We’ll now be looking to actively sell all members of the U-18, reserve squad and older players in the main squad, with a look to trimming numbers and lighten the wage budget even if only in the next season. I’ve come to the decision not to accept the invitation for the Reserve League or U-18 League next season.
Logic behind this is that if they are only good enough for the reserves, the club is better served having the cash rather than the player. There are no decent players in the U-18 squad, so I won’t be flipping any coins to decide whether to offer them new contracts, the coin will be going to the bank to help pay the interest on the loan. I will make an attempt to loan out my U-18 squad from next season - the first with the new and fully loaded facilities - and watch with baited breath whether any of them are superstars in the making. If they perform well whilst out on loan, I'd look to bring them into my main squad after the initial, six month, loan period.
A by-product of not entering the leagues will be that we will be able to play more friendly matches. More friendly matches means more appearance money, and that is one of the only ways I can see of swimming through the sea of red that Derby are currently drowning in
@ Atreidas - I'll post the screen shots for you tomorrow, I haven't actually loaded the game today - I'm back at work and today's posts are just the insane ramblings of a mad man who can't play FM from the office.
Thanks for your interest in the story and your support.
I've done some research and the financial situation is more dire than I had first thought. It will take me a few years to bring under control, so the best I can hope for out of the remainder of this term is that I get promoted and that will at the very least buy me some breathing room with the Board.
Perhaps it is the analyst in me, but Derby have 63 players, 25 are in the U-18 squad, and from those, only four are currently worth more than 3K a pop. Logic dictates that if they can't be sold, then their contracts must be cancelled. Interest will be stirred in the four players with higher values in an attempt to find the true market value - and some purchasers!
Five players are in the reserves and I have interest in only one player, and luck would have it, it is the player with the lowest value, but the players will be offered again..
The main squad is the largest, at 31 players, but it is also the one where I can milk the most in an attempt to stay afloat. Interest has been steady in most of the players I put to market, and alas, it is my belief that I will have to sell the proverbial house to stem the tide.
From the squad of 30 contracted players, only seventeen of those are of sufficient ability that I would field them regularly in the team. Unfortunately, this also coincidences with the number of players bought as the management structure changed.
It isn't that these deals were not in the best interests of the club - I believe they were - it is just simply that the club couldn't reasonably afford any transfer budget. Yet I was given 1.5M. And I spent it. And some. Balanced out with sales of so called deadwood, but ill afforded and ill advised nonetheless.
When looking at the value they bring to the side, versus the salary demands of the player, Jimmy Barton will be offered to the general market to test the waters in the hope of finding a buyer. The expectation would be for a figure between 5-6M. Yes, he has carried the side, yes he has scored a bucket-load this term, but his salary is one of the reasons that the club is in the financial trouble it is now.
The expectation would be that up to two young winger cum strikers could be bought in with the transfer proceeds that the Barton sale would generate, but I'd be interested in the money first and foremost. It may well be that we need to make slight changes to the formation to counter for the loss of arguably the teams best player. But sacrifices must be made for the greater good.
An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think?
Ironic how the last post dealt with how the club is struggling for survival, how the financial situation is tight and how (the lack of) money is the root of all evil.
And yet, here we are talking about players whom would be fantastic acquisitions for the club, and it looks like 1999 was one hell of a year:
Phil Seddon, ENG, 21, ST/AMC/L Left Footed, MK Dons.
He’s been scouted multiple times now, and I have to say I see him as the future lynchpin of the club. Rumour has it that he could be prised away from Milton Keyes for the bargain basement price of 450K, with salary expectations around the 5K p/w mark. He’s left footed, like Barton and we’d also be able to utilise him on the left flank if necessary. This also demonstrates the strange case of Barton, if I pay 5K a week salary wise, it is the equivalent of paying MK Dons 200K, as I would immediately be saving 250K, being the annual difference in salary between Barton and Seddon!
Jermaine Cross, ENG, 21, ST, Livingston
Ex Man City product, who is looking to be lured away from the Scottish second division team Livingston. Again, the scouts have said that wage costs represent significant savings over other strikers on the outer other than Barton. At a transfer cost of 100K, this represents a fantastic opportunity and I feel the need to strengthen the strike department, as Barton is still carrying the load. Binks, calls dibs on the second starting slot is progressing and Tuttiolo still is finding his feet. The strike position is only secondary for right winger Goretich and he, like Tuttiolo, is coming to grips with the language meaning that gelling with the team is a slower process.
