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Poll: Sunderland 'Til I Die

Sunderland challenge
Started on 6 April 2020 by HenrikHansen
Latest Reply on 1 May 2020 by jahendricksi
  • POSTS23
  • VIEWS9316
How many seasons will it take? (4 votes)
HenrikHansen's avatar Group HenrikHansen
4 yearsEdited
This challenge will make any FM players to work different, than other game types. Can you do, what the current people in Sunderland, can't do?

You have to follow these steps, in order to complete this challenge.

1) You have 5 seasons to get back in the Premier League.

2) When you get back in the Premier League, you'll have to survive and not relegate again.

3) You are only allowed to choose following countries for your game: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland. You can choose all division in these countries.

4) You are only allowed a squad with players from countries listed in part 3. However, you are allowed 2 players from other European countries and 1 player not from the EU. So for example, 1 spanish, 1 french and 1 mexican.

5) You have to controle your finances, which means, you have to make sure, that you are running a profitable business. So keep an eye on your money and get rid of the heavy players. Because, IF you at some point, will get your balance in minus, you have failed the challenge!!

6) No vacation days. You'll have to play all the games by yourself. You can still get your Assistant to do whatever you like, but game days, you can't skip.

7) No cheating. No taking over other clubs and buy players from your squad to get money. No saves before games, in order to secure promotions. You'll have to send your save game to be checked, and it's pretty easy to check how many times you have saved in the game. So do it the right way.

8) No live editor is allowed.

9) You don't need to make the abillities secret, you can have them on, so you can see that. It still needs to be a little fun!

10) The final goal: If you get back in the Premier League in maximum 5 seasons, survived your first season in the Premier League and have kept all other parts above and still do and haven't got your balance in minus, you'll win the game when you do one of these: Win the FA Cup, Win a European Cup (doesn't matter if its Champions League, Europe League or the new Conference League. Just lift a trophy! And now, Carabao/Micky Mouse Cup will not be enough) or just win the Premier League title. Good luck and have fun! May the best FM player win! Can you win the challenge in just 3 seasons?

Best regards
Just an extra information: Players like Lynden Gooch who is from the clubs academy, but has American nationality, will be overruled and is not counted as a non EU player since he also have a English nationality.
So far on my own attempt:

1st season: Won the League One, had an average of 7 home grown players in the lineup for every match.
Finished with a balance in plus for around 5 million £.

In the summer before season 2, the club got bought and 10 million£ was put to my balance. Nice.

Looking at the Championsship, on the salary pr year on the clubs, i'm number 17 in the league. After 37 games, i'm number one, with 87 points and a goal score on 67-19 (24 clean sheets) with Anthony Patterson as a goalkeeper. I still have an average of 7 home grown players in all my line-ups.

Anthony Patterson as GK: 37 games
Bali Mumba as RB: 25 games
Denver Hume as LB: 31 games
Grant Leadbitter as DM: 28 games
Elliot Embleton as CM: 37 games
Lynden Gooch as RW: 28 games
Benjamin Kimpioka as LW: 34 games

Besides those 7, i have on loan:

Jake Clarke-Salter as CB
Tosin Adarabioyo as CB
Slobodan Tedic as FW
Eddie Nketiah Backup FW
Isaac Lihadj Backup Wing

The last CM on my team is:
George Dobson: 32 games

Other players:
Lee Burge
Luke O Nien
Tommy Smith
Max Power
Jake Vokins (My only transfer including a fee, 300.000 £)
Conor McLaughlin
Ethan Robson (Home grown)
Aiden McGeady
Chris Wyke
Will Grigg

And my current balance is: 13 million £

Next stop, Premier League, surviving and hopefully win the FA Cup, or finish on a spot that automatically gives European Group Stage and thereby win the challenge in 3 seasons.

Lets see if its possible!
My 2nd update is coming here:

I've finished the Championship as number 1, with an unbelievable 106 points, Norwich came in 2nd, with 103!
My goal score were 82-26 and 28 clean sheets by Anthony Patterson, what a lad!

My finance were close to go in minus on the 31st of July it was down to 5 million £ but luckily the TV money started rolling in, hitting August 1st.

I had 7 players on the team of the year + the player of the year (who apparently, wasn't on the team of the year)

Anthony Patterson, GK
Denver Hume, LB
Jake Clarke-Salter, CB (Loan)
Tosin Adarabioyo, CB (Loan)
Bali Mumba, RB

George Dobson, CM

Slobodan Tedic, FW (Loan)

And player of the year

Grant Leadbitter, DM (Average on 7,61 in 35 games. 7 goals and 12 assists. What a DM!)

