Already playing ? Get these essential add ons to enhance the game Want updated squads for FM19? We have the worlds biggest FM2019 Data Update. 1 minute ago
DNZY commented on: [FM17] Climbing Jacob's Ladder (Part Deux)
6 minutes ago
A new version of our data update was released with 547999 changes from 918 contributors.
9 minutes ago
A new version of our data update was released with 360470 changes from 983 contributors.
10 minutes ago
A new version of our data update was released with 148348 changes from 466 contributors.
38 minutes ago
tongey commented on: FM19 - TONGEY travels the world.
42 minutes ago
56 minutes ago
Tanveer50243792 commented on: Request Thread (ONLY TEAMS, COMPS and NATIONS THAT ARE IN THE OFFICIAL FM DATABASE)
1 hour ago
Dan commented on: Welcome To Hellgrade - A Red Star Belgrade Career
1 hour ago
maalivahti commented on: Facepacks Release thread - NO REQUESTS
1 hour ago
maalivahti added a download: APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC [10.09] Teampack
1 hour ago
mons commented on: Facepacks Release thread - NO REQUESTS
1 hour ago
mons added a download: Padova(serieB)_u20_u18 Mixpack
1 hour ago
ChrissBurns1993 commented on: Rangers
1 hour ago
A new version of our data update was released with 547705 changes from 918 contributors.
1 hour ago
A new version of our data update was released with 360110 changes from 983 contributors.
1 hour ago
A new version of our data update was released with 147694 changes from 466 contributors.
1 hour ago
RD_ commented on: Removing CL qualified teams
2 hours ago
VP. commented on: Welcome To Hellgrade - A Red Star Belgrade Career
2 hours ago
CDarling commented on: Sortitoutsi.net Data Update - Player and Staff Changes
2 hours ago
Dan commented on: FM19 - TONGEY travels the world.
2 hours ago
A new version of our data update was released with 547563 changes from 918 contributors.
2 hours ago
A new version of our data update was released with 359960 changes from 983 contributors.
2 hours ago
A new version of our data update was released with 147593 changes from 466 contributors.
2 hours ago
tongey commented on: FM19 - TONGEY travels the world.
2 hours ago
kingrobbo commented on: Removing CL qualified teams
3 hours ago
VP. commented on: Google Map 3D Stadium Background Pack
3 hours ago
might_tv commented on: IDIOT'S GUIDE: Custom Start Date 2019 (Last Update 02/July/2019)
3 hours ago
SirTAVARES commented on: Italy / Denmark Latest Update
3 hours ago
seb-bouh commented on: Request Thread (ONLY TEAMS, COMPS and NATIONS THAT ARE IN THE OFFICIAL FM DATABASE)
3 hours ago
Ray Pearce commented on: Italy / Denmark Latest Update

Tale of a small club going to the top.

I felt that I have done all I can with RB Leipzig on FM15 and have lost that satisfaction of taking a small club to the top with no or little to spend along the way. I have not been able to find that satisfaction and enjoyment for a while and have gone from one save to another trying to the same feelings I got from the Wigan, Southampton on FM12 and Burton on FM14. I looked at the Burton squads on FM15 and FM14 then to came to the conclusion that then FM14 squad is better. Then I looked at the posts for that Burton save and saw what I does doing then and not doing now which I will be bringing back to the new blog. I have also decided to start a fresh new blog with a new theme and dedicated name so it can hopefully keep me interested and focused on it.

I will be using the 14.3 update has I was using the 14.2 update the last so that means I do not have Delap who is now a coach, Reed is at York, Howe is at Newport and I cannot sign Zambrotta who is a manager of a Swiss club.

http://i.imgur.com/wmhPI6H.jpgThe reason I choose Burton in the first place was that they had potential to be a good Championship club with the hope of one day getting into the Premier League. There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and then to get the club into the Championship then the Premier League such as youth team facilities need improving or a new purpose built centre, the stadium needs upgrading in all areas like converting the terraces to seats once the club is in the Premier League etc. All this needs time and money which I have plenty of one and not enough of the other to achieve the aim of getting into the Premier League and this is where I was getting the satisfaction and the love of FM was seeing Burton Albion growing into to a potential top club which is was missing in the saves after this one.

Burton Albion use the St Georges Park has their first team training base and the youth team uses the Welbeck Defence 6th Form College near Loughborough which is at the moment not to standard of producing the players I need to get the club into the Championship and one day the Premier League. The club has only won 5 Trophies in it’s history and just missed out on promotion via the Playoffs last season.

The club has a few good players who I need to be playing well in every game if the club stands a chance of getting to League One. I have highlighted the captain, key player and youth prospect to do a more in depth profile of them, you can view the rest of the squad in the squad page.

Adam McGurk
http://i.imgur.com/lVKtP83.jpgHe has the potential to be a good player for a bottom to mid table Premier League club. It is going to be hard to keep him out of the starting line which could hamper his development so I will be looking to use him from the subs bench with a run of a few games in the starting line up in all competitions.

