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[FM19] Dnipro has been saved: Now what? Sicily!


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The general gist of how this save starts can be summed up in my post in the FCMU general discussion forum



I've decided to start a new FMCU game starting at Dnipro in the Ukrainian 4th tier (non-league). I liked the idea of starting a game by reviving a fallen giant (Dnipro are traditionally the 3rd biggest club in Ukraine, won the Soviet league twice in the 1980s and got to the EL final a few years ago). Dnipro was relegated to the 4th tier by default due to financial issues and have a mid table 3rd tier squad in the 4th tier (big drop in quality between us and 2nd in the league) so after half a dozen league games I've yet to win a game by less than 3 goals as the quality is so poor compared with the squad I have. It's getting a bit boring already (hence the need for instant result), but I expect it to get a lot more difficult  when we get promoted (in the first round of the Ukranian cup we were beaten on penalties at home by a 3rd tier side) but at the moment it's a foregone conclusion we'll get the top slot and into the playoffs. Interestingly Dnipro have the 3rd best training/youth training/youth recruitment facilities set up in the country. I expect quite a few of this seasons regens will go straight into the first team, but we are losing 20k a month maintaining these facilities which would see us go bust before the new year so downgrading might be needed. I'll post the full thread with screenshots once I get past the Winter Break. 

Dnipro was quite a big team in the U.S.S.R and then Ukraine from the 1980s-2010s


You probably know them best as runners-up to the 2015 Europa League. Dnipro scraped out of group F in 2nd place to Inter Milan, only pipping Qarabag by 1 point. They then had an amazing run to the final beating Olympiacos, Ajax, Club Brugge, Napoli before meeting Sevilla in Warsaw.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyYXRoLzcqo (UEFA won't let me embed the video, but that's the highlights of the final)

Alas, it wasn't to be and worse was to come.





On 14 May 2015, Dnipro qualified for the 2015 UEFA Europa League Final by defeating Napoli 1–0 in Ukraine after having drawn 1–1 in Italy, the first time in the club's history that it reached the final in a European competition.[3] Despite going up 1–0 in the sixth minute against Spanish side Sevilla, Dnipro eventually lost 3–2.[4] Despite the defeat, the match crowned one of the club's greatest seasons, during which Dnipro had to play all of their home matches some 400 kilometres away in Kiev due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.[5] On 31 March 2016, the club was excluded by UEFA from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three seasons (2016–17, 2017–18 and 2018–19) for violating the Financial Fair Play regulations.[6]

In late June 2016, there were rumours that club owner Ihor Kolomoyskyi had stopped funding the club.[7] Kolomoyskyi immediately denied this but did state, "The club will not exist in the same form as before;" and that it was "not normal to spend crazy amounts of money" to keep the current squad intact.[7]

The 2016–17 season was disastrous for Dnipro. Due to outstanding debts owed to coach Juande Ramos and his staff, the FFU prevented Dnipro from signing new players other than free agents. On 26 October 2016, Dnipro was assessed a penalty of 6 points for the same reason. In April 2017, 3 additional points were deducted. At the conclusion of the 2016–2017 season, Dnipro were relegated directly to the Ukrainian Second League (third level) for the first time in club history.

In the 2017–18 season the club with a new squad started well in the Group B of the Second League, for 13 matches in row going on high positions (second-fourth places). But the points have been deducted once more with their number reaching up to 18 until the end of the season, which resulted in club finishing on 8th place.

On 7 June 2018 FIFA decided to once more relegate the club into Amateur Championship. However, it is not known whether the club will participate there, as the period of registration ends on 20 June 2018.


In real life, it's not going well


And the way things are going the club will go bust sooner rather than later. Dnipro going under would be like Sporting CP, Feyenoord, Standard Liege, Galatasaray going under in their countries. Suddenly the 3rd biggest club in the country with a massive fanbase goes into freefall.