For financial reasons, Derby needs to part company with Barton, but we need ensure that there are quality sharp shooters for the future. I’ve also had personal success with Man City academy products Helan and Bunn, who I have previously been able to sign on free transfers in prior games.
Bunn, particularly, was classy in the poacher role. He scoring over a hundred goals in the lower echelons of the league pyramid inside four years before the Board accepted a 35M offer during Maidenhead’s first year in the EPL. To be fair, I would have also accepted the offer, but the Board beat me to the punch. Slightly off-topic, but let’s just say I retain a healthy appreciation for the quality of their work.
Simon Jackson, ENG, 21, AMR/C, ST, Chelsea (loan at Scunthorpe)
Aston Villa product and has played over a hundred games in League One in four years without having the opportunity to move to the next level. Strong acceleration and jumping attributes gives me the belief that he should secure possession and leave the opposition defenders for dust. Would help shore up the right wing position and is a natural striker, although the scouting reports suggest he is a better fit at wing, although his finishing and dribbling are better than average. 300K represents a significant investment, but my scouts also report that he doesn’t have any real weaknesses.
Barton has at the age of 25, being placed in the shop window. We'd had interest from Wolves, Norwich and Sheff Wed before he'd been sent to market, the list of suitors has lengthened with Middlesbrough and Newcastle also now interested.
That's the good news....
The annoying news is that of my three keepers on my main roster, it may be that I have outsmarted myself and it will end up costing me. Having bought the genius Koldo Arregi, the next sensible action would be to flick the two others, Bonham (who at 27 may be worth a bit) and youngster Agnew, who isn't going to be the athletic presence I require, but if Arregi gets injured, he would be an adequate fill in until I could source a more rounded player.
The first piece of my master plan worked, Bonham sold to Peterborough for 300K.
The second part, not so much. Epic fail is more the phrase I would use.
My in-depth analysis of the squad (which I am only completing now, as I realised just how rubbish the finances were) told me that I was only paying Agnew GBP100 per week. For a bench riding goalie, that is as cheap as I am ever liable to find. Moreover, and this is why I would class this as an epic failure, the lads contract is going to lapse in June 2021. Cue contract negotiations quick smart....only to be told to.... jog on.
So, with limited funds, I am off to find a cheaper than chips goalie who won't mind being back up. If push comes to shove, there is an average 'keeper in the u-18 squad, but he's the sort you may have used in BSP!
First bid for Barton received from Middlesbrough. 1.6M plus 50% next sale clause. Rejected.
Now he's complaining. He's been told we'll find a new club for him shortly.
Hope an offer more in line with my thinking is made soon, or am I dreaming?
Agnew has had a change of heart and has committed to the club for a further three years on GBP190 per week.
Immediate problem of needing a backup keeper solved!
Derby are finally making progress at lightening the wage load, most of the identified deadwood are seeking alternative employment, and we are making surprising decent fees from the transactions.
Three key points spring to mind at the moment:
Cywka has finally decided to leave. He's accepted a contract with Italian outfit Bari, and the most satisfying part of the deal is the 950K transfer fee involved.
Contra that however with:
No further bids have been made on Barton; and
Lewis Stevenson is a senior member of the team, bench rider granted, but never lets the team down. Except with his salary...and 6,250 is just too much. Now wants us to cough 2,100 for the next eighteen months for him to accept a lower deal and move.
I don't think so!!!
6 Mar 21
A superb display in the first half by right winger Goretich against a determined Walsall netted the youngster a hat-trick. Ill discipline earned three of my defenders yellow cards, but overall a pleasing effort at the interval.
Binks pounced on his own rebound to score on sixty mins to keep his impressive scoring rate, and Carlson was equally impressive patrolling the left flank and creating scoring opportunities with his accurate crosses.
Disaster though for young Wayne Doherty, who I felt obliged to let start. Stats currently read 3 games, 2 yellow cards, two red cards. Not sure he’ll be on the team sheet for a wee while! While he hasn’t picked up straight red; both dismissals have been for repeated (lesser) infringements, we’ll be forced to spell him while he contemplates his hot head behaviour.
