will be available.

87a38b3a525ca65e7392ff353c4d5785.png f0232f1c1b759f3c36425d548ccb690d.png

90c764a520decad13a8c85107e0880dc.png

 

we've been fortunate with a could decent cup runs, banking over £1m on away ties on 2 occasions.

but, the success of our finances has come from selling prospects that we picked up on frees.

Our top 3 transfers out over this journey. - all 17-19yr old regens

110735210afca967d9b04226abd206dc.png

481c97680c978e5dff33ada54230ed01.png

005aa3ec6f3d96fffe0a451528f0c99c.png

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ive never tried myself but i always think there is a bit of cheating going on when i see someone has got promotion every single season and there in the premiership and challenging for top four. 

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30 minutes ago, latrell said:

ive never tried myself but i always think there is a bit of cheating going on when i see someone has got promotion every single season and there in the premiership and challenging for top four. 

It used to be a lot easier when you could abuse the loan system. Now the clubs want wages so I think it's slowed down the rise up the leagues.

Some great tips in this thread though!

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On 18/01/2020 at 04:33, Bcfclee27 said:

Anyone taken a non league minnow to the premiership if so who with and your best tips on how to do it.....

The challenges sub forum has plenty of threads that cover these and more.

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21 hours ago, tobybilton1 said:

@ajt League attendances in the Champ have been between 6500 and sold out (7300). I'm making hefty monthly losses now compared to previous seasons which must be the higher wages, although I am well within the wage budget. I'll need to beat Tottenham at home in the 3rd Round and go on another run. The FA Cup is the bread and butter of this Lynn team though, we love it!

In the previous summer it was announced that we would at some stage move to a new stadium. When I don't know, it seems the board are yet to establish somewhere appropriate. I've only just noticed that we will indeed be moving to a smaller stadium! What is the point? We are not Juventus.

Just checked finances, we are spending £95k a week on wages when the budget is £210k (this was initially £125k at beginning of pre-season).  

I've attached some screenshots of finances. Despite finances being 'okay', the losses and projections are certainly worrying.

Conclusion: Promotion is a must. How much is one season in the PL worth?!

LynnStadium.thumb.PNG.963744bc515a95832445aa846fb8c2bd.PNG

image.thumb.png.f121c579bc3ecac2feb542967961b22e.png

image.thumb.png.dbb50194bfaba0e84ac0875cc80ee57d.png

 

The stadium thing is because of Thatcher's decision to ban terracing in the top two tiers of English football - once you reach the Championship you have to be all-seater within three years.

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On 25/01/2020 at 20:29, likesiamesefish said:

Last time I did this was with FC United last year and it produced one of my all time favourite FM players in Keyendrah Simmonds. Started for me the entire time and actually turned out to be a decent staff member afterwards as well.

1999435612_Screenshot2020-01-18at17_28_00.thumb.png.067277825eddf91d1506f58acd86a3bc.png

1172351045_Screenshot2020-01-18at17_34_04.thumb.png.4e9408874345ed69dc54448841f58785.png

How where you able to get such high potential player who could play in PL to you when in so low league?

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I have tried so many team to get from Non League to Premiership, but I keep getting the sack. I start off well and then I hit a brick wall, then I am giving a month to improve results, then comes the sack.

I love doing long term saves but FM 20 has got me beat. I do not even last a season. 
 

Any tips anyone. 

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34 minutes ago, d d said:

Any tips anyone. 

Use and abuse the loan market and bring in unattached players on trial ... I’ve found in FM20 that the board will let you bring in about 30 trial  players at any one time

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2 hours ago, d d said:

I have tried so many team to get from Non League to Premiership, but I keep getting the sack. I start off well and then I hit a brick wall, then I am giving a month to improve results, then comes the sack.

I love doing long term saves but FM 20 has got me beat. I do not even last a season. 
 

Any tips anyone. 

I am exactly the same mate hence my post.

Just constantly sacked as no downloaded tactic seems to work for me on here.

This is why in the OP I was only referring to saves in FM20.

Other versions were easier and I just wanted to see how many have done it specifically in FM20 as this version I cannot get any success at all.....

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On 18/01/2020 at 08:40, Grifty said:

I've currently got Hemel Hempstead from National South to League 1 and did it 5 years and now in my 3rd year in League 1.