My aims in the virtual world are to make something more of Dnipro. This isn't strictly a one club save (if I'm sacked or it gets boring I'll move on) but I hope to stick around for at least a few seasons hopefully more. 


This is my Ukrainian alter ego, much younger and more handsome than me in real life

in the game, we still had a bit of money. Dnipro has a massive fanbase and we get 10000 odd people still come to what is the equivalent of 10th tier English football in terms of quality which brings in some cash and thus I was able to persuade the board to allow more money for wages (to get players on frees) and to send me to do a coaching course. Our facilities are excellent. the 3rd best in the country but they cost a lot to upkeep and money will soon run out.


We have a squad that is 3rd tier standard (one player Palyukh is 2nd tier standard) in the 4th tier and thus this season is kind of like Rangers being in the Scottish league 2. Promotion is almost a certainty






IN the league its like Rangers versus Berwick or East Stirlingshire. Watching the highlights after instant resulting is a cavalcade of comedy defending. The board is not very happy at all about the cup loss, but we don't need that distraction and plus there's the much more winnable Ukrainian amateurs cup if we want to win another trophy. 

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So far so good.


Another month, another fan day. We made a profit this month of 2.7k due to increased attendance due to Dnipro being a massive club for 30 years previously. There is a problem of the three-month winter break from December to March where we'll have to pay for the facilities upkeep without the stadium income. Come March it will be perilous. 


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2 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

Not 100%, but pretty sure I read about a "phoenix" club Dnipro-1 playing in the second division who also took Dnipro Academy? Maybe thats why the real club aint doing great in 4th league and might be trouble for your career also?

I'm not sure if it will be trouble for my career (and if it is and I'm sacked, I'm open to joining a new club and continuing the thread) but I was aware of this situation. According to wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FC_Dnipro#Supporters_and_rivalries



After the creation of SC Dnipro-1 the rivalry between two clubs has begun. This has resulted on a fight during one of the derbies. In this rivalry fans of FC Dnipro are allied with former enemies — ultras from Kharkiv, who support newly formed Metalist 1925 with whom they have once set in guest's ultras zone during the match Dnipro-1 : Dnipro.

We get 10000-16000 at home games, they get 2000-4000 so we have popularity over them. In both real life and in game it looks like they will be promoted this season to the top division in Ukraine. Plus we have the history :) 


Currently, I'm getting through the 4-month break. only 1 month to go but its a long slog. set up some friendlies to keep match fitness (against pub/Sunday league teams) whereas my rivals in the league didn't bother are now edging towards 50% for match fitness with 1 month to go before another match. 

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Unlike most teams in the league, I scheduled some friendlies for the break. 


this is my condition



This is my main rival for the titles fitness (the player with 100 is a loanee from Shaktar)






We've had teams from Either higher up in Ukraine or from Georgia trying to sign our players after the end of their contracts in the summer. Even after I've let these players go (either because they didn't want to stay or they wanted too much in wages), the ones I managed to persuade to stay means we are over our wage budget. We'll see more players sign contracts for the summer before the season is over I reckon


One good thing about being a former big club is you get paydays like this.

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We won the league easily and go into the 8 team playoffs for the 2 promotion places with more game league games to play



Another player rejects a new contract with us for the allures of Georgia 


Our youth intake was described as a golden generation but that's only by virtue of our youth setup being so good and us being non-league. 


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The perfect end to the year





For some reason, the names of the cup winners don't show up for either this or the Ukrainian Amateur league group 3. Is this a bug?


That's a more than four-fold increase in our wage budget this season. We can get a lot better players in over the Summer.

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7 hours ago, Sysiphus said:

Good season! Will be following this.

Was thinking about doing an youth only challenge with them, as they have good facilities for their level so there should be scope to give their regens playing time.

They would be a good team to choose for that or for an all-Ukranian challenge. I'm not going down that route but it could be done :) 



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Transfer window isn't over yet, but I doubt I'll get any more in or out. 


A welcome sign


We, in theory, should do well in this league




i would have expected us to beat the opposing team in our first league game, but that's football for you. 

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32 minutes ago, john1 said:

Decent pre season :thup: Hopefully you can go on great run after a draw in first game of the season.

Interestingly we got offers for friendlies from teams in the same league (Nikopol and Metalurgs) so I thought they might be worthy tests.

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Our first loss in over a year and a disappointing slump in form  near the end.


We are 2nd though, and the team in first is the one we beat 5-1 away




Thanks to the solidarity payments we have a lot of money to play with, but unless there's a crisis its best to keep with the free transfer policy for now, as there's no point paying £80k for a player you can sign for free in the summer when you don't need them. 


Notice the amount of home and away fans, We are by far the best supported team in the division.


Despite me playing my weakest team, we got through to the next round (the board will be happy at least as that was the objective they set) where we play a top division team at home. 


These home games against bigger opponents tend to be lucrative in ticket sale terms. 


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В 16.12.2018 в 13:33, Muttley84 сказал:

Not 100%, but pretty sure I read about a "phoenix" club Dnipro-1 playing in the second division who also took Dnipro Academy? Maybe thats why the real club aint doing great in 4th league and might be trouble for your career also?

SC Dnipro-1 is a "new" FC Dnipro, accroding to the rumours, ex president Kolomoyskiy support the club (not oficially). Fans of Dnipro hate SC, and last year was a couple of clashes during the matches (like here) in second league (both clubs take part on that league, at the end SC go in first league, Dnipro for the debts relegated to the amateurs) Currently SC is the main power in the city, Dnipro plays in amateur league, and the fans created a Dnipro 1918, fan club, that take part in the city league (https://ffgd.org.ua/vyisshaya-liga-tablitsa/

P.S. SC took the personal, players, base, stadium, almost all. 


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On 27/12/2018 at 08:47, ff-x said:

SC Dnipro-1 is a "new" FC Dnipro, accroding to the rumours, ex president Kolomoyskiy support the club (not oficially). Fans of Dnipro hate SC, and last year was a couple of clashes during the matches (like here) in second league (both clubs take part on that league, at the end SC go in first league, Dnipro for the debts relegated to the amateurs) Currently SC is the main power in the city, Dnipro plays in amateur league, and the fans created a Dnipro 1918, fan club, that take part in the city league (https://ffgd.org.ua/vyisshaya-liga-tablitsa/

P.S. SC took the personal, players, base, stadium, almost all. 


Quite a depressing story :( 



Top of the table clash next


this will make us lots of money and hopefully be the end of our cup distraction


Our best new player who I signed onto a youth contract before we went pro so thus can in theory leave on a free :( I've offered him a great new contract but there are clubs across Ukraine, and in Belarus, Armenia and Montenegro interested in him.

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We are onto the 4-month winter break. Next league match is on March 28th 2020




I've started to be linked with top division sides. Whilst I wouldn't rule out leaving Dnipro once I've established them where they rightfully belong (and thus saved them), I'm not going to do it before.


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We are through the nearly 5-month winter break and back into the season proper




I got offered my first job interview and turned it down naturally.


A very good youth intake this season


This is Fedorchuk, who is not only the best of the 2019 intake but has developed (not that hard given the low quality of the team) into our best overall player. We've got a couple of other good newgen players at ML/AML so it won't be a loss if he moves on, but he's been a sensation this season.

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These will be the last uploads I'll be doing with ImgBB, then I'll switch to Gyazo from then on





It seems we were the surprise story of the cup this year. 



A couple of job interviews. A Greek Superleague side being interested is pretty unlikely but I declined them both.




A thriller for our last match






that's the goal there




some more goals






Next season its the 2nd tier. :)


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15 minutes ago, dino said:

Keeping tabs on this! Good read so far. 

Do you expect the 2nd division to be more of a challenge than the 3rd and 4th proved to be? 