This coming season, i'm now a little bit over half way through, and here is what has happend:

Jake Clarke-Salter and Tosin Adarabioyo has been bought. Jake for about 1.500.000£ and Tosin for 1.200.000£.

Caoimhin Kellegher on a loan deal and now signed from next summer for 300.000£ (he is my backup keeper)

Jack Robinson have been bought for around 3.000.000£
Dujon Sterling on a loan deal.
James Garner on a loan deal.

Fabian Delph bought for 2.500.000£

Herbie Kane bought for 4.500.000£
Harry Cochrane bought in january window for 1.300.000£
Mattheus Pereira bought for 6.000.000£ (He is now my non european player)
Kristijan Lovric signed on a free transfer (One out of the 2 non English/Irish/British players but European)
Eddie Nketiah on a loan deal. Bought from summer for 3.000.000£
Slobodan Tedic on a loan deal (My 2nd non English/Irish/British player but European)

That was the team, now the finance.
I'm at a point were I earn money every month. I have a plus on about 4-5.000.000£ every month.

I have the leagues lowest salary budget by far, it is on: 20.000.000£ pr year. The closest to me is Norwich on 32.000.000£. Man City is on: 210.000.000£.
So the finance is strong!

Now to the results!

Carabao Cup i'm out after third round to Birmingham. Lucky me, I have them again in the 4th round of the FA Cup, which is really important this season, cause winning that trophy, and staying in the Premier League, will mean, Challenge completed!

The league is going absolutely amazing! I'm 24 games in, i'm on the 8th position after 24 games, with 39 points and a goal difference on 0. 37-37. 6 points from 4th place. Close!

So far my line up has been:

Anthony Patterson GK
Dujon Sterling RB
Tosin Adarabioyo CB
Jake Clarke-Salter CB
Jake Vokins LB

George Dobson DM (Now out for the rest of the season, so Leadbitter and Cochrane will take over)
Herbie Kane CM
Jake Garner CM

Mattheus Pereira RW
Kristjan Lovric LW
Eddie Nketiah FW

So lets go last 14 games, I can feel the challenge victory!
I forgot to write up the players i have let go and sold.

Also i just smashed Birmingham in the 4th round of the FA Cup. 0-5. Thanks! And did i mentioned that all my staff members is English/Irish/British (Besides my self)

In the summer before Premier League these got sold or let go.

Charlie Wyke, sold for 300.000£
Tommy Smith, left on a free transfer.
Aiden McGeady, Retired
Max Power, Contract expried
Conor McLaughlin, Contract Expired
Lee Burge, Contract Expired

Danny Ward (I bought him at the summer windows last day for 2.000.000£ but he didn't worked out, so he got sold again and for 3.000.000£.
Benjamin Kimpioka, one of the home grown players, who did very suprisingly well, got sold to AIK Stockholm for 2.000.000£.

And final update, my bank balance is on 25.000.000£ on the 22nd of January 2022.
Season number 3 is finished. Challenge yet to be completed.

Eliminated in the Quarter finals of the FA Cup, but finished 6th in the league with 62 points with a goal difference on 10+.

The league was as follows:

1. Liverpool - 95p
2. Man U - 85p
3. Chelsea - 84p
4. Arsenal - 76p
5. Man C - 75p
6. Sunderland - 62p
7. Wolves - 60p
8. Leicester - 60p
9. Everton 57p

So even though i didn't win the challenge in record time of 3 seasons, I am still going and claiming to beat the challenge in next season. I need The FA Cup trophy, The Premier League title (who are we kidding, never gonna happen) or to win a european cup, Europe League or Conference League. Ha'way the Lads
Let's see your Tactic bud.
2020-04-10 14:07#268458 Big_Wully_Boly : Let's see your Tactic bud.

Sure thing. I just have to find out how to upload a screen shot in here, lol
2020-04-10 14:07#268458 Big_Wully_Boly : Let's see your Tactic bud.

Here you go mate
Update halfway through season 4.

Carabao Cup eliminated in 3rd round

FA Cup, qualified for the quarter finals.

Europa League: Won all 6 group stage games against, Gladbach, Braga and Sevilla. Directly qualified to knockout round 2 (the new format, also just 1 match in this round, wierd? maybe.) Going op against Rennes at home.

League: Well, wow, great start, but then after new year. Holy shit. I had 10 games without a victory in a row. 9 of them was losses. Thought i was going to be sacked. But i didn't. So currently after 25 games, i'm number 15 with 27 points. And a goal difference on -3.

