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FM2022 Create a club! Friends United!! Financial Challenge

Started on 10 January 2022 by iamslowdeath
Latest Reply on 31 July 2022 by iamslowdeath
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January - April 2023

We went top of the league with our win over Letchworth. FA Vase run came to an end in the 4th Round as Cockfosters beat us 2-0 at home. Sad end to an hugely successful campaign but we will come back stronger. And strongly we did come back, winning 9 games in a row.
We are losing steam towards the end of the season, as the small squad is tiired and beginning to falter, we need to keep them going and motivated for the next few games.

For the first time in Friends United's existence we ended a month in negative balance in March. We all knew this day was coming but after such a good season this was a sad day for us. As we sat for our monthly meeting the mood was subdued, for we have been living a dream and reality check is always hard. Though it was not spoken, everyone kind of felt disptite the great success on the field we are still not making enough money to be sustainable. The fact that our biggest expense this season so far has been travel, something we cant do much about makes it harder.

The board offers us a new contract at 3.6k/yr and a raise of 10% on promotion. We know it will hurt the finances but a little bit of reward and appreciation is necessary.

We celebrate winning the league on 1st of April, what an ironical day to win the league with a 1-5 away win. Winning the league with 3 games to spare is an achivement no one can take away from us and we will remember this day for the rest of our lives.

In the euphoria of the league win and the worries of finances, the youths were forgotten and they did beat our U18s 2-1. I wanted to sign 5 of them for the team but 3 of them wanted future prospect contracts which we cannot afford and they had to be let go. Tobi Wah-Kaabi and Jaamal Rodney became our first academy recruits. Proud day of the club to see home grown talents.

Results:


Competitions:
May-June 2023:
Promotion is a great thing for the club, players and fans but for me and the board this was a time of stress. We did have a team to compete against teams in the higher league this season but with 10 loanees this season, most of whom wont return how will we compete in the higher league without financial jeopardy.

Huge concern is the lack of people attending our games, despite the great season we had lower attendence than our first season. We discuss the issues at length and come up with a club vision on the type of football we want to play. The brand of football we play might go a long way in building fanbases and based on that we decide on a 5year plan.



While we expected a complete free fall in finances in the post season, the fans started a fundraising campaign. What a surprise it was, as they raised 4.4k in that campaign, which helped us pay all the bills as well as clear off part of the season's losses. Overall they raised 19,197 pounds throughout the year.

David Pierce and Kieran O'Connel decided to end their careers and retire. Though they were with us only for half a season, they both were pivotal to our promotion. Legends they will be in Friends United history.
Finances:(post sponsorship intake in new season)
July - September 2023:
We have been put in Combined Counties League Premier South for the new season. We are playing in 4 different competions this season so this can be a long season. We have finally got to play in the FA cup. There is the FA Vase and the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup.

We managed to convince 4 of last year's loanees to return and 3 of them were signed permanently on part time contracts. With the players scouted by our scout Reece Hampson too expensive we decide to let him go. Some hard decisions have to be taken for the benifit of the club. Theo Moore has done an excellent job and with his National C License he was a good candidate for a new pne year deal at 2.6k/yr.

Grenville once again shows his contacts power as he gets a suggest of players to look into, and we get in 5 more loans. One of my personal requirements is not to have more than 10 players on loan. Its clear after all the moves, that we are lacking Right backs and despite my best efforts we cant find any of them.

We began life in Level 9 with a 5-1 hammering of Redhill and immediately I am really confident of the team. Zielenski getting all 5 goals and he is surely developing into a beast of a player. He is on loan for the year but I might not be able to keep him the way he is growing.

The club is really excited to play its first FA cup game as we have all heard how lucrative the competition can be. We are up against Tunbridge Wells and we do well to hold them to 0-0 draw and the game had 750 in attendence. At home we were at our full strength squad and we smashed them 3-0. We had our record attendence of 122 from the game and we are absolutely delighted to progress. Even after taxes and travel we made 6k from the 2 games and that blosters our finances immensely.

A favourable tie against Sheppey United who are in Level 10 saw us progress to the qualifing round of the FA cup with a 0-2 win away. Another 4k made from this game and for the first time in our history we have bank balance over 10k.

Ashford Town is our opponent in the First Qualifying Round and I would have preffered an away game as it would make money. They are level 8 so we have almost no chance. We were duly beaten 0-2 and they absolutely dominated the game. We broke our attendence records with 182 watching the game. Though we are knocked out we had a hell of a run in the FA cup and are delighted with the finances which have crossed 15k for the first time.

With the FA cup done, we turned our focus to the FA Vase and quickly progressed to the tournament proper winning both the qualifying rounds.

