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Making a Manager - The Story

Ryan Ferguson returns for another English LLM journey
Started on 23 October 2018 by Justice
Latest Reply on 15 May 2019 by Griffo
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Oxford City To Face Birmingham In FA Cup

Birmingham City Will Host Oxford City In The FA Cup Third Round


EFL Championship side Birmingham City will play host to National League South side Oxford City in the Third Round of the FA Cup. The Blues are strong favourites for the clash against the only representative of England's sixth tier (or lower), which is scheduled for Saturday 5th January.

The long-term Championship dwellers enter the competition at this stage, having reached the fourth round of the tournament last time where Huddersfield Town eliminated them. Birmingham City have never won the FA Cup but have finished as runner-up on two occasions; in 1931 and 1956.

For Oxford City, ventures into the proper rounds of the FA Cup have been a rare foray during the clubs 136 year history but indeed reached the third round proper last season, where Nottingham County denied them further passage.

Victories against Thatcham Town, Staines Town and Maidstone United in the qualifying rounds earned Oxford City clashes against EFL sides Walsall and Swindon Town in the first and second rounds of the competition, with City coming out on top in each. They will be hoping for similar fortune against Birmingham City, although the EFL Championship side are a class above any team Oxford City have played against this season.

Indeed, Birmingham City have been installed as early 1-12 favourites to win the game, with home advantage on their side. The game be played at St. Andrews which has a capacity of just over 30,000. However, little over 10,000 are expected to attend against the non-league minnows as Birmingham are expected to waltz into the next round.

It has been a magnificent tournament to date for Oxford City striker Kabongo Tshimanga, who has scored five goals in the FA Cup proper & qualifying rounds so far, and the 22 year old Englishman is looking forward to the prospect of playing at a ground which has been host to some of England's finest players in the past.

Birmingham City Play Their Football In The EFL Championship

Kabongo Tshimanga (Oxford City Player):
"We've had a great tournament so far and we can't wait to get out on the pitch at St. Andrews and compete against one of England's biggest clubs (Birmingham City). They may not be a Premier League side anymore but they are a massive club and have played host to some of England's greatest ever teams.

Stepping out onto St. Andrews will be a special moment for myself. It is a pitch which was once home to Trevor Francis, a true inspiration for myself as a striker. He played hundreds of games at the club and scored more than a few goals in style. It will be an honour to be on the same pitch that he used to turn out on.

I think we can give Birmingham a good run for their money. They're four divisions above us but we have plenty of heart in us and we want to play in the big occasions. We know we're not a big team but we will make up for that with our work on the pitch. We won't be beaten easily."

Birmingham City Have Plenty Of Experience Of Competing In The Premier League

For Oxford City Ryan Manager, the fixture has been a reward for the club's continuous improvement under his management. While the game highlights Oxford City's achievements on the pitch, the young manager was quick to point out the financial benefits of such a game for City.

Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"We're thoroughly delighted to have the opportunity to play against such a big club. Birmingham City have long been a well-supported football club in this country, and a very successful one at that. They have plenty of Premier League experience and a football stadium to boast. It is a fantastic reward for us to play against them.

We've earned this opportunity. The players have always given one hundred percent in training and have battled hard in every single game. Winning against Walsall and Swindon Town in the way we did in those games have shown how much the players have progressed in the short time we've been together. They've learned a lot about each other and about themselves and have given themselves the opportunity to have very good careers in football.

I think the chairman will be happy with this fixture. The financial benefits of playing at one of England's finest football stadiums in a major competition, such as the FA Cup, will definitely ensure that we have no financial issues to worry about anymore. The financial future of the club is now secure and that is down to the players' performances on the pitch."

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, absolutely but (unfortunately) we didn't get them :( I'm still delighted with an away trip to St. Andrews, Birmingham are a pretty big team in their own right

ScottT, not quite the PL team we hoped for but I'd expect a decent payout nonetheless!

Previous Update: #9 - Swindon Stunned By Stellar Oxford City
Next Update: #11 - Ferguson Signs On For Two More Years
Definitely still a big tie despite their Championship status and you'll still take a fair share of cash home from the game!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Ferguson Signs On For Two More Years

Oxford City Manager Ryan Ferguson Has Signed A Contract Extension Until 2021


Oxford City have had a season to remember so far, sitting atop of National League South by four points and looking forward to a visit to St. Andrews in January to face Birmingham City in the FA Cup third round. The financial crisis which the club faced at the beginning of the season has been overturned by an influx of FA Cup prize money and increased attendances for major cup fixtures.