So tough season, putting my hope that I will smash this challenge either through the FA Cup trophy or Europa League trophy, because i really don't think i can do one more season, with this team lol.

I'm still the team with lowest salary budget on. 28.000.000£ pr year. And also a low 89% spectators at games.
However, my balance is at amazingly 85.000.000£. I will hit the 100 soon.

Wish me luck for that got damn trophy.....
Late night update. I'm fucking in the Europa League Final!!!

Beated Rennes, Rangers and just beated Dortmund. Haven't lost any games so far in European games, so it better not be in the finale against Valencia........

The league i'm number 16 with 36 points after 35 games. 9 points to number 18, so I should be good.

Now only one game between the victory, and in just 4 seasons. Come on Sunderland!!!
This is just painfull. Haven't had a more terrible feeling playing FM in my life at this moment. So fucking close. I'm going to bed. I have no words...

jahendricksi's avatar Group jahendricksi
4 yearsEdited
Henrik, that is AWESOME you made the Final! Gutted it didn't work out for you, though. :(

I thought I would give this a try following your rules. I have finished two seasons and am enjoying it thus far.

Season 1 (League One):

I won the League pretty handily, which doesn't seem too hard for anyone on the game to do (the media had me as top favorite for promotion). I performed as expected in the Cups, except the (nee Checkatrade) Trophy which I won.

The transfer and player restrictions were more challenging: thanks to a tip from Leckuno (also doing a Sunderland Till I Die (sic) story) I was able to bring Aiden McGeady back after 28 days and get rid of the two loan players, one of whom (Bailey Wright) was out for 4+ months (the wages balanced out by bringing him back and removing the others). My non-EU player was Tommy Smith, DC from New Zealand, so I looked for UK and Irish players so I didn't accidentally run afoul of any nationality issues (although I do have both EU player slots still available). Zach Cough was sneaky good in FM 2019 but in FM 2020 he is mediocre, however at a cost of $350k (280k pounds) he did OK. Stephen Kingsley was outstanding on the left of defense (recommended) and the other transfers were people my DoF signed for my U-23s.

For outgoing I sold off everyone I could to make sure I had the cash: Grigg, Lynch, and Ozturk all went to clear up available resources (Grigg's salary alone covered Clough's and Kingsley's salaries) and keep me in the black. I was going to keep Patterson based on what you had done, Henrik, but when an offer came for him at $2.1M USD I had to take it (again, balancing the books).

The tactic I used was a 4-2-4 (two strikers) since Clough played better off a partner (I used Lafferty because he had the best finishing/strength for the cheapest wages). It served me well to get promoted--Clough had 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions while Lafferty had 16/6--but I decided in the Championship I would need to go more defensive and control the middle of the pitch so in Season 2 I am going to switch up to the traditional 4-1-2-2-1 with Wingers.

Top players: Watmore/Gooch (the AMR position was outstanding), McGeady (AML), McLaughlin (GK--30 clean sheets in 58 matches), and Kingsley (DL) (I know Kingsley's Average Rating is below Hume's but I played Kingsley against better competition and Hume in the easier matches).

jahendricksi's avatar Group jahendricksi
4 yearsEdited
Season 2 (Championship):

I was tipped to go straight back down at the beginning of the season and spent quite a lot of my time figuring out the best tactical fit for the competition and players available. Ultimately I went with what is below (the 4-3-3 variant everyone uses) and would have gone to a flat midfield 3 except I was playing against teams much better than I was, especially in Cups, so decided the DMC cover was needed (plus I didn't have enough players who were naturals at MC).

I did something different than usual--I kept the prize money for the League at normal (figuring I could get in through the playoffs at a minimum) but set it to High for Cups. This paid off immensely as I made two Cup finals--I was embarrassed by Liverpool 1-3 in the League Cup (and it should have been more) but got revenge on them 2-1 (et) in the Quarters of the FA Cup, which I won 2-1 (et) over Arsenal. As you can see from the screenshots I was hardly dominant in any of the matches, going to extra time in two and winning most of my matches by a single goal. However, my defensive formation paid off as I only allowed 5 goals in 6 matches which included victories over Man Utd, Liverpool, and Arsenal. I think the prize money was an added incentive and I was unaware of the amount of influence it had on your team's performance (I thought it was negligible at best).

I won the League pretty handily, which supported my decision to change tactics and make the (rather) sweeping changes to the players that I did. This means that next season I am in the Premeirship and will be clawing to stay up.

