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Ryan Ferguson: The Unorthodox Approach

For most, the battles stay on the pitch. For Ryan Ferguson, his battles are off it.
Started on 7 May 2017 by Justice
Latest Reply on 21 October 2017 by Aaron
Another amazing year and over 100M spent on transfers is crazy. Loving how good Ryan is and I bet he would give Christian Schäfer a run for his money.
Invincibles! Not only an unbeaten campaign but the quadruple too! Incredible!

Author's Note

So, guys, that concludes the whole "catch-up" phase of this story. As of typing this message, right now, the story is fully caught-up with the save. This means I can now post updates of shorter periods of time (monthly, etc.) rather than just annual updates.

Future updates will include monthly updates, news articles, and other types of updates as I look to convey as much detail as possible. There may come times where this may not be possible for myself, and I may have to resort to larger updates to cover greater periods of time, but I hope that this will not be a regular occurrence.

A big thank you to everybody following and supporting, and I hope to produce a higher standard of writing than that I have been producing lately, as I personally have not been too happy with being restricted to posting, mostly, seasonal updates.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

The Beginning of the End

Ryan Ferguson Was Beginning To Feel Out Of Place In Brighton

Brighton, one of the major urban areas of the 'Sunny South Coast' of England. A place of leisure and happiness. A place of growing economic stature, with Whitehawk partially to thank for. The population had quadrupled in the past eleven years, with over six hundred thousand people living in or around the city. The vast majority of these people had become Whitehawk fans.

The summer of 2026 was a hot one, with temperatures reaching thirty degrees Celcius across the United Kingdom. This provoked a number of British families to embark on holiday trips to the south coast, flooding the beaches and bars of Brighton. There was a real party atmosphere around the city which could be found nowhere else in the UK. Brighton had become a hub for tourism in England.

It had been my home for the past eleven years, and I had fallen in love with the place. The peaceful serenity of the ocean-side city, the relaxed culture of the people, and the European weather made the place a truly terrific place to live. The city had given me so much, and had been my home for a third of my life.

I feel any debt I owed to Brighton, I had paid off with my career successes. Under my management, Whitehawk Football Club had grown in to a global super power, and we had just secured our third consecutive UEFA Champions League final. Our consistency at the top level of football in recent years, as well as our spending on local facilities, has brought in a vast number of football fans from across the globe to watch matches at our Whitehawk Stadium. Our city had gained a global audience, bringing in an incredible fortune for local businesses.

My adventures with Whitehawk, and with England for a brief two years, had brought me all over the world. We had played at the biggest of stadia across the globe, including the Santiago Bernabéu, Camp Nou, Allianz Arena, Signal Iduna Park, among others. We have played in front of the largest of audiences in countries of starkly contrasting cultures.

The foreign cultures excited me, truth be told. I loved experiencing new things and, while I could only speak English, foreign languages were music to my ears. Growing up in Liverpool did not give me a proper education of what the rest of the world was like, and I was keen to explore its wonders. I wanted to embrace whatever the world had to offer me.

South America excited me. The year-round party atmosphere, alongside their love of football, was certainly a huge pulling factor for a person of my age, with my interests. Eleven years ago, I would have been interested in journeying to the United States, but Donald Trump's treacherous reign as president had crippled the country.

You see, Brexit had helped towns and cities such as Brighton and Leeds grow, but it had completely disrupted the traditions and cultures of the country. Instead of seeing the country grow, everything appeared to regress. The country appeared to be successful in just one area, and that was football. It was not healthy.

The expectation to deliver trophy-after-trophy grew with every day. The citizens of Britain had grown hungry for continued success in football, due to the decline of every other aspect of life. Brexit had killed Britain, and had applied incredible pressure on football managers such as José Mourinho, Slaven Bilic and myself to perform, year in year out.

My first appointment with Doctor Lucy Benson, my psychiatrist, had made me realise that I had to escape. I needed to be working in an environment where the expectation matched the job, and did not overwhelm it. This could not happen in England. Not with Whitehawk.

But I could not leave yet. I owed Whitehawk, and the city of Brighton, one final season. One final season of battling it out with the top guns in England, and in Europe. One final season of managing the pressure that came with the job. That was all that remained. Once that was over, I was free to manage whoever I wanted, wherever I wanted. This was, in many respects, the beginning of the end of my Whitehawk career.

