SEASON 2015/16 FIRST REPORT
Hey guys. So i've started a new game, more than likely my last on FM16. I am managing Newcastle United Jets in the Hyundai A-League in Australia. They are my home town club and the club i support. The last few seasons have been nothing short of a circus. The club won the Championship in 2008, it's first and only time in doing so. Since then they have been on a downward spiral. Change of owners, regularly changing managers. They hit rock bottom in season 2014/15 when after a 7-0 loss, 5 senior players were sacked for speaking out against the manager at the time. These players included club legend Joel Griffiths and captain Kew Jaliens. The owner at the time, Nathan Tinkler, had his licensed for the team revoked at the end of that season, one which the club finished in last place. The club had been in the hand of the FFA (Football Federation Australia) for the past 12 months untill recently where the club was sold to Martin Lee and the Ledman Group. Things looked positive for the club after the sale untill the team arrived home from a pre season camp to Lee's home town China. The manager, Scott Miller was sacked, along with his assistant. Miller had made a good impression the past season and his sacking did not go down well with a majority of the fans. ]
I take over in the off season where Nathan Tinkler was revoked of his license. A guy name David Eland is the Chairman at the Jets and is willing to listen to any offers.
For those who aren't familiar with the league, there are 10 teams, 9 from Australia and 1 from New Zealand. Club teams from Australia can qualify for the Asian Champions League where as Wellington Phoenix (New Zealand) are exempt even if they do enough to qualify as they are apart of Oceania, not Asia. The league has a salary cap with a few exemptions. I have a pictured of the squar registration rules to hopefully get you guys to understand a bit about how the league works.
It is also worth noting that the league does not allow transfers between clubs. Effectively i can not pay another club to get one of their players. What happens in real life is you often see a player who still has 2 or 3 years left on their contract leave the club they are at by mutual consent than later that day or the next an announcement is made that they have signed with another club. Rather annoying and stupid in my eyes but thats the way it is. This does not happen in FM however.
Overall it is a relatively weak squad. There is certainly room for improvement. There are only a few that i wish to keep long term. The foreigners are good, but age is against them besides Mateo Poljak who is 26. I do however feel he would be easily replaced. Mark Birrighitti, Steven Ugarkovic and Nick Cowburn are only players that i plan to keep long term. The rest i feel are replaceable, though with the salary cap that doesn't mean they will be replaced.
The League So Far
As you can tell results haven't been fantastic, though only 1 loss in 7 games is good. It seems as though no one is having an outstanding season so who knows what will happen.
The league is 27 games long with the top 6 qualifying for the finals campaign. As you can tell we are still in with a shout of finishing anywhere. The media predicts us to finish 8th and the board want us to be competitive so we are doing just fine at the moment.
I have to note that the first match vs Wellington Phoenix was played before i arrived. The match vs Dandenong was my first competitive match. Dandenong are a team in the lower leagues of Australia. Our campaign ended with a defeat to Brisbane Roar who staged a come back after we went u 1-0 up thanks to a goal by Morten Nordstrand.
When i arrived at the club my first piece of action was to sort the backroom staff out. I can gladly say now that i have the best of everything. Best coaches, scouts, physio's. Don't be fooled though, compared to other saves i've had on FM they are rather poor which says alot about where the league is at i suppose.
Good training facilities, poor youth facilities, good junior coaching and above average youth recruitment tells me if i get the chance i need to upgrade. It would be good to produce some youngsters through the youth team and have them go on and play for the national side.
Finances aren't great but with the salary cap that keeps it somewhat under control. With the league not being great for financial gain i guess the only hope i have financially improving is selling players and maybe the Asian Champions League which for me is unfamiliar territory.
So it looks to be a hard slog, transfer dealings will be free transfers mainly and trying to keep all the players wages under the salary cap whilst eventually competing with the money teams in Asia. Taking over Australia shouldn't be that hard of a task, i wold say the league should be winnable within 3 seasons whilst the Asian Champions League is something that i have never achieved and to me that would be the major goal for this save.
As i stated earlier the club chairman David Eland was willing to listen to any offers for the club. This happens on every save i have and it ends up being some random take over and nothing else really changes except the owen of the club. To my pleasure and suprise though, this times different.
So just before our opening match of the regular season we were hit with the news that a take over could be on the cards from a mystery foreign tycoon. What does this mean for the club? A transfer embargo was placed on the club and the next week we received more information on the possible takeover.
Well as this news broke i think everyone in Newcastle just about had a heart attack, including me. This never happens. Luke Galea wants to bring his cheque book to Newcastle, Australia and splash the cash. I can certainly say i am keen, though if this deal goes through what does that mean for me? Does he have a preferred manager? Will i lose my job? Will the takeover eventuate? So many unanswered questions that we will just have to play through and see what happens.
Nearly two months later and reports of the takeover bid being on track but then stalling and looking unlikely it seemed too good to be true. Another report that is seemed to be back on track gave hope again and the following week.
It's done. Luke Galea buys the Newcastle Jets for pocket money and pumps a ridiculous amount of money into the club.
Look at that budget. $19m transfer budget and a wage budget of $272,000 a week. I can't get too excited over this as i have to remember this league has a salary therefore i will not be using anywhere near that type of money but that money will do the club a long time. Massive improvements should be able to be made around the place now. I'm glad to say that there has been no mention of me losing my job with is a massive relief. All i have to do now is use the money wisely and build a squad capable of playing with eachother.
I'll leave this for now and go and kick on, i'll update you all on the progress at the end of the January transfer window.