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Club Finances and my Board - Why Is It Down To Me To Be The Adult In The Room?


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I really would like some clarification from someone exactly what the implications of running your club near or into the red actually are, and what the Board does to stop you running your club into the ground. And here is why.

I began my save as Arsenal who has about 120 million quid as a balance. In two seasons I have spent 65 million quid bringing players in and generated 25 million quid by shipping players out. I don't think a net spend of 20 million per season for a club like Arsenal is unreasonable. In that time My wage bill has increased from 1.5m p/w to 1.65m p/w. I have taken the trouble to set up a commercial like with a US club to generate a little more.

My overall balance has steadily deteriorated but the only one at the club who seems to care about this is me. My Board kept giving me monthly reports saying "the club is in a very healthy financial position." They were so pleased with the clubs finances that they gave me a transfer budget windfall of 25 million quid in the middle of season two. Until we got to 25 million balance, at which point the board said "The club's finances are set to deteriorate in the coming months." By the time I hit the end of the second season I am essentially at 0 pounds balance. I then receive a combined 63 million quid from prize money and TV revenue for the season. My Board then offer me a MINIMUM transfer budget of 41 million quid for the upcoming season.

Surely it is not up to me to start imposing responsible financial limitations on the club? That MUST be a function of the board, surely? If I spend this money then we will be broke by October. If I don't spend money in the transfer market then both the fans and the board get on my back.

What exactly is going on here??

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I've noticed this myself. As manager we are basically in total control of finances and have to exercise a lot of restraint to keep the club in the black. It's daft.

The board should look after finances properly, and allocate funds for wages and transfers based on projected income/balance rather than current balance.

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So has anyone run their club well into the red? How long and how far can you go? And what happens? Administration? Points deductions?

I went breifly into the red. Hitting the red in April. The board said finances where great. Obviously i was only a few hundred thousand in the red and hand CL tv money, league prize money and league tv money all to arrive within the next 5 months. They offered me the lot to spend.

Unlike many though, if im offered it i spend it. If the club suffers, I invested it all on young talent, which according to their scouts will become some of the best players in the world. Meaning we should be able to sell and rebuild if any financial problems hit.

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I self manage my finances for this exact reason. Board offers 800k wages, i spend 500k. Board offer 40mil transfer, i spend next to nothing unless ineed a player. Small squad, small wages, lowest wage I can take, push for the top to get all the prize money I can. And thanks to this I took my bank balance from £0 ish in September up to £50mil end of season, then the board took a chunk for the stadium expansion and training facilties...annoying.

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Agreed, I don't like it. Last season at Parma I had a balance of £6m but was given £11m transfer funds. I edited the budget to move this all to wages to give me a 'better control of wages', but it's not right. Surely a more realistic kitty would have been around £3m.

I try not to spend any money they give me because I know if we go in the red it's my fault. But in reality a manager only says "I want player x" and the board take care of the rest. Sir Alex never handles contract negotiations or player purchases, so why would he be responsible if United go into the red?

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I learn the prize money for my league and work out roughly what I can spend if I'm going to achieve my target and what I could stand to take a hit on if I'm going to try and push on to the next level.

There is a risk element involved, on my save with Stoke I've been hitting the 6th - 10th marks for 3/4 seasons in a row so I've been treading water, keeping the club marginally profitable to fund things like training ground improvements, stadium expansions etc. It involves spending about 8-10m a season on transfers and up to 750k a week on wages.

If I could push on to become a top 4 side I would see the club get an extra 3/4m in prize money and the following season revenues would be swelled significantly. If I could get through the group stages of the champions league then I'm looking at an extra £20m+ next season.

Going over budget this season could be helpful in getting that additional revenue into the club. Last season I actually tried it, spent not enormous but to the point that I made a loss. Four games from the nd of the season I fell away, this season I've got to try and make it with less backing, otherwise I'll have to sell a player or two to fund the losses.

The game doesn't shackle your ambition when perhaps with some chairmen it should, it provides room to move upwards rather than maintain - which is what a lot of clubs do.

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The game doesn't shackle your ambition when perhaps with some chairmen it should, it provides room to move upwards rather than maintain - which is what a lot of clubs do.