Comment Section

MJK46, yeah it was a huge total sum spent, but well worth in the end judging by our trophy count for the season. Although I don't think Ryan Ferguson will ever have the same influence on football that Der Professor had :P

mgriffin2012, yeah I was delighted with the season! It all came to very strong defensive organisation, and then allowing the individual flair of our attacking players do the work. Luckily, our set-piece play had improved dramatically, and allowed us to comfortably dispatch of our major rivals (Manchester United & Manchester City). Hoping for more of the same next term!

Previous Update: #23 - Season Eleven: Season Review
Next Update: #25 - Club Overview: Whitehawk 2027
Good luck on your next journey
What an update. The fine details, talking about future events, Trump, Brexit... have added to the story and have made me very interested. This final season at Whitehawk is going to be a tough one, however the mental health of Ryan is the most key thing here, a move away is a must.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Club Overview: Whitehawk 2027

An Overview Of Whitehawk Football Club In June 2027

Basic Info

Name: Whitehawk Football Club
Location: Brighton, England
Nickname: N/A
Founded: 1945
Estimated Value: £1.2B
League: Premier League, England

Chairman: Danny Baxter
Manager: Ryan Ferguson
Assistant Manager: Juan Carlos Unzué
Captain: Stephen Lacy
Vice Captain: Rasmus Nissen Kristensen


Stadium: Whitehawk Stadium
Location: Brighton, England
Capacity: 26,786 all-seater
Under Soil Heating: Yes
Roof: No
Surface: Grass (Good Condition)

Corporate Facilities: Top
Training Facilities: Superb
Youth Facilities: Excellent
Junior Coaching: Exceptional
Youth Recruitment: Well Established

Trophy Cabinet

League Competitions
Sussex County Football League (9th tier) x4 (1962, 1964, 1984, 2010)
Isthmian Division One South (8th tier) x1 (2012)
Isthmian Premier Division (7th tier) x1 (2013)
Vanarama National League South (6th tier) x1 (2017)
Vanarama National League (5th tier) x1 (2018)
Sky Bet League Two x1 (2019)
Sky Bet League One x1 (2020)
Sky Bet Championship x1 (2021)
Premier League x2 (2025, 2027)

Domestic Cup Competitions
FA Trophy x2 (2017, 2018)
EFL Trophy x2 (2019, 2020)
FA Cup x2 (2025, 2027)
FA Community Shield x1 (2025)
EFL Cup x1 (2027)

Continental Competitions
UEFA Europa League x1 (2024)
UEFA Super Cup x3 (2024, 2025, 2026)
UEFA Champions League x3 (2025, 2026, 2027)

Intercontinental Competitions
FIFA Club World Cup x2 (2025, 2026)

Total: 30 Trophies

Last Five Seasons:
2026/2027: Premier League - 1st
2025/2026: Premier League - 3rd
2024/2025: Premier League - 1st
2023/2024: Premier League - 3rd
2022/2023: Premier League - 5th

Club Heroes

Ryan Ferguson (2016-) -- Manager

Erkan Aktaş (2024-) -- Player

Fan Favourites
Stephen Lacy (2024-) -- Player
Danny Wickenden (2024-) -- Player
Jeremie Boga (2020-2026) -- Player
Tyrone Mings (2023-2026) -- Player
Gradimir Lucic (2024-) -- Player
Andrea Punzi (2019-2026) -- Player
Nicolò Fazzi (2020-2023) -- Player

Comment Section

MJK46, thank you! Just one final season with Whitehawk first! :P

ScottT, I 100% agree, it is what is best for Fergie that matters most!

Previous Update: #24 - The Beginning of the End
Next Update: #26 - Novakovic Leaves Watford For Whitehawk
It's so amazing what you have done with Whitehawk. I wonder if you will get a statue or the stadium named after you.
What an incredible career youve had to date and it is understandable that youll be looking at pastures new! Hopefully you go on to be a big success wheeever you end up as well as achieving greatness in your final season in Brighton!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Novakovic Leaves Watford For Whitehawk

Novakovic Scored 39 Goals Across Two Seasons For Watford


Miroslav Novakovic became Whitehawk's first signing of the summer as he moved from Watford for a fee of £23,000,000. The twenty-seven year old Serbian attacker had spent two seasons with The Hornets, but endured a difficult campaign last term amid speculation of being unsettled under manager David Wagner.

