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Reading Royals on the Rise

A story chronicling the journey of the Reading Royals from the Championships to Champions League Football (I hope)
Started on 15 June 2021 by pancetta15
Latest Reply on 19 August 2021 by pancetta15
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@Justice- Yes, very much a what doesn't kill you makes you stronger situation (I hope). Thanks for following along!
Unlucky in your first season, playoff final defeat must've hurt. But i'm confident you'll get promotion this coming season.
Some big money spent in the transfer market - hopefully the signings can propel you to promotion.
Thanks for following along @Nerazzurri and @Justice! The real world has been keeping me from updating, but you will both be happy to know we comfortably won the league and got promoted! I will provide a more detailed update soon.

Hello everyone- Real world responsibilities have limited my ability to update!

But, without further ado, Reading will be playing in the Premier League next season!

What is most crazy to me is not that we got promoted, it was the manner in which we got promoted. We absolutely bulldozed the league. We clinched the league title and promotion in mid March!

After April, I started playing a ton of young players and mixing up lineups to give players more opportunities to play, so I just did OK the last month or so of the year, but as of April 1st, this is where we stood:

The board is ecstatic to have been promoted so far ahead of their schedule. They have given me more money than I have ever seen (40m wage, 60m transfer) and it is up to me to figure out how to spend it to ensure I stay up. The board, as excited as they are for me to be promoted, expect that we will have a very hard time avoiding relegation. Time to prove them wrong!

p.s. My next update will be longer and more detailed and will include a full breakdown of the summer transfer window. I will also include some year end statistics from this team if I can figure out how to go back and look. I blew through this update because the individual games were not super important (just know I won most of them) and I have played ahead of my update point and am trying to catch up. Onward and upward!
A great season and time to build a squad capable of staying up and pushing the best of the best. Good luck
pancetta15's avatar Group pancetta15
1 yearEdited
Transfer Summary

Marcos Leonardo- A young, talented, and high potential Brazilian attacking player. At only $11.25 million, he was a great first Premier League signing!

Nico Serrano- I have played a few other saves and this guy always turns out amazing and he always has a high release clause. For whatever reason, he was super pissed at Bilbao and I was able to sneak him out the steal of the save thus far- $1.8 Million and up to $2.5 Million, easily a factor of 10 cheaper than I would have expected. He’s not quite ready to step into the first team, but really really exciting signing!

Kik Pierie- I needed CD and DL coverage and he is already Premier level. An unexciting, but important signing.

Wuiliker Farinez- A Premier Level Keeper at a very reasonable price. As you will see my starting keeper got sniper by City, so to be able to get a better keeper at half the money in, was pleasing to me.

Stephen Campbell and Alan Senior- I am trying to remain vigilant with adding young English players that can hopefully be first team players for me to remain compliant for registration requirements. These two are high potential and can hopefully work out. If not, I know I will be able to sell them in a few years for more than I paid.

Sidnei Tavares- He was angry at Leicester so he was available very cheaply. He has Premier League potential, so after a few years on loan, hopefully he can either pay or will fetch a tidy profit.

Mario Bernardo- I fear this transfer may have been a mistake? I very much got distracted by something shiny and despite being young, he had absolutely absurd physical stats, so I entered negotiations. After getting jerked around, I finally agreed on $50 Million. If he develops to his potential he will be easily worth that, but looking back, I really think I would have been better off signing 3 Marcos Leonardo type players than this guy, but what can you do.

Victor Perez- This is the only left back I should have signed. Better technically, but worse physically than Bernardo, for the same potential (at least according to my scouts), $1.2 Million was too good to pass up

Chris Mepham- I apologize for the poor cropping, but I do not know where he is? I signed him for $11 Million and he is an excellent option in defense that I was able to snake from a non Premier League squad

Most of these transfers out were me weeding out some non Premier quality players. The rest were people who wanted to leave or I didn’t have a use for. I will only highlight the transfers outgoing I believe most important or interesting.

Andy Rinomhota- A solid defensive midfielder and a true servant to the club. However, he was not as good as my other options and he was hardly playing. When the offer came in, he wanted out and I felt I owed it to him. Plus, his value was way up after promotion, so I was quite pleased with $9 million.

Janis Antiste- The offer from Watford came in for $12 million. After seeing that they would pay $18.75 million and having already signed Leonardo and Serrano, I was happy to pull the trigger.