The new Board did something incredibly stupid (Stewart Donald sold to the local consortium in May 2020 who did not promise to remove me for a better coach if they took over) and immediately followed through on their campaign promise and spent $16M USD on improving the youth and training facilities. I panicked and began a fire sale of higher earning/value players as well as allowing some people to run out their contracts I might have kept on if they hadn't followed through with their promise. Plus I had a bunch of wage elevator clauses for promotion so almost all my work lowering the wage bill almost $60k USD over the past year evaporated with the escalators--some at 25%!

For outgoing transfers I again sold off everyone I could to make sure I had the cash, even ones I wanted to keep: Willis and Flanagan (2/3 of my top DC), POY Watmore and Gooch, Wyke (finally), and even aging Leadbitter were shipped out to save money on wages and cover the facility improvements. You'll also see that I sold off Mumba who was good and promising but, well, I needed the cash and he was not that great (yet). You'll also note in the winter window I sold Clough, who never achieved the heights I expected of him: 19/16 in 86 games is not enough for a #1 striker, particularly compared to another young Englishman I brought in. At a cost of $350k and a sale price of $5M to Birmingham it turned out well for me, except he assisted on the leveling goal two days later to deny me full points (his only goal/assist for them all season).

For incoming in the summer I was searching once again for a striker (to pair with Clough) and settled on two: Jordan Rhodes (who would have cost $2M and $40k/week wages a year ago but I got on a free for $8k/week wages) and Stephy Mavididi from Juventus ($750k transfer and $7k/weekly wages). Rhodes was abysmal (9/2 in 33 games) but Mavididi was outstanding: 40/7 in 53 matches and what I expect from a #1 striker. Selling Clough became easy when I got the offer because Englishman Mavididi was lights out and had replaced him as #1.

I also brought in quite a few free players to replenish my depleted players after the sell off. Borthwick-Jackson, Foulds, and Hughes were serviceable in defense, but my main area of strength was in the midfield: adding Liam Bridcutt on a free ($8k/week) and Regan Hendry ($300k, $2k/week) to Power, Dobson, and Scowen was awesome--Bridcutt screened the defense providing 4 tackles a game with 93% passing accuracy alongside his leadership. Lastly, I bought the young Irish winger Nathan Tormey from Arsenal for $150k ($3k/week) and he scored the equalizer against his former club in the FA Cup Final.

The tactic I used was a Positive 4-1-4-1 (with wingers). Since I had Rhodes and Mavidadi I figured I could be strong enough for one person up front, or with Clough as a False 9 tricky enough, to bring in/play off the wingers. It went well as I was incredibly tough on Defense as I allowed 47 goals across 60 matches in all competitions (while scoring 129). That said there was something streaky about the club and I would struggle sometimes to score while other times I would dominate and win by 3-4 goals. It really was a rollercoaster for performance as I wasn't sure if I would win handily (like my 19-3 in 8 matches from November - mid December, including a 3-1 win over City in the League Cup) or play like donkeys (three draws and a loss in my next six matches after that streak). I never truly felt comfortable until the last two months of the season when Mavididi decided to go bonkers and score 12 goals to ensure I won the Championship. This might just be inconsistent players, though, and not tactic based.

Top players: Mavididi (buy him, buy him, buy him if you are outside the Prem), Isaac Lihadji (EU player at AMR), McLaughlin (GK--28 clean sheets in 60 matches in a step up in competition), and Tommy Smith (DC) (he was out for 5 months due to an injury in the Olympics and my defense really settled down once he came back onboard).

For next season, my first in the Prem, I am targeting a mid-table spot. I purchased an Uruguyan striker while I was in the Championship so I am unfortunately going to offload Smith so I can play him. I am also looking to bring in Angus Gunn as Keeper since I am not sure McLaughlin is up to the proper level in the Prem. And with McGeady retiring and Lihadji in demand I am looking to restock my wingers once again.

And finally the Game Status and finances to show I am following the rules:


Hey man!!

First of all, thank you for reading through my gameplay and challenge and thanks for taking this challenge on! Respect!

And I have to say, you have done an amazing job on something, that can't be denied, is a tough ride! I'm looking forward to see if you can take this bad boy home in season 3 and stay up plus win the the FA Cup!

I think for my self, I have been to focused on keeping the wages low, I mean, my biggest salary to a player is around 50.000£ a week. And now I have a balance on more than 120.000.000£ and transferbudget on 600.000£.
Im still really sad that I lost that finale man. Haven't been more upset since I was a national team coach for Guatemala and lost also on penalty against New Zealand for that last spot at the World Cup in 2022.

So I'm gonna take some days off and try on the 5th season in the coming weekend!

Hope the best for you! Looking forward to your next update!

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