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Financial Implications in FM - Make it Happen

Hey all, thought I would write down another idea I have for Football Manager. This applies to the impact of finances on clubs. Football Mana...

Hey all, thought I would write down another idea I have for Football Manager. This applies to the impact of finances on clubs.

Football Manager seems to be built in a way where it is near impossible to bankrupt a club, or spiral them into massive amounts of debt. There's always a massive financial deal which comes in to save the day for a club - meaning that it is feasible in game to spend hundreds of millions if not billions in back-to-back windows or over the span of just a few seasons. I'm sorry but this to me is complete and utter bs - there is no way that a club should continue to operate at such a high level and be "saved" by these financial deals which could even get them out of sanctions and financial implications like FFP. FM should not be run in a way where the game corrects itself over time.

Therefore I would like to see a more realistic approach to how our decisions on buying and selling players - even the AI - can impact clubs finances both in the short and long term.

We have seen it recently with Barcelona, there leverages save them short term but cause massive cuts for the future by selling future rights for a large period of time. Juventus and Real Madrid along with other clubs have been slammed with the COVID-19 situation which has caused an increase pressure to pursue a Super League so finances can be guaranteed so they can continue to operate and cover mass losses.


In FM, we need to see the impact of financial decisions especially by us, but also the AI. This does not mean creating rogue competitions for money, but rather clubs getting impacted for making large transfer decisions (relative to the club) on a regular basis - being unable to compete in future windows. Especially if performances dwindle, it can cause huge implications and clubs may go through phases of raising funds in order to comply with regulations which can see great transfer deals for other clubs.

Get the Board Involved More: If I remember correctly, there are already hidden attributes of directors and how they perform which I believe impacts how a club is run, investments they make, and negotiating future financial deals for the clubs (sponsors). While this is good, we need to get them involved more and be realistic. If we are in control of transfers and are going to drop a large amount of money, we should be notified of the financial impact in the future.
  • The first impact which is felt to an extent is with our grading system with the Board and Fans. We should really feel the heat though, if we continue to spend copious sums of money - even if we've raised the funs through transfer sales, we should have our expectations change and more pressure on us as managers to perform. This reasoning is natural by fans, spending more money relative to the club stature = an increased expectations from fans and rivals. However, there should be greater concern and expectation from the board. If the player flops, the board could look poorly on you and your staff and trust you less with future transfer dealings, bringing in a greater dynamic between you, the fans and board. If you spend big, the risk is greater if you do not meet expectations, fail to qualify or finish above a certain point which has a financial impact in future seasons at your club.
  • Elaborate further on the club directors and who negotiates financial dealings for the club. Let's expand the backroom staff - I remember seeing hidden attributes for Director's and other backroom staff members whom we cannot touch, I would like to see that visible in FM. Some clubs are run well even if they are not successful on the pitch while other clubs are run very poorly. When at a club, I should see attributes and/or ratings of the overlords of a club and see how good they are at their job. The reason being is that I can then see what sort of financial impacts the club will or will not take when negotiations for sponsorship details occur, increasing staff wages, affiliations or even upgrading a stadium or other facilities. Some owners are reckless, others are not.
    • This brings in a new dynamic I would like to introduce. Take Leicester City as an example, they used the money earned from Harry Maguire to build their new training facility. During the process of communicating with the board and requesting upgrades or increases in transfers, let's have the possibility of a board taking under consideration the ability to raise funds for a future goal. As an example, let's say the board has a goal of developing the best facilities in your country, that costs money and while the board are willing to contribute towards it and the club's bank balance can afford a portion of it in the short term, more finances are needed. Therefore you as the manager are now financially impacted as you are unable to spend as much as you normally would, or have to sell a few players in order to raise funds over a period of time to achieve the goal of developing your facilities.
    • Another approach can be made to the above point. I've sat before at clubs with plenty of money in my transfer budget - when requesting things with the board, one of the first things that should be impacted is your transfer and wage budgets. So okay, you want to expand the stadium or relay the pitch - in order to help with the costs we're taking 60% of your transfer budget and have a much more restricted wage budget in order to finance such a deal. Then you work with the board to see if a solution is available and you take on that new challenge.

