Dec 14, 2010
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Basically my question is how much are people prepared to pay players for success? I'm not talking about being Man City and splashing £100m+ on transfer fees and 150k+ per week on ages, I mean people who are playing as a not-so-rich side and have gotten to or started in higher leagues and now have a decent-sized budget to spend.

Having got to La Liga from the Segunda B3 with a shoestring budget and had relatively good success in the league with two top-four finishes in a row I find myself resigned to the fact that I now probably should spend big for success. For three years the wage bill offered to me has been £400k and my transfer budget is £16m, yet I have always kept it under £275k and spent merely £11m maximum on several players at best in a single season. It's kinda like the Wenger approach.

However I have just hit a patch of games where I lost 3-0 to Arsenal in the Champions League, 2-0 to Real Madrid and 3-2 to Sevilla with Marseille next in Europe and think that it is probably time to break open the treasure chest I have been hoarding. Pre-season I could have signed Garay from Madrid for £2m, which was a bargain for me except he wanted £45k wages and I instantly reclined in horror at that and cancelled negotiations. I've also had the chance to sign Adebayor, Honda and Vermaelen but they all wanted around £45k-£55k and I turned them down, the greedy swines!

My highest-paid player is on around £24k and this seems reasonable to me, but it looks like I've hit a brick wall where I can't sign better players without a serious increase in the wages paid. I've got a good youth setup but those players need at least four-five years to turn into world-beaters and I can't wait that long for success after playing for so long.

Have I been too stingy and miserly or am I justified in not signing these greedy players? I'm on my seventh season and despite promotions and good league form I would really like a trophy or to go pretty far in the Champions League and while I can do awesome against poor clubs I just can't beat those bigger clubs like the Arsenals or Madrids who spend big.
I suppose you could for 20/21 year old regens , they rarely demand huge wages at that age but if you can find them they should be good enough for your first team and will develop well if given the right playing time / training etc etc.
I refuse to over spend on wages! When I was Liverpool, Ryan Babel’s contract was almost up…He was more of a rotation/back up player…sort of like real life. He was demanding 70k a week, was I **** having that.

Little did I know he was already on 66k or something…stupid wages for a back up player? I refuse to bow down and offer players these silly wages.
I refuse to over spend on wages! When I was Liverpool, Ryan Babel’s contract was almost up…He was more of a rotation/back up player…sort of like real life. He was demanding 70k a week, was I **** having that.

Little did I know he was already on 66k or something…stupid wages for a back up player? I refuse to bow down and offer players these silly wages.
Personally , it depends what team I am playing with.
If i am playing a long game with a lower league team and get the up a few leagues , my overall club finances probably won't be strong enough to splash out regardless of my wage budget.
However if I am a 'big' team such as Tottenham , Everton etc then if i think the player is worth his ridiculous wages then i'll let him have them , aslong as I don't go over my wage budget of course. Because , the sponsorship , league positions along with other sources of income should be enough to cover the huge wages.
Keep up the good fight! No sense in signing a new guy who has double the salary of your next highest paid player. Just look for young talent and grab them before they're too expensive. And maybe wait for your young players to turn into world beaters. Four or five seasons isn't that long in the grand scheme of things, I would wait it out. It'll be worth it in the end. None of these players deserve their exorbitant wages. Keep at it and you'll have more success in no time.
Yeah, I do like my Wenger approach of getting young talent from other teams and building my youth team around them, though I have had a few good regens recently. My theory has been that for every player I don't sign on £50k+ per week that's more money to sign young talent the following season. It's just getting frustrating that I started building my young talent around three seasons ago so I'm JUST starting to get the fruits of my labour but those initial players won't peak for a few years yet and I would really like success NOW dammit, more so because I've gotten reliant on the Champions League money to upgrade my facilities and this season more than any other my lack of pure ability against the bigger clubs has been sorely exposed. Even the likes of Getafe, Espanyol and Deportivo have that one extremely talented regen striker/midfielder that escaped my radar who's now about 21, worth about £16.5m and is on £55k per week that totally destroys my underpaid but overachieving team.

