Lower league management- How to survive

Dec 10, 2008
For those who have read this before i appologise for the re-post from the fm12 forums, i just thort this might help some new fm13 players and new fm players in general who may not have read this in the fm12 forum. I believe that most if not all of the consepts i used in fm12 will also refer to fm13.

Ive just started the 2030/31 season in my Blyth season and Ross Barkley looks to be the last of the original players to retire at end of the last season. This is my longest save on any FM.

Through out my 19 seasons ive spent £120mil but sold around £100mil of players. I have a new 50k stadium, top training and youth academy. £50mil in bank and a debt of £210mil (stadium bill) Classed as Rich (no tycoon chairman), 2nd best team in England and 4th best team in overall.

Here is a few tips that helped me through the leagues. hope these help the less experienced lower league managers.

1. Assistant Manager-Needs good atributes in- Motivating, player ability + potential, less important is man management. ( Tactical Knowledge is only an important attribute if you like assistant to auto pick opposition intructions). Staff search with these abilities selected and try and sign best you can. Only offer 2 year contract and do this every season, this allows u to offer contract termination with minimal cost of paying their contracts off.

2. Build a good scouting team. As like assistant manager when in lower leagues check every pre-season for the best scouts around. Work permits are hard to come by in lower leagues so i would suggest only employing Europe based scouts.

3. Finances- Stay within wage budget. In the lower league i relied on free transfers, made all transfer budget available for wage budget. However since im now in Premier League once ive spent what i need to i then adjust budget and make all money available for wages. Doing this over the years i now have around £3mil for wages (only spending £1.2mil) and a transfer budget of around £25 mil but can adjust it and get around £75/100mil transfers.

4. Facilities- As you take a lower league team through the leagues more than likely your stadium wont have enough seats for the next leagues standard and you will be forced to upgrade stadium or at least add seats to standing only stands. With this in mind i never upgraded training or youth set up untill i was in the Prem. In 1st season in the Prem i had to ground share with Sunderland for 9 months while Croft Park was being developed ( i was getting a average attendance of 29k good help with cash injection). But when you do decided to upgrade facilities the board will upgrade in bigger steps, these steps are often a bit pricey but easy to manage with money you get from Premier League. It only took 3/4 seasons to achieve top facilities.

5. Transfer Policy- Personally in lower leagues i used the free transfer market, Sending my scouts on the look out for the best tallent on free's. I usually only pick players with the highest attributes, but in lower league i took more notice of my scouts. Signing players with the better star rating than atributes. this worked to my advantage more than i though it would. Another thing is dont be scared to sell your best players, in lower leagues make most of your best players and make as much money as you can from them.

6. Potential Stars- I noticed on some long saves most teams have a small 1st team squad and little or no reserve team. With Blyth i have a huge reserve team. I achieved this buy signing young free transfers, yes this does cost tad more than some people would like to pay in wages but massively helps in the long run. I look for agents offering young players. Scout them, look out for 2.5 star potential +, they may never develop into stars of your team However they will be good enough for teams below you. Ive sold them on making alot of money.

7. Golden Oldies- I signed alot of players in their twighlite, Joe Hart/Ramsey/Walcott/Milner/Valencia to name just a few. Yes they are old BUT they can still do a job. 1 year deals and cheap wages. Milner played untill he was 37 and was collecting around 1.5k a week. but turning in 7+ perfromances.

8. Tactics- Try and be consitant with this, Ive had same tactic from Blue Square North, and winning champs league with it now. Be simple with it too, a play a 4-4-2 with AML+AMR. Player roles are standard ( and all players playing best position and role) So if u buy say a new CB change only CB role to the prefered role of new CB.

9. Dont give up!- A relegation or failure to get promoted isnt always a bad thing. I got promotion straight from conference to the championship. But with Stadium upgrades i had no money to spend and very little money to sign free transfers. I got relegated straight back to League 1. But the £2mil i got from been in Championship helped me build a squad good enough to win league 1 and stay in championship. I then got stuck in Championship for 5 seasons. losing in playoffs 4 times. But when eventually got promotion my squad was good enough for 13 place in Premier league. Took my 9 seasons to reach Premier League but when i got there my club were ready for it.

Sorry for the long read ( I appologise for any spelling mistakes lol), but i hope this helps anyone wanting to take on a lower league challenge.

Thanx to anyone who take time to read this, any feedback or additional tips please comment.

gogogo golem

Mar 15, 2012
It is a good read and I do remember it. The only spelling mistake is in the apology about them, which made me chuckle.


Mar 3, 2009
All new players/players that are not used to the lower leagues should take heed of some of these comments, they will come in useful!