Around September I start getting a scout report on lots of U23 players with realistic wages whose contracts are expiring at the end of that season. Been able to pick up a few good players.

Screenshot 2020-01-18 at 08.39.54.png

Mate what settings do you use to get that U23 scout report ?

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Main tip is to abuse the ‘trialists’. As soon as players are released end of season (usually around May for youth players from leagues like Prem) and end of June for others. Offer them all 1 week trials. You are able to see then what ability and potential you are looking at. Then sign a few of the better ones. In regards to loans, I’d say get attacking players in on loan. They’re usually where the regens are OP, so priorities loans on them rather than defenders. When you know you can have 4 attackers in first team on loan (usually on low wages compared to their ability) you can spend more on defenders on permanent deals.

That’s how I approached things and had a good rise through the leagues with King’s Lynn. Went each season as:

VN – VNL – VNL – L2 – L2 – L1 – Champ – Champ – Champ – Prem – Prem

Two prem seasons have been 42 points then 37. So just about clinging in there as we slowly transition from the squad that got us out of the Championship to a Prem standard squad. Started investing in facilities after first season in Champ when we finally had money in bank to spend on it. Slow process but whole club is coming up to standard. By end of season after next, we’ll be in a new stadium, with good/great facilities and hopefully a firmly established Prem club so we can start looking at top half and Europe, hopefully.

Still got the striker leading the line that scored the goals in my final two seasons in Championship which is nice. Should end up firmly establishing himself as the all time top goalscorer that may never be beaten if he keeps scoring up for another 2-3 seasons.

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5 hours ago, saihtam said:

How where you able to get such high potential player who could play in PL to you when in so low league?

I always tend to be able to pick up decent players at that level but it's keeping hold of them that is more difficult. On that save I had the Man City and Man Utd youth teams fully scouted at all times so that if they let anyone go I could get them in because I was keen to have as many Mancs as I could.

In general it's a good idea to do this with all of the top young players, I tend to go to player search and then scout all of the highest valued players under a certain age that I think I might be able to sign in the summer (normally players who are interested or their contract is expiring at the end of the season) and do this continuously throughout the season, particularly after April when the regens are there.

With Simmonds, he wasn't crazy OP or even really my star player when I first signed him as I think he was still only 17 or 18. One of the big reasons behind keeping him was that when I got promoted to League Two he had a lot of interest in him but I always made sure I had plenty of money in the bank so the board won't go over my head and the club and myself were already in his favoured personnel at that point. That was the only time he ever really looked like leaving because my coaches rated him a Championship player at that point, I don't think I even got a bid at any time other than that summer and he never asked to leave.

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20 minutes ago, Bcfclee27 said:

I am exactly the same mate hence my post.

Just constantly sacked as no downloaded tactic seems to work for me on here.

This is why in the OP I was only referring to saves in FM20.

Other versions were easier and I just wanted to see how many have done it specifically in FM20 as this version I cannot get any success at all.....

Your right. I read somewhere people achieving this, because I don’t how doing this or am I just rubbish. 
 

I keep picking team after team In the Vanarama and sacked. You could have long term save on previous editions.

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4 hours ago, Polski97 said:

Mate what settings do you use to get that U23 scout report ?

To get a Scout report on the whole U23 squad;

Go onto a club > Team Report > Get Team Report > Choose U23s/U18s > Choose a scout - however this will scout everyone in that squad and if you are only interested in out of contract players, this may not be the best use of time for your scouts.

I go through each U23 squad of major clubs + clubs with good youth academies (Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Leeds, etc) and sort the players by contract expiry date. Then I select all the players whose contract will expire at the end of the season that have a wage roughly what I can afford. There's no point scouting a player on £60,000p/w if your max wage is £1kp/w.

Once all selected, right click and you can get a scout report on all the players you selected (saves time rather than individually going through the players). I also add all those players to a separate shortlist for 1 year (called Summer Transfers) so you can keep an eye on them/see if anyone else bids for them. You'll see the scout reports coming in throughout the season and you can discard or stop the report if you see enough of the player to think he is rubbish or you don't need that player anymore.