Results:


Competions:
October 2023 - January 2024

A short break at the beginning of October helped us recuperate as the games in the last 2 months have taken its toll on the lads. The Premier Challenge Cup got underway with Zilinsky on U20 duty with Polland and we had a scrappy game, struggling all through before a 80th minute penalty helped us stave of Reading City 1-0.

With the finances looking in good shape, I sat down with the board to go on a coaching course. Though the board was initially reluctant, fearing I would go away to bigger clubs with better qualifications, my assurances that we are in this together helped them see the long term vision and they shelled out the 600 pounds needed for me take the course. I hope to come back a learned man with better skills.

We continued to progress in the FA Vase with the penalty gods smiling on us in both 2nd and 3rd rounds. With the team in good place in both leagues and cups we decide to take a bit of risk and try and get a few players, on short contracts till the end of the year. If we can push the team to the top 2 spots and promote it might help us a lot. Its a risk and can cause financial hazard if we dont promote or the higher leagues dont bring enough money but I think we can survive 5-10k loss this season with the aim of repairing the damage next season. The board agrees and we signed Jayden Gipson on 55 pound per game and Osebi Abadaki on 1k/yr.

The FA Vase 4th round win with a prize money of 2k paid for both players' wages for the year so all is good in the end.

Results:


Competitions:
February-June 2024

At the beginning of February, we continue in our plans of trying to sign high quality players in order to try and win the cups and if possible the league. Our efforts bore fruit when we managed to sign Dylan Thiselton, a terrific player, for 80 pounds per appearance. We also got Luke Softley also for 80 pounds per appearance.



The signing of these two players just before the FA Vase 5th round helped us go from 11-8 underdogs to 6-4 favorites in that game. It didnt make a difference though as we were given a schooling in football and the 1-2 score line actually flatters us. We were horrible and the bustout of the FA Vase is no surprise. Still a very good FA Vase campaign.

9 games in March was always going to be tough for us, and it showed as we lost 4 games out of 5 at one point. A postponed game due to waterlogged pitch was crucial as the team got the needed rest. We did manage to beat Banstead 1-0 at home in the Premier Challenge Cup to reach the finals.



We lift the Cherry Red Records Premier Challenge Cup with a 0-2 win. Gipson had a difficult season but he showed his class with a POM performance in the biggest match in our history.

Results:


Competitions:


Squad:
At the end of the third season, we had a turnover of 70.2k and an expenditure of 68.4k. For the first time in our history we have reported a profitable year making £1884. Once again the funds raised by the fans helped keep us afloat as they raised total of £19634 .

We are in the same league as before so we should have a better estimation of costs this season. Finding players though was much harder and with us not able to get the players back again on loan, this time the league was going to be way tougher for us. Midfield was a major concern and its already end of July. We need to find some players fast.

The squad assembled for our first league game is probalbly weaker than the side that won promotion 2 seasons ago. All seemed gloomy and doomed, when the ticket sales caught my eye. 133 people watching the game, out highest ever league attendence. Finally after 3 seasons we have people wanting to watch us.

After being defeated comprehensively came the much awaited FA cup game at home against Sandhurst Town. Game was postponed by 3 days due to waterlogged pitch, but there was no improvement in our performance as we lost 1-2. The financial loss from this will hurt. The board is livid at me but we can only move forward and aim for the future.

The boys jumped back and how!! A 2-6 away win against Epsom with 6 different goalscorers. This team may be down but its not out. We progressed in the FA Vase winning the 1st and 2nd Qualyfing rounds with ease. We go through to end of September unbeaten in all competitions since the FA cup defeat.

Tough days loom for the club though both our star players Dylan Tinselton and Luke Softley leave the club on 25th September. Cant really fault them when they are going to clubs in the Regional Premier Division. Still it hurts and we will have to find replacements quickly.

Results:

Competitions:
October - December 2024
With time running out to get players, i keep trying to get anyone i can. We are doing well in the league and a right squad depth can probably get us promoted. I am torn between whether to try that or just stay here and get financial stability. It takes untill December to find the signings I needed. Big money is paid but I think it is worth it.

Ross Longworthy comes in at 2.8k/yr, he will help in covering the midfield depth.


James Armson comes in on 3.1k/yr making him our most expensive signing, he doubles as a scout though and that can help. He is extremely versatile and helps cover a bunch of positons.


Post these signings, the squad seems good in depth. A good striker and a center back can help the team though. I go to Yaxley and see Zielinski listed for transfer. I send in the offer of free transfer and they were happy to let him go. At 70 pounds per game and 15 pound goal bonus, this guy is a steal as he is good enough to bang in 25 goals every season in this league. The club favourite is back home and the fans are estatic going into the new year.

Results:

Competitions:
January -March 2025

Zeilinski makes his debut in this 3rd spell at the club against 3rd placed Banstead Athletic on 4th of January and signals his comeback with 2 goals firing us into 2nd place. Is this our year?