The man behind the revolution at Court Place Farm, Ryan Ferguson, has been shown a sign of faith by the club's hierarchy in the form of a contract extension. The Liverpudlian's former contract was set to expire at the end of the season but he will now remain at the club until June 2021.

The new deal has seen the former Liverpool FC youth coach take a significant pay cut. In a bid to aid club finances, Ferguson has given up his £900 p/w wage for a measly £60 p/w. This act of selflessness is sure to go down well with the club's supporters, who already have a wonderful affinity with the twenty-eight year old manager.

City's commander-in-chief has brought about a modern style of football at the club, based on a high-press tactical system and quick movements from back to front, while prioritising retention of the ball in the process. His side have blown teams away at times and rank second in the league for each of successful tackles, interceptions, passes completed and possession, while also leading the way with a league-high 49 goals (2.72 goals per game).

Ferguson has spoken of his delight at signing a new contract and has professed his love for the football club, giving much credit to his players for the club's exploits this season.

Ryan Ferguson's New Deal Will See His Wage Reduce By Over 93%

Ryan Ferguson:
"I'm delighted (to have signed a new contract). I've enjoyed every second here at this football club and we have made great strides forward together in the few months we have been together. It has been a great ride so far.

Everybody has been very welcoming to me since I arrived here in the summer and have been willing to implement the ideas I have proposed so far. We are all pulling in the same direction and the results on the pitch are a testament to how well we have all gelled together to work as a single-minded unit.

The players have been the true heroes at the club and I cannot give them enough praise. They've all been true warriors on the pitch and I have never been disappointed by their appetite to win. They're a young bunch of lads and I think we can go a long way together."

Comment Section

mgriffin2012, absolutely, we're gonna bring home plenty of money from the game, regardless of the result!

Previous Update: #10 - Oxford City To Face Birmingham In The FA Cup
Next Update: #12 - Brexit Details Outlined
A deal that is very much deserved and one I expected. :P

Birmingham are certainly one of the Championship sides you would have liked to draw if you had to draw a side from the second tier. A well-supported club, with a good following that will certainly draw a bit of money for yourselves. Looking forward to seeing hope Oxford cope on what is, probably, the biggest game in their history (ignoring Forest, maybe!)
More than deserved, let the glory days commence!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Brexit Details Outlined

English Football Will Be Affected By The Aftermath Of Brexit


"Brexit is coming! For those of you who have never heard of Brexit, you have been living under a rock for the last number of years! For fear of upsetting somebody's political beliefs, I shall not attempt to describe the reasoning or the consequences of Britain's biggest political situation in decades. I am here today to talk to you about its implications for British football.

My name is Danny Sweatybottom and I'm here to tell you how today's political events have outlined exactly how football in Britain will change forever. Does it change the shape of the football? How many players you're allowed on the pitch? What colour finger tape you are required to wear? No, it simply dictates the registration rules for professional football clubs in this country from next season on wards.

The biggest rule change will see a 'foreign player limit' implemented into registration for professional football clubs. From next season onwards, any registered squad will have a limit of 17 'foreign players'.

Now you may ask, what defines a 'foreign player'? Under the new system, a 'foreign player' will be any player that is non-British. So, if you're from Spain, Brazil, Belgium or elsewhere outside of Britain, you will need to be registered as a 'foreign player' under the new system and you will also require a work permit.

Under this new system, players from the Republic of Ireland will also be classified as 'foreign players', which comes as a major shock to all of us here. The influx of football players from Ireland over the years has been of great benefit to English football and the new arrangement will severely hinder that.

However, any 'foreign player' who has earned 'Home Grown' status in Britain automatically becomes exempt from the 'foreign player' rule. To be classified as 'Home Grown', a player must have trained at a club for three years between their 15th and 21st birthdays.

Players From The Republic Of Ireland Will Be Defined As 'Foreign'

The other major change also affects these 'foreign players'. Under the new guidelines, the following regulations will apply to 'foreign players', who will require work permits. A 'foreign player' will require a minimum wage of £8,000 per week in order to be allowed to play in first team league fixtures, while Under-23 'foreign players' will require a minimum wage of £3,000 per week in order to compete youth or cup competitions, or to be loaned out for first team league matches at clubs in lower divisions.

