We have explored every continent to find several clubs that are in need of a rebuild to pursue greater things under your care.
For some it may be short term, while others it will take years in the game to bring success.
Unfortunately we have not caught every club that we feel needs a rebuild, so if you feel we have missed a club let us know in the comments below.
Here's a video version highlighting some of the picks below. For the full list, simply keep reading.
Busan IPark – South Korea – K League 2 (2nd Tier)
One of the original five members of the K League, Busan continuously competed in the top division until financial struggles relegated them in 2015 where it seems to be a permanent home for the once grand South Korean club. Last season they were relegated after a one-season wonder back in the topflight where they look to rebuild and gain promotion once more.
Last Season Finish: 12/12 K League (Relegation to K League 2)
Orlando Pirates FC – South Africa – South African Premier Division (DStv Premiership) [1st Tier]
One of the bigger clubs in South Africa alongside Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United, the Pirates find themselves on a long league drought with their last title coming in the 2011/2012 season. They have found themselves overshadowed by the now dominant Mamelodi Sundowns who simply seem to be in a league of their own atop the Premiership and being the South African flagship in CAF Competitions.
Last Season Finish: 3/16 DStv Premiership
FC Edmonton – Canada – Canadian Premier League (CPL) [1ST Tier]
Why is there a club on this list from a league which is only in its third ever season? Well quite simply because FC Edmonton you could argue should be doing a lot better in the small 8-team CPL. FC Edmonton was launched back in 2010, competing in the Canadian Championship against the three Canadian MLS teams – plus they were playing in the NASL, technically the 2nd tier in the USA. They had experience which every other CPL team simply never gained. Despite joining the CPL with high hopes and plenty of experience, Edmonton have performed poorly failing to reach the playoffs in every season where you need to only get top 4 out of an 8-team league and they don’t look like reaching it for the current 2021 season.
Last Season: 8/8 Canadian Premier League
D.C. United – United States of America – Major League Soccer (MLS) [1st Tier]
They are technically one of the biggest clubs in the MLS with only LA Galaxy having more MLS Cup titles with whom they also share the honor of being one of the only two MLS sides to win the CONCACAF Champions League back in 1998. But no success in the past several seasons and early exits in the playoffs have seen DC United now become a club near the bottom of the league. It’s one thing to build up to a playoff spot – it’s another to win silverware.
Last Season Finish: 13/14 Eastern Conference (24/26 Overall) No Playoffs
Deportivo Toluca FC – Mexico – Liga MX [1st Tier]
Toluca have won the Mexican league 10 times, only behind America and Guadalajara – but their last title was 2010, they only have two Copa MX and while 2 CONCACAF Champions Leagues seems impressive – it shows they are behind their Mexican counterparts when 5 other Mexican teams have more, and 7 more Mexican teams have either won it once or twice. A full decade without titles is quite underwhelming for what is supposed to be one of Mexico’s most successful clubs.
Last Season: 11/18 Apertura (R16 Playoffs) // 11/18 Clasura (Quarter’s Playoffs)
Club Atletico Independiente – Argentina – Primera Division [1st Tier]
One of Argentina’s big five clubs… currently on a domestic league drought since 2002, a domestic cup since before World War 2 and while they did win the Copa Sudamericana in 2017 (Europa League equivalent) they are the most successful side on the CONMEBOL Continent by winning the Copa Libertadores (Champions League equivalent) seven times but the last coming in 1984. This massive club is not quite having the success that they should be having – seemingly just outside the leading Argentinian clubs and not sweeping up the top honors like they used to.
Last Season: 14/24 Primera Division
Cruzeiro – Brazil – Serie B [2ND Tier]
From champions of Brazil just a few seasons ago to now finding themselves in the second tier of Brazil after being relegated back in 2019 for the first time in their history, Cruzeiro are one of Brazil’s most prominent clubs with success across the board including on the continent. But mismanagement has seen them collapse to the second tier where they look set to be fighting for several more seasons or potentially even in a relegation scrap where they could be sent lower down the pyramid.