Matthew Palmer
http://i.imgur.com/jhPZkIB.jpgHe has the potential to be a good player for a bottom to mid table Premier League club. It is going to be hard to keep him out of the starting line which could hamper his development so I will be looking to use him from the subs bench with a run of a few games in the starting line up in all competitions.

Zander Diamond
http://i.imgur.com/EyuBrY0.jpgHe is the club captain and is out injured for about 2months. I am hoping he could lead the club on and off the pitch has the club tries to climb up through the leagues to the Championship and one day the Premier League but I think the Premier League is beyond his abilities.

I would need to get a left back, left winger and right winger has cover has I have only got one player for those 3 positions. I am hoping Kee and McGurk can form a deadly partnership during preseason.

This is a good formation I don’t need to get players into the squad but it does leave me short of players in the central midfield position if the players get injured or suspended.

This formation is a good fit as well and can easily make it a 3-5-2 if one for the strikers get injured. The balance of attack and defence is nearly perfect has the 3 at the back covers both single and double strikers while 3 upfront could overcome most defences.

The bookies think we are good enough for the playoffs with an outside chance of getting automatic promotion. There are some good teams in the league which is going to make it hard to get promotion or even stay in the league.

http://i.imgur.com/Pdj6wQi.jpghttp://i.imgur.com/7BP6GbS.jpgI think our preseason friendlies will set the players up nicely for the season and I hope Derby will put a good side out so that the players can get feel to be up against a good Championship club. The League Cup game against Leicester should see the Pirelli Stadium full and I am expecting to field a weaken team while I will field my strongest available eleven. I am looking at having a good run in the Johnstones Paint Trophy has this could be our only chance of getting silverware into the club.

It has felt good to write this post in the way I wrote the first Burton posts and I am starting to feel a bit more optimistic about FM14. I hope this feeling continues when I start to play properly over the weekend. The question I have got running through my mind about this save is do I sign some of the same players or get new ones has I loved the players I signed and they proved that it was the sum of the parts not the parts that got them to be Premier Leagues Champions in 2020, Burton Albion went from League 2 to Premier League Champions in 8 seasons. I do like the layout of FM14.

I will be posting on regular basis, thinking of either once a week, or twice a week or more frequently.
Interesting save idea, nice to see someone take on a Burton Albion save.

Davide Morello, Free Transfer
I was looking for a keeper has I have got Lyness as the only recognised keeper in the club but there was suitable keepers that were available on loan so I ended up at looking at experienced keepers that were available on a free transfer. Morello fits the bill financially and as a player who could replace Lyness as my first choice keeper. There is a clause in his contract that Morello will get an automatic 1yr extension after 15 league games.

Michael Hoganson, Season Loan from Derby
I needed a short term cover for McCory has Hussey’s natural position left midfield. Hoganson’s natural pace at this level means that his poor defensive attributes are balanced out but he needs to improve those areas if he is going to mike at Derby.

Paul Burns, Season Loan from Queen of the South
I have McDonald who is AMR and Dyer is a central midfield but not natural right midfielders. Burns’ experience will help the squad a lot and like the previous Burton save I might just get a pre-contract in place but that depends on who is available in January.

I could have signed a left winger on a free transfer but one thing that prevented me from signing them was the agent fees which is something the club can’t afford at the moment. I am saving that money for players at the club whose contracts are expiring at the end of the season if they are good enough to be in League One.

Barry Whitbread, Scout
The club had only one scout and I needed another two scouts allow me to look for players in the UK and Ireland. I think he is going to do a good job for us.

Ian Storey-Moore, Scout
He was once a player/manager for Burton and now has returned to the club has a scout.

Roddy McKenzie U21 Manager
I think Burton is going to be a great place for for young coaches who want to be managers to learn about the game from a coaches/managers view before taking a managerial role at another club.

Ugo Ehigou, U18 Coach

I think we are going to be fine has I will be removing the most evil of clauses on the game which is the annual % increase from contracts that are expiring at the end of the season and the rest will be removed when their contracts are up. All new players will not get the clauses. This will save the club a lot of money.

If the players can repeat what the did facing Derby against Leicester we might get into the 2nd Round of the League Cup. I think we are going to be in contention for promotion whether it is automatic or via the Playoffs. I had to switch to 4-5-1 after 4-4-2 was not going to work despite having the players for it. I will have to move McGurk from the strikers role to the left wing if I was to use AMR and AML.

North Round One

South Round One
I think the North draw is stronger than the South has the North section has Wolves, Sheff Utd, Bradford, Preston while the South have Coventry and Portsmouth. The Johnstones Paint Trophy is the only realistic chance of silveware apart from a slim chance of of the League 2 title or the League 2 Playoff.

I am looking to have a plan in place in case of promotion via the playoffs has the time between the Playoff Final the start of the season is shorter than getting automatic promotion to have a chance of staying in League One or if we stay in League 2 for another season in order to get the club in a position to be pushing for promotion.
I found that the 4-4-2 formation was not going to work so I switched to 4-5-1, either has a flat midfield 5 or the wide men pushed further forward, which seemed to work but needs working on before it is going to be effective. I had several players on trial but they all have agents which the fees to pay the agents comes out of the transfer budget which I do not have.

