Hi @Nick, fantastic to see you playing and posting about FM again.
I've been taken aback by the II teams, I've previously avoided Germany and France like the plague because of their II teams and only managed in Spain with small teams who don't have a B squad and have historically always managed in Italy. Whilst I still have that affinity with small Italian teams (Bellaria, Milazzo, Venezia, Castel di Sangro etc etc - remember old FM's?) I really feel that Fm17 will start with a small German side, that has a II team in a playable lower league. It has helped so much more with developing my players - the two in the previous post would never be that good at 18/19 without playing competitive football, and an U18/U20 league is just not that.
In terms of wages - yes, I am at a crossroads. I want to attract those ready made stars - but I can't afford them and try and make profit, likewise - my younger stars are only going to want to be here for a certain amount of time until they outgrow their contracts.
I always try and get my players to sign for 3/4/5 years with an optional extension of 3 years - that gives me a possible 8 years before re-negotiation. It may cost me a bit more in the short term, but with some basic numbers, it should work like this:
a. £10k p/w = £52k p/a = £416k over the course of their contract
b. 5k p/w = £26kp/a for 4 years = £104k + £20k p/w (£104k p/a for 4 years £416k) = £520k over the course of the same period.
So I'd save over £100k over an 8 year period. Multiply that by a core squad of 15 and that is £1.5m saving. Not mega money, but every little helps! Obviously this excludes a new Loyalty bonus, agent fees and a rise in Appearance bonuses and clauses too.