When the season is over and you have your team ready, I then go through the shortlist again for the players I didn't sign and if any of them have signed new contracts but still might be useful to me, I move them to my normal shortlist. If you've added them to your summer shortlist for 1 year (rather than indefinitely) the ones you don't want will automatically come off and once it is clear, you can start it again for the players whose contacts run out at the end of that season.

It sounds like a big time consuming process, but once you get into the rhythm of adding the players to the shortlist, you can get it done in 10 minutes depending how thorough you want to be. How many U23 teams you scout is up to you. You can do every club in England or you could just do League 1, or a select few.

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I got to L1 with Curzon Ashton in 8 or 9 seasons.

I've found that taking a club with a good youth system helps a lot. Curzon are relegation fodder at game start but have one of the best youth setups that I then was able to get the board to improve on. 

It helps in two ways:

1/ You'll struggle buying players that you need to get promoted (because of money and reputation). But if you have good youth players, you can give them playing time and they'll be at the level you need after 3-4 seasons. I was always relegation fodder in L2, but won promotion to L1 after 5 seasons because virtually all my players were youngsters from the academy or other younger players I brought in who developed to a L2 level after several years. 

2/ You'll produce lower-rate wonderkids (good for Championship, for example), and selling them will get you the funds you need to keep going. In my last season, I sold an academy graduate for 1.5M, which offset two seasons' worth of losing money. I've had a couple of such sales over the seasons and it kept us afloat. 

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I've had to learn that after four straight promotions to the Championship, you must sometimes accept that you have to take the rough with the smooth. Lost my last home game of the season 3-1 to Cardiff, who went on to win the playoffs... 

 

KLSeason.jpg

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I usually try this once or twice on every version. It usually ends in failure pretty quickly or I just lose interest and go back to bigger clubs where I can shop around and play against the big names. I did succeed once though. It was either FM18 or FM19 with Leyton Orient. I got promoted every year except for 1 when I spent an extra year in League One. Things that I think helped me:

1) I had a good formation that I stuck with. Too much tinkering never goes well with me.

2) Lots of loans. Especially if you don't have to pay any wages.

3) Lots of free transfers and selling prospects for a profit. I hated selling my home grown prospects but I had to make money. Always include the % of next sale and other clauses to try to keep money coming in.

4) I was fortunate with some players coming through my youth team. I definitely had some keepers that would grow with the club as I rose through divisions.

5) Have some luck. Sometimes you just need some breaks.

 

I think I'm going to start another save. Hopefully I'll stick with this one.

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On 27/01/2020 at 18:29, Grifty said:

To get a Scout report on the whole U23 squad;

Go onto a club > Team Report > Get Team Report > Choose U23s/U18s > Choose a scout - however this will scout everyone in that squad and if you are only interested in out of contract players, this may not be the best use of time for your scouts.

I go through each U23 squad of major clubs + clubs with good youth academies (Everton, Southampton, Wolves, Leeds, etc) and sort the players by contract expiry date. Then I select all the players whose contract will expire at the end of the season that have a wage roughly what I can afford. There's no point scouting a player on £60,000p/w if your max wage is £1kp/w.

Once all selected, right click and you can get a scout report on all the players you selected (saves time rather than individually going through the players). I also add all those players to a separate shortlist for 1 year (called Summer Transfers) so you can keep an eye on them/see if anyone else bids for them. You'll see the scout reports coming in throughout the season and you can discard or stop the report if you see enough of the player to think he is rubbish or you don't need that player anymore.

When the season is over and you have your team ready, I then go through the shortlist again for the players I didn't sign and if any of them have signed new contracts but still might be useful to me, I move them to my normal shortlist. If you've added them to your summer shortlist for 1 year (rather than indefinitely) the ones you don't want will automatically come off and once it is clear, you can start it again for the players whose contacts run out at the end of that season.

It sounds like a big time consuming process, but once you get into the rhythm of adding the players to the shortlist, you can get it done in 10 minutes depending how thorough you want to be. How many U23 teams you scout is up to you. You can do every club in England or you could just do League 1, or a select few.