It was a while before the players were familiar with how I wanted them to play which saw quite a few goals being conceded and we went 14 games before we gout our 2nd clean sheet of the season. There was a 4 week period where McGurk was out injured and his presence was sorely missed however it gave Kee and Alexander the opportunity to prove that they can cover McGurk's absences in the future or in Kee's situation replace McGurk if McGurk was sold or leaves the club after his contract expires. I tried to stick to the same formation so that the players did not have to adapt to a new formation which could have affected the results we got. It is nice to see other players are scoring goals but I would like to see McGurk to be scoring more given that he is a top player in League 2.


League Cup

Johnstones Paint Trophy

My prediction is that MK Dons will win the Johnstones Pain Trophy has they are strongest club left.

FA Cup

Round One
We took Preston to a replay at their ground where we won 1-0 while Worthing, Solihull Moors and Potters Bar took their Football League opponents to replays. The aim is to make it to Round 3 and hopefully get a home against a Premier League club with the hope of taking them to a replay at their ground.

Round Two
Alfreton and Macclesfield caused the upsets with their away wins against Football League opponents. I think I have met the Board's expectations by reaching the 3rd Round and hopefully a home draw against a Premier League.

Round Three
I was slightly disappointed not to a get a home and not getting a Premier League club but I hope Bolton, who are a good side, do not take us seriously and we can take them to a replay at our ground. There are plenty of potential upsets which need the clubs to have a huge slice of luck and the bigger clubs to have an off day for these upsets to happen.

New Player
I have had Luke Giverin on my radar has a potential signing but needed funds to pay the agents the fee so money was moved from the wage budget to the transfer budget for this purpose. I sold McCrory to Sligo Rovers for £55k, £13k upfront with £43k in add-ons, I tihnk he is good enough to be playing in the Championship.

I have already decided ho is staying and leaving which could see £5k going back into the wage budget but that could be used up on renewing selected player contracts. I have started looking players to sign on precontracts for enxt season has I am not expecting a transfer budget even if we get into League 1 next season.
The Board decided that the game against Newport would be good for a Fan Day has a way to get more fans. The club needs to connect with the local community if it is going to survive and thrive which is not going to happen without having fans to support the club. I think this is a good idea allowing adults who bring their kids to get a discount on adult tickets or better still allowing kids in for £1.The Board were happy with the increased attendance figures and I hope these Fan Days continue even if or when we make it into the Premier League has this would help to keep the club grounded and connected to the local area has it appears that clubs in the Premier League are drifting away from their core fan base.

It is great to have Kee and McGurk scoring goals with others chipping in with the odd goal.The squad is coming together rather nicely and are now very familiar with the style of play and the formation that I have been using. I have tried 3-5-2 which worked and I hope to develop that has my 2nd formation for when either full back is out injured or suspended. The only reason I think we had 2 high scoring games after 8 games of low scores is that I introduce 2 new players to the line up but is that simple or is it because both clubs are struggling therefore made it easier for us to score against them? Only the next few fixtures will give me a definitive answer. Over the course of the games that have been played in all competitions has revealed that Matthew Palmer is a consistent performer and has lots of potential which will make it hard to keep to him at the club in the long term unless we keep moving up the league then it is a matter of time before his form and development starts to plateau at the club then is when he needs to move but he keeps this going then I see no issue of him staying at the club.

The relegation battle over the last 17 games will see Exter, Bury and Torquary fighting it out while Accrington are some what caught in no-mans land with the possibility of being dragged into the relegation battle. The automatic promotion and play off places are going to be tight has it covers about half the table while we have pulled a 10 point lead at the top. We are the highest scorers, the least goals conceded and the best goal difference in the league.

Carlisle, Bristol City, Newport who are the lowest ranked club left and Leyton Orient who caused one of the biggest upsets in the FA Cup with their 3-0 win against Liverpool are the only clubs from Rounds One and Two left in the competition.

David Prutton, Season Loan from Sheffield Wednesday
I needed another central midfielder and one with some experience of playing in a promotion chasing side and Prutton fits that bill. His contract is up at the end of the season and I hope he can impress for me to offer him a contract in the summer has he would have a big role to play next season has is one of few players that have played in League 1.

Louis Laing, Season Loan from Sunderland
This is a weird one and stupid has I was looking for a another central defender, so I can got to 3 at the back and have cove, I accepted a loan for Holness for the season has I promised him I would loan him out to get first team football. Louis Laing’s contract is expiring at the end of the season and his age makes him perfect for Burton has I know he can play in the Championship.

Terry Kennedy, Season Loan Sheffield United
This one should have not been made if I was not so stupid has to loan out Holness for rest of the season. I think he is going a good signing despite what happened and I hope I can sign him in the summer if I get some money to spend but I don’t think that is going to happen.

The downside to the loans is that I cannot offer the players a pre-contract agreement while they are on loan at the club and I really hope that their clubs do not extend their contracts while they are on loan here and that their contracts do expire after the loans finish.

