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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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iamslowdeath's avatar Group iamslowdeath
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Welcome to a new save on FM22. This time its create a club challenge. The aim of this save is realistic gameplay with a created club. One of the things that is absolutely vital in this save is that finances are to be kept extremely controlled. We cannot go out and spend money we don't have in the club coffers. Even when we have the money we are not allowed to spend mindlessly. So no spending big money on a wonderkid if a club at the level we are in wont do it in real life. Debts are allowed but only to realistic level.
Here are my target max debts -
County Leagues - max 50k
Regional Leagues - max 200k
Conference - max 500k
League 2 and above - To be decided.
The club has to be sustainable in its wage budgets and while it is ambitious its willing to be spending life in lower reaches of football then spend money.

The backstory:

Friends United comes from the real life experience in the club of same name I played for when I was young. Formed by a few friends who wanted to have a club to play for, we practically didn't have any money. I remember coming to practice and doing nothing as the only football we had was being repaired, giving a walkover as the travel was long and we could not reach by public transport in time. This is the try to take those long gone days and make the club a success virtually.

The fantasy story:

In mid 2021, a few bored friends came together at the pub and were discussing their old footballing days. An idea jumped in mind to start their own club. They were quickly put-off by the amount of money needed for running a club even at the lowest levels. I barged into their conversation and said it is possible to run a club without spending too much money. They were ecstatic at it and the folks said they would get back to me.

In a few days time they reached out to me and to my shock said they have set the process of starting a club. They have already registered it and named it Friends United. They managed to pool in 573 pounds as well. I was absolutely shocked and they asked me to meet if I wanted to manage the club. As a Sunday League footballer with no coaching badges I was not sure if I can do it but now that the club is there, its an opportunity I could not pass.

The meeting went brilliantly and they offered me a 1yr part time contract with 14.5k in wages. I was very skeptical where the money came from as they had said they had no money to invest in the club. They explained its their dream as well so they were willing to take a debt of upto 50k but they would prefer if it didn't come to that. I was willing to take less money but chairman Granville Marshall just didn't agree.

The board managed to get a stadium for us to play in at 1000 capacity. Amazing what these folks have done in just a few days.
The board has sent us its financial statement. They were not joking when they said they had pooled in money to get to 573 pounds

Joining Friends United:

On the first day of the job it became apparent how hard this job is going to be. I am the only person at the club house with no staff or players. I begin to think its going to be a lonely day when Granville walks in and introduces me to Prashanth Singh, who would be my PA. I certainly didn't expect a PA but really nice of the board to give me some help on the job.

Adverts were placed for an Assistant Manager and a Chief Scout. We needed players and tried to get a trial day in. The costs were prohibitive and the idea was dropped.
Granville to the rescue again and he used his contacts to get us to look at a few youth players at nearby clubs. Anyone he could get hold of we offered a trial.

With the kids running around the park, I put on my financial hat and try to project our costs. I am looking to spend at most 500 pounds per game on bonuses and get everyone on non contracts. With 40 games in the league, that's 20k in player wages. Staff wages including mine were coming to another 20k. I have no idea what other costs the club will have but i am expecting ground maintenance, travel and some miscellaneous costs. I budget a lumpsum amount of 20k for that so it means we need 60k a year in income to break even. The projections show only 4k in income this season.
Welcome to the world of create a club challenges. I’m not going to lie tried winning with a £100 a week budget in JD Cymru South and didn’t even get a point in 15.

Good luck with it, it’s a journey and a hard challenge!
thanks @stigzee. I think the quality in level 10 in england is so low that I actually have had a real good start in the league. Though I must say i am spending more than 100 pounds a week already.
Update July-August 2021:

The first couple of weeks make it clear I had severly underestimated the extra costs of running the club. The first 2 weeks cost about 1500 pounds so a simple extrapolation means about 36k in extra costs. How I wish now that the board had given me less wages. We need to make atleast 75k this year to break even while managing to keep the side in the league. The dream could be over even before the season ended.

We managed to hire our Assistant Manager, 32 year old Theo Moore joins us on 2.6k/yr.

Greenville is a genius and he has now managed to pull in a miracle getting us a Main Kit sponsor at 4.7k/yr.

We started by signing anyone of the young kids who were willing to play for us and before the first league game we managed to sign 10 players. We put 8 of them on the field along with 3 local lads who were willing to kick a ball for us. They managed to pull off a miracle with a 2-0 win over Redford in the league. First win in the our very first league game is a small step in the journey to come. 19 people watched our game at home.

We were really lucky as the kids we signed were all U17 so we only had to pay 250 pounds/yr to them till they turn 17. This saves us a lot in wages. I might have to release these guys once they are 17 to save costs. This thought made me delay hiring the Chief Scout and maybe we can cut down costs a bit more.

By our 2nd game we managed to put out 11 players on the field and 2 more on the bench as we lost 2-1 to North Ferriby. We managed to sell 5 season tickets, I am sure it is the board member's family.

A full squad of 16 was assembled in time for our first cup game in NCEL League Cup and we won on penalties 3-5 afrer 0-0 draw.
By end of August we have assembled our squad of 23 players.



