Sincere Question: Anyone not cheat and succeed with non-worldbeater clubs?


Feb 13, 2011
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I was wondering because, thanks to living in the third-world and being paid in USD (and having a real addiction for statistics and tactics :D ) I have a lot of time to really try hard to succeed in the game.

One thing I notice, however, that a lot of advice given is tainted for one of three primary reasons:

(1) The person uses genies or cheats to help their team along.
(2) The person uses the replay ability on unwanted outcomes.
(3) They are using one of the best teams in any given league.
(4) or a combination of 2 or three of those.

Don't get me wrong, this game is time consuming and I understand not wanting to do it all from scratch. But my question still stands. So I'm wondering, has anyone actually taken a lower level team and found real success with them through hard work and patience? If so, how did you overcome particular obstacles you were confronted with?

Currently, I'm in season five with Oxford. I was able to get an early promotion to league 1, but have been stagnant there. Actually made it to the playoffs in season five, but I was on a HUGE slump (like every season) near the end of the season, and was beat up in the Semi. Obviously I have to work on my keeping guys fit near the end.

The only trophy I've acquired is the JPT. Not great, but hey, it's silverware, right? I've also made it from being unknown to getting a gig with the Guinea U23 team, and then made a quick jump to the Australia U23 team. At the start of season five I have most of my quality players, and now have $1.3Mil p/a payroll to fill out. I'm hoping I can nab some quality players without overpaying like an idiot.

So I haven't wont the FA Cup, Carling Cup, made it anywhere near the Europa Leauge or becoming international. But I feel like this career has so far been a success, despite constantly reading how everyone seems to take over the world within the first 2 years.
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I've never cheated and I almost always play with a team in the lower leagues of England. It is too easy with a major club.

I will mostly pick a team in the Blue Square Premier or League Two and take them to the Premier League. My one criteria now though is that they have at least a 10,000 seat stadium when they start the game as a small stadium will become a hinderance as it directly affects your budget.

Two of my most successful and enjoyable saves are;

Aston Villa on Championship Manager 4. I entered the UEFA Intertoto Cup, won that which allowed me to enter the UEFA Cup. In the UEFA Cup I made it all the way to the final where I lost to Newcastle United. I also made it to the final of the FA Cup where I once again lost to Newcastle. In the league I finished 5th, just outside of the Champions League places. I spent some money for the following season in the hopes that I would get into the Champions League but my season was a failure. I exited the UEFA Cup early and could only manage a 7th place finish in the league and outside of a place in Europe for my third season. The third season saw me hovering around 8th place by January and so I resigned. It was a short save but fun, at least in the beginning.

Harrogate Town on Championship Manager 2007. They start the game in the old Conference North, the 6th level of football in England. I won instant promotion to the Conference Premier. Then I won a successive promotion to League Two with a late season surge into the playoffs. I spent two seasons in League Two before going up to League One via the playoffs again. Three seasons were spent in League One, just avoiding relegation in the first season before a 2nd place finish and automatic promotion to the Championship in the 3rd season. By some miracle I went up to the Premier League at the first attempt, once again through the playoffs. I also won two Johnstone Paint Trophies. So, 5 promotions in 8 seasons, 2 Paint Trophies and one league title. In my first season in the Premier League with Harrogate I was 16th after 20 games before I resigned and took the job at West Ham United, who were mid-table in the Championship. I got West Ham promoted but Harrogate were relegated in my absence. Then I lost interest after a few games into by 1st full season with West Ham.

The one draw back of managing a small club and it is what I experienced with Harrogate Town; the stadiums are so small and it affects your budget. Harrogate start with a tiny 3,800 capacity stadium with only 500 seats. By the time I was in the Premier League it had been expanded to a 7,500 all-seater, but my budgets were tiny. How I climbed the leagues I do not know.

My current save is with Plymouth Argyle. First season (2011/12). They have been relegated two seasons in a row and are in debt when you start the game. I've got the 4th, 6 points away from 3rd place (automatic promotion) with 15 games to go. I was climbing up the table nicely but hit the famous December/January slump where your players suddenly become depressed and can't get a result. I'm also in the final of the Paint Trophy. They do have a pretty big 16,800 seat stadium which has good potential for decent crowds and income for when I - hopefully - move up.
(1) The person uses genies or cheats to help their team along.

do you have proof that people use these tools? I for one have never used any of them, not even the editor! anyone who buys the game can play it anyway he/she see's fit, who are you to tell them how to play it?

(2) The person uses the replay ability on unwanted outcomes.

Some people might do that yes, plus, how do you know that they do? because they go 48 games unbeaten? it is possible bud, trust me! anyone who does that loses the whole crux of the game, realism!

(3) They are using one of the best teams in any given league.

Most people play with their favourite teams! I for one always have at least 3 Manchester United saves per FM! I paid for it and I can play how I please! I have many other saves ranging from Italy, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Portugal etc..

(4) or a combination of 2 or three of those.