The club is a strong position to get promotion to League 1 and make it to the Jonstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley. There is a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season which could see key players getting injured or suspended.

This is the game that saw the club win the League 2 title after gaining automatic promotion against Plymouth. This game was important has we lost our first league game of the season against York in the previous game. I was hoping that I can sign Kennedy, Prutton and Laing on free transfers but that is not possible due to financial reasons but it is not down to the wages that the players want. I have to say that this is the first time in a long time that Palmer was below his usual performance levels.

The final home game of the season and what away to sign off the season with a McGurk hat trick in front a full Pirelli Stadium against our closet rivals. It would be nice to see 4,000 to 5,000+ next season on a regular basis at the Pirelli Stadium.

I think switching to 3-5-2 and being away from home was a major factor the first lose of the league season against York despite using the same formation against Plymouth which we won. The loss against Southend was a sign that the players were off on their jollies which is understandable has there was nothing for my players to play for. I really hope that Kee and McGurk can keep scoring in League 1 next season with the defence improving a lot over the summer could see us either surviving the relegation battle or finish mid-table. I knew the unbeaten run would end but I did not expect the run to nearly last a season however it just shows that getting the tactics right with the right players than a run like this one can happened in League 2 and the pressure was on the players all time has the run put a target on the club for other clubs to raise their game when they face the club.

I think I said that Accrington could be dragged into the relegation has they were stuck in no mans land has they were a few points behind Wycombe and a few points ahead of Exeter. I was proven right about them being relegated while Bury and Torquay fought their way out of the relegation zone. Plynouth had a shocker over the last 19 games has they went from 3rd to 14th and the same was for Portsmouth who have been up and down the league table all season. The Championship, Leagues 1 and 2 are weird has one season a club could be having a blinder of a season making it to the playoffs then the following season they could be facing a relegation battle and the reverse can happen or a team could be the relegation then ends up getting promotion.

Johnstone's Paint Trophy



I really don’t know how we managed to win and have 11 players on the field at the end of the match. I hope the players enjoyed playing at Wembley has this could be their chance to do so. This was the first fully professional trophy the club has won so it means a lot.

2014 Youth Team Intake

Every March the club has an intake of new players for the youth team and the hope is that there are one or two potentially decent players. This time I think have got 3 decent young players.

Daniel Phillips, 3.5 Start Potential
I hope he can improve his technical stats before he makes his first team debut in a few seasons and I believe that he can do it.

Paul Pelling, 5 Star Potential and 2.5 Star Current Ability
He could easily be in the first team squad right now but will not do him any good has he will not get the necessary game time to help his development even though the first team train at the world class St Georges Park which will help his development but the game time is needed as well.

Simon Wade, 5Star Potential and 2 Star Current Ability
Another youth team player that could be in the first team squad and he could be better than Lyness when he gets to the same age as Lyness.

I cannot wait for these players to reach their 17th birthday which is when they can sign professional contracts or their pre-professional contract agreements start. This would stop clubs from going straight the player or their agent if they have one at 15 or 16yrs old. I could see Pelling and Wade playing for England one day and I hope they can do that with Burton by being in the Premier League.

I have really enjoyed this season and going back to a previous save to manage a small club with the aim of making that a big club without the resources like other clubs have, yes we have one of the best training facilities in the country to use but the rest of the clubs infrastructure is poor and needs money to be invested in them which makes managing clubs like Burton Albion worthwhile doing has you can see the club grow and improve on and off the field.

The next post will be reviewing the season with the focus on where the club can improve along with a brief review of the rest of English football and any new signings that I have made.

I have used the same playing instruction regardless of formation and mentality, the instructions are directing passing (not long ball), shoot on sight, offside trap, tighter making, get stuck in and higher tempo. The idea is to make the team more attacking and quicker in possession.

4-5-1 was the main reason for the success the club this season but the amount of goals conceded is something I need to address in the summer. I will still use this formation next season has it is the most familiar one for the players.

I have only used this formation to have a look at Laing and Kennedy to determine if they are good enough for League 1 as well as seeing if this formation can work for the players. It was a success against the smaller clubs but I am going to use it against bigger clubs in preseason to see if it is a long term viable option.

The bulk of the goals come in the 3rd and 4th quarter hour periods while we concede the most in the 2nd and 3rd quarter hour periods. It seems by the 61st-75th minute the players are awake and this is something I do not want next season has this could mean we could be losing and drawing more games when we should be winning them has this could lead to a relegation battle.

It seems my players rather go for an accurate shot rather than a hit and hope power shot from distance which could be why the players were scoring a lot of goals this season.

Pass and move seems to be the way the for the players to be scoring with a few crosses from the wide areas. It appears that the wide areas is where the team are getting the goals from despite only 18 crosses. I think a new right midfielder and right back are needed has the club are conceding a lot down that side of the pitch.

