This week's blog sets out my challenges in FM16. If it has not been apparent until now, I will be managing Grasshopper Club Zürich (GCZ) in FM16. If you want to understand why, read my first ever blog post here.
I will make the below article a persistent part of my website nearer to the release date of FM16 (13 November 2015). Failure in any aspect will not result in me ditching the save...I simply wish to complete as much of the below within the documented timeframes.
Here we go...
Short term challenges (Seasons 1 to 3) 2015/16 until 2017/18
GCZ's immediate priority for the 15/16 season is to finish in the European Places (1st-4th) in the Swiss Super League. The club's finances are rather fragile and there is an expectation that a major sale may be a necessity every summer. Therefore, my short term challenges below for Seasons 1 to 3 are perhaps the most testing. Not only do I want to beat Basel to the league title within the first 3 seasons, I also want to compete in the Champions League Group Stage.
I have also set the target of improving the facilities at the club (either Youth or Training) in order to help with the challenges further on in this save. The sooner I can start producing and nurturing young talent...the more successful (and sustainable) I will be.
You will also note I have placed restrictions, in both wage structure and net transfer spend. This will force me to be prudent and should set me up well for the challenges ahead.
- Win the Swiss Cup
- Win the Swiss Super League
- Reach a surplus of £10m in the bank
- Compete in the Champions League Group Stages
- Improve the Youth or Training facilities
(1) Maintain a strict wage policy - not exceeding a player wage of £15k per week before tax.
(2) Do not exceed net transfer spend of £5m in a season
Mid-term challenges (Seasons 4 to 8) 2018/19 until 2022/23
If I am lucky enough to be in the GCZ dugout for the 2018/19 season, it is hoped I can begin Phase II of my FM16 challenge: domestic dominance with regular European appearances. A real test for title winning teams is whether they can defend their league title the following season. This is a measure of good teams compared to great ones. During this 5 year period, it is also hoped that I will start to see the fruits of my labour with regards to youth development. I therefore would like to push myself to developing 5 International capped players. These must be newgens.
GCZ's philosophy from Day 1 of the save will be to develop players through the youth system. As a result, I have placed rather tight restrictions on transfer spend and wages. I have also introduced a requirement of having at least 5 Homegrown GCZ Newgens*in the match day for domestic games. What qualifies as 'Homegrown' is below in the notes section. This restriction will allow me to blood the youngsters in early and hopefully assist their development. In real life this season we see GCZ currently doing this, with the likes of Alpsoy, Gjorgjev and Tarashaj featuring regularly in the 1st team.
- Win two consecutive Swiss Super Leagues
- Win the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup (Domestic Double) in a single season
- Compete in the Champions League Knockout Stages
- Produce 5 players (Newgens) and see them become International capped players whilst at GCZ
- Reach a surplus of £30m in the bank
(1) Do not exceed net transfer spend of £15m in a season.
(2) Wage policy - not exceeding a player wage of £30k per week before tax.
(3) At least 5 Homegrown GCZ Newgens* must be in the match day squad for each domestic match (league and cup)
Long term challenges (Seasons 9+) From 2023/24
From 2023/24 I will either be a distant memory of GCZ's chequered past OR hopefully their legendary manager. Let's take the view that I have gone some way to completing the above challenges. 2023/24 therefore will be my endgame. There are no restrictions as to when I have to complete the below challenges but I still wish to be frugal with net transfer spend (because I am tight like that) and I still wish to be true to the overall philosophy of the club by developing youth.
What I really hope to complete within the below is seeing GCZ move into a new stadium. Purpose built for them and only them. As to whether I complete any of the rest, you will all just have to follow my story on the blog or on Twitter: @FM_Grasshopper.
- Produce and develop a Newgen, through the club's youth intake, and see them go on to become a Ballon d'Or winner (either at the club or elsewhere)
- Win the Champions League, Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup in a single season
- Win the Club World Cup
- Commission a new all-seater stadium for GCZ
- Improve the Youth and Training Facilities to World Class
(1) Do not exceed net transfer spend of £40m in a season.
(2) At least 8 Homegrown GCZ Newgens* must be in the match day squad for each domestic (league and cup) AND Champions League matches. 5 of these must be Swiss nationality
(1) I will document when I have completed certain challenges in my save on the persistent part of my website. I will document if certain items are also achieved in advanced of the planned timeframes. However, if a challenge is achieved after the planned timeframe I will not count it e.g. Winning the Swiss Cup for the first time in Season 4. For those challenges that can be achieved in a single occurrence, they will looks similar to this:
- Compete in the Champions League Knockout Stages - achieved on September 2017 <screenshot>
*A home-grown player will be defined as one who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with Grasshopper Club Zürich, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the Season during which he turns 21).