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Darren: FM 2011 Brighton break the bank in pre-season! 2012/13

Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 story with Brighton. Last time we ended with not only promotion to the Premier League but the Championship title. After a truly incredible start my boys wrapped up two league titles in the space of two years. Despite the positives I had financial problems and this led to small budgets. With a fairly small squad lacking pedigree I hoped and prayed for my board to trust me with money that wasn’t there. :)

I’m nothing if not honest and can tell you now that I will be going crazy with Brighton’s cash. But for anyone who has read my financial guides, you will know why. I always say you should do anything and everything to get Champions League football…then you can start focussing on the bank balance and build it back up. You all saw me do this with Newcastle and I’m not afraid to try such risks again. This brings me onto the boards expectations and dreaded transfer budget. While I was expected to fight bravely against relegation, I took a huge risk and told the board I could achieve a mid-table position. This earned me £28 million for transfers and an extra £50K a week in wages.

We have a lot of transfers to get through, so I won’t spend too much time talking about each individual player. Lets start with transfers out and wave bye bye to those departing Brighton. We won’t go through them all, mainly because each player failed to figure in my plans and were offered out to clubs. A total of £7 million was raised and we managed to increase the wage budget slightly.

Now we move onto what really matters, this was my most active transfer window since playing FM 2011. And I’m delighted to report Brighton have a great future with this crop of players. I will reveal the signings by position and suggest you read through the post as some players will just be viewable from clicking their names.

New signings – Goalkeepers

Last season revealed that my current keeper, Doyle, is not good enough for the top flight and I desperately needed a replacement. Enter Joe Lewis, this young goalie joined us from Peterborough for £1.3 million. A bargain when you consider his ability and potential.

New signings – Full backs

With Corrales looking solid at left back I decided to press on and find a young right back. The EPL has skilful and pacey wingers meaning the full back positions could make or break my season. I found Nathaniel Clyne at Championship side Swansea and snapped him up for £2.5 million. The 21 year old can defend and attack equally as well and is a bargain that will stay in my squad for many years.

New signings – Centre back

My weakest area and one I had to improve or face relegation. I will introduce my first signing last, but lets start with a young Englishmen who has already played for Brighton. Jordan Spence joined my side for his second spell from West Ham. Only this time its a permanent deal worth £3.4 million. Now we move to my best signing, I have raved about this kid since the start of FM 2011 and seen his worth with Man Utd and Real Madrid during other saves. I introduce Leonel Galeano, the 21 year old Argentine wonderkid will be the best around. Independiente were demanding £9.75 million and after two weeks of negotiating I finally got my man.

New signings – Central midfield

All my tactics require a solid midfield three, so you’d expect some big signings in this area and I don’t like to disappoint. :) We’ll start with the fringe signings, Bakary Sare joined from Anderlecht for £1.2 million and will be rotated in the more defensive roles. Roberto Sousa was found on a free transfer and the Brazilian will be used as cover in the supporting midfield role.

Now we move onto the big signings and lets start with my new ball winning midfielder. Delvin Ndinga was available for free and I snapped him up before anyone else got a sniff. I also found one hell of a bargain on the free transfer list…Charlie Adam will join the club as my deep lying playmaker and free kick specialist.

Now lets move onto my best signing in midfield, another free transfer might I add! He comes from Morocco, can play as the advanced playmaker and is just 24 years old. Ismail Aissati was released from Ajax and I secured his signature just after confirming promotion to the EPL. What a signing for the boys in blue!!

New signings – Wingers

With Noone, McDermott and Soukouna all looking dangerous on the wings I didn’t need to add much in this area. However, I did sign John Fleck from Rangers for £3.2 million. Then after messing around with the player search filters, I found Shaun Wright-Phillips as a free agent. I couldn’t believe my luck and snapped at the 30 year old for a signature. His pace and dribbling ability will make for a deadly weapon on the right wing!

New signings – Strikers (just wait for this!!!)

I love saving the best for last and anyone who reads through our scouting network will know these names well. I signed Cedric Bakambu from Arsenal’s reserves for £10 million. The profile below may not look like much, but just look at Bakambu’s scouting network profile!

Just like Bakambu, my next striker looks decent but not world class. However his talent is beyond belief and this 19 year old will be massive within the next four years. Let me introduce my new Mexican forward, Erick Torres signed form Chivas for £3.3 million. He looks promising below but just check out Torres’ profile on our scouting network.

And that concludes my transfer activity for the summer, I signed a total of 13 players and spent £34.5 million. The board have been fantastic and even accepted a request to increase my wage budget. I know they won’t regret it and feel optimistic for the new season. We won’t be reaching Europe any time soon but the next two seasons will see massive improvements and I am looking for a mid-table finish this season.

Now you’ve seen all the ins and outs, let me introduce the new look Brighton & Hove Albion. I am covered in almost every area and the squads average age is 24 years old.

After so many signings you would expect my finances to be a disaster. There not as bad as you’d think but certainly don’t look great. Brighton are now £14 million in the red, however I expect this figure to tip back into the black by the end of this season.

Well that’s it for today’s update, I hope you enjoyed the read and will be back next time. Don’t expect Brighton to hit the ground running as a lot of players will need to settle in, but I have some great news ready for the next post…it includes the return of a certain tactic. :) Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments as always.

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Birdy
Birdy
10 years ago

very nice work on the market Darren. Good luck for this season, I know you will be amazing and you can keep your spot in the PRM

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

Some nice deals there Darren and a gamble with the finances but as you say it has to be done to get into the CL Doing the same with my West Ham team as we went into the red in season 2 but season 3 has seen some european football and decent cup runs to clear some of the debt.

Good luck mate and will be eagerly awaiting your new season

Malhar Bhadbhade
Malhar Bhadbhade
10 years ago

hey darren,
good luck for the next season! made some really solid signings, and with your experience, mid table is a real possibility. also, i wanted to ask you about feeder clubs. i’m at real madrid in my 2nd season. and when i asked my board for a feeder club, they asked me whether i would like to be involved with it, and i said yes. but, they didnt give me anything to be involved with, and after a month declared that after much searