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Thanks @KEZ_7 - beating Spurs after extra time and penalties was fantastic, and fully deserved. We gave them a battle and came out on top! Thanks for following.

November 2017

Hull City 1 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Patrick Bamford, Aleix Febas, Charlie Mulgrew

Sunderland 3 - 1 Huddersfield Town
Scorers: Charlie Mulgrew, Sam Gallagher, Wahbi Khazri

Sunderland 2 - 0 Cardiff City
Scorers: Sam Gallagher, Carlos Castro

Scunthorpe United 1 - 2 Sunderland
Scorers: Imoh Ezekiel, Didier Ndong

Sunderland 1 - 2 Chelsea
Scorers: Charlie Mulgrew
December 2017

Sunderland 1 - 0 Birmingham City
Scorers: Carles Alena

Preston North End 3 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Andreas Pereira, Ruben Gabrielsen, Carlos Castro

Sunderland 0 - 0 Fulham

Sunderland 4 - 1 MK Dones
Scorers: Tammy Abraham (2), Aleix Febas, Todd Kane

Sunderland 3 - 2 Sheffield United
Scorers: Tammy Abraham (2), Charlie Mulgrew

Bolton Wanderers 0 - 2 Sunderland
Scorers: Andreas Pereira (2)

Swansea City 1 - 0 Sunderland
Scorers: None
January 2018 Transfers

Transfers In

We brought 11 players in during January, spending a whopping £4.6m! Four loans in the shape of Aron Gunnarsson (Sampdoria), Fran Merida (Swansea City), Chris Wood (Burnley) and Marcus Edwards (Tottenham). All four will provide cover and competition for the current first team.

In terms of players purchased, we spent £2m on Joes Maria Amo from Valencia. A young centre back who has a good future, and hopefully we can develop him to prove that Valencia were foolish to have sold him. Gaetan Bong arrived from Aston Villa for £525k to provide cover for James at left back, and we added Callum Hall from Crewe Alexandra for £200k. He's a tall target man, and I'll be looking for him to impose himself in our reserves this season.

Toni Gomes arrived from Liverpool for £500k, and the target man is another who I hope to see breaking into the first team fairly soon. We got him cheap, with Liverpool retaining 20% of future sales profit. Freestyler Hachim Mastour signed from AC Milan for 450k, and I would love to see how he actually improves as a footballer after his career stalled in Italy.

Finally, two incoming from PSG are Lorenzo Callegari and Odsonne Edouard for a combined 950k. Both youngsters will be in and around the first team this season, and the minimal outlay should provide us less pressure to develop them.

Transfers Out

Further wage bill reductions were seen with the departures of Wahbi Khazri (Stade Rennais for £12m) and Papy Djilobodji (Torino for £9.5m). Neither player was happy, and as I like to rotate them both they wanted first team football and were granted their wish to leave.

Ezequiel Ponce and Patrick Bamford also left the club in January, with neither really settling into the side. Ponce moves to Sheffield United for £2.7m and Bamford goes to Birmingham City on loan.

Conor Hourihane was another player who hasn't justified his wage, and he moves to Hull City for £5m. Jacques Maghoma was the final departure, moving to Nottingham Forest for 250k.

Total Spent: £4.7m
Total Sold: £29.5m

Profit: £24.8m

January 2018

Brentford 2 - 4 Sunderland
Scorers: Andreas Pereira, Tom Davies (2), Conor Hourihane

Sunderland 2 - 0 Newport County
Scorers: Own goal (2)

Sunderland 4 - 2 Millwall
Scorers: Andreas Pereira, Aleix Febas, Ruben Gabrielsen, Tom Davies

Sunderland 2 - 1 Leeds United
Scorers: Alex Wilkinson, Aleix Febas

Sunderland 4 - 2 West Bromwich Albion
Scorers: Imoh Ezekiel (2), Aleix Febas, Didier Ndong

Reading 1 - 1 Sunderland
Scorers: Andreas Pereira
Finances - February 2018

Overall Balance: £99,927,480

When I started the save, the overall balance was just below £60m. This has now increased to just shy of £100m through player sales, parachute payments and budget constraints applied by myself.

