#FM17 | The Keysi Way | Reading FC | part I

Hello everyone and welcome to the new blog post about Football Manager 2017. I’m sure there will be many great articles during the FM17 around the #WeAreTheCommunity and I will be very happy to be part of it. 

This post is about my FM17 save with Reading FC. I’m still not decided if this will be my main save for FM17 as I thought about a long term save in Greece with a beginning in third tier there.

header image royals save

It would be in similar terms like with Spartans FC in FM15 or with AB in FM16. You can read about these two saves here and here. But I wanted to share some of my views from the game with you.

But there is still chance I will play this save for a whole year so it could transform to my main save. We will see…

I have a weakness for Reading FC for a long time. I have a lot of favorite players like Jem Karacan, Shane Long, Ian Harte, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Mikele Leigertwood, Ivar Ingimarsson, Glen Little, Bobby Convey, Adam Federici, Jobi McAnuff, Noel Hunt…

…and many others. I follow this club closely for more than fifteen years and thank god for the internet because it’s easier than in the past.

When Marek Matějovský joined the club in 2008, it was only the positive plus. Who could know we’ll later become friends in real life…

Marek Matějovský after his most famous goal for Reading FC against Liverpool

The most of my favorite players left the club in the recent years for a different reasons same as coaches and managers.

I really like Brian McDermott and Steve Coppell. And of course, Sir John Madejski who is the legend of the club. I always love(d) to read his official statements.

I had to buy kit of Jem Karacan or Jobi McAnuff in the past. I had to. I think you know what I’m talking about… 🙂 I’ll never forget when I watched the promotion party in 2012 with my wife via internet stream and she enjoyed it. The crazy thing is my wife hates football! 🙂

Jem Karacan kit from 2012/2013 season

If you know me, my style of play and my philosophies around Football Manager, you can recognised very quickly that this save with Reading FC is the most typical save by me.

Young players, very tight wages, small transfer fees for incoming players, developing my own players through academy system and concentrate on set pieces and team work.

I did not set up any competitions goal as I don’t need to be promoted to the Premier League in the first several seasons. I want to build squad around young players who will have a good work rate and they will be leaders, not just only “decent” players. I know it will take a time and I will be patient about this. The main question is how long the owner will be patient as well…

Custom Reading FC home & away kits

Reading FC

I think it’s not necessary to introduce this club to closest details. The most important thing you need to know is that the club is owned by Narin Niruttinanon from Thailand.

Their management is not typical for many Asian businessmen with many €£¥$ in the pocket. Or rightly, they have a lot of money but they they don’t give that much money to the club as owners of Man City and etc.

I had £3M transfer budget at the start of the save and £362,551 p/w wage budget (350K p/w currently spending).

I knew I don’t need transfer budget. I knew I have to cut wage budget. So have a look at the squad. There are many players with absurdly high wage.


For example – goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi (15K p/w), Paul McShane (15K p/w), Joey van den Berg (11,5K p/w), Garath McCleary (20K p/w), Roy Beerens (15K p/w), Joseph Mendes (8,25K p/w), Yann Kermorgant (17K p/w) and some more…

What to do? I tried to sell some of them. It was impossible to sell all of them but I tried. Only one outgoing transfer of some these players was departure of Ali Al-Habsi who moved to Celta Vigo. The fee was not important in comparison with a wage saving.

Finances at the start of the save

During the first season I was able to sell Mendes to Nice, van der Berg to Heerenveen, McCleary to Crystal Palace and Beerens to Middlesbrough. Total income was £7M.

We had around 12K p/w on wage budget available at the start of the save and we finished the first season with the budget of 300K p/w what is more than 60K p/w fewer.

The most of the high paid players will depart in the summer 2017…

Finances at the end of the first season

New signings

I decided I will play with the best youngster in the club and I will try to develop them. There is no place for players who earn too much and they play bellow average.

I signed three new players during the first season. Diego Poyet signed contract as free player until summer 2019. And then I signed two young strikers – Rob Harker from Bury and Tristan Abrahams from Leyton Orient.

But the most important was to concentrate on our own young players. I wanted to give a lot of playing time to these – Josh Barrett, Harry Cardwell, John Swift, Jake Cooper, George Evans and Dominic Samuel.

We have too many young players on-loan so I will have to wait for their return to use them in our senior squad.

There is also one very talented player in our Under 18 squad – striker Danny Loader. This forward is 15-years old at the start of the new save and I promoted him to the senior squad.

It was easy to beat the record of youngest player in the club history in the competitive match…15 years nad 347 days in the EFL Cup against Yeovil.



After changes in the club recently I wanted to hire a new DoF and another staff. As a DoF I signed Chris Evans who was with Derby or Sheff Wednesday in previous years. My assistant manager is Andries Ulderink who came with Jaap Stam to Reading – I will replace him probably after his contract will end.

You can also have a look at our staff and training in overall…it would be great to have another members of our medical team but there are not good physios available in our financial realations.

I decided I will set assigments to our scouts very simply. As I want to play with and signed young players my scouts will search players who are at most 21 and they play in Championship/League One and League Two. They will of course search players in Under-23 and Under-18 competitions.

Team overview

The team overview is not important for you if you don’t know what formation we use. It’s 4-3-3 with control mentality. It took some time when we played like I want but it was very good to try this tactic after last year’s a little conservative 4-1-4-1.

This is our squad depth and the squad overview at the start of the first season in charge. I will write more about our formation and etc. in next post…

Until that, thank you for reading, @KeysiRensie.



A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

Leave a Reply