McGurk and Kee were fantastic while the midfield absolutely proved to be the driving force behind the success. The youngster Matthew Palmer was the standout player for the club and proved that he is playing below the level he should be at which is the Championship. The main area of concern is the defence has the team conceded too many goals for my liking but they were good overall just a couple of decent players in a couple of positions could see the improvement needed for next season. There were only a couple of players who did not score a single goal and a few players who did not get an assist which shows that the players are capable of doing good things in League 1 if they can do this again.

The top 6 are predictable while Hull finishing 7th is an absolute shocker. The clubs that were relegated could find life in the Championship difficult has it is becoming a Bermuda Triangle of English football where Premier League clubs disappear and are not seen for years.

Monk didn’t last long at Swansea while Moyes only lasted 6months before being replace Brian Laudrup after Moyes was anointed by Sire Alex Ferguson. It is no great surprise to see the relegated managers sacking their managers.

It is no surprise that of the best funded club in the Championship gained automatic promotion.There were some good sides that struggled in the Championship and next season could see them at the top of the table if they can get their summer recruitment right.

I do feel sorry for manager who get replaced by a new board and I think there should be some rule which gives the current manager a protection period to prove that they are the right manager for them.

Wolves bounced back to the Championship at the first attempt after successive relegations while it took Sheffield United 3 attempts to get promotion back to the Championship.

Here is a surprise appointment. Peter Schmeichel is the new manager of Gillingham after this screen shot was taken.

FA Cup
4th Round
The major surprise is how well Norwich id despite their poor form in the Premier League while Spurs miss out on winning the FA Cup and Champions League.

We got more in TV and Prize money than season ticket sales which I hope to see an increase of season ticket sales over the summer. The TV money is made up of £271k from the league and £131k from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. The prize money was £275k from the Football League for finishing 1st in League 2., £45k from the FA Cup and £90k from the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. I really hope that get an increase in attendances on match days which will help to offset the increases in expenditure but I hope to control that by signing players on loan without monthly fee and players on free transfers who don’t have agents. I want to get the club finances in position for the club to afford a couple of bank loans to convert the stadium to all seating and expand it as well as building a new you team training complex. I will not get the board to borrow money for transfers which not sensible financial management.

The vast majority of transfers were loans and free transfers. It is either that financial constraints or clubs being very picky in what players they have. Burton are about mid-table in annual salaries while Portsmouth have the highest wage spend but they struggled this season despite apparently having the best squad in League 2.

New Players
Christian Burgess, Free Transfer (Pre-contract from Middlesbrough)
He is young and has some really good stats in some important areas. If he can improve his defensive stats he can be the future club captain.

Craig Gordon, Free Transfer
He was out for a year with knee issues and no club which makes this transfer a surprise has he still able to play at the highest level but it speaks volumes about him as a person to agree to play for a League 1 side. I think Lyness and Wade are going to learn a lot from Gordon has he has played at the highest level.

Luke Shackleton, Free Transfer
I am going to develop him into a central defender and central midfielder has this would be more cost effective than getting two players for both positions.

I knew Simon Wade being at the club would be trouble for me has he is already attracting interest from Swansea, West Ham and West Brom. This pre-contract agreement seems to have put off Swansea while West Ham and West Brom are still interest but the pre-contract agreement goes to some way of giving me more protection in keeping Wade at the club.

I have really enjoyed doing this post and I have already started to rectify some of the issues that have been highlighted in this post which will be revealed in the next post along with a nice affiliation with a Premier League club which I hope to use to get good young or unused experience players in on loan.
New Staff and Players

Cyrus Christie, Free Transfer
He is going to replace Phil Edwards as my first choice right back. I have the feeling he going to be the best right outside the Championship and hopefully be a decent in the Championship once we are promoted.

Daniel Kearns, Free Transfer
His versatility is going to be a huge asset for the club has I have got a small squad with no players in the U21 squad who can step up to the senior squad in emergencies. He is another player that I expect good things from at this level.

Jack Byrne, Free Transfer
I hope he can develop into a good central midfielder which means that I could have 4 really good young central midfielders has I try to get the club into the Premier League.

Jordan Turnbull, Season Loan from Southampton
I am losing faith in Sharps and Holness to perform well at this level so I decided to bring in Turnbull to sure up the defence when either Diamond or Burgess is out of the squad of whatever the reason. If i get the funding next summer and we are in the Championship I might just try to sign him permanently.

Ruben Lameiras, Free Transfer
He is going to be excellent cover for Hussey and should be a good player for me in League 1 and hopefully in the Championship. A couple of improvements are needed for him to be a good player in the Championship.

Tyrone Mings,3month Loan from Ipswich Town
I just needed some short term cover for Giverin whilst I try to and sort out a 2nd formation to replace the current 4-5-1 formation if there are injuries or suspensions in certain positions.

Jamie Neal, U18 Coach

Nick Marshall, Head of Youth Development

Owen Hargreaves, U18 Coach

Ryan Prentice, Chief Scout

This could be beneficial to me next season if we are in the Championship but these affiliations end when both clubs are in the same league which means our Derby link will end in the summer if we are promoted and Derby remain in the Championship.