Wage Budget: £664,381 p/w
Current Spend: £437,780 p/w

Our wage budget has increased slightly since the start of the save, but I have reduced the current spend from £599,870 at the start of the save to £437,780 at the end of the January transfer window. At the beginning, we were spending 93% of our wage budget, and I am now utilising only 66%, a drop of £162,090 per week. This is really pleasing as it was the main objective of the save, and to have done so much already is brilliant!

Our biggest expenditure is loan repayments, which amounts to roughly £620k per month, which I have covered by the reduction in wages alone. Our financial status is now "Rich", which based on Sunderland in real life is a feat in itself.
February 2018

Sunderland 3 - 0 Hull City
Scorers: Sam Gallagher (2), Carles Alena

Sunderland 1 - 0 Derby County
Scorers: Didier Ndong

Aston Villa 1 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Tammy Abraham (3)

Bristol Rovers 1 - 2 Sunderland
Scorers: Didier Ndong, Odsonne Edouard

Bristol City 2- 4 Sunderland
Scorers: Charlie Mulgrew, Aleix Febas, Didier Ndong, Tammy Abraham

Sunderland 1 - 0 Middlesbrough
Scorers: Didier Ndong
March 2018

Sunderland 5 - 1 Sheffield Wednesday
Scorers: Charlie Mulgrew, Andreas Pereira (2), Aleix Febas, Tammy Abraham

Blackburn Rovers 0 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Carles Alena, Carlos Castro, Own Goal

Sunderland 3 - 1 Southampton
Scorers: Charlie Mulgrew, Tammy Abraham, Ruben Gabrielsen

Crystal Palace 2 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Marcus Edwards, Chris Wood, Carlos Castro

Sunderland 2 - 2 Queens Park Rangers
Scorers: Marcus Edwards, Todd Kane

April 2018

Cardiff City 3 - 2 Sunderland
Scorers: Sam Gallagher, Tammy Abraham

Huddersfield Town 3 - 3 Sunderland
Scorers: Own Goal, Sam Gallagher, Tammy Abraham

Sunderland 3 - 0 Scunthorpe United
Scorers: Aron Gunnarsson, Sam Gallagher, Andreas Pereira

Birmingham City 1 - 4 Sunderland
Scorers: Sam Gallagher (2), Andreas Pereira, Aron Gunnarsson

Sunderland 2 - 1 Arsenal
Scorers: Andreas Pereira, Sam Gallagher

Fulham 0 - 0 Sunderland
Scorers: None

Sounds like you've done wonders with those finances mate controlling those wages massively and a great bank balance being built. The key will be when you win promotion, how you control it then having to recruit but we'll see.

Superb cup run you're on, be nice to let us know what round it is each time you play in the cup and maybe see the league table
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Southampton and Arsenal
On fire!!!
@Dan - good shout on including the round for the cup games, will do that from now on! Financially, we've had a fantastic season, and hopefully on the pitch we can complete a very successful season. The reason I haven't posted a league table is due to IMGUR being blocked at work (where I do most of my posts) so I can't access any screenshots lol - thanks for continuing to follow.

@KEZ_7 - we've played some decent teams in the cup runs, although Southampton certainly aren't one of them lol beating Arsenal in the semi final was simply fantastic, and I got some funny looks from my wife when I celebrated the goals and the eventual win! Thanks for following.

May 2018

Sunderland 5 - 0 Preston North End
Scorers: Andreas Pereira, Tammy Abraham (2), Sam Gallagher, Carles Alena

FINAL: Manchester City 2 - 1 Sunderland
Scorers: Tammy Abraham

So the season comes to an end, and we are promoted as Champions! We also had a fantastic run in the League Cup, as well as reaching the FA Cup Final, before being beaten by Manchester City. City finished fifth in the Premier League, and sacked Pep Guardiola... and have offered me an interview!

