AZ & Ed: Part 9 – FFP Matters

I’ve never really taken much notice of FFP in my saves. Like real life it’s something that sits there in the background, poorly implemented and probably something that won’t really concern me. Oh how wrong I was.

First I’ll need to set the scene; it’s been a while since the last blog…pretty sure I said that in the last one I did too. Part 8 saw us in Season 5 and a bright look into the future. Fast forward to today and I’m midway through Season 9 – it’s enjoyable save, but it’s now very different to the ideal I had when I started this journey.

Gone are my hopes of a first team squad half-full of academy graduates. Gone are the parameters by which I said I’d set my team up…it’s all gone. But all is not lost.

At the end of season 6, I was contemplating the end of the save. Completely dominant domestically, feckless in the Champions League beyond the group stage, a part of me felt like I couldn’t take this team any further. Yet I had Angarita and a few other players I adored. So I decided on one last hoorah…that was the plan anyway.

Season 2025/26 – £253m spent (albeit £221m recouped) I decided to go out with a bang – in came a world class left winger, a world class striker from China and a brilliant central midfielder from Porto. I wanted to make a huge push for the Champions League, it could have been my last season.

We did well. Really well. Topping our group then beating Atletico & Bayern before crashing out on away goals to the mighty PSG. It was a valiant effort but ultimately we fell short of the dream again. Yet, despite all this, my desire to continue the save was as strong as ever.

Steffi Graph

The following season we spent £106m and only brought in £9m…I didn’t know at the time but this coupled with a soaring wage spend would see us get into trouble.

Fast forward to today, January 2028 and for the last 6 months I’ve been told that I’m due to fail FFP by £78m. Now I didn’t really take this seriously when I first saw the news item, I definitely didn’t look at the sheer amount I owed…I’ve had saves where the FFP turns red but then it’s green come season end. Safe to say that isn’t the case now. So the save takes another turn. January comes along and I HAVE to sell or face expulsion from the CL next season. I don’t really want that.

In previous windows I’ve had a few bids for some of my star players though it’s fair to say it’s been a while since I’ve received a bid of an amount that I deemed sufficient – most are non-negotiable bids of less than a players’ market value – something I always find annoying.

As the seasons have gone on the value of my players has steadily increased to a point where it shouldn’t be a problem raising the best part of £80m, but at what cost? WHAT COST?!!

I’m desperate to win the Champions League. I think we’ve a squad that can win it, with some luck, though there are stronger teams out there of course. Barcelona have been dominant in recent years winning 3 of the last 4 with PSG winning two in the last 6.

We aren’t the best squad in Europe but we have a brilliant, young team and I’d love to complete the fairy-tale. Part of me wonders whether the save would continue beyond a Champions League victory but bloody hell we’ve got to win it first. And not fail FFP FFS.

18th January 2028 and, a little surprisingly, I didn’t have to try hard at all to raise the necessary funds. Bids came in for two of my best players. I negotiated. And here we are:

Murv will be missed

Such a worldie

They will be sorely missed. Murv was a beast of a left winger, arguably the best one in this save. Ferrari was my first ‘big’ purchase back in the summer of 2024 for £51m and I’ve doubled my money on him.

Perfect as a striker or a central midfielder, set pieces…gah! Hard to see him go. I’ll have to hunt for a replacement though he will no doubt have to be one for the future given our spending constraints.

I’ve brought in a left winger, who is good but of course not ‘that’ good, not ‘Murv’ good. But at £14m he’s a steal from Inter Milan.

Eric from Peru

As it stands now we will now pass FFP (with flying colours no doubt), but our chances of winning the Champions League have definitely been diminished. We won 6 from 6 in the group stage but face Bayern Munich is the first knockout round with 2 less world class players.

It’s funny how I attempted to sabotage my save somewhat in the pursuit of glory, that in turn led to me enjoying the save in a different way, now I’m successfully repairing the cracks those gargantuan purchases made, to the point where I may have to reevaluate my ambitions as well as how we behave in the transfer market.

Season 9 and I’m still having fun. Our new stadium will be completed in July this year and I do hope one of these days I get a son through the academy. I’ve never had one in any version of FM and it makes me sad. My adopted son, Edwin Angarita, is still a complete boss though. As far as league appearances and goals go he’s played 186 league games scoring 188 goals. What a player.

I’m interested to see how we fare for the rest of the season now. I don’t expect any more incomings nor outgoings until the summer now. We’re a weaker side than last season when we abhorrently knocked out of the first knockout stages to Roma. But anything can happen in the cup competitions.
Until next time!

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