Last Season: 11/20 Serie B
Sport Boys Association – Peru – Liga 1 [1st Tier]
Since Sport Boys’ last league title in 1984 their time has been turbulent to say the least – multiple relegations and promotions with dashes of Continental campaigns mixed with financial issues means that despite technically being Peru’s fourth biggest club – they aren’t acting like it. While the other big three of Universitario, Alianza Lima and Sporting Cristal continue to be the big boys (pardon the pun), other smaller clubs have started to win silverware while Sport Boys waste away.
Last Season: 14/20 Liga 1 (Aggregate Table)
FK Austria Wien – Austria – Bundesliga [1st Tier]
One of the most successful teams in Austria for both the domestic league and cup, plus since the foundation of the topflight in 1912, Austria Wien have never been relegated. Despite this illustrious history, they are now a club who have been overwhelmed by the presence of Red Bull Salzburg. Other clubs like Rapid Wien, LASK and Sturm Graz seem to be far more competitive than Austria Wien in recent seasons and look more of a threat to the Red Bull campaign.
Last Season: 8/12 Bundesliga
Royal Union Saint-Gilloise - Belgium - Juplier Pro League [1st Tier]
For those unfamiliar with Belgian football, they would have not heard of Union despite them being one of the most successful and important clubs in its history. This is probably because they just won promotion back to the top-flight after 48 years and their last of 11 league titles (which places them third) was in the 1934/1935 season. While for many supporters top-flight football is a first, top-silverware is probably non-existent for almost all those living. Fighting the odds to stay in the top flight is going to be tough - but hopefully for history’s sake it can happen.
Last Season: 1/8 Belgian First Division B [2nd Tier]
Bolton Wanderers F.C. – England – EFL League One [3rd Tier]
Thanks to the latest developments which have happened at Newcastle, I've decided to quickly replace them with Bolton. Down in League One there are a multitude of clubs that could use a rebuild, in fact all across England's tiers are their clubs. Yet I've decided to choose Bolton in the meantime as they are seemingly on the up, after severe financial difficulties and going into administration in May 2019 - new owners in August of that year stabilized the club and they managed promotion. Now financial stability is the continuous goal after only recently just settling debts as they fight it out in League One.
Last Season: 3/24 League Two (Promoted)
Saint-Etienne – France – Ligue 1 [1st Tier]
You would be forgiven if you thought that PSG held the honor for most Ligue 1 titles, but that goes to Saint-Etienne, who last one a league title in the 1980/1981 season. Like PSG they were also runners-up in the Champions League back in 1975/76. Normally a top 6 side for the past decade, the past two seasons have witnessed a steep drop to mid-table mediocrity and near relegation as time moves on leaving their glory days even farther behind.
Last Season: 11/20 Ligue 1
1. FC Magdeburg – Germany – 3. Liga [3rd Tier]
There are plenty of squads in Germany’s lower tiers who are in need of a rebuild; Dynamo Dresden, 1860 Munich, Kaiserslautern, Saarbrucken, MSV Duisburg and many more. Magdeburg are on that list but they have the unique honor of being the only former East German side to win a European title by winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1974. It looks like hard days are over after gaining promotion to the third tier a few seasons ago but the issue is they now seem stagnant in Germany’s third tier after failing to stay in the 2. Bundesliga when gaining promotion.
Last Season: 11/20 3. Liga
Ferencvaros – Hungary - Menzeti Bajnoksag I (NBI) [1st Tier]
It is fine to not think much of the Hungarian giants in modern terms but once upon a time, Ferencvaros held in their ranks some of the greatest players to ever play this sport; Florian Albert, Zoltan Czibor, Ferenc Daek, Zoltan Gera, Sandor Kocsis, Laszlo Kubala, Gyorgy Sarosi and many more. This proved true with the fact they won the 1964/1965 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (precursor to the Europa League) against Juventus and reached two other European finals in 1968 and 1974/1975. It is well documented the fall of Hungary’s power in football but recent seasons have seen improvements including a re-appearance in the Champions League for Ferencvaros in 2020/2021 after 25 years. This does not prove they or other Hungarian clubs are “back” in Europe and more needs to be done to bring this great club back into the limelight it once held.
