Hello and welcome to my first update in a while. There’s a number of reasons why it’s been a while but one of those is I just haven’t had time to play Football Manager lately. As well as this, there’s been a few in-game issues which I’ll go into throughout the update.
But the best way to go is just to plough on, and I did that with Le Mans. It was always going to be a difficult Summer, though, for two major reasons. Firstly, much like the situation QPR find themselves in presently, Le Mans had players on Ligue 1 wages. The drop to Ligue 2 was a hitch in the road but unfortunately not gaining promotion at the latter end of last year has really sent the bills spiralling out of control. The revenue generated in Ligue 2 simply isn’t enough. And because of this, the board have slashed the transfer and wage budgets. Last season, I had £7m in my transfer kitty and spent £215k per week on wages. This year, I’m expected to push on with no transfer budget (and 0% of the revenue earnt re-invested into transfers) and a £175k p/w wage budget. Because of that, I had to make some extremely tough decisions.
The second reason this was a particularly difficult Summer was the particularly odd rule put in place by the FFA in regards to number of non-EU players, for Ligue 2 clubs. For relegated Ligue 1 teams, you’re allowed 4 non-EU players registered in your squad. This rule somewhat limited me last season in that I had a fifth player from Brazil unable to play. This annoyed me but I was willing to wait until the new season to bring him in. Then I realise that if you were in Ligue 2 last season, you’re only allowed 2 non-EU players. This meant I had to cut my transfer prices dramatically. And I was not happy.
The first of these difficult decisions created by this horrific rule was the release of Peruvian Jesus Guzman. This one particularly hurts because he was a big favourite of mine, as our highest goalscorer by some way. However, he was on massive wages and as a non-EU player he had to go. What particularly grates was the fee – valued at £6.25m I certainly wasn’t expecting to have to go as low as £1.9m to finally get rid of him. Christophe Mbele and Vitaliy Zhdanovich then added a handy boost to the finances. Then we had to loan out the aforementioned Brazilian Rogerio Candido – unfortunately this means we won’t be able to use a sweeper this season, or perhaps even next season too if we fail to get promotion.
However, despite the infuriating departures, we brought a few handy players in. One thing I noticed in particular last season was the lack of depth we had on the wings so that was the main focus over the off-season, as well as replacing any starters that were forced out. On the wings, I was able to bring in Jerome Quere and Tomohiko Okamoto both on free transfers, which I’m delighted with. Both are tremendously handy as they are suitable in a flat 4-4-2 or a staggered 4-2-3-1/4-5-1. Okamoto in particular is very handy for several reasons; he’s recently gained French citizenship and also provides a Theo Walcott-esque option on the left-wing in that he’s incredibly raw and pace is his main asset. This provides a contrast to the excellent crossing option that Washington Luis provides.
As well as this, I brought in out-of-favour Barcelona B striker Efran Sarabia to bolster our attacking options. Now he’s valued at £4.8m and with an agreed price of £500k, he could be a handy squad option if we do get promoted and he performs well this season.
Screenshots of the entirety of the squad can be found here:
Hopefully there’ll be some more interesting updates to come. Cheers.