Novakovic joined Watford from Italian outfit AS Roma in 2025, and went on to score 39 goals across two seasons in England, with 25 of those coming in Premier League action. The Serbian is capable of playing up front as well as out wide, where he has found himself playing for his national team in a star-studded attack.

Ryan Ferguson had reportedly been a long-term admirer of Novakovic's talent, which was evident throughout his career. He left boyhood club FK Partizan in January 2019 to play for FC Barcelona, but played just sixteen games for the first team before sealing a £33,500,000 move to AS Roma in January 2023. A return of just twelve goals in two and a half seasons saw him moved on to Watford, where he showed his true worth in Premier League action.

Novakovic's debut season for Watford brought 25 goals in all competitions, with 18 coming in the Premier League. Hungry to win titles, Novakovic became unsettled at Watford, and fell out with manager David Wagner. This resulted in a poor second season, bringing just 14 goals in 51 appearances.

However, Whitehawk's new signing believes he can turn his fortunes around and help the club add to their trophy haul of recent seasons, starting with the defence of their Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles.

Novakovic Is Capable Of Playing Up Front As Well As On The Right Wing

Miroslav Novakovic:
"It is a fantastic opportunity for any player to come to Whitehawk Football Club, and to be a part of a great period of time for the football club. The club has shown it is capable of winning the top honours, and is currently the defending champions of the Premier League and Champions League. It is a club which is still growing, and that can only excite any player in world football.

I hope to be a big part of the football club in the next few seasons, and I believe I can help win many more trophies here. I am quite a quick player and I am a good goalscorer. I am hoping these attributes will be prominent during my time here, and I just want to have a very successful time here."

Comment Section

MJK46, a statue would be nice :P

mgriffin2012, thank you very much! I hope to have one final trophy-laden season at Whitehawk!

Previous Update: #25 - Club Overview: Whitehawk 2027
Next Update: #27 - Mansueto Departs Whitehawk For West Ham
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Mansueto Departs Whitehawk For West Ham

The Italian Defender Leaves Just One Year After Signing From Fiorentina


Riccardo Mansueto became the first departure from Whitehawk Football Club of the summer as he left for fellow Premier League side West Ham United in a deal worth initial £10,000,000, with a further £5,000,000 arriving in future incentives and clauses. The Italian defender had sign for Whitehawk just one year previously, to find opportunities in the first team limited.

Mansueto was a graduate of Città di Palermo in Italy, and was regarded as an exciting youth prospect. Successful loan spells at AC Siena and Pescara Calcio saw Mansueto's stock rose, and he left Palermo in January 2024 having made 135 first team appearances for his childhood club.

Mansueto departed from Palermo for ACF Fiorentina in a £9.5M move. He arrived as a rotation player, and made 53 appearances for the first team across two and a half seasons with the Viola.

Riccardo's next career move brought him to Whitehawk in a £6.5M deal in 2026, to replace the outgoing Andrea Punzi. Mansueto came in as a fourth choice central defender, and made a total of eleven appearances last season.

West Ham came knocking this summer, and we reportedly extremely keen on the defender. Their interest was so great they offered a total sum worth almost two and a half times the fee Whitehawk paid for him.

Mansueto was delighted with the move to West Ham, and believed he proved at Whitehawk that he was capable of performing at the highest level.

Mansueto Joined West Ham United For More First Team Football

Riccardo Mansueto:
"I am very happy to have signed for West Ham, a fantastic club with a brilliant history. They have a great team of players and a brilliant stadium to play at. I hope to have a lot of success with West Ham in the Premier League.

I had a fantastic time at Whitehawk and won a lot of trophies, but I feel I am at a stage in my career where I need to be playing regular football. There was a lot of competition for places at Whitehawk, and I struggled to really hold a place down at all. Hopefully I can play much more regularly at West Ham, who are at a different stage of development."

How to create a successful tactic (by

How to create a successful tactic on Football Manager (Updated for FM17)

So, we have recently updated one of our most successful Football Manager guides here. It was a guide originally published all the way back in 2013, and has since gone on to gain over 1.3 MILLION views! A large group of members contributed enormously to the creation of this guide, including myself, with the aim of assisting those in the FM-world who may need assistance. Feel free to check it out. Even the most experienced of FMers might find something of value there!

On a side note, I will be looking to update a number of guides which I have been involved in here, including a guide on developing youth players, managing finances, set-piece management, etc. Alongside that, I am currently preparing several tips on preparing different set-piece routines, both offensively and defensively, as well as how to really improve the quality of your youth intake. I will also be looking to release the tactic which I have primarily been using throughout the save you have been following here. While I cannot guarantee results, as that comes down to far more than just a tactic, it might be a style of interest for some FMers.

