Football Manager 2016 – Football League Best Budgets

Which teams offer you the best opportunity for promotion, based on finance, and not squad size?

109201The following teams have the best Bank Balance.

Barrow – £600,000
Eastleigh – £400,000
Gateshead – £350,000
Halifax – £300,000

The following teams have the best Transfer Budget.

Eastleigh – £60,000
Halifax – £50,000
Wrexham – £50,000
Tranmere – £50,000
Gateshead – £50,000

The following teams have the best remaining Wage Budget for recruitment.

Gateshead – £5,000
Wrexham – £3,800
Forest Green – £3,500
Eastleigh – £3000

Authors picks – Eastleigh, Gateshead or Wrexham14The following teams have the best Bank Balance.

Portsmouth – £4,000,000
Yeovil – £1,000,000
Carlisle – £600,000
Stevenage – £500,000
Cambridge – £500,000

The following teams have the best Transfer Budget.

Portsmouth – £250,000
Carlisle – £100,000
Cambridge – £100,000
Luton – £80,000

The following teams have the best remaining Wage Budget for recruitment.

Cambridge – £50,000
Stevenage – £8,000
Portsmouth – £7,000
Mansfield – £4,213

Authors picks – Portsmouth, Cambridge or Carlisle13The following teams have the best Bank Balance.

Wigan – £11,000,000
Peterborough – £3,800,000
Swindon – £3,250,000
Sheffield United – £2,649,043

The following teams have the best Transfer Budget.

Wigan – £3,000,000
Sheffield United £500,000
Peterborough – £300,000
Swindon – £250,000

The following teams have the best remaining Wage Budget for recruitment.

Doncaster – £20,000
Swindon – £10,000
Shrewsbury – £10,000
Sheffield United – £10,000

Authors picks – Wigan, Sheffield United or Peterborough12The following teams have the best Bank Balance.

Fulham – £24,200,000
Cardiff – £18,200,000
Hull – £15,400,000
Brentford – £12,464,970

The following teams have the best Transfer Budget.

Brighton – £6,000,000
Sheffield Wed. – £4,000,000
Fulham – £4,000,000
Hull – £3,500,000

The following teams have the best remaining Wage Budget for recruitment.

Fulham – £25,000
Sheffield Wed. – £20,000
Brighton – £20,000
Reading – £20,000
Ipswich – £20,000
Birmingham – £20,000

Authors picks – Fulham, Brighton or Sheffield Wednesday

They say money talks, it certainly does in football. See how wisely you can use the clubs resources to build a Promotion team and ultimately a Premier League Squad.


Written by – Gary Stevenson


Football Manager 2016 – Sleeping Giants

What does the term “Sleeping Giant” actually mean when referring to a football club?

Often when people mention this phrase, the name Newcastle United is mentioned Whereas I agree that Newcastle United is a big club, they have a large dedicated fan base, big stadium, not many large teams nearby to tread on their catchment area, it’s basically all there apart from success.

But I have to say in my estimation, they are not a “sleeping giant”.

First up we have to define what a sleeping giant is. To begin with the term suggests to me that the club is currently not reaching heights it once did. They’re no longer playing in the top flight of English football; instead they are languishing in the Championship or even lower.

I believe that the next criteria is that the club must have had an illustrious history and this has got to mean it has to have won trophies in its past. When I say “won trophies” I am not talking about a few divisional trophies or minor cups. For a club to be considered a sleeping giant I would say it’s got to have won major domestic honours and the only two really worth winning are the Premier League (Old First Division) title and the FA Cup. Indeed a true sleeping giant must have won both these honours at some point in their history.

So using this criteria as the basis for of analysis we will only look at clubs that are currently outside the Premiership and who have won both the English top flight title and the FA Cup.

  • 612 Blackburn Rovers – 9 (3 League and 6 FA Cups)
  • 709 Sheffield Wednesday – 7 (4 League and 3 FA Cups)
  • 740 Wolves – 7 (3 League and 4 FA Cups)
  • 708 Sheffield United – 5 (1 League and 4 FA Cups)
  • 664 Huddersfield – 4 (3 League and 1 FA Cup)
  • 671 Leeds United – 4 (3 League and 1 FA Cup)
  • 700 Preston North End – 4 (2 League and 2 FA Cups)
  • 699 Portsmouth – 4 (2 League and 2 FA Cups)
  • 622 Burnley – 3 (2 League and 1 FA Cup)
  • 645 Derby County – 3 (2 League and 1 FA Cup)
  • 692 Nottingham Forest – 3 (1 League and 2 FA Cups)
  • 667 Ipswich Town – 2 (1 League and 1 FA Cup)

* Special mention to Bolton Wanderers who have never won a Top Flight title but have won the FA Cup on 4 occasions.

So on the basis of past glories are these twelve clubs the sleeping giants of English football? They have all won the league title and the FA Cup.So if you want to awaken a true sleeping giant of English football then why not take up the challenge of one of the above mentioned teams, and restore past glories to the club.

Now if other European leagues are your preferred taste, why not try one of these European sleeping giants.