My biggest concern has been that since my days in the Liga Adelante my first-choice centrebacks have been Dorian Dervite and Kamil Zayatte. Now, they're reliable and they're good and they can even bag me eight or nine goals apiece a season but I will never win anything with those two as my leading defenders. But to get a BETTER defender who isn't either still developing or reaching his mid thirties I have to shell out around £5m+ and then offer £45k+ and several ridiculous clauses to bag them which goes against everything I stand for but appears to be the only way that I'm going to get a trophy any time in the next seven or eight seasons. Ah well, the youth approach it is, then!
I've actually had a lot of luck with getting quality CB's for very cheap. Of course you can get older players that are out of contract and really cheap, and CB's can continue to be good well into their 30's. But I've had luck getting great CB's for really cheap. One save I signed Gale Agbossomounde for practically nothing, paid him practically nothing (maybe 5-7 thousand a week) and he was by far my most consistent CB, better than Coloccini, Domagoj Vida, and Anderson Polga. Average rating of 7.3 every year with few bad games. This was in Portugal but still...if you scout well and look hard enough, you can uncover a very solid CB for cheap. Try looking for an undiscovered talent in a poor league with low salaries, unsettle him and maybe you can sign him for low wages. Definitely stick it out though, I like your methods, it's how the game should be played. In that same Sporting save the only major purchase I made was Patricio Rodriguez for maybe 12 million (every other purchase was very cheap but I wanted him badly). A few years later I let him go on a free transfer because his wage demands were too high. Won the title the next year though.
Haven't gotten to the point of my pseudo-LLM save where I need to make that jump, but to be fair I think it's a jump you will eventually have to make to take the next step. I also bring in lots of youngsters and develop them, but even the regens will require a better contract at some point, and wages up to 70-80k € (and by that I mean World-Class players topping your wage bill, not all of your first team) aren't completely insane if you're a regular in the Champions League imo. One thing that I worry, more than the highest wage, are the disparities. Paying 80k a week to Paulo Henrique's one thing, but you don't want your substitute CM with half his ability to want to match his wages :p
I've had the disparity thing with some of the regens I've tried to sign. A 15 year-old goalkeeper with PA to be the better than my current keeper wanted £7,750 per week when I enquired! The cheeky sod was only on £55 at his current club. It might have benefitted me in the long run but no way pedro will I have some kid earning stupid amounts, I cancelled negotiations without even trying to lower the bid. No youth player in my team earns more than £3,500 until at least eighteen. I try to renegotiate their contracts every season to add that extra year in case when they get to my first team and start playing amazing they demand an enormous wage hike with only a year left on their deal. I had that with my regen 19 year-old striker that I mistakenly signed on a three-year deal. He scored 20 goals in 45 games in his first proper season in my first team after spending two years in the youth team and had a year left and when I tried to renegotiate I could only get him down to £17,500, which was a massive increase from his paltry previous £2,000.

Sadly, most contract negotiations are now a painful process thanks to Champions League football as even backup players want at least £15,000 per week now. I'm not used to this, I thought I was hardcore and overspending when I signed a Key Player midfielder on £8,000 per week in my first season in La Liga! I think I've been convinced that my youth approach is the way to go, just got to hope that I can struggle into Europe every season to keep the funds coming in to keep signing the kids and upgrading my facilities.
I never go higher than £45000 for a player, due to the promotion clauses that gives them the pay rises, and I've been crippled before when i pay a player £75000, forgetting that another 4-5 players have the "match highest earner" clause in their contract
I avoid "match highest earner" clause like the plague. That thing murders finances! I had promotion clauses in situ when I got promoted to La Liga because I never in my wildest dreams expected it! Before our final game of the season I had to frantically re-negotiate about seven contracts so that I wouldn't have been paying silly amounts to my players the next season.
I'm trying to do a similar thing with West Brom atm, only got four players above 22k a week ages and i'm getting rid of all of them at the end of the season, forcing me to look really hard to find good quality players to bring in at low wages, mainly going for youngsters like Badelj and Kadlec but Kadlec is scoring over a goal a game for me so top after half the season (H)