2017/18 CFA Season
I suppose we should start from the most important bit of news, right?
Despite finishing third, we've found ourselves promoted to the French National league, the third tier of French football, by virtue of finishing behind two reserve sides in Rennes and PSG. The league was by no means as straightforward for us to finish third as it may seem, particularly with US Ivry who we switched places with countless times throughout the season. They had a drop-off for form towards the end, likely compounded by their small squad, and this allowed us to pull ahead and seal promotion.
I think because the club has been down here for a couple of years now, our reputation has been shot a bit in game, so our board and the media are counting this promotion as a bit of a miracle, but in the terms of our squad depth and the players we have, I don't think it's been that big a deal. Next season is going to be a huge step up, I'm sure of it, and maybe i'm just trying to cushion the incoming blow that will almost definitely be failure to get promoted (not that I'm looking to do that in 1 season) and what will likely be a mid table at best, relegation battle at worst season.
As I mentioned in a previous screenshot, we managed to make it past 4 teams to get a shot against Ligue 1 opposition in Marseille. It wasn't the last 16, as the name seems to suggest to me as a non French speaker, but instead there were 16 matches in the round, so I guess the last 32.
We did well to keep the scoreline at only 2-0, but I'm particularly disappointed in that attendance. I really hoped that the lure of such a big team would help us get a big crowd in to our 25k stadium, but it simply wasnt't to be. Our average attendance has increased this season, and I expect it to do the same next year, but it's just not quite at the level I'd have hoped it was.
Another season, another good youth intake, at least in terms of CA/PA.
Bilal Aharrar is the standout, particularly with that CA. This is skewed by the fact that I don't play, nor do I really have any AML's, and he's currently being retrained to ML. If I can get a decent offer which includes a high % of future fee deal, I could definitely see him moving on.
Alban Voisin and Matheu Briand were the other two 'standouts' from my youth intake.
Whilst at the start of the game, I had anticipated having to throw in a load of my youngsters in to the first team, I've found that to not necessarily be the case, as we're able to attract a decent quality of player on low, and in some case amateur, contracts. I'm increasingly drawn towards the idea of using any high potential youngsters as a way of securing our financial future by allowing them to leave to clubs which offer high % future fee clauses. Jerome Roger, the standout from last seasons intake, is one of those players. He's left the club to Ligue 2 side Nimes for a small fee of 10k, but we do receive 40% of his next fee, which could be vital for us moving forward.
This may well be a poor move on my part, but at the moment I need to find about results in the short term and our financial future in the long term.
With finances in mind..
We're actually in a better position this time this year than we were at the end of last season, which is definitely pleasing. Obviously I can't discount the fact that the chairman pumped 450k in to the club, but still, we're less than £1m in the red and moving in to the third tier. Finishing in the top 10 would make us between 300-800k depending on position, which is huge money, Avoiding relegation would see us make 200k. Compare that with the 27k we made for finishing third this season...
It'll be an interesting season in the third tier and I'll hopefully do at least a mid season update, if not a few more smaller, more sporadic updates, but this season flew by and before I knew it we'd finished it.