Last Season: 1/12 NBI
Fiorentina – Italy - Serie A [1st Tier]
Serie A seems to be quite the competitive competition now with at least 8 clubs all realistically in with a shot of a top 6 finish… but Fiorentina aren’t on that list. It seems that Fiorentina have now become a part of the “rest” of the league instead of competing in Europe as they once were. The last three seasons have seen Fiorentina finish outside the top 8 and it’s been since 15/16 since they’ve finished in the top 5 - where they were a main-stay for several seasons. Mediocrity is the disease and hopefully someone has the cure.
Last Season: 13/20 Serie A
FC FCSB – Romania - Liga I [1st Tier]
True, FCSB is Romania’s most successful club, but that has not been the case in recent seasons with their last league title coming in 2014/2015. CFR Cluj have won the league four times in a row while other teams like Viitorul, Astra Giurgiu, Universitatea Craiova and of course arch-rivals Dinamo Bucuresti have made their presence known at the top of the table. A league title is long overdue but becoming a presence again in Europe is another difficult task. Adding to their Champions League title may be a step too far, but with the new UEFA Conference League and the revamped Europa League, the opportunity is there for this club to become a team to avoid when in Europe.
Last Season: 2/16 Liga I
Slovan Bratislava – Slovakia - Fortuna Liga [1st Tier]
The former Czechoslovakia was not just a brilliant footballing nation but also had many powerful clubs, modern day is not the same though. Slovan are so far the only club from Slovakia including the former Czechoslavkia to win a European Competition, with the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969 - they also supplied seven players to the Czechoslovak team who won the Euro’s in 1976. But that was then and this is now, the tradition of winning domestic silverware is continuous - but on the European stage they haven’t been anything special - nor has any Slovakian team really. Rebuilding the club to become competitive on the European stage once more is a task not for the faint of heart.
Last Season: 1/12 Fortuna Liga
FC Barcelona – Spain – La Liga [1st Tier]
Where to begin with the mess which is FC Barcelona? A debt so large that it rivals nations, losing arguably the greatest player to ever play this sport, lost its way in developing through La Masia (Pedri is not a La Masia graduate) and essentially becoming the book on how not to run a super club. So… where do you begin? Expectations are always high, even in the midst of this crisis but hopefully one is able to manage this club in a way which can bring back the glory days when La Masia and the DNA of Cruyff was at its peak.
Last Season: 3/20 La Liga
IFK Goteborg – Sweden - Allsvenskan [1st Tier]
The only Nordic (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands and Greenland) club which has won a European trophy, in fact two of them - the Europa League in 1982 and 1987. You must think that they dominate Sweden then, but that’s not true - Malmo are now the kings of Sweden as it's been since 2007 that IFK have last won a league title. Despite this, IFK is still very well supported and one of Sweden’s most popular clubs - but now it is time to take back the top spot from Malmo.
Last Season: 12/16 Allsvenskan
Servette FC – Switzerland - Swiss Super League [1st Tier]
Servette are one of European Football’s most important clubs. They were the winners of what is one of the first international club tournaments, the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva. They also organized what can be seen as the predecessor to the UEFA Champions League with the Coupe des Nations in 1930 and participated in the first ever Champions League back in 1955/1956. Their history is rich but the glory days are now far behind with only one Swiss Cup this century in 2000/2001. Promotion back to the top flight went very well by finishing third, but between Young Boys and Basel - it looks like silverware is a step too far for Switzerland’s third most successful club.
Last Season: 3/10 Swiss Super League
We've collected these twenty clubs as we believe that they could all use a rebuild. Some are already successful, while some are struggling in different ways - all of them need a refresh to move onto greater and better things.
Do you feel that we've missed a club? With the thousands of clubs to manager of course we probably have, so let us know who you feel needs a rebuild and why.
You already going to manage a club for FM22 - who is it? Let us know in the comments below.
For now, enjoy FM22 when it is released and stay safe everyone.