So do I continue with Sunderland, or make the jump to the Etihad? I really don't know what to do.

Financially, Sunderland will start life in the Premier League with a transfer budget of £43.4m and a wage budget of £997k per week. Manchester City on the other hand have a transfer budget of £155m and wage budget of £4.2m per week!

Do I switch teams and try to take the financial constraint project to the Etihad, or do I persist with Sunderland and see if we can compete at the top table without breaking the bank? Answers on a postcard...
Unlucky in the FA Cup Final mate, absolutely gutting but a close game.

As for the job dilemma, I'd say stay it out at Sunderland, your cup run has already proved the squad you've got are capable of competing with the Prem boys and with the financial work you've done over the last two seasons it'd be a shame to see it wasted so early on.
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Stay at Sunderland.

You're onto one of those FM saves that you'll look back on in years and be like ''damn that was awesome''.

Congrats on promotion
June 2018

Transfer activity began early on for us, as we looked to bolster the squad for our return to the Premier League. A number of the squad have been asking for pay rises since we were promoted, but I don't believe they are worth what they're demanding, and it led me to dip into the transfer market more than I intended to.

With a wage budget of £1.2m per week, I was aiming to keep the wage spend down below £900k (75% of the budget) but still ensure we got the right calibre of players in. This would leave us with the following breakdown as we start the season:

Key Players (4) - £67.5k p/w each
First Team (7) - £38.5k p/w each
Squad players (12) - £22.5k p/w each

The first deal we got over the line was actually one I wasn't expecting to do, but when I saw him available we had to move. Predrag Rajkovic arrived from Maccabi Tel-Aviv for £6.5m, and will be our number one goalkeeper this year. Ortola and Sayoub are both decent players, but Rajkovic is a massive talent and delighted to bring him in. He is only earning £30k per week, so is well under the salary cap for a first teamer, let alone first choice goalkeeper!

Elleyes Skhiri arrived from Manchester City for £8.5m, and is a young versatile midfielder. I like to have a ball winning midfielder, and a deep lying playmaker in my side, and he is adept at both. Only a young player, but looks a solid talent already and should compete for a first team place. Skhiri is on £30k per week, which is above budget, but the anticipation that he will become a first team player justifies this.

Jason Cummings signs from Nottingham Forest for £4.5m, and is a young forward with the role of poacher. He is on £19k per week, so just below the threshold for a backup player, but he will be slowly introduced into the first team. Our biggest signing in June was Davy Propper for £13.25m from Brighton, who were relegated. He will fill the void left by Andreas Pereira leaving, but will cost us £50k per week. He will be pivotal to our side, and I am delighted we added him.

The final two signings in June were defenders, with Shane Duffy also arriving from Brighton for £9.25m, and Charlie Taylor from Burnley for £6.5m. I wasn't convinced we had the right calibre of player at left back, and Taylor will provide us with a fantastic outlet. Duffy is paid £45k per week, with Taylor on £22k. Both will be first team players and they will be a good fit.

The only departure in June was Carlos Castro, who moves to Swansea City for £8.75m. With the additions we have planned, he wasn't going to get first team football, and also demanded a pay rise with promotion. He was decent, but I think the players who will come in will cover for any loss.
Unlucky in the FA Cup Final mate, absolutely gutting but a close game.

As for the job dilemma, I'd say stay it out at Sunderland, your cup run has already proved the squad you've got are capable of competing with the Prem boys and with the financial work you've done over the last two seasons it'd be a shame to see it wasted so early on.

Was devastated to lose so narrowly, I honestly thought we would get battered by City but we had such a good run I think it was fitting that we played a big part of the final. Finances are looking strong since promotion, and I will stay at Sunderland. Thanks for following this still @Dan

Stay at Sunderland.

You're onto one of those FM saves that you'll look back on in years and be like ''damn that was awesome''.

