How-To: Make Money in Football Manager

Posted: March 28, 2013 in How-To Guides
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How-To: Make Money in Football Manager

For some people, winning is everything, at any cost. For others, like myself, running the club at a profit whilst achieving success is the aim. In this guide, I’ll be showing you the tips and tricks of how I turned Enfield Town from a club worth around £100k into a £1.35 billion valued megaclub.

Key points to remember:

The main principle is to keep costs low while maximising income. That sounds obvious, but implementing it while maintaining a winning squad can be difficult.

In the lower leagues, keeping the finances in the black is notoriously difficult, and while there I recommend that you don’t worry about the finances – do what you have to do to win promotions. Money is made in the top tiers, (increased attendances, more prize money/TV money, etc) so getting there as fast as possible is of the utmost importance for your finances. Also, I don’t recommend playing friendlies against huge clubs, as the battering you’ll likely take will harm player morale, which will be more costly to the club than losing the few thousand pounds more in the bank that the gate receipts may generate.

Spending money isn’t always bad! Youth facility upgrades should always be a priority despite the initial cost – bringing through your own players saves on transfer fees which can be much more than the costs of the facilities in the long run, and even if the player doesn’t make it, you can sell them for a profit (more on that later). Also stadium upgrades will make you money in the long term as your fanbase grows, and through upgraded corporate facilities, which will help earn bigger sponsorship deals.

Players:

When looking at players, always think about whether he represents good value for money. Is he young enough to hold a decent sell-on value? You should look for players that you can develop from good players, into players the best teams will pay top money for. Maintaining a balance between building a winning squad, and selling at the right time, whilst bringing through the next generation can make you huge money in the long term.

Transfers and contracts are where you can make the majority of your financial cutbacks if you know the right tips and tricks.

Transfers:

Buying:
If you can convince a player to like you, through player interaction, there is a chance he will request a transfer from his current club, which will in many cases make the player easier and cheaper to sign, and being on a manager’s favoured personnel may mean that he’ll not be so bullish in selling you his players for overly inflated fees – so think before you bash managers in the media!

Use clauses during player negotiations – if a player isn’t going to get many goals due to the position he plays in, throw in a £X after 50 league goals clause, while offering less for the transfer fee. The likelihood of a defender ever scoring that many goals before the peak selling age is rather low. Another useful clause is ‘Arrange Friendly’, especially when negotiating with a smaller club.

Selling:
Know when to sell! The age for receiving the best fees for players is generally around 28-29, which is when they still have enough ability to command a huge fee, but their best days are probably behind them. Sentimentality must be forgotten if you want to make money.

When selling a younger player, ALWAYS negotiate for a sell-on fee, even if it means taking a slightly less initial fee. For example, I sold a 21 year old player for £30m, with a 50% of future fee clause, which made me an additional £18.75m when he was sold on. Also, even the best managers make mistakes and may sell a player they think is going nowhere for a nominal fee, who turns out to be fantastic. Adding a sell-on fee is like an insurance against that, and may help you get a good fee in the end.

If offered the chance to ‘sell’ a clause, take a look at the players value and the likelihood of him being sold. If the player was sold to a big club, and is playing often, the chances of him being sold are lower than if he was at a small club, and it is generally a good idea to sell the clause in that situation. If he is at a small club, and it is a good percentage fee, hold out if you can. Percentage of profit clauses should be sold, as much of the time the clause will not be triggered if you received a good fee initially, and especially if his age is advancing.

Contracts:
There are a few tips and tricks here that can save you millions over the course of a players’ contract.

Always negotiate for the lowest role they’ll accept. Generally this means they’ll moan less if they’re not playing, but more importantly, can mean that they will accept lower wages and bonus payments.

Always give them the longest contract possible. This way, you won’t have to give pay rises as often!

Use the right clauses! Adding a £0 Relegation Release fee when you are a team with almost no chance of relegation is a good way of bringing demands down. Also adding a minimum release clause for the price you’d accept for the player, as well as Minimum League Goals (NOT recommended for strikers) can be used to help lower a players’ demands.

Clauses to avoid AT ALL COSTS are Yearly Wage Rises and Match Highest Earner.
Wage after league games/international caps should be negotiated out where possible.

Bonuses are a great way of lowering the base wage when used correctly. I recommend using as many as possible, at the lowest price they’ll accept. Be especially careful with appearance fees (and clean-sheet bonuses for GK) where it concerns players that are First Team or Key Player, and keep them as low as you can as they will really add up over the course of the season, though giving rotation/backup players higher appearance fees and lower wages can sometimes work out like a ‘pay as you play’ deal, though not as effective as if it was a proper option.

Bung the Agent! A bigger one off payment to the agent can save you huge amounts in the players’ wages or bonuses over the length of the contract. If the player doesn’t agree to your wage valuation of him, offer the agent more. More often than not it will work.

When signing youth intake triallists, if you change their contract from ‘youth contract’ to ‘Full Time’, you can sign them up until they are 18-19 years old for only youth contract wages (£55 in England), instead of only until they turn professional at 17. It’s a bit of an exploit, but if you feel guilty, you can offer more.

If a player asks for a pay-rise outside of contract negotiations, refuse. Tell him that he has time left on his contract, and you won’t negotiate. If he sulks, start looking for a replacement player.

Miscellaneous tips:

Manual scouting can save on both scout wages and scouting fees. Where you do have scouts, try to ensure they have knowledge of as many countries as possible.

Parent clubs are a great source of free players for a promotion push for smaller teams, as well as gaining a modest affiliation fee.

Feeder clubs should be avoided except in cases where you do actually use the link often (work permit or loan clubs) or it is a merchandising link in a foreign country.

Merchandising can make a club as much as £50m a year, and the only way to influence it is big player reputations. I DON’T suggest that you spend huge fees buying the best players as it will cost way more than you will make from it, but a high-profile player on a free transfer or for a modest fee could give you an all-important shirt sales boost.
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Using these tips and tricks has turned my club into the worlds richest club, starting from almost nothing, with a £937m profit on transfers (including all agents fees) and over £1billion transfer budget. We only spend £1.1m on wages, with a team of international superstars and wonderkids. All this was achieved with a stadium capacity of only 17,158.

It works for me, it will work for you too. Thanks for reading.

Originally posted on www.unbelievable-jeff.com

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Comments
  1. Some brilliant tips here Jay! Have helped me massively already, will bookmark this

  2. Elli says:

    Great post! I will definitely take a closer look at my finances and contract negotiations.
    Thanks.

  3. “Fire your Youth coaches and First Team coaches. They serve no purpose, as normal coaches will train both the first team as well as the youth players.”

    That’s not true. Only the fitness and GK coaches are shared between the teams. If you have U20/19 coaches then they will only be trained by their team manger, the HoYD and the 2 i’ve mentioned.

    Other than that good article though. I’m actually using some of these methods myself in a Modena save.

  4. georgerroscoe says:

    How do you manage the fact that you are selling your experienced players? (28-29) Do you buy older ones>

    • Jay says:

      I usually have a few players in their early/mid twenties that become the new batch of experienced players. It is rare that I have no-one of tutoring age available in each third of the field, whether first choice or a backup.

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