I expect it to be more of a challenge than so far. I'm not sure of the jump in quality between the 2nd tier and 3rd. 

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Thinking about it, I don't think we'll definitely go straight up, but we won't be relegation fodder. We beat Premier division Kramatorsk (who were relegated this season) at home 2-0 in the cup with our 2nd XI and me sort of not trying as hard as I could have done so we'd be able to concentrate on the league, which is a good sign. We have a 17-year-old in Fedorchuk who is good enough to play in the premier division already, so who knows? My basic plan is to get rid of those older players on 1-year contracts from the 4th tier who can't cut it anymore and use the increase in wages (the club reduced our transfer amount slightly but increased the wage bill by 10k) to try and get a few good players from the rest of eastern Europe. There's a massive increase in league rep from 3rd to 2nd tier in Ukraine so that might help us attract players from the former USSR and the Balkans who previously wouldn't touch us with a bargepole. I also want to promote more youth players next season. We got a goalkeeper in the 2020 intake who by July 2020 will be good enough to be our number 1 at 16-years old. Whatever happens, I expect the premier division when we eventually get there to be a tough struggle compared to the 2nd tier. 

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As can be imagined for a game with greyed out players we lost.



It made no difference though, we are still promoted to the 2nd tier where we will get to scout in Brazil as well as Eastern Europe. Maybe some foreign players will actually want to play here now?



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being asked to job interviews with clubs in the Europa League now.




I've been checking out the stats of players in Africa, the US, Brazil, The Balkans, etc but I think I need to bring in one MR at the moment and I'd be happy with our youth team players stepping up,

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Some of these players are a lot better than anyone we could hope (at least I think) to sign



(no idea why those pictures are different sizes.)

It's going to be a rough season. I have money and wage bills but I have no idea where to go. My own scouting (as in me spending the morning checking out MRs myself in foreign teams) came upon a Brazilian in USA who is slightly better than our existing MRs and possibly has potential (i couldn't scout him using my scouts, it was by sight alone)  was prepared to join us (few are it seems) but I'm in the dark as to how high to aim, and how high I want to aim, as I have a feeling wage control will come in useful in the near future whenever I look at our finances. 


As keen readers will know we got a cool 300k in late 2020 in youth payments (I can't remember the term) when a former academy player signed to Shakhtar from Schalke and we've been losing that money rapidly ever since. I think we'll go back into financial crisis in early 2021 so if we can get by with the players we have and build slowly that might be a better strategy than crash/burn.

12 minutes ago, withnail316 said:

Enjoyed catching up with this. I've had fun in Ukraine with Chornomorets. Dnipro were a right pain back then, with Metalist and the big two. 


Glad you enjoyed it. Chornomorets got relegated into our division this year. I can expect them to cause us lots of trouble as well :(


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some weird stuff happening in this FM universe (Mainz winning the Bundesliga and Burnley the Europa league)

11 minutes ago, Marios1999 said:

Check the U20 teams of african nations, many Nigerians, Senegalese and Cameroonese are usually keen to make a jump to europe at a very low or no price at all

That's a good idea. I've only managed in the UK at this low level so this wasn't an option for me.


Much better than any of our players except maybe Fedorchuk

I've got 3 foreign slots and 2 are taken now if this guy signs.


none left now. I'm starting to regret signing that Brazilian now :( 

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On 07/01/2019 at 16:25, RioImmagina said:

Go to US lower league: there are teams that are plenty of amaetur youngsters with good potential

That's where we got Noe from :)


Apparently, the media promoted us from likely to finish 12th to 4th when we bought Jibrin.


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Not a bad month given how packed it was.


The league is on track so far and the fixture schedule calms down from here on in especially since we are out of the cup.


There could be drama with our star domestic player as I have no desire or indeed ability to bring more defenders to the club, but we have a player in our youth team in his position who can more than easily fill in, so maybe its time for him to move on soon? 




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