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FIFA Manager 09 - economical approach
Written by Kily - Friday, 30 January 2009 01:41  |  Skomentuj artykuÅ‚
The main manager duties in FIFA Manager 09 are first of all setting the line – up, tactics, and leading club to successes on domestic and European area. But if you want to achieve those ambitious aims you have to take care of all financial game aspects to ensure solid bases for club development.

So impersonating manager character playing game from EA Sports, you have to focus also on economical aspects, to ensure your club will be in a good financial position even after many years. Of course we may delegate those responsibilities to the staff, but if we do it by ourselves, we may generate better profits or save more money, making our club financial position better. That’s why it’s profitable to take care of club cash, watching each pound from all sides before making investment decisions. In this text I’d like to focus on decisions which have to be made by manager in FIFA Manager 09, and which directly and indirectly affect club financial position. This text is mainly dedicated to beginners, who start their adventure with this game, and who may forgot about some important economic aspects affecting club wealth.

Pre – season budget negotiations

Just before the season we have opportunity to negotiate size of budget which we’ll use in the forthcoming season. Thanks to this option we may improve amount of basic money assigned for separate aims.
Thanks to negotiations (pressing few times button “ Make Your Proposal”) I gained additional 3 674 173 ? included in total budget amount. Leading such club as Wisla Krakow this is significant sum of money especially when we begin first season.
n above example I focused on the most important for me matters: Salaries and Transfers. Of course budget can be freely formed during negotiations phase. You may focus on the most important thing in your opinion. Of course hard negotiations will decrease level of financial bar (you can notice it on the right part of screen). Thanks to this we may gain additional money just at the season beginning. It may be especially helpful when we start first season .

Sponsors

Major sponsor
That’s next source of significant incomes, which have to be used in the best way. The most important is major sponsor, who provide us with significant amount of money before each season. Of course when we lead average club we cannot count on high sum, but it’s profitable to negotiate in this case too. Naturally we have opportunity to make our assistant choose sponsor, but I propose to take care of it personally .
In this moment we have 3 offers of sponsors, some of them propose bigger basic amount and others offer higher bonuses. How to compare those offers and choose the best one? The answer is banal. In above example offer number 2 propose higher bonuses but lower basic amount. That’s why in the first place we negotiate here basic amount. We act inversely with offers number 1 and 3, we focus here on bonuses, choosing the most important in our opinion. In the first place I focused on bonuses for championship and national cup win .
It’s naturally that we have to negotiate by instinct, otherwise we may break talks with all sponsors. As you can see I negotiated up to the hilt and it caused that I broke talks with third sponsor. Fortunately I succeeded in reaching satisfactory terms with one of companies who proposed me after negotiations the best offer. For comparison, you can notice on the following screen what terms were negotiated by my assistant :
As you can see it’s better to negotiate by oneself. You may gain additional money especially needed in first season.

Ad boards
Situation here is much simpler. Negotiation are banal so we don’t have to beat your brains out to make decisions. If you have more offers than number of available ad boards, you can afford to negotiate more courageously.
Selling stadiums and stand names
That’s another source of easy money, which you may gain just at the beginning of season. I propose to sell stadium name to sponsor for only one year. In next season money for that will be surely higher, so I do not recommend to sign long term agreement.
As you noticed each stand may have own name. In this case sum will be not big, but each pound will come in useful in club budget.
Secondary sponsors
We may have them maximum up to three. Depending on offers, we will get money or other profits e.g. the company bears expenses for the season’s first training camp (first team), large bonus for your cooperation with media, lower costs when you build club facilities etc. You may search for that kind of sponsors whenever you like. So it’s profitable to check this section from time to time till you fill up all available slots.

It has to be noted that we may ask major and secondary sponsors for additional money. But at the beginning of cooperation that kind of requests will be rejected.

Contract negotiations

This is the next very important game aspect which affects club finance. But in this case we may save some money negotiating contracts terms. This situation refers both option of buying new players and option of extend contract with players employed in your club. My first clue is that just at the game beginning you should renew contracts with your key players for long term. I guarantee you that later you players will have higher demands, especially the best of them who developed more. In this way you will save some money assigned to salary budget. Of course initially costs will be higher because contract extension usually require higher salaries, but in one or two years, when you will have to renew contract with key players, their demands will be much higher so your savings begins just in this moment. This option should be perceived as long term saving.
Player contract include not only salary. There are many other elements which can be use by you during negotiations and may convince players to sign offered contract. If you make use of promises and clauses in right way, you may save money offering lower salaries and bonuses.
You have to be careful with promises, if you won’t keep them, your players will loose their trust. It’s naturally that the higher role in team offered by you, the better assessment level will player present. So for best players we may freely guarantee first team place. Moreover if you positively define future of player, it will additionally improve player’s opinion about offered contract.
Next elements improving offered contract are clauses. When we lead club which won’t be surely relegated, you may set “salary cut if relegated” rate to 0%. Next element making our offer better is resignation from “option for club” and guarantee “option for players”. As a result, using this solution, you’ll increase level of assessment presented by player. Thanks to it you may save your money paying lower salaries and bonuses, which often significantly charge club budget.
We may also take use of rest clauses e.g. release clauses. They will surely make your offer better but I do not prefer them.