I'd like to see a "Realistic chairman" option when starting a new game that, at the extreme end of the scale had chairmen/owners who actually extracted money from the club. Would make a good, realistic challenge and help to give clubs different personalities.

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I am lower league club and started out with a balance of about 10k in first season. Its the start of season 3 now and i am -63k and all i did was stretch the wage budgets slightly in the second season. I sold a player for 20k at the very start which is obviously alot for my team and the board started by saying the club recorded a small loss every month but saying that the club is financially secure and is expected to improve in the coming months. It said this for about 4 months before it started saying it is expected to deteriorate without me changing anything.

Basically I think the projections are all screwed up and dont mean anything. The finances have been a little harder to maintain in this version imo

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So has anyone run their club well into the red? How long and how far can you go? And what happens? Administration? Points deductions?

I did with Leamington Spa in the Blue Square North

I was nearly £1m in debt and was put into adminstration and deducted 10 points. The club took a Company Voluntary Agreement

I have twice since nearly gone into Admin, but luckily had a cash injection, once a director loan and once a bank loan

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I did with Leamington Spa in the Blue Square North

I was nearly £1m in debt and was put into adminstration and deducted 10 points. The club took a Company Voluntary Agreement

I have twice since nearly gone into Admin, but luckily had a cash injection, once a director loan and once a bank loan

Hmmm, kind of good news and kind of bad news. Good news is that I thought it was totally impossible for a human-managed club to go into administration. Bad news in that it is still the case that the directors are able to just loan you out of trouble. My problem with that being that the loans put you further in debt, then you get loaned more etc, without ever getting in trouble. Hopefully the fact you went into administration would mean it could happen again.

What were the effects of going into administration? Did you get a signing ban? Was your wage budget drastically reduced? Were any offers for your players automatically accepted?

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I'd like to see a "Realistic chairman" option when starting a new game that, at the extreme end of the scale had chairmen/owners who actually extracted money from the club. Would make a good, realistic challenge and help to give clubs different personalities.

This happens to some extent- sometimes if you make a profit all or part of it gets "paid out" as dividends to shareholder, even if you have only a chairman and no board.

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Hmmm, kind of good news and kind of bad news. Good news is that I thought it was totally impossible for a human-managed club to go into administration. Bad news in that it is still the case that the directors are able to just loan you out of trouble. My problem with that being that the loans put you further in debt, then you get loaned more etc, without ever getting in trouble. Hopefully the fact you went into administration would mean it could happen again.

What were the effects of going into administration? Did you get a signing ban? Was your wage budget drastically reduced? Were any offers for your players automatically accepted?

Yes I had a ban sigining any players, went on for months until I was out of Administration. Nothing happened to the wage budget. I didn't have any bids for players at the time so can't answer that.

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I remember when I was messing about with FMRTE on FM12, I didn't have a club, and was trying to bankrupt some of the big clubs to see if and when they would recover. Man Utd kept on getting Loans, voluntary agreements, I had to keep putting them 200m in the red about 5 times before they even went into administration. After the loans initially they were still spending money.

(For the record, they got relegated eventually after having to sell their best players, had no money, but came back up straight away with basically a youth team....which I had the sickening feeling would turn out to be a new team of wonder kids.)

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I have found boards act in different ways. Some will just happily give you more to spend and not seem to care but I have the opposite problem...

I reached the Championship with Chester and I agreed to avoid relegation with a transfer budget of 100k and wage budget of 69k per week. I had no problem with this as we are a small club and don't want to be saddled with financial problems if we were to go straight back down. So I had to search here, there and everywhere for some players on frees who would come without wanting more than 3k per week and would be good enough to hack it. January arrives, we are 6th in the league table and made 2m so far this season giving us 2.4m in the bank. We are making around 200k a month during the season which is fantastic. I was ready to be asked about changing the season expectations as we were far exceeding the original one's but no not a thing. So I ask for more transfer budget and I got refused because they say 100k is enough! I mean really? 250k could get me 3 good players and a possible tilt at promotion but now I will be happy to sign 1 new face. I honestly don't think I am being greedy but my board obviously have no ambition.

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With Evian TG's balance moving towards the £0 line, my board agreed in minutes to build a new stadium and took out a £32m loan to pay for it, despite knocking back all my requests for slightly improved facilities before it (and indeed knocking back my stadium request initially before agreeing to it moments later!).