Holmes slotted to the anchor man role from midfield to close out the game, and Barton got the monkey of his 125th goal off his back. A poor clearance by the opposition goalkeeper was seized by Magnusson for Barton to run on and tuck away. Win 5-0 to remain second on the ladder, still seven points adrift of Luton.
9 Mar 21
Traveling to fifth placed MK Dons was always going to be a challenge. We had made a bid for the young winger cum striker Phil Seddon, and were hoping that while talented, fingers were crossed that he would have an off-day. Three changes had been made from the team that played Walsall, Simm came back in place of the suspended Doherty, and both wingers were still feeling the effects of the two games in three days. Baldini for Goretich, Ince for Carlson.
Both teams created chances in the first half, but it wasn’t until Ince got a pass away to Binks who sprinted to the other end of the pitch was the deadlock broken.
More of the same after the break; Rios replaced Townsend in the midfield, and again chances were created, the crowd held their breath, only for it to amount to nothing.
From a set piece, Benchenaa played the one two with Rios, then to Binks, who with pin point accuracy passed the ball to Holmes. Holmes proceeded to absolutely smash the ball into the back of the net from well outside the box.
A well deserved 2-0 win away for Derby, and what was interesting was that no less than 4(!!) attempts on goal hit the woodwork and bounced clear. All going against Derby and Barton particularly would feel aggrieved with two of his shots hitting the timber.
Derby remain second, chasing Luton hard but still seven (!!!) points adrift. MK Dons drop to sixth, and Seddon rates 6.8 for the game.
That sod Stevenson now wants us to supplement a potential Millwall contract to the tune of GBP2,200 per week for eighteen months. We declined, and he rejected the contract....!!
13 March 21
Ever get the feeling that it is your day and that the stars are in complete and utter alignment?
Simm, after warming the bench in the games against Crawley, Stockport and Walsall, stretched his legs against MK Dons, but had an absolute barnstorming run against Rochdale, to the extent where the coach and half the team are still wondering what had hit them.
Position wise, the man is incredible and he has a nose for the set pieces and from in front of goal he was truly unstoppable. When full time sounded, he had four goals, and only the opposition defender deflecting the ball into his own net stopped Simm from taking five; although he was credited with the assist.
Jimmy Barton added a brace to complete the demolition, which served as a reminder of his goal scoring prowess. 7-0 win. Goal glut; advantage Derby.
I also hope Chelsea, who made the decision to release Simm on a free transfer, particularly as the salary expectations were so reasonable, are feeling extremely sick watching their reject move from strength to strength with a new club.
Try as I might to close it, there was still a seven point gap between second place (Derby) and first placed Luton. Having being bought up in an environment where you learned "second place is for the first loser" I was intrigued, especially as Derby were systematically dismantling defenses and creating headaches for coaches. So it would seem are Luton.
I have send my best scout to scout the remaining games in the season to see what I can glean, but a look at their formation tells us that they play a 4-5-1, with a defensive midfielder, and lone striker. Further information from my scouts will help me construct a game plan for them.
Turning to the roster, they have done extremely well from the loan market:
Richard Loubacky, FRA, 19 DRLC, Arsenal - val 1.5M
Mathys Michel, FRA, 22, DMC, Man U - val 1.1M
Gavin Butler, ENG, 18, MC, Tottenham - val 425K
Geoff Groves, ENG, 21, ML, Reading val 1.5M
I am in awe of the talent that they have assembled (albeit on loan), and I am not sure how I will counter it. Okay, so Luton will have a decided hole to fill in their run on team next season, but I am sure they will be in the Championship. Why could Derby not have been so savvy in the loan market?
Despite all my hard work with the team, the scout and spending yesterday with Excel in an attempt to work through some Moneyball type ten year business plan, I have to say I am feeling more Han Solo (“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”) than John “Hannibal” Smith (“I love it when a plan comes together.”)
My gut is telling me I dropped an almighty clanger rejecting the bid for Barton, if I had my time again, I would negotiate the offer to see whether it would come closer to the 6M I have in my mind. Barton is still playing well, and although annoyed that I rejected an advance from a Premier League team for him, is still viewed as a key member of the team and is marked as favoured personnel on the teams information screen. These are generally not indicators of players that you wish to sell, unless another team makes the proverbial offer you couldn’t refuse.
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