This regulation will be a big hit to clubs outside of the Premier League who may not be able to afford to pay a player £8,000 per week in normal circumstances, although it is unclear whether these limits will be adjusted for clubs outside of England's top tier.

The regulation states that this rule will not be applied to players who have a British nationality, obviously, but also to those who have an Irish nationality. It is unclear as to why Irish players will require work permits as 'foreign players' but will not require the minimum wage limits for these 'foreign players'. We are hoping to learn more about this in the coming weeks.

It is also worth noting that 'foreign players' currently in Britain will not need to comply with these wage limits until they switch club. So, for now, if you are a 'foreign player' here in Britain, you will be able to play for your club no matter what your wage is, until you move club.

We hope to learn more details about Brexit in the coming weeks and we will keep you posted as learn more. For now, it has been a pleasure to speak to you all. This is Danny Sweatybottom and you're watching FAM Scout News."

Y U DO DIS SI?!?!?!

Comment Section

ScottT, yeah they have quite the backing from their supporters, historically, and I can't wait to clash horns with them!
mgriffin2012, thank you, hopefully the trophies follow soon after!

Previous Update: #11 - Ferguson Signs On For Two More Years
Next Update: #13 - Christmas Party
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Christmas Party

Oxford City's Staff & Players Enjoyed A Small Christmas Party


The English football calendar did not allow for many Christmas, or other winter, festivities to take place in full swing. With games often coming twice a week, this was considered to be the most physically challenging part of a season in English football. The traditional Boxing Day fixtures did not allow for a post-Christmas Day hangover and league titles were often considered to be won or lost over the hectic months of December and January.

For National League South side Oxford City, they were given a day of respite from a hectic schedule to celebrate in moderation. The league leaders in England's sixth tier of football had defeated AFC Flyde in the first round of the FA Trophy the previous day to cap off an incredible pre-Christmas run of form.

Progression in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy had been secured, the club had risen to the top of the National League South standings, and the pre-season financial concerns were a vanishing memory. The club was on the up and there was a buzz in the air for all involved.

The club had not always had so much to celebrate this time of year but under the stewardship of young manager Ryan Ferguson, they made an exception. The Liverpool-born gaffer, affectionately known as 'Fergie' (much like his namesake Sir Alex), had given his players a new lease of life in his debut season in senior football management and the feel-good factor was irrepressible.

The squad was a very young one, with full-back Luke Ruddick and deep-lying playmaker Rob Sinclair the eldest at twenty-nine years old. Defensive midfielder Elliot moss was the youngest in the senior squad, having just turned seventeen years old in the previous few days. With a squad average age of twenty-three, the players on the far extremes of the age spectrum were not too far off the mean.

The playing staff and the backroom staff grouped together for a Christmas dinner at the clubhouse. Laughter and cheer filled the hall as the players and staff alike tucked into a fine dinner prepared by a number of fans of the club who worked as chefs and kitchen assistants. They were well-paid, obviously.

It was a gathering of people from all origins and backgrounds who had been united by their love of the beautiful game. No one person there was the same but together, they were brothers-in-arms. Together, they were an irresistible force. Together, they were unstoppable.

The players were intrigued by Ryan Ferguson's time at Liverpool, playing with and, later, coaching under the great Steven Gerrard. The players considered him to be one of the greatest players of all time and they were curious as to whether Fergie believed his former colleague had the nous to become one of the greatest managers of all time.

Fergie beamed as he told stories of Steven Gerrard. He spoke of Gerrard's undying love of the game and his relentless determination to win. It was Gerrard's passion for football which helped inspire his team on so many occasions, either as a player or as a manager. Under his leadership, players and fans had belief that nothing was impossible.

Kris Owens told stories of his own of Steven Gerrard. Owens had been a youth player at Liverpool while I was a youth coach there, with Steven Gerrard as the U18s manager. Owens was a lifelong Liverpool fan and it was his admiration of the former No.8 which drove him to play. From Liverpool to Oxford City, Kris Owens had made the same journey as his new gaffer.

As the night began to come to its inevitable end, Fergie spoke to those present. He praised them for a hard-working half-term. He thanked them for showing unwavering support and promised that the good times would remain, if everybody continued fighting as a unit. He spoke of Oxford City as a family, and that family always fought for each other. This was his message for the club. This was his legacy.