Bosman ruling

“The Bosman ruling (Union Royal Belges des Sociétés de Football Association ASBL & others v. Jean-Marc Bosman; Case C-415/93, ECR I-4921) is a 1995 European Court of Justice decision concerning freedom of movement for workers, freedom of association and direct effect of article 39 (formerly 48) of the EC Treaty. The case was an important decision on the free movement of labour and had a profound effect on the transfers of football players within the EU. The case banned restrictions of foreign EU members within the national leagues and allowed professional football players in the European Union (EU) to move freely to another club at the end of their term of contract with their present team. As a consequence, many footballers born outside of the EU now take advantage of EU naturalisation rules to obtain a passport of an EU member country, (by for example investigating whether they had any European ancestors, or by meeting long term residency requirements), to enhance their employability across Europe. For example, many Brazilians have acquired Portuguese nationality, many Argentinians acquire Spanish or Italian nationality etc.
The ruling was made in a consolidation of three separate legal cases, all involving Belgian player
Jean-Marc Bosman:
• Union royale belge des sociétés de football association ASBL v Jean-Marc Bosman
• Royal club liégeois SA v Jean-Marc Bosman and others
• Union Européenne de Football Association (UEFA) v Jean-Marc Bosman

Bosman was a player in the Jupiler League in Belgium, whose contract had expired in 1990. He wanted to change teams and move to Dunkerque, a French team. However, Dunkerque did not offer his Belgian club RFC Liège enough of a transfer fee, so Liège refused to let him go. In the meantime, Bosman's wages were reduced as he was no longer a first-team player. He took his case to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and sued for restraint of trade citing FIFA's rules regarding football, specifically Article 17. After a tough legal battle he won his case, and on December 15, 1995 the court ruled that the system as it was constituted a restriction on the free movement of workers and was prohibited by Article 39(1) of the EC Treaty. Bosman and all other EU football players were given the right to a free transfer at the end of their contracts, with the provision that they were transferring from a club within one EU Association to a club within another EU Association. Prior to that, professional clubs in parts of Europe (but not, for example, in Spain and France) were able to prevent players from joining another club even if their contracts had expired. And in Britain, Transfer Tribunals had been in place since 1981 to solve disputes over fees between clubs when transferring players at the end of their contracts.
In addition to this, players can sign a pre-contract with another club for a free transfer if the players' contract with their existing club has 6 months or less remaining. The Bosman ruling can be compared to the Seitz decision in Major League Baseball, which led to the elimination of the reserve clause and the advent of free agency in American baseball.” – Source: Wikipedia.

Thanks to this rule you may bring player to your club for free (without paying any money to his current club). This option is very useful especially when we lead average European club, which at least for next few seasons will not have too big transfer budget. In this way we are able to build strong team cheaply.
You can use this option 6 months before player contract expiring. From this moment you can start contract negotiation. For this purpose you have to enter “Transfer market”, and choose “Player search” option. The next step is to set “Search criteria”. The only one thing you have to do in this place is to set “Contract status” to “less than one year” and choose suitable country from Search Area. It’s better to search in one country simultaneously, otherwise (choosing few countries simultaneously) searcher will be ineffective.
This way you may find players whose contracts will expire at the end of the season. As I mentioned earlier, 6 months before contract expiring you are allowed to negotiate contract terms with that kind of players (click RMB on player and choose “Offer contract” option). If you reach agreement, player will join your team when his current contract expire, without paying any sum of money for him to his current club. All players you’ll purchase in this way, you’ll find in “Future transfers” section (Contracts/Future transfers).

Player insurance

I know from my experience that this kind of investment is unprofitable. Insurance gives you right to compensations in situation when your player(s) is (are) injured. But playing previous FIFA Manager editions I noticed that all payments from insurance are not so high, so during whole season insurance expenses are higher than potential benefits. And insurance costs are significant. Every month you have to pay insurance premiums and when you insure whole team, you’ll notice this is a big sum of money. Of curse the better player, the bigger insurance premium. So my proposition is that it’s better to cancel all insurance agreement if you have any signed.
In player details you can find size of insurance premium which you have to pay every month for particular player.