Congrats on promotion

Hopefully it will become one of those saves, and if we can do something in the Premier League, it would be a huge achievement. Thank you for your comments and continuing to follow @K3VO
July 2018

So July really swung into action with some big transfers coming in... but I'll do the exits first; Imoh Ezekiel departs the club for £16.5m, moving to Turkey with Fenerbahce. He wasn't consistent enough in the Championship, so the step up was too much for me and I cut him loose. He was quickly followed by Leo Bonatini who I had signed on a free transfer, but then was repeatedly turned down for a work permit. Due to this, I decided to cut my losses and he moved to Nancy for £4.5m.

Charlie Mulgrew returned to Aberdeen for £350k, and despite being one of our key players last season, was too far down the pecking order and starting to decline. The fee is negligible, but happy for him to move on for a first team spot north of the border. Patrick Bamford made his loan move to Birmingham City permanent for £3m, and Matthew Pennington went to Leeds for the same fee. Neither have made an impact at the club, and I was happy to cash in on them.

Lynden Gooch moves to Aston Villa for £7.5m after failing to break into the first team, and with the other arrivals, he just would have fallen away. A decent cash sum, but I think he has gotten to the end of his development. Reece James completes a £5.25m move to Ipswich Town, which was mainly due to my capture of Charlie Taylor.

Youngsters Matthew Willock and Jordan Marshall leave the club for nominal fees to Northampton and Coventry respectively, whilst Todd Kane moves to Blackburn for £7.5m. Our final piece of cash business was the departure of Didier Ndong to Ajax for £17m - a transfer fee I couldn't turn down.

Departing on a free transfer were Karlo Bartolec, George Honeyman, Connor Ogilvie, Corie Andrews, Owain Jones, Michael Donohue, Gaeten Bong and Darren Burton.
July 2018

Now the fun part, the signings! First through the door was Jordan Ferri who arrives from Lyon for £6.5m. Ferri is on £28k a week, and falls into the backup category. He has the ability to push for a first team place, but with other incomings, he has already dropped down the pecking order.

Kasper Dolberg was a massive signing for us, and until very late on in the window, was the biggest transfer fee I paid. The striker joins from Ajax for £11.5m and £49.5k per week, and should be one of our main strikers this season. I have high expectations of him, and I hope he repays the faith.

Next up was a triple signing from Chelsea! Ola Aina, a versatile defender, arrives for £2.2m on £18k per week. He will cover at either full back, and is a capable centre back if needed. Next up was my favourite signing of the window, as Ross Barkley signs for £8.5m, which is a massive bargain, but will cost us £70k per week! He will be vital in our midfield, and I can only see good things in his future at the club. Finally from Stamford Bridge arrives Tiemoue Bakayoko, for whom we paid £9.75m, and will pay £45.5k per week. Chelsea are also paying him £35k per week, so I am dreading renewing his contract! However, the addition of those two midfielders will be amazing for us this season.

Finally, cash wise at least, Jairo Riedewald arrives from Crystal Palace for £15m. He is only on £38k per week, and I am really pleased that we have secured his signature. He's still young and will progress into a strong player here!

On the free transfer market, we signed another Chelsea player, with Lewis Baker arriving. Earning £20k a week, Baker will be a backup, but I hope to give him plenty of opportunities to play. Matthew Targett arrives from Southampton to provide backup to Charlie Taylor, again on £20k per week. Delighted with both, and hopefully they continue to develop at Sunderland.

Finally, Divock Origi completes his free transfer from Liverpool, and will pick up £55k per week. He will compete directly with Kasper Dolberg to start as the poacher in our line up, and should give us a number of good goalscorers in the mix.

Alexander Isak joins us on loan from Dortmund for the season, and will compete with Sam Gallagher as target man. Carles Alena begins his third successive loan stint with us, although Barcelona are really stubborn about selling him. David Carmona arrives on loan from Sevilla to cover as full back, with the potential permanent move should we agree terms.

All in all, a good transfer window in my opinion! Appreciate your thoughts, and any comments.
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