We try out a new pairing of Phillips and Armson in the midfield and struggle in the next game for possession. We manage to win it 1-3 and I have high hopes on this midfield duo once they start to find match sharpness.

A tough fourth round FA Vase game away at Alfold where we were severe underdogs waited us. Zeilinski once again to the rescue with 2 sublime goals as we won 3-4.

We progressed in FA Vase past the Fifth round with 2-3 vs Guernsley and then won the Quarterfinals 4-3 on penalties after 1-1 in regulation time against Cowes. The Premier Challenge Cup ended with a semifinal loss 3-2 to Burnham
Results:


Competitions:
April 2025:

Biggest month in our history beacons as we push for promotion. The fixture crunch in last 2 months have left a really tired team as we rested regulars for our first game of the month vs 3rd place Ardley and we lost 0-2.

The rest paid off with a 1-3 win in the FA Vase semifials vs Shortwood Utd. We have booked a ticket to Wembly. The promotion was wrapped up next game with a 0-1 win over Chalvey Sports. We won the 3 games next to finish 80 points in 2nd place. With just 1 point separating us from the league winners, questions are asked of our decision to rest key players out of the Ardley game. Hindsight though can be perfect and for me the additional money that Wembly brings is important if we are going to survive in the higher league.

The board rewarded us with a 4.7k/yr contract for another year at the helm. With the final 4 weeks away, match sharpness was going to be an issue. In order to keep the players fit, I phone in the nearby clubs, they want small amount of money to travel but are happy to play. With 3 friendlies scheduled in 3 weeks prior to the final, sharpness should not be a concern anymore.

FA Vase Final:(May 2025)
Excitement is at its peak in the community, just 4 years ago the club was formed almost overnight and now we are in the FA Vase Final.

Before the historic afternoon, we hold a team meeting, asking them to not take too much pressure. I keep the dressing room talk simple as well as we take on Little Oakley.

A 45th second goal from Allen gives Oakley the early lead. We go attacking immediately and in the 15th minute Gipson equalised with a beautifully placed volley. He then got us into the lead in the 20th minute with a nice little run off a through ball from Langworthy. Oakley bumped up the pressure and we hit them on the break with Gipson laying it square for Zielinski to finish and make it 3-1 after 31 minutes. Oakley pulled one back in the 40th minute with Shackleton getting behind the defence and scoring in a one on one. David Green made it 4-2 just before half time with a glancing header.

Game continued in same vien in the 2nd half with Allen denied by the post in the 54th minute and then finally scoring in the 64th. They were again denied in the 70th minute as we went defensive trying to hold on. Few nervy moments followed and we lift the FA Vase 2025.
Been a long time since I updated this, the save has been resurrected now and more updates will come soon!!!
July - Oct 2025
In the 4th season, we had a turnover of 128k and a expenditure of 76k and a profit of 51.8k. The bank balance is healthy at 56k We wont have such revenues as 52k of the revenues were from the FA Vase and we wont be able to compete there anymore. We are breakeven without the prize money so I don't know yet how much money we can offer to the new players.

We didn't get any players in the preseason as I wanted to see where the crowds are like before trying to get anyone. If it seems too difficult, we will try to save money and go back down to level 9 for next season. We gave Theo Moore a 300 pound raise as he has been with us 4 seasons now.

We played in the Pitching in Super Cup against Chester and our only concern was to avoid being outclassed. A 0-2 loss was a decent result against a VNL side. It was our first ever full house game. FA cup run was not good as we busted out in the first game itself.

In the league our team is predicted 18th with 150-1 to win the league, so defied all expectations when we picked up 10 points from the first 4 games. Huge step taken towards avoiding relegation as we are nowhere as good as the results have suggested. We also busted out of the FA trophy in the first game itself.

It was only in October with league attendances stabilizing around 130, that the budget could be finalized. With 20k in income from league gate receipts from last season, we could sustain about 28k in wage budget. So it seems we can sustain about a 42k wage budget with the league income projected this season. With that in mind we go and sign 6 players mostly in defense as that is our weakest part this season. 3 players were released and the wage bill now stands at 42k. David Taylor joined us on loan as GK so we bid goodbye to John Okoro who has been a stalwart for us last 2.5 seasons making 124 appearances.

Results:

Competitions:


Nov2024-Jun 2025:

The new signings helped us move the media prediction needle to 15th with 50-1 to win the league. This gives me confidence we have a team now that is good enough to avoid relegation. Is this team sustainable with our finances is a question we have to find an answer.

Our record of busting out of cups in the first game continued in the Velocity trophy with a 2-1 loss

In the league we just went through the motions, winning some and losing some, nothing of note. We finished a completely unexpected 7th place with 57 points.

Competitions:


Results:



We get a new contract worth 4.4k for 1yr.

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