This preseason was about getting the players use to the formation and each other. I think the squad is ready for the Championship but the same can’t said of the club off the field.

League 1
I am delighted with the results but not happy with only 3 clean sheets in the first 10 games. It is good to see the same players that were in League 2 stepping up and showing the same form also it is good see that the new players are pushing this club forwards without disrupting things. We are currently averaging around 4000+ for every home game which is great and I hope it is around 5000 next season.

This is like League 2 last season where the teams at the top were close together while the bottom sides seemed to be adrift of the sides above them however I wasn’t expecting the bottom 2 last season to escape the relegation zone so there is hope for the bottom 2 clubs.

Crawley (Green Line) since game 6 have shot up the table to second and are putting pressure on us by being 2points behind us. Charlton (pink line) appear to have turn their season around after sliding down the table and there were rumours of them sacking their manager but i think they should stick with him now he has turned it around. Port Vale (purple line) have really struggled and their manager could be the 3rd manager this season to lose their job after David Weir mutually agreed to leave Brentford and Paul Mariner was sacked by Rotherham which is understandable since Rotherham have been bottom for a while now also not winning a single league game didn’t help.

International Player

This is McGurk’s first call up to the Northern Irish squad and it is well deserved. I am expecting him to repeat the same goal scoring form for them has he done for us. He is not the only the International in the squad because Byrne and Wade were called up to the U19’s of their respective countries which is good to see.

Johnstone’s Paint Trophy

Northern Section
Round One

Round Two

I hope to have another successful run in this competition has it could mean another trip to Wembley and the extra income.

Southern Section
Round One

Round Two

Coventry v Portsmouth is the standout match in both sections of the competition.

League Cup

Round One

Round Two

Holly Hell!! We have beaten Swansea and this is the first time in Round 3. There are a lot upsets has Premier League were fielding weaken sides against the small clubs. It is a shame that there is no prize money for making it into each round of the competition.

Round Three

World Cup 2014

There were some good sides who really struggled in the Group Stage. Germany, England and Brazil dominated their respective groups.

Belgium have really upset the locals by knocking out Brazil and making it to the Final where they lost to Spain. England had an easy path to Semi Finals but lost to the impressive Belgium side and this Belgium side should be considered the best team of the tournament despite Spain the World Cup.

The club does not have a main sponsor for the season and the club are predicted to make a loss of £1.5m at the end of the current season. I really do hope the board does find a sponsor next summer has I would be forced to sell my best players to keep afloat which would mean rebuilding another squad for zero cost, except for wages, to compete in the Championship. I have never been in this situation before on any of my FM saves and that is why I am targeting promotion to the Championship at the first attempt and looking to have a run in the cups with has many home games as possible also I want to get replays if away from home. So far the board are doing the right by not getting loans to cover the loses has this would put the club in even worse place has it is not prudent to borrow money to cover normal spending.
What a turn around after being 2-0 down after 26 minutes then to absolutely hammer them just shows the character of the whole squad. This is a rare start for Phillips and shows that he has something to offer in his final year of his contract however he has a clause of a year extension in his contract which will be triggered if he plays 15 league games.

The Board have decided to hold another Fan Day after it worked last season but this time local residents can apply for free tickets. I really hope this has a long term positive affect on the attendance figures and see the average go above 4900 which will only help ease the financial situation at the club a bit

Just under 6000 attended the game which we weren’t at our best but still got a good result. Phillips is continuing to show his quality despite having poor physical stats but he has experience to make sure he is in the right place at the right time.

I hope to see more people attend more matches and see the average to be 4500 which could mean us getting around 5500 next season which will help the finances of the club.

Wow!!! Not quite a total sell out for the club but is the highest attendance for the club. An early Christmas present with a win over one of our rivals. The 4-5-1 formation allows the players to control the midfield and provides an extra layer of defence when out of possession.

We are conceding goals on a regular basis despite my best efforts in trying to build a decent defensive unit. I need McGurk to be scoring more often and I desperately want Weir back in midfield has he is our injured for 3months and despite the youngster Byrne doing a good job at the moment but need Weir’s experience and quality.

Crawley are pushing us for top spot after being top for a few games while we had a bit of blimp. Charlton are really have turned their season around and are challenging for a place in the playoffs. Port Vale continue to struggle and slide closer to the relegation zone. Rotherham looked like they had turned it around but are now look set for relegation.

Johnstone’s Pain Trophy

Northern Section
Rotherham are taking some solace in this competition despite their league form this season. This competition is a good source of extra revenue for the club has I look to improve the situation.

Southern Section

FA Cup

The aim is to get a Premier League club away then try to force a draw and the replay at the Pirelli Stadium.

Round One

Round Two

Round Three
There are plenty of upsets waiting to happen with Leeds v Man Utd is the standout tie of the round. I am a little disappointed that we did not get a Premier League team but it gives the club a realistic chance of getting into the draw for Round Four.