I don't play the game to start off in the BSN etc, that is not my style, I dont live in the UK hence I do not have a local team that I support and "want" to make the next big thing in world football

each to their own mate and I suggest that you provide proof before making such accusations!
^^ guilty conscious. Maybe you missed the part where I stated I'm not passing any moral judgment on anyone who uses such items. I just noted that the genies, wonderkid lists, and replays ARE used by a section of players, and thus their advice becomes a bit tainted for MY purposes in regards to the question. This game is massively complex and difficult and I'm not going to judge someone for tipping the scale a little to save some time and energy on constant player searchers... or just want to get an f'n win after a bad run via a replay. Furthermore, I stated I use replay to learn about how formations match up (But still keep my actual running game separate and take the loss). That's just me though.

My question was simply geared to see who does the purist-form with a lower club, and how they dealt with the natural adversity in the game when undertaking such an endeavor.

So chill out.

Thanks for the info Raik. Interesting to learn. How do you deal with late-season slides? It is a constant problem I'm having, and I'm wondering if I'm running my players ragged. Also, how do you keep passing% up? I have been have HUGE struggles with my squad getting out-shot something like a 3/1 ratio no matter what formation. I figure it's something I'm messing up.
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FWIW, I agree with shalabi's criteria but, as someone stated, to each their own. In this version of FM(2012), I took Mordovia from the Russian league 2 to the Champions league and missed winning that conference by 2 games. After struggling to mid-table, I quit.

I am now with Cesena and took them to the highest level after 2 seasons. Now, after finishing 3rd last season and qualifying for the ECC, I am bound and determined to win it all this year. The secret I've found is in the constant search for bargain players with the hope that everything will click in one year before they all run out of contract and start demanding way more than you can afford. That and having several very different tactics that your team masters quickly. Whenever a tactic starts to not work in a game, I quickly jump to the others before things get out of hand. I still lose my share of games during a season, but I seem be able to win my fair share as well.
I love playing in the lower leagues, so much more rewarding knowing you've slogged it out with pretty even teams and come out on top at times. Like thestaggy said though, I always go for a club with a decent sized stadium, picking one too small is a massive blow on resources as you go up the leagues. On my Histon save I didn't play a single home game in my own stadium for two and a half seasons due to constant upgrades to meet league requirements.
Haven't tried the Russian league yet. Probably because I am just not knowledgable enough about it, and have a hard enough time with the game :) Doesn't help I'm too hard on myself with these self-inflicted rules of conduct, lol.

Good stuff. I agree on the feeling of accomplishment but darn it if you dont have to smash a few keyboards in the process, lol. I played in the Korean league second-tier for 5 years on a particular save. Problem there was only one team ascends and I just couldn't make it. After that I went to the Malaysian leagues, wherein the rules got a bit confusing so I started a new game.

Thus far with Oxford I'm in the 6th season now. I got REALLY lucky with a quality sugar daddy who has put some serious money into the team. That afforded me the ability to stretch my muscle as far as my OCD researching of the right players. Looking (and on course) to actually win League 1 and taking a second consecutive JPT (in finals); however, there's a very strong chance I'll be slogged in the Championship League. That plus the money troubles for the club (-125,000 english pounds per month on average), I'll likely have to leave at the end of the season to continue on. Suuuuuuuuuucks to have to make that decision though. Point being, I'll probably go back down to League 1 and take a more financially stable club up. May even take on Crystal Palace, who is uber-rich and yet falling to League 2 at the end of the season.

Anyway, thanks for your input guys. I wish more people put up more storied failures so we could all learn.
For me, FM12 was all too easy due to the following.

- Too easy to spot a wonderkid amongst the players your scouts recommended by just looking at the stats
- Too easy to sign the perfect team players for very little money due to the fact that the AI controlled teams just did not bother with them if their reputation was not high enough, something a hardworking DMC or defensive MR with the perfect stats rarely have
- Too easy to use an tactical approach that abused the Match Engine
- Too easy to train players into having the "perfect" set of stats ( in their ability range of course)

I have never used any cheating tools at all but I still managed to get vaious teams promotoed from the CCC the first season and wining the EPL the following season, along with taking teams from League Two straight into the CL in the 5th season
Well wanting to shed my own experience.

Having started with Fm06 then starting at Fm10 Handheld. Christmas 2011 Fm2012 started it up with Almere City Dutch side 2division team. First season was all shine and glory as we took the league and promotion to the Eredivisie. And from that moment on, stagnation and several seasons of the media hammering us for what they thought was a early sent off back down a division.

Luckily for me after 5 years (ingame) 2 years (RL) and a save worth 2 months. I can say we are finally a top league contender, however besides the first win haven't won a single **** thing. Is annoying but just keep pressing on. Every time I read the people making it seem like a breeze. I just simply state that is that person. If he happens to cheat or whatever. Atleast they manage to get the most out of everything they do.

But just keep going with it, and for someone with only 3,000 seats in the stadium. I might not have the biggest budget, but I always have the chance to draft in good prospects. The selling aspect was a little late on me. But I have good hopes that in another 2 years I might have finally stacked up some true silverware for my side.

And just fume and then keep going and for a true small team. Becoming great from small beginnings is all there wish.