Up & Down Career - Sort Of...


Feb 10, 2016
I've played FM for about 3 years properly now. I had bought FM12 but never really got into it until just before FM15 was released but since then I have been glued to the game. I have enjoyed every aspect of it but up until this year I haven't been able to stick to one save. Previously my longest save was 6 seasons long on FM15 where I worked my way up from the conference south to championship with the challenge of managing clubs in financial trouble making it tough to progress.

This year though after my initial playing around on the release of the game I've managed to settle into one save which I am now in the 11th season of. For me this is impressive as I tend to conjure up new ideas as I play and quickly switch between saves. However the pure oddity of the current save has kept me going and it's something I've not experience before.

Previously I have either stuck to one team and built them up for 3/4 seasons or just played 2 or 3 random seasons and got bored. I ended FM16 with a superb save with my team Walsall where heading into season 5 I was challenging for a promotion spot to the premier league. Then FM17 came out though...

After unsuccessfully trying to replicate my Walsall save, the usual SAF challenge and a couple of other tester saves I decided to go for a journeyman like save to keep me going. 11 seasons in I'm still enjoying it but I was wondering if anybody else has had a save so long with such odd success(?)? So here goes...

Season 1 - I started the save with 5th tier Tranmere Rovers. Expecting to do well it didn't exactly work out as half a season bouncing around mid-table led to falling out with the board. At this point I started looking for another move and somehow got a move to league 2 Mansfield in February.

Mansfield were nothing short of doomed for relegation. 10 points from safety heading into the thick of the season didn't look good but I somehow miraculously turned it around and dragged them to safety. It was nothing short of a miracle as I gained safety with 3 games to go despite having a rough start with 1 win from my opening 6 games.

Season 2 -
After the relegation battle of season 1 I was just hoping to guide Mansfield to mid-table but somehow throughout the season found myself in a push for promotion. Having started so strongly I saw myself in the top 3 up until Christmas but then slipped off the pace and fell out of the top 7. A late season push saw me clinch 7th, the final playoff spot and I then went on to upset the odds and win the playoffs gaining promotion to league 1 just a season after almost being relegated to the conference.

Season 3 - Season 3 had one objective; survival. And it happened. For most of the season I looked safe in mid-table but a couple of injuries around March to my unlikely superb striker partnership of Wes Burns and Danny Graham saw me slip into the relegation dog fight but I'd done enough to clinch league 1 football for another season.

Season 4- A summer of frustration with the board led me to question staying at Mansfield heading into the season. Despite the finances being secure the board lowered the wage budget to what it was back in the first season and it stunted any chance of progression. So when championship Derby swooped in for me around Christmas I had to jump ship before it sank (very reluctantly).

Derby were deep in a relegation battle despite having quality and it looked like it would be tough. However a superb start saw nothing but progression and after joining being 6 points from safety I finished the season 9th, just 4 points from the play-off's.

Season 5 - After a superb start to my time in Derby I was prepared for a Mansfield like progression but it wasn't to be. I'd been sacked by September after doing nothing better than mid-table to start the season. The budgets weren't there to fill in the cracks of a decent squad but teams took advantage of the cracks and broke us down with ease.

October arrived and my next move came along. 15 points from safety at the foot of league 1 were Bradford and it was my job to turn it round somehow. 2 wins in my opening 15 league games didn't help and we fell to 20 points from safety but a major miracle turn around occurred. 9 wins from the next 13 games saw a survival spark and by the end of March I had achieved safety. Despite 4 losses from the final 5 games I had somehow survived after being 20 points from safety to start February.

Season 6 - Enjoying my time with Bradford I saw a Mansfield-esque turn around and by December was sat at the top of the league 1 table after a summer of superb signings and backing from the board; something not experienced before. With almost £2m to spend I focused on improving a leaky defence and it worked. However by new year I had made another move after premier league Everton came in for me; a move I couldn't turn down.

Again the familiar situation of a relegation dog fight existed but the quality was in place to bring another season of premier league football to the blue side of Liverpool with a 14th placed finish in the top division in football.

Season 7 -
I was hopeful of a big summer of transfers and a push up the league standings after a strong start to my premier league career but the board were happy to sit back and just secure survival benefiting from the financial rewards without any further ambition. Despite this some superb transfer business saw me lead Everton to 13th and another season of premier league football.

Season 8 -
After a familiarly tough summer of having to sell to buy I lost patience. The board demanded a finish to earn Europa league football but with no investment outside of sales it was never to be. Mid way through January I resigned after trying everything to get some backing but despite being 9th they refused to help give that extra push which could've secured what they wanted.

Season 9 - After waiting till summer I had earned an unlikely move to Serie A Roma. The closest challengers to a dominant Juventus side saw something in me and decided to take a punt. My first season saw a loss in the Italian super cup, a 2nd place league finish and an Italian Cup come to Roma. We also reached knock out stages of champions league football as the board expected dominating a tough group including Spurs and Dortmund. Shrewd transfer business continued to be the story of my career as some free signings helped to push us closer to Juve.

Season 10 - Another season saw further shrewd signings including a world class winger for £15m from Manchester City. We replicated our league success finishing just 3 points off of title holders Juventus, once again finished runners up in the Italian super cup but couldn't bring the cup home. The champions league saw us go one step further reaching the quarter finals but we couldn't get past Benfica.

Season 11 - My toughest summer yet happened as all our best players were poached by footballs biggest clubs and the busy window unsettled a pretty set system. Having lost Dolberg and a world class CB to United for a combined £87m I couldn't find immediate quality to replace the key men.

I loved Italian football but players didn't. All players saw it as a stepping stone and refused to sign contracts unless they were offered deals including release clauses of around £40m which in 11 seasons time seems to be nothing. Clubs continued to pick us apart and the unrest of losing our best players saw us start poorly and sat in 9th 10 games in and winless in a champions league group including PSG and Manchester City. At this point I decided it was the end of my time in Roma; a successful time in some ways but a disappointing end.

Now... Once again my odd career took another odd turn. Boxing day 2026 rolled around and I was hired by championship strugglers Bournemouth. Still with quality in the side such as Redmond and Gray I've started well with 2 wins and 2 draws from 4 games. With just 1 striker (who has an unreal 7 goals in 4 games since my arrival there is an obvious area of improvement in January but the need for a new striker has to wait until sales as the club sit £6m in debt.

Survival is easy; 20 games to go I'm 10 points clear but I want to aim higher and try replicate my time with Derby but go one step better. With a 4 year contract the board are entrusting me with the future and I hope to finally gain some more silverware heading into the 2nd decade of my career.

So my main question is... Has anybody had such an odd career path. I somehow climbed my way up from conference to premier league by being successful in a number of relegation battles, a league two play-off win and setting Bradford up for promotion to the 2nd tier and then ended up at Roma.

However after a disappointing 3rd season with Roma I now sit back in the Championship with an ambitious Bournemouth side and pushing for trophies which have evaded me so far in my career.

Personally I think it's been quite successful. Baring Roma I have never been at a club set up for success but have never been relegated and have set clubs up for success (Mansfield became a league 1 staple before a recent drop which sees them in league 2 relegation scraps 7 seasons after my departure and Bradford were a championship yoyo team for years before settling back into league 1). At Roma I finished runners up in 2 super cups behind Juventus, runners up in 2 league campaigns behind Juventus and won 1 Italian Cup, losing the other to Juventus... Notice the trend?

My other question is what do people class as success? Would you say I've done well or poorly?