The club are currently projected to make a loss of £700k which is £300k less than my previous post stated. I really need the board to make announcement in the summer that they have secured a main sponsor otherwise this is going to get very frustrating has I would have no transfer funds and a small wage budget to compete either in League One or hopefully in the Championship. I would have to sell my best either in January or in the summer after they agreed new contract extensions.
Just loaded my save for a couple of hours to do some scouting before the transfer window opened and this appeared in the inbox. A bit of a late Christmas present.
It is a good start but could have been better. I hope to see a few more 000's at the end.
League One
Zander Diamond as club captain as set the standard against Tranmere and Crawley. The extra games in the Cups along with the Christmas period has caught up with the players which saw the players struggle for form and fitness despite that we got some good results.

Crawley and us are going toe to toe to be the Champions of League One. Our little battle could see Bradford close the gap if the pressure of our battle gets to the players of both clubs. Rotherham are most certainly relegated given their current form and they should be planning for life in League Two. The relegation battle is going to be intense over the remaining 15 or 16 games with 7 teams being involved. Charlton have found their grove and are looking good for a Playoff place and could do well if they keep their form going.

Managerial Sacking
2 managers were sacked in December and their replacements appointed quickly by the clubs to allow them time to assess their squads and give them the whole month of January to make changes. I feel for Paul Jewell and Paul Mariner who do not have the time to assess their squads and make changes to them which could see them in a no win situation with having to fight a relegation battle with the same players.

FA Cup

3rd Round
We drew 1-1 in the first game at Hillsbrough which led to this replay at a packed Pirelli Stadium where we caused an upset when McGurk scored the only goal. The preseason games against Aston Villa and Derby along with this result show that we have a good chance of surviving in the Championship. I am hoping this is not the only time we get a big club at the Pirelli Stadium this season.


4th Round
We had another former Premier League club at the Pirelli Stadium has we continue our much need revenue and club history making FA Cup run. This time we only needed the one game has we got a surprise win against Reading which is continuing to show that the players in this squad can play in the Championship.

5th Round
There are plenty of games which could potentially see several upsets even though Chelsea v Man Utd is the one that will dominate the coverage.


Kevin Phillips
He is the definition of what professionalism is because he not once complained about the lack of playing time when he did play he was great and showed that he still had it at the age of 41.

Ian Sharps
The arrival of Burgess on free transfer in the summer pushed him to the bench and Turnbull on loan made Sharps 4th choice centre back. I wasn’t going to renew his and Phillips contracts at the end of the season as they are not good enough for the Championship along with their age.

New Players

Jason Gilchrist, Free Transfer
I hope he can develop into a decent striker for us in the Championship or League One. He is currently in the U20 squad but I am considering loaning him out in the summer to get regular first team.

Liam O’Neil, 3month Loan from
I needed cover has Turnbull is out injured for a month or so and I have no faith in Holness.

Daniel Johnson, Season Loan from Aston Villa
I took advantage of the club’s affiliation to Aston Villa has I needed a central midfielder due to Weir being out injured for 2-3 months and only having Byrne and Bell has cover. If I do get promoted and he is released by Aston Villa in the summer then I will sign him.

Come the summer I will need to rebuild my defence and add a few more players.

I sold Phil Edwards for £58k to has he wanted to play more often then I was playing him that was down to Cyrus Christie being the better player. His transfer fee, the £55k a year sponsorship, the money from the FA Cup rounds 3 and 4 have reduced our debt to around £20k. If we beat Bristol City or Wigan then the club becomes debt free but I have the feeling we will be in the same situation next season unless I see more people at the ground for our games. I hope The Board finds the money to make the ground an all seater and increase the capacity considering that at the moment we at 80% capacity for most games where has we were at 50% capacity last season so there is proof that we will need a bigger stadium.
New Player

Luke Mulholland, Free Transfer
He spent his entire career playing in the States and the past few years in the MLS.His ability to play at right wing and attacking central midfield means that I can change formation during the game in the attempt to gain an edge over the opposition. He would be starting most games if I did not already have Dyer, Palmer, Weir and Kearns.

I had to rotate the side for most games due top the FA Cup games and the club managed to get points in all but one game which was the 1-0 loss to Walsall. McGurk was very consistent with goals despite having a few weeks out with an injury. The overall form of the players are below the standards expected of a team that is at the top of the table despite the results.

We drew the most mistakes in the League this season which nearly cost us the League 1 title and automatic promotion to the Championship. Charlton was the most improved team has they went from 21st after 6 games to 2nd while Shrewsbury finally found some form in the last 10 games to rescue themselves from relegation. Port Vale dropped down the table like a stone to be relegated.

FA Cup
I went with a 3-5-2 due to tiredness at the fullback positions. It seems to have suited Diamond and Sharps in defence.

Our fairy tale ended in the Semi Finals against Chelsea. The prize money from the FA Cup is making sure that the club is in the black as we made £600k in prize money and £400k in TV money on this run.

Adam McGurk is too good for the club while Palmer will soon be out growing the club. I would like to see more goals from the midfield the keepers concede fewer goals if we are going to secure a 2nd season in the Championship. The central defence is getting rebuilt in the summer has Holness and Sharps are leaving the club and Diamond is not quite good enough for the Championship but I am going to keep him for his experience and leadership has the defence is going to be a young one.