Previous Update: #12 - Brexit Details Outlined
Next Update: #14 - Season 2018-2019: December
You've described the implications better than I ever could. :P
Danny Sweatybottom! Brilliant :D Awesome post man, sums it up perfectly
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Season 2018-2019: December

An Overview Of Oxford City In December 2018

Ryan Ferguson:
"We had settled in very well this season and had rightfully claimed top spot in the National League South. A good showing in early FA Cup games set us up for a Third Round fixture against EFL Championship side Birmingham City. But before that, we had the small matter of the month of December to play through."


Victory Over Swindon In The FA Cup Highlighted An Impressive Month Of Results

We were strong. We were very strong. Swindon Town were a tough challenge in the FA Cup, with them being two divisions above us. We did, however, show our attacking prowess in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Court Place Farm to earn ourselves a spot in the Third Round of the competition.

We followed our victory in the FA Cup up with a comprehensive win over Nuneaton in the FA Trophy. Kabongo Tshimanga was on form once more to send us through to the First Round, where we then defeated a resilient AFC Flyde side. The second round awaited us in January.

The league results were good overall, but a little more mixed. Victories over Truro City and Billericay Town early on in the month highlighted our good form but we slumped to a home defeat against Weston-super-Mare. A return to form against Hungerford on Boxing Day followed, with us running out 5-1 winners, but we could only end the month with a draw as Wealdstone proved difficult to overcome.

Player of the Month

Kabongo Tshimanga Was Oxford City's Star Player During December 2018

Kabongo Tshimanga reached talisman status with an eight goal haul in December. The English striker is now up to twenty-six for the season and doesn't look like stopping any time soon. Could he reach thirty? Forty? Fifty?

National League South

Oxford City End The Year Five Points Clear At The Tio

The gap grew to five points. With nineteen games remaining, it wasn't a significant margin. A league-high 61 goals (next highest: 55) epitomised our attacking quality and was the primary reason for our league position.


Oxford City's FA Cup Fixture Against Swindon Raised The Balance Significantly

The club's balance grew by roughly 50% over the past month, mainly thanks to the FA Cup fixture against Swindon Town. The prize money, combined with the gate receipts, propelled the club's finances into a very secure position.

Upcoming Fixtures

Oxford City Will Play Against Birmingham City In The FA Cup

We will begin 2019 with a home game against Hungerford in the league. This will be followed by the much-anticipated FA Cup Third Round visit to Birmingham City. The marvelous occasion will be played before some other high-profile fixtures, including a trip to Torquay United in the league and an FA Trophy fixture against Maidstone United.

Comment Section

ScottT, just trying my best :P
mgriffin2012, thank you, glad you enjoyed it!

Previous Update: #13 - Christmas Party
Next Update: #15 - Ballon d'Or 2018
Tshimanga is truly something special, isn't he! Good to see your players didn't become too overwhelmed after beating Swindon and remained focus enough to get a win immediately in the FA Trophy. Everything is going swimmingly!
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Ballon d'Or 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo Pocketed The Ballon d'Or Award For 2018


The year of 2018 brought with it many incredible footballing triumphs. France won the World Cup, Manchester City secured a record points tally as they strolled to Premier League glory, Chris Smalling scored a brace to win the Manchester Derby.

The most coveted player award was up for grabs in the form of the Ballon d'Or, and the FIFA Best Player awards were to be awarded too. The obvious candidates were those involved in the FIFA World Cup final, most namely Antoine Griezmann and Luka Modric, as well as those who starred in the UEFA Champions League, such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Loris Karius.

The Ballon d'Or award did go to Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus. The Portuguese forward was key to Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League success before moving to Juventus in the summer. A goal return of 20 in 25 games for Juve has signaled his class as a footballer but it was his bicycle kick goal against his current team which stood out as one of those moments where everybody just stopped to applaude the genius of Cristiano Ronaldo. A hat trick in the World Cup against Spain was the standout performance of 2018 for the record Ballon d'Or winner, who claimed his sixth award this year.

Cristiano Ronaldo Scored A Stunning Overhead Kick Against Juventus In April

Atlético Madrid forward Diego Costa had to settle for second place in the standings. 24 goals in 2018, including 17 so far this season, was enough for the Spaniard to cement his place as runner-up. The aggressive striker was known for his occasional over-zealous actions on the pitch but it was his performances which took center-stage in a strong year for the attacker.