Does that not affect your scouting budget ? Mine is set at 10k 

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1 hour ago, Polski97 said:

Does that not affect your scouting budget ? Mine is set at 10k 

I believe the scouting budget only goes towards the packages you can select where scouts will go off and search that specific area or for youth, or for players outside of your current scouting range i.e. your board will allow scouting in UK & Ireland, and you try to get a scout report on someone in France - that will cost.

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Do it every year with Boston, usually my only save, usually find championship as first stumbling block then breaking the top 6 in the premier league is always a massive challenge.

 

as others have said, trial absolutely everyone, scout as much as you can, always have as many loans as you can they are vital and are often your star players by far, also give time to any decent youth.

usually manage to keep the books balanced selling good youth & players I’ve brought in for free, there’s usually always more adequate free replacements available 

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I've only been playing since 19 but I have an ongoing save with Sutton United I have. I was new to the sport entirely so I really underestimated the talent jump between the Premier League and Championship so I immediately was relegated but after 3 or 4 seasons in the Championship I got myself back up to the Premier League and managed to eek out a 16th place finish to give me another year.

 

I guess my only advice is also don't worry about tomorrow so much. Your single and only concern should be staying up. Don't worry about your youth team for the first year as much as they probably won't be making a big impact. Any money you have that isn't being spent is money wasted. As long as you don't go completely nuts your wage budget will largely be taken care of by tv and sponsorship anyway. There's almost no way you won't make money on the season. My first time up I made enough to pay my entire expenditure plus all my club's debts from even in last place.

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16 hours ago, tobybilton1 said:

Finally.... 

KLPromotedPL.PNG

How long did it take you?

Im in 2033 and in my 3rd season in the Championship I’ve qualified for the Play-off final.

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My six seasons with King's Lynn: NLN - 1st. NL - 1st. L2 - 7th won Playoffs. L1 - 2nd. Champ 7th. Champ, 2nd. 

In the PL for the 2025/26 season, came 2nd on the final day of the season but very very nearly won the Championship... look at that Rafa Mir goal for Newcastle! :rolleyes:


KLRafaMir.thumb.PNG.d811cc2c4a0bdcbdc1b28b3c7c4978cf.PNG

But I've really prioritised the FA Cup every season and the income from it has been fundamental to the club's growth. Got to the semi-finals this year, lost 3-0 against Liverpool, but the run made about £3m.

There are certain PL rules regarding stadiums too, and our first season in the Prem will be at the City Ground in Nottingham... about a two hour drive from King's Lynn.

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Some big summer signings too: Rayan Cherki, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sepp van den Berg, Japhet Tanganga, Predrag Rajkovic.

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Since you're going to be much better at squad building than the AI, the key is to use that to your advantage. Focus on building a strong central backbone (GK, DC, MC, SC) and above all tailor your tactics after your resources. No point playing tiki-taka if your players are non-league material. What worked for me this year was finding a really rapid striker, pair him with the tallest striker you can find, play 4-4-2 somewhat direct and abuse the pace 4 defenders you'll find in the Conference. If you can find one MC with decent passing attributes that helps as well - set him as the playmaker and make sure the others are feeding him the ball. I'm on my fourth season in the Premier League with Dulwich Hamlet and I've managed to gain Champions League football this season. 

 

Oh, and once you start to move up the leagues, pester your chairman for training and youth facilities upgrades ALL THE TIME. Also, change tactics once you get better players. I'm also particular about ONE thing - no low Determination players at all are welcome at my club. Not even youth players - they poison the others with their weak minds.

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Edited by Thengil

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I'd absolutely echo everything that @Thengil says above. Find yourself a CM with passing of 17 in the the NL and you're onto a winner. And being tactically adaptable as you go up is vital too. Let them play.

I had one standard tactic (control) and a much more cautious (frustrate opposition) tactic which I used for the cupsets. There were plenty of them.

And spot on with regards to pestering the board, I must've been asking for any kind of improvements on an almost weekly basis. And threaten to leave if they won't back you: "You won't send me on a coaching course despite three-successive promotions?" "Fine then... I'm off"... to do a coaching course. It works.

Added to this, make sure your coaches are always studying... my PL coaching staff is mainly from the National League and L2 days and it's one of the best in the PL. Those courses paid dividends. 

And player personality types are so important to the dynamics, no mercenaries or fickle footballers should anywhere near your journey. 

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