F.C. Nurnberg – Bundesliga 2 – (9 League titles and 4 Cup wins) Greuther Fürth – Bundesliga 2 – (3 League titles only) Fortuna Düsseldorf – Bundesliga 2 – (1 League title and 2 Cup wins) Karlsruher SC – Bundesliga 2 (1 League title and 2 Cup wins)


In France why not try Strasbourg, now in the French National League, (1 League title and 3 Cup wins)

In Italy, be brave and try Pro Vercelli, now in Serie B (7 League titles), although no Cup wins, a genuine sleeping giant, or should that be comatose.

Over to you, lots of great challenges in FM 2016, can you be the one, the really special one.

Article written by Gary Stevenson

Brentford FC – Road to the Premier League: Part 3


It’s been a while and a lot has happened. My last post ended with my Brentford team sitting second in the Championship (in my first season) and in the final of the Carling Cup. Fast forward two more seasons (end of the 2016/17 season) and i’ve guided Brentford from Football League obscurity to Europa League winners. Yes, i can’t quite believe it either, but with some astute signings and a solid tactic, this small London club are now looking forward to taking on Barca and Real Madrid in the Champions League. Just hand me the trophy now!

As there was such a gap between my updates, in the post i just want to give you all a short overview of each of my seasons and my ambitions for the next season too.

End of 2014/15 season

My first season in the Championship ended on a high. I managed to win the league and finish 7 points clear of second-placed Norwich in the process.

Championship Table 2014/15
Championship Table 2014/15

Our luck however wouldn’t extend to the final of the Carling Cup where we  came up against Premier League, Manchester United, and an in-form Adnan Januzaj. We slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Wembley and finished as competition runners-up, still a huge achievement for such a small club in my first season.

Capital One Cup Final 2015
Capital One Cup Final 2015

2015/16 season 

Our first season in the Premier League. I’d been given around £7m to spend on new recruits and i was determined to add strength and depth to the squad. After selling Jake Bidwell to Villa for £7.5m, i managed to bring in 7 players in the Summer transfer window and a further 3 in the January Window with a total outlay of just £13.75m. Admittedly many were loan deals, but 5 of the players i’d captured would have a particularly significant impact over the course of the season. Carl Jenkinson, Dorin Rotariu, Sergio Araujo, Jordan Veretout and Rene Krhin would all prove pivotal in challenge to gain Premier League stability and the addition of Adama Traore in January, on loan from Barcelona, really made the difference when it came to the business-end of the season.

Throughout the season, the front three of Rotariu, Araujo and Traore would prove near impossible for defenders to stop, and along with existing squad member, Andre Gray, their goals would contribute to some excellent results.



No cup run this year, but a solid sixth placed finish, and thus, qualification for the Europa League,  beat any pre-season expectations that i had for our first season in the Premier League.


As you can see, we conceded our fair share of goals, but scored a respectable amount too. I’d decided to stick with the same formation as i’d used in the Championship which, in hindsight, may have been slightly naive when playing the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United – who incidentally, absolutely destroyed us both home and away. Even so, the formation was working against most teams outside the top 6 and with some quality additions in the summer, i knew the big teams would eventually succumb to it too.

2016/17 season

So, with our Premier League status firmly in-fact, the 2016/17 season was all about building on last season’s league position and attempting to get past the group stage of the Europa League. To do this i brought in a total 11 players of the summer and a further 3 in the January window. Wonderkid, Adama Traore, and English left-back Luke Garbutt were both recruited on permanent deals, with the former shattering our record transfer after costing £21m from Barcelona. Nathaniel Chalobah  and Martin Odegaard both came in on loan to add some steal and creativity to the midfield and Richairo Zivkovic, an 18 year-old prodigy from Ajax, was added to provide competition to main striker Araujo.

Transfers 16/17
Transfers 16/17

I was slightly disappointed with our Premier League run as, despite some good results, we still weren’t able to break into the top five and so were once again left to accept a sixth placed finish. In fact, up until Christmas even sixth place was looking like a bit of a battle, but i’d managed to bring in some fresh faces in the January window and tighten up my tactic slightly in an attempt to concede less goals. It worked. The team was on fire post-january and put together a quite outstanding run in the Europa League, dispatching of Valencia with ease in the quarter-finals and beating Dynamo Kiev in the semi’s, to set up an all-England final against league rivals Tottenham. Another perfect performance on the night saw us run out 3-0 winners and clinch the club’s first ever European silverware and my first cup success as manager.

Euro Cup 2016/17
Euro Cup 2016/17



After all the exitement of the Cup had died down and the league had finished, Manchester United requested my presence for an interview for their top-job. Obviously, as a Chelsea fan, i could never have even entertained the offer they put forward, but equally, i was determined to strengthen my Brentford team and make one more go at cracking the top 4. So far  this summer i’ve managed to bring in one or two squad players, but as the transfer market gets in to full swing, i’ll be sure to keep an eye out for any potential gems to add to my talented squad. Come’on you Bees!

If anyone has any reccommended signings for me or would like more information on my Brentford game so-far, drop a comment below and i’ll get back to you.