I shall continue to keep you posted here on any guides, tips or tactics I'm involved in, and you can start following these by either clicking on the guide picture above, or following this link: How to create a successful tactic on Football Manager.

Previous Update: #26 - Novakovic Leaves Watford For Whitehawk
Next Update: #28 - Whitehawk Seal Mbappé Purchase
Novakovic looks a brilliant talent, hopefully he can impress in his time with you. On the other hand Mansueto being allowed to leave really shows how far you've gone with this team, he looks a good player also.
Justice's avatar Group Justice
7 yearsEdited

Whitehawk Seal Mbappé Purchase

The French Superstar Could Cost Whitehawk A Major £50M


French attacker Kylian Mbappé became Whitehawk's latest capture as he moved from AS Monaco to the south coast of England. The twenty-eight year old arrived on a four year deal, earning an estimated £210,000 per week. The fee paid by the English champions for Mbappé's services was an initial £35,000,000 up front, with £10,000,000 arriving in installments spread over four years, and an additional £5,000,000 landing in AS Monaco's bank account should Kylian make fifty Premier League appearances for his new club.

Mbappé rose to prominence in French football in the 2015/2016 season, where he made 11 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring once. As his time with the club progressed, Mbappé's powers became more and more evident, as his goal scoring tally improved with each season. The 2021/2022 season was his first truly prolific one, as he scored 22 goals from 51 appearances as a left winger. Five more majorly successful seasons followed before he made the move to Whitehawk, and he left Monaco having made a total of 459 appearances in all competitions and contributing 205 goals in the process.

Mbappé's influence was also noted on the international scene, as he made his debut for Les Bleus in June 2020 against Slovenia. He would go on to score the first of his 13 international goals just three days later against Switzerland. He has since gone on to play a key role for his country, notching up 50 caps in the process.

Kylian's main strengths on the football pitch included his electric pace on and off the ball, and his ability to beat a marker. His goal scoring ability was also matched by his ability to create chances for team mates to score, while his ability to create something out of nothing was highly revered. While Whitehawk already had many a good set-piece taker, Mbappé would certainly add to that list, as his dead-ball deliveries were nothing short of sublime.

Mbappé became Whitehawk's second most expensive ever signing, behind just Kingsley Osagie (£60M). The French forward signed for the club in order to have a greater chance of winning trophies, as his former side AS Monaco had failed to do so too often for his liking.

Mbappé Was, In Many Regards, The Complete Attacker

Kylian Mbappé:
"Firstly I would like to sound my appreciation for everything AS Monaco have done for me during my time at the club. The club has been my family for fourteen years now and I owe everything I have achieved in my career to date to them. They have helped make me the player I am, and I am proud to say I have been a part of Les Rouges et Blancs for as long as I have.

I am delighted to have signed for Whitehawk. It is a club with great aspirations, and one with a history that is always growing. There are many terrific footballers here and I look forward to lining up alongside them on the pitch. It is a club made for playing on the biggest of stages, and they have proven they do not disappoint when called upon.

I am at the stage of my career where I feel I am ready to focus on winning as many trophies as possible, and Whitehawk is the perfect place for me to do so. They have a young and inventive manager, with many more like-minded players in their ranks. There is a lot of quality here, and players with the potential to further these qualities in to something special. I need to win trophies for me to look back at my career with happiness, and I know I can do so here."

Comment Section

ScottT, truth be told, Mansueto wasn't even among my top 5 or 6 targets to become my 4th choice DC when he did come in, but he came in due to limited funds available, and he was the best value for the money we could pay. I was delighted to be able to move him on for the fee we did. He was Premier League-standard, but easily replaceable.... as you will see very soon!

Previous Update: #27 - Mansueto Departs Whitehawk For West Ham
Next Update: #29 - Mammana Makes Free Move To Whitehawk
Holy crap dude that is a massive signing. It is pretty cool to see that he has been at Monaco since the start of your save and has done pretty good. I hope he can get even better playing in your system and that the £50M was well worth it. Do you think having him on your side could convince you to stay a bit longer with Whitehawk?
A huge deal made there, I hope that he can live up to the hype and prove his fee to you... £50M tends to be a curse in modern day football ;)

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