Receive Financial Reports: Okay look, this is Football Manager and not Director of Football Simulator. However, we as managers have financial impacts towards a club and are involved in the financial running of a football club. We cost money, so does our staff and the players we sign. I've already commented on the Finances screen before, but I would like to see financial reports that the club gives us and how it applies to our role as managers.
  • One avenue this can be done is pre-season friendly tournaments and building reputation. You as a manager may be forced by your club board to tour a certain part of the World in order to fulfill affiliation obligations, build and create affiliations and partnerships, and increase shirt sales while possibly developing new sponsorship deals. We may not like it, but we may be forced to play three or four matches on tour which can impact the squad for example.
  • I would like to see the impact of financial decisions at the club that the board make. This is where a sub-tab could be created under the Finances section, and there is more elaboration on the message we receive at the end of every season which shows our sponsorships and if they've moved up or down and the prize money we've earned. Maybe there is a minimum expectation of money to be earned by competitions, which can add pressure on us to compete at a certain level. We can receive reports that the board are currently under negotiations for a new sponsorship deal and learn how it will affect us; maybe we get a small transfer or wage budget boost, are possibly able to afford an upgrade somewhere or new staff, or maybe there are new expectations to sign certain players or develop affiliations in a new part of the world. Likewise it could work the other way, where if a club is performing at an equal or lesser standing then when the previous negotiations took place there is an impact on losing money and the board notifies us of such an impact.
  • Having an analytical breakdown of finances compared to other clubs of similar standing or within a competition I believe would be a good thing. We already see bits and parts of this spread throughout FM via club details, top transfer spenders news articles, wage bill in club details and so on. This to me should all be centralized in one area under finances, how we compare - even out sponsorship deals - with other clubs in the league, a competition, by reputation or heck even globally. From there we can get a grading report by the board and see what their goals are. Are they underperforming in sponsorship deals or are they at a good spot and are satisfied with our finances? Do we have too big a wage bill compared to the level we are competing at and the board suggests we should be in a certain bracket instead?

Be Punished for Financial Mismanagement: This is it for me, the big one. I'm sorry, stop trying to fix the game by giving clubs ludicrous sponsorship deals, taking out massive loans or wealthy consortiums randomly taking over and investing huge sums of money into a club so they stay afloat. The real world does not work that way, if you financially screw yourselves - you can be feeling that impact for YEARS. Even to the point of being kicked out of leagues, falling into administration and so on.
  • The first point to make is, let's feel the impact as managers. Even if you are successful and win trophies, you should still get sacked or in a lot of trouble if you are financially decimating a club. The board would most likely take over some of your responsibilities, lock you out of making several decisions and start selling players, releasing staff and re-negotiating contracts in order to become more financially stable. You will also probably get sacked regardless. So let's actually see this!
  • Make panic and financial regulations actually applicable in FM. I guarantee that if you are about to breach FFP or some other financial governance, the board will come to your rescue in FM. This is not always the case! Money doesn't suddenly come from owners and injected into the club - at least not always. So let's elaborate on what circumstances we should see when issues like this arise;
    • Emergency Bank Loans - This is huge. A club and their owners may suddenly take out a loan which can impact future income as the loan will have to be paid back.
    • Negotiating Contracts - As we've seen in the past and recently with Barcelona lately, the board will start negotiating pay-cuts with players and/or deferring payments which means you'll pay them the cut wage at a later date over a period of time. This can go either good or bad which leads onto the next point.
    • Selling Players - Again another and more common avenue as this is one of the best ways to raise a large amount of funds quickly - it's to sell players. Many clubs have done this where in order to comply with FFP and other financial laws they've had to sell players AND ALL WITHIN A DEADLINE.
  • Get kicked out of competitions, banned and points deductions. Seriously, this still occurs! It's actually a lot more frequent then one might imagine where clubs who fail to meet financial standards or break the laws get punished. It's not uncommon to see clubs negotiate deals with regulatory bodies in order to comply with financial regulation and/or get banned for a period of time from competitions for failing to comply with financial laws. This happened lately to Panathinaikos for example.
    • As managers we need to feel these restrictions. The board could have negotiated with representatives from UEFA or FIFA for example and we are on a tight three year budget in order to comply with financial standards. Or we could possibly banned from European competitions for a period of time! It happens! So in FM let's see it happen!
  • Another point to consider is that financial mismanagement can be seen as a negative manager trait, and can be used as a reason why clubs and associations would not consider giving us an interview.

Administration & Liquidation: Look, this is the sad part of football, no club should go under - but unfortunately it is very common and we see that plenty of clubs up and down pyramids across the globe enter administration or liquidate and a Phoenix club is formed.
  • Getting Kicked out of Leagues: This may not specifically apply to us, but it is possible with the AI - clubs may be unable to pay wages and other things, defaulting on debts and because of this inability to comply - will be kicked out of the league by the Association and sent down to the lower divisions. THIS SHOULD HAPPEN IN FM. It happens more often then it should, and while clubs shouldn't be dropping like stones - the threat of such a circumstance should be felt for clubs who are poor and financially mismanaged.
    • Liquidation: I do not believe legally that you can liquidate a club. If you are able to then this is a possibility that we could see happen in FM (just look at Italy). If not there still is an avenue to explore which is the possibility of when such dire circumstances occur and are kicked down to the lower leagues, a club could be gutted and essentially "liquidated" starting afresh.
  • Administration: I only ever see this in FM at the start of a save when real life punishments (points deductions) are applied in game but then are gone after the end of the season. Maybe it's just me, but I've never seen a club go into Administration. Again this is more common then one might think and the threat of it should be more profound. Also, we should see this happen!

I understand that delving into the financial side of things can possibly breach on legal issues. However what is a guarantee for me is that there needs to be a way to actually feel the impact of financial mismanagement in Football Manager. The game should never be simulated in a way where it "fixes" itself over time and clubs are able to continue to function with unrealistic scenarios.

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FM Addict: Financial Implications in FM - Make it Happen
Financial Implications in FM - Make it Happen
FM Addict
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