September to December 2021:

In August our expenses were 6765 pounds of which staff and player wages were only 2100 pounds. It is becoming increasingly clear how much extra cost is needed in running the club. I am torn how I might end up losing all the money for the folks who put so much trust in me.

In september we were knocked out of both the FA Vase and NCEL League Cup aginst tougher opposition. I was happy to see an expense of 4000 pounds this month. Maybe we can keep the dream alive.

We didnt do much till December just a couple of signings as we tried too keep the finances under control. This showed in the league results as other teams got stronger over the season and we ended the year on a 5 game losing streak.

44 year old Greg Williams came into the team, a crucial signing of a highly reputed player might attract a few talents to join us.

Keep your head up!

First thing to remember is if you can get friendlies play the second string in between for fitness and might get money.

Are you scouting at all?
@stigzee No I am not scouting as I have no scout, whoever comes up in the scouting meeting report i bring on trial and then try to evaluate. I am not too good at evaluating players so I compare the key attributes and if they seem better I sign them.
As for friendlies, I am not scheduling friendlies in the midseason. Only ones are in preseason and they are scheduled and managed by my Assistant Manager.
January 2022:
With the losses piling, we got busy in January as quite a few good players indeed came into the scouting reports. 37 year old Leon Mckenzie came in and he was so much better than our current strikers it was a nobrainer to add him to the squad. He cost 30 pounds a game but he is worth the money. Experienced signings like this can put us in the radar and get some crowd in.

We pulled off a major coup when we signed ex-Milwall youngster Rob Strachan, who looks way too good for this level.

I am really tempted to give this guy a part time contract and tie him down, he looks to me like a Regional Premier Division level player.


The board finally agreed to give us a new contract and after much negotiations we agreed to get my wages down to 3.6k/yr which is a more sustainable figure for a club of our size.
February to June 2022:

The financial pressures of the new signings could be seen as bonuses became our biggest expense head. The increased costs have not shown results on the pitch and the board was beginning to worry. Fans have began to criticize our tactics as we roll on a 8 game winless run. Team meetings were held and the team was sent on team bonding exercises. The need of the hour was for the team to gell and play together. Finally we saw a win in April albeit against 21st Place Dronefield.

Huge excitement was built up for the youth intake day, first in the history of the club. I am skeptical though, these kids have just come in after school and kicked the ball whole year, without any coaching. I feel sad for these enthusiastic kids who came in for practice but with poor facilities and basic coaching, how can they ever be good. If they had come to an amateur's club they would have at least got some coaching. Having said that the kids did manage to draw against our current U18s, who also don't have coaching but are atleast older and stronger. However no one impressed enough to give them a contract.

We finished our first season in 14th place. A marker in the sand moment for us, we will grow from here.

Season 1 Review:
Our turnover for the season was 44.4k and expenses were 45k. We spent only 7.3k on players and 11.6k on staff which helped us keep the finances in check. With my salary being less for next season I can spend a bit more in players and push for a better finish. We have shown we can run the club with very less money and even though we made a small loss this season, the owners have realized that we can be a club at this level and sustainably compete with the support of the fans who fundraised £ 9312. If the fans continue to support us like this we can run the club for a long time.

Going into the second season my target is to have a top half finish and try to build a team that can compete a bit more in the cups, it will be huge if we can have a deeper run in the FA Vase and get some good money.
July- August 2022

Second Season begins at Friends United and goodness me, no one wants to come on non contracts with us. The word has probably spread that we are a horrible manager who culls players ruthlessly. Everyone wants too much money as well. After spending hours trialing and trying to offer everyone wants 2-3k/yr, money I cant afford to give them. I run to Granville for loan suggestions and he comes up with a few phone calls. We have managed to get in 7 loanees due to Granville's influence.

As expected we lose out on Rob Stranchan, there was no way we could keep him in the club. He was just too good.

We have been put in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One and travel costs are killing us, in the first 2 months we have spent 1478 while last season in the whole year had 1263 as our travel costs. Small details like this can derail this club.

We have also lost Chandler Gibson, who was the only non-loaned striker in club.


League Table:
September - December 2022:
As many as 8 loaned in players took the field in the FA Vase game against Fairford we won 2-0 and in the 2nd Qualifying round we beat AFC Craydon Athletic 1-0. Both these teams are one division above us so the confidence is brimming. FA Vase is a big priority this season as the money can help this club a lot. I feel we can reach playoffs in the league based on the squad so giving a few players rest infront of the FA Vase games is interesting.

We won the first round of FA Vase 5-4 on penalties against IIfracombe(1-1 in regulation time) who are another Level 9 team. Almost feels we are ready for the next level. We then beat Golcar 2-1 in the 2nd Round.

Around November I managed to find David Pearce, who at 65 pounds a game is very expensive but his versatility was really good. We bit the bullet and splurge the cash on him. He can be important in the next few months with very important fixtures coming up.

We had an extremely lucky 3rd Round of the FA Vase. Stourport were the favourites and they dominated but a redcard saw them lose steam as the game ended 0-0. We won on penalties 6-5. What a rollercoaster to emotions it was.

Theo Moore bagged a coaching license, something that would help us immensely in future as he becomes a better coach. Slowly but surely Friends United is climbing up the ladder.


League Table:

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