Coniah Boyce-Clarke- This one hurt. He was the present and future keeper for my squad and he still had room to improve. However, one cannot resist City when they come calling. Particularly when the player wants to go, even though he would be 4th string. But anyway, I got as much out of City as I could and away he went. A young English keeper with his potential should have been worth more, but he was on the verge of being unsettled and I was happy to use this money to further develop the rest of my roster.

Enzo Millot- I signed Enzo on free and then loaned him for a season. This was my first real intelligent free transfer then flip for profit move. Never have I felt so business savy
We’ve Proven We Belong

Well, despite the board believing we were doomed to be relegated, we have stayed up and finished mid table- 12th. While not an earthshattering season, we hovered in the 10-15th spots and were never in danger of relegation. More than that, we secured that sweet sweet TV money for another season. I am confident now that certainly we won’t dip back to the Championship. At this point, it is all about continue to develop my players and constantly be evaluating my players and improving upon them if needed. A thing that I did that worked well was around the World Cup. My players are still working on establishing themselves internationally, so I had almost a full squad during the World Cup. I treated it as a second preseason with lots of training and friendlies- would recommend! But anyways, we’ve stayed up!

A very short post, but apart from staying up, nothing remarkable happened. We were inconsistent, but not bad. I hope next season gives me more reason to write more!
Transfer Summary

We have proven we belong in our first season of Premier League action, now we just have to back it up and try and improve upon last year. I kept an eye on youth and only brought in 2 first team ready players. I also added a number of very talented youngsters. I will discuss those I feel you should know about:

First and foremost, the Bosnian stud- Anel Ahmedhodzic! I may have overpayed slightly, but he is very talented and physical and will certainly be an improvement in defense. He was unhappy with his playing time at United, but they still managed to take me for $76 Million.

Omar Richards- For those of you who have been with me from the start or follow Reading IRL, you will know that after my first season he left on a prearranged free to Bayern. After not playing there, he grew disenchanted and went to Freiburg. I needed cover at DL because my two young guns weren’t ready to play just yet, Omar was happy to come back and he is a serviceable Premier League player. At the price, and in general, we are happy to have him

Mert Velioglu is a young Turkish Technical wizard. Not so much for a lot of minutes now, but give him time, certainly one to watch!

Ahmed Gymah- It’s quite possible I got caught starring at shiny things again and was made to pay. Although, multiple scouts of mine (I suppose I’ve learned something with at least making my two best scouts verify findings) $30 million might be steep, but he is English and has 4.5 golden star potential. I have been tricked by the stars before, but we shall see- another one to watch

Chris Mepham and my boy Anel would have been a formidable center back duo, however they only existed together for about a month. Mepham was feeling himself, as the kids say, and wanted to go to a bigger club. When Milan came for him, I was able to get them to up the asking price from $32 million to $53 million (a then record), so that certainly cushioned the blow of him leaving.

Hopefully this squad is able to improve upon last year’s 12th place finish.
Inch by Inch

Did we improve by leaps and bounds? No!

Did we continue to move in the right direction? Yes!

We have finished 11th, which, last I checked, is better than 12th!

We started out after 2 games tied for tops in the league. We had just taken out City 2-0 and felt like things were really working for us. Well, mediocrity set in for the rest of the year and we finished 11th. But, we have further solidified out position and are (I hope) poised to break out!

Some thoughts:

1) I have sort of blown through these two seasons in posts, there a couple reasons for this: they were largely uneventful and I’ve fallen into the trap of being so excited to play, that I did not update. I believe I needed to catch up here before getting even further ahead
2) (SPOILER ALERT) This next season I am about to chronicle will have a longer description, but as you will see, we actually have something to discuss
3) Despite my two seasons of posts, remember what Ron Swanson said- never half ass two things, always whole ass one thing.

Until next time!
Do You Believe in Miracles?

After finishing 12th and then 11th we were entering our third season in the Premier League. The board would have been pleased with a mid table finish, but I wanted more. I wanted to compete for Euro League entrance. I can accept that we probably won’t make it, but I wanted to at least compete for it- finishing at worst 8th was my goal. It was, as my Great Grandmother would say, time to shit or get off the pot. While on some level 10th would still have been forward progress, my fans deserved better!

Well, better they got!

Here’s how it went down………..

I started to get a feeling that this season was different after West Ham got relegated. Declan Rice, a target of mine who had never given me the time of day, all the sudden was interested. Done! Easiest deal I’ve ever made. For the same price I also picked up Francisco, a Spanish teenager who was born to play attacking midfielder. Pavel Mojdl is another youngster with high potential, as is Jose Ruiz. These transfers got me into the season.

