With all the excitement of a new version of Football Manager, I decided to dust off the old Wheel Fell Off blog and give content creation another go.
For my first save, in this release, I decided to go with a team I haven’t manager since FM17. That team being Sunderland.
Last time I manager Sunderland my remit was to avoid relegation from the Premier League. I did achieve not only that, but also managed to secure a top ten position. With that success under our belts, the board decided to up the stakes and asked me to secure another top ten finish. Unfortunately, they only gave me £10 million to do that with. The team was another year older, Defoe (by far our top goal scorer) forced a move away, and we ended up relegated and I got the sack.
So, why Sunderland in FM19? They’ve been relegated to League One, have new owners and are still carrying some of the high earners that helped them get relegated to that league.
That doesn’t really answer the question of why though.
In simple terms, I want to get them back the the Premier League and establish them as a top ten team.
- Sunderland are a big club in a small league. One their first home game of this season, in real life, they attracted 30,000 supporters. So revenue isn’t an issue
- They have zero debt, the old and new owners have seen to that
- They have new, forward thinking owners
- They have a top academy. Being in League One this means that all those young players that would normally be loaned out for development (had the team still been in the Premier League, are ideal for use in the first team
- £4 million pound transfer budget
- The fans have high expectations of walking away with the title
- There are some players still on big money (Lee Catermole £30,000 per week) which means the remaining wage budget is only £3,600. So there will need to be some movement on that in order to bring in new players
- I’ve never managed a team in League One, so have no clue on how good a league it is, or even how bad it is and what style of football works
Yes, it feels like cheating. All that money, big club etc. But there are challenges and opportunities (offload the big earners, expectations and youth development). Hopefully it’s an interesting save and I won’t get sacked again for under performing.