Third place went to Barcelona striker Luis Suárez. The Uruguayan marksman was central to his team's La Liga and Copa del Ray double in 2018 and he has morphed into an unstoppable force up top. Teamed with Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and others, Luis Suárez was at one of the top teams in the world and was certainly one of the top players in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo also picked up the FIFA Best Men's Player award, pipping Lionel Messi and Neymar to the prize. The prize was awarded based on the votes of international team managers, captains and journalists. It was the third year in a row which Cristiano picked up the prize. Where did he keep all these awards?

Wojciech Szczesny was named as the FIFA Best Men's Goalkeeper. The Polish international has conceded just 10 goals in 22 games for Juventus this season and did enough to pip veteran goalkeepers Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon to the award.

Diego Costa Settled For Runner-Up Position In The Ballon d'Or Award

Ousmane Dembélé earned the FIFA Best U21 Men's Player award. The French attacker has found it difficult to stake a regular place in FC Barcelona's starting lineup but was part of France's World Cup winning squad and has shown his abilities on numerous occasions this year.

Szczesny (Juventus) was named in the FIFA FIFPro Team of the Year, with a back four of Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid) in front of him. Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) and Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) completed a midfield trio named in the team while Lionel Messi & Luis Suárez (FC Barcelona) partnered Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) in attack.

Comment Section

ScottT, Tshimanga is absolutely phenomenal. His goal record this season has made us an unstoppable attacking force in all competitions. If only our defence would be as good!

Previous Update: #14 - Season 2018-2019: December
Next Update: #16 - Oxford City Out Of Financial Danger
Quite surprised to see Messi not even make the top three, as well as Szczesny winning 'keeper of the year too!
Tshimanga has a limit of the sky! There is no stopping him! As for Ronaldo winning the Ballon D'or, that may well be the last win for those two, you never know
Justice's avatar Group Justice
5 yearsEdited

Oxford City Out Of Financial Danger

City's Leaders Announced The Club Had Developed A Healthy Financial Standing


The turn of the year brought with it fantastic news for fans of Oxford City Football Club. The club's hierarchy released a statement outlining the new-found financial strength of the club. Just six months ago, the threat of bankruptcy loomed over the club but an incredible run in the FA Cup has since seen the club escape that danger, with a large windfall arriving in the form of prize money and gate receipts.

The National League South side have reached the Third Round of the FA Cup where they are due to play against Birmingham City this month. City have overcome EFL League One side Walsall and EFL League Two side Swindon Town on the way, with both games bringing in attendance of over 2,000. The ticket sales from both fixtures have helped Oxford City to swim against the current financially, and the prize money from each victory has put the club in good stead for the future.

The fixture against Birmingham City is likely to generate over £100,000 for the non-league side, which equates to over half of their annual wage spend. Just appearing in the upcoming fixture is likely to give the Oxford City hierarchy plenty to work with in the coming months with a number of players touted for pay rises at the club.

Oxford City's Financial Report Makes For Very Good Reading

Oxford City chairman Brian Cox spoke of his delight with the current financial situation and of has promised to spend the money wisely.

Brian Cox (Oxford City Chairman):
"We're in an incredible position at this moment of time and the sense of doom and gloom we had in the boardroom for some time is now gone. We're a club that is on the up and we now have the financial capacity to keep up with our rabid rise on the pitch.

I'm very proud of the players, staff and supporters of this football club for allowing us to generate this money. The club as a whole has pulled together to get us into the position we are now and we no longer need to thread so lightly with our money.

We will spend the money wisely. We are in a strong position now and we understand the importance of building on this. Money will not be spent senselessly. We will ensure that everything we do is for the good of the football club."

Comment Section

ScottT, yeah it is quite surprising but I guess Ronaldo must have had an incredible influence on his Juve team mates. I don't think it is any coincidence that Szczesny was named as the world's best goalkeeper in the same year that CR7 moved to Turin.
mgriffin2012, Tshimanga's form has been phenomenal! I've had some very very good in-form players in LLM in previous FMs, but Tshimanga has gone above and beyond anything I've ever seen before! As for Ronaldo, perhaps it could very well be the last of the Ronaldo/Messi era. Who knows, maybe Tshimanga will win the next one ;)

Previous Update: #15 - Ballon d'Or 2018
Next Update: #17 - Birmingham Ease Past Oxford City

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