The pre season and early fixtures were electric. We were clicking on all cylinders and my diamond central midfielder tactic was looking genius. Then, we encountered a bad case of the draws. After bumbling through most of November, I switched tactics back to the counter attacking defensive midfield pair tactic that had won me the Championship. I was on pace for another mediocre season and as I was confident I could do as the board wanted (mid table) I took a chance on the old tactic (which I did still train every once in awhile to stay sharp), What happened next surprised even me. We won 7 straight including United and Arsenal.

Then, we entered the transfer window and things got kind of scary.

Octavian Popescu, one of my three best players, was being courted by City. Well, we all know how that ended. Shame on me for not having a better sense of his value. I had not given his $60 million release fee a second thought. Well, obviously City had- away he went. I am not sure what I am doing wrong with my filters as he is not there, but I took that money and signed Joe Bursik (English and better than Farinez). Then Farinez felt threatened, rightly so, that I had signed Joe as a replacement. He then demanded out and I was able to squeeze $40 million out of Blackburn- delicious! Ugarte wanting out also hurt, but what can you do I suppose. Omar Richards, now that my two young left backs were playing at Premier Level was excess and he was wanted. After making a decent profit he was also gone.

Luckily, we were not without reinforcements!

David Feldman is an absolute monster. He’s a young Columbian striker would would have cost at least $50 million had he been at a bigger club in Europe. Despite only playing from January on, he finished with 16 goals. As a fun and related fact, Lautaro Ovanado, Reading fan favorite, finished second in Europe to only Haaland in the Golden boot. (I will try and start to include some stats and roster info to give a better sense of things to you, my gentle readers.) Verheyden was twice as expensive as Ugarte’s fee out, but is much younger and higher potential, so I liked the move. Spence was unfortunate. It’s fine, he provides some WB coverage, but as you may recall from twenty seconds ago, I had just sold Richards, a comparable player. I’m not sure what I was thinking other than he could also play on the right. Chergui does not fit into this story, but he is an 18 year old French keeper who will be my backup next year.

So, after some transfer forced roster reshuffling, we ride out once more.

We did well, not otherworldly like before, but we did well. We remained between 3rd-6th, but by very tight margins with constant back and forth depending on results with Man United and Arsenal. Chelsea and Liverpool were 1 and 2 and City was oddly around 10th.

With 4 games to go, United was 6 points up (finished 3rd) and Arsenal was 1 up, but with a significantly better GD.

After losing to United and Arsenal back to back, all seemed lost. We needed some help and we needed it badly. Wolves beat Arsenal and we beat Bournemouth to take us to only 1 point back going into the last game. We took care of business and it came down to Leeds at Arsenal. Leeds gave up an early goal but equalized before the half. They held on for a draw and we snuck in! What a feeling!

I know people in these forums do amazing things and get amazing results, but for me, taking a mid tier Championship team and setting myself up to begin Champions League in the 6th season, is by far my most successful save ever, very excited for next season!

I finished playing last weekend and have not played another game since. Instead, I built a spreadsheet for player analysis and have really been trying to make the most out of this transfer window going into the Champions League. Now, the challenge is not only to provide a respectable showing in the Champions League, but also qualify again! Next post will be a breakdown of my personnel moves! Onward and upward!
Massive achievement there and now even more money will be coming into the club with the Champions League revenue. It doesn't look like you are afraid to splash the cash either, maybe we are close to seeing a Prem title win! Great job and congratulations
Hello All!

I enioyed doing this story early on, but the bottom line is that I much preferred playing to chronicling. I have concluded playing the save, but I wanted to update those of you who have been following along from the beginning. When I last updated, we finished 4th in the Prem in the 24-25 season to qualify for Champions League.

25-26 3rd in Prem - Lost in first round of knockouts to Barcelona
26-27 3rd in Prem - Lost in first round of knockouts to PSG
27-28 Premier League Champions! - Lost in Semis to eventual champions A Madrid

28-29 - I am at the winter transfer window and don't think I will continue. Winning the prem was such an amazing accomplishment that I have had a hard time getting excited about playing again. I played half of the next season and currently sit in 5th in the league and won my Champions League group easily. This save was my longest, my most successful, and greatest save to date! I walk away with my head held high and joy in my heart!

Thanks for Reading

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