Setting tickets price

As we all know supporters are the twelve team player on the pitch but not only. Thanks to fans support big money from bought tickets flow into club account. Skillfully conducted tickets policy will result in generating bigger incomes from tickets. The rule is very simple – to gain the biggest incomes from tickets in each home game. To achieve this aim you have to set as highest prices as possible with 100% of attendance. In this moment I also do not recommend to make your staff member do this work, you are able to gain higher incomes setting prices by yourself. To illustrate this simple method of tickets prices optimization, set all prices on possible lower level as on the screen. We focus on the next home game (match against Legia).
Afterwards you have to set possible highest price for each stand, of course you have to keep full attendance. In this way for the first stand (Main Grandstand) you are able to gain price 49. Notice that if you raise it to 50, attendance will decrease from 20 732 to 20 620. That’s why we stay with 61 level of price which give us full attendance.


You have to do the same with remaining stands till you reach situation when all prices will be optimal. It should looks as on the following screen:

 

As you can see each stand has possible highest price with full attendance. You have to set prices in the same way before each home game. For comparison look at the screen below, where you can see prices set at the game beginning without my intervention.
You can immediately see difference in “Revenue when sold out”. I ensure you this difference will be much bigger, when you set prices in this way for cups matches, especially when you’ll play against strong and famous team.
Proper policy of setting tickets prices is very important because it allow to generate much bigger incomes from tickets, which are very important for our club.

Merchandising

This is actually probably only one game element which I don’t really devote my attention to. That’s why I won’t write to much about it. My solution is very simple – to hire possible best Marketing Manager. I recommend this way out to users who similarly as me do not become absorbed in this section. Of course leading such club as Wisla Krakow, you may not count on staff member with high level, but I have marketing specialist on 47th level with maximum talent and I got incomes from this section on satisfactory level. It’s a good solution for me so I don’t devote more time to this game element.

Going Public

If you chose club which is not currently listed, you may go public.
Of course you can’t do that straight away, you have to fulfill requirements first.
If you meet all requirements, you may go public with your club. This step will ensure you additional large money which are necessary for club to develop. But this decision has to be made in the right time. It’s important to go public when club is on the top, when team wins match after match, and it would be the best if club reach for any trophy, even domestic. It all will cause that you will expect biggest money for 20% of shares which are automatically sold when you go public. If you make this step you’ll have another 29% of shares which you may sold whenever you want (it’s possible to sell only 49% of shares to keep current owner). That’s why before you sell another part of shares, wait for the time when your team perform well, it will raise current share price, so it will ensure you bigger incomes from shares sell. So the best option is to sell shares for possible highest price.

Going public is associated with large sum of money, which will surely help you develop your club by building important club facilities and employing better and better players and staff members. That’s why it’s worth trying to fulfill all requirements and make this important step for your club development, which is going public.

Club facilities extension
For some users it’s completely unnecessary game element, for others it’s a nice diversity of everyday manager duties. One thing is certain, by extending club facilities you may directly or indirectly affect club financial position.
For example if you extend Merchandise Warehouse, it will raise fan sales and as a result it will ensure bigger incomes from merchandise. If you invest in such objects as: bowling lane, petrol station, chip stand, shopping centers, museum, open-air pool, pizzeria, block of flats, club restaurant, hot-dog stands, high-rise buildings, or objects from theme park range, you will earn additional money increasing your club cash. Whereas building hotels, parking spaces, shopping centers or underground station, gives bigger attendance during home matches and as a result increases incomes from tickets. As you can see, investing money in various club facilities you may gain additional money which will increase club account.

Budget control
This option may be treated as the last resort. You may ask Board for additional money in special moments, but at the beginning of first season that kind of requests will be rejected. If Board of Directors will accept your ask, you may count on additional money.
. Second element of budget control section is possibility to reallocate money between separate budgets. For example if you have to little money for transfers, and you have to many cash for salaries, you may make suitable propose to Board. If they agree that, you may enjoy additional money for transfer budget.

As you can see there are many options which properly managed may contribute to club development and ensure solid financial basics. Every decision should be well thought-out economically. Thanks to it we will be able to build and develop strong club, which won’t be worried about financial position even after many years. I encourage you to make use of Accounting Journal. It includes all club cash flows. You can find there all elements affecting club account. This is very useful tool to diagnose club financial problems. If you think that club looses to much money, just enter Accounting Journal and check what is the reason of this situation. In this way you will easily find all negative elements causing financial problem in your club.



Translation: Kily
 
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