Few months later and the club is well into the red thanks to £200k loan repayments, and they're warning me I may need to sell players in the near future. Yeah, I shouldn't have made the new stadium request, but the board, whilst refusing me feeder clubs and other such things, agreed to it despite the club not having the income to back it up...

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I would still like a straight up yes or no answer from someone at SI - do the Board actually know what they are doing when assigning me budgets, or will they run the club into bankruptcy if I don't act to stop them? Is it on me, the Manager, to manage the club's finances as a whole as opposed to just trying to make the best investment on the pitch with what I'm given, yes or no?

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I spent three years at Arsenal dipping into the red for 2-3 months of the year, until the team was "complete" and I was able to reverse the transfer net spends to transfer net gains. However that spending did bring success to the club, which has made it far easier to make a profit now. It also brought in saleable assets. I've made a loss on one marquee signing that I've allowed to move on, but I got what I needed out of him, and his age and contract demands meant he simply had to go. Other than that though, I should break even or make a profit on all the players I brought in over my first few years just as soon as the kids I've now brought in and trained up to replace them are ready for the first team.

My transfer activity (using the transfer history page, not my manager profile which ignores money still to be paid out in future monthly fees) was a £75.5 mil loss season one, a crushing £164 million loss season two, a £5.25 mil loss season three (the turning point, and me hitting my absolute low, around -£20mil at one point just before prizes were paid out), a £97.5 mil profit, and a £112.25 mil profit. This last year might be a bigger profit if I make any significant sales over Christmas. I'm around £35million away from actually hitting a net spend of £0. I might be able to pretty much achieve that with just one already planned sale, as I brought Carlos Vela back to the club for around £2 million this summer despite a value of around £15mil, because I had a 40% of next transfer and a £3.5mil agreed buyback clause on him. He's currently only valued at £8.75 mil (probably artificially low due to the cheap transfer), but a good season could see him move on for around £25-£30mil this summer.

I have £182 million in the bank, a projected balance of £200 million, and an amazing wage total of only £1.2 million a week (most of my youth players are out on loan or it might be closer to £1.5 I admit!) despite having two separate starting elevens, both good enough to challenge for the title at worst, but probably win the league. My wage total did peak at around £2 million before I started selling off established stars and blooding youth. We also have an average team age of 23.3 (the lowest in the league - Only 22 according to club facts though) average wage of only £46.5k a week, and the league's highest average player value at £12.25mil.

So sometimes letting your hair down and going with that freedom they offer you is worth it. There's always a way to turn it around, and I guess the freedom they give you illustrates how far they trust you with the longer term finances. Arsenal won't go bankrupt over being £20-£30 mil in debt for 2-3 months of the year, when their bank balance they jumps up to £80 mil once everything is paid in.

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I am having this problem myself.

I am manager of Tonbridge and after 3 successful back to back promotions I am in Division 1,we finished third last season and we lost in the play-offs,at 1 point last season we were 700k in the red,quite a bit for a small team like mine,the only thing that saved us last season was an FA cup tie away to Chelsea,that 1 game cleared the debt and I was pretty chuffed.

We had a wage budget of 24k last season and I stayed a bit under that and we were losing money each month.

This season they have given me a wage budget of 35k just to secure a mid table position,nothing has changed at the team,there are no new sponsors or a larger stadium capacity.

We were losing money left right and centre last season and they think it is a good idea to up the wage bill?

We just kicked off the season and are already 500k in debt,I am quite a bit below the wage budget and I am already begging for a glamour cup tie to pull us out of the red which are being projected at 1.5 million for the season.

Last season I also sold 4 players that were back up players to try and balance the books,this is now my 5th season and in that time I have bought 1 player for 30k,that is it.

I seem to be the only 1 interested in the club not going into crazy debt.

Oh and we just drew Liverpool in the Cup ...unfortunately we are at home so no big money spinner there :p

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I've had this problem, I'm playing as Juventus.

At the start of the season I have around 100 million as the balance and the board give me 60 million transfer budget.

If I spent that my wage budget would sky rocket and the balance would be in the red. I once got into around 60 million debt and I was nearly sacked but come the end of the season the club get loads of sponsorship money and they act like nothing's happened, then the cycle repeats itself...

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