New Players

Jordan Turnbull, £250k Southampton
I felt he did enough for me to break the club transfer record and spend the entire transfer budget on him. I hope he can be affective alongside Burgess and another central defender in order of reducing the number goals being conceded
Samir Carruthers, Free Transfer Aston Villa
He had a couple of months left on his contract at Aston Villa when I offered him a pre-contract. He offers something different to the midfield and can play a few different positions which means I can change the formation to suit the game. I have the feeling that he can break into the Irish National Squad if he can put a run of consistent performances for the club.

This is going to be a valuable couple of games for the players and the club. If we can perform well even if we lose both games then we might have a chance of staying up.

Stadium Move
The Pirelli Stadium is becoming an all-seater stadium with the same capacity while the work is being done at the ground we will moving the Hawthorns but it would give the club an idea of how a Premier League stadium should be.

This post has been put on the backburner while I have been doing my Seattle Sounders save on FM15. The main reason for the change is that I have been playing a couple of computer games which are just as addictive as FM. I am keeping this save alive and not deleting because I want to continue to see where I can take Burton Albion.
Championship Prediction
We are favourites to go down but if I get the right players into the squad then we might stand a chance of staying up. It is no surprise that the 3 relegated teams from the Premier League are the favourites for promotion but has recent seasons have shown that Premier League clubs that have been relegated struggled if they do no get promoted back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

New Players

Callum Ball, Season Loan from Derby
I added him to the squad just in case that either McGurk, Kee or both are sold during the summer.

Fabian Holthaus, Loan from
He is here to push Giverin while be a short term solution while I wait for a better option to be available on a free transfer or when I have funds available.

Reece Brown, Free Transfer
I do hope that him, Burgess and Turnbull can form partnerships which could see the club stay in the Championship.

I am hoping that I can keep hold of Palmer, Lyness and McGurk for at least unitl January. Also the World Cup took place during the summer and some funny results.
In addition to the annual friendlies with Derby and Aston Villa, there was an invitation to a friendly competition and a friendly against St Johnstone. To beat Nancy and Sampdoria in 24hours with the same line up bar a couple of changes. If the players can perform like this in most games then there is a good chance of us staying in the Championship.

Youth Team
The other big news for the club and it’s future is that my request to improve the level and facilities was accepted by the board at the cost of £600k. I the emergence of Wade and Pelling, who is out on loan for the season, helped sway the board in accepting my request.

This was out 5th win of the season in 11 games and our 3rd win in a row also the 2nd away win of the season. The players are very comfortable with the 4-5-1 formation with a flat 5 in midfield. We have conceded 10 goals in 11 games and scored 17 which is OK but could cause problems fi the players stop scoring while still conceding goals.

This the last game at the Hawthorns as the Pirelli Stadium should be ready on the 28th Oct. I was surprised that Christie signed for the club last season as he is better than the club. We are getting chances at the opposition’s goal but not converting them into gaols as this is down to not having a decent striker who can score goals at this level.

We were averaging around 2,400 which is probably the lowest in the Football League. the low attendances were no surprise as the fans had to pay a lot to travel to Hawthorns plus the time and distance put them off from coming despite the results the club was getting. The attendance figures was not the only thing effected by the move from Pirelli Stadium has the club is the red due to low income generated by being at the Hawthorns and the increase costs associated to the move. I am hoping that every home game is sell out which should lead to a massive increase in revenue being generate then this would help reduce the debt the club had generated due to the move to the Hawthorns.

This is the first home game at the newly improved Pirelli Stadium. The lack of a decent striker is hurting us which is going tom impact our progression in the Cups and our final league position. This game was a sell out which I hope is one of many games to see the Pirelli Stadium full. I hope this is the start of the club keeping the momentum going after coming home and I want to turn the Pirelli Stadium into a nightmare ground for visiting teams.

It is great to see the club building some form and momentum over the last 3 months at the Hawthorns which should continue now we are back home at the Pirelli Stadium. The midfield has been impressive all season so far especially Palmer after he did not get the transfer he hoped he was going to get but he is now happy to be at the club and it is shows in his form. I need McGurk to rediscover the form has he shown over the last 2 seasons which would gives us a chance of staying up and doing well in the Cups.

WTF?! We are third not 3rd from bottom. The Championship is a strange creature at times as one moment a club can be at the the bottom the have a run of a good results can put the club mid table with a slim chance of the Playoffs and vice versa. That is why I am not taking being 3rd for granted and looking to strengthen the squad in January with loan signings and extending contracts are some of the players at the club. The fight for survival and Playoffs is going to be interesting as there are some big clubs involved at both ends of the table.

League Cup Quarter Final
I hope the game against Tottenham is a sell out and it is the club’s highest revenue generating match also I hope it is on TV.

The projections for the season could see us making a big loss but still within the Financial Fair Play Rules for the Championship. I am hoping that the remaining home games plus any extra home games in the cup competitions will be enough to see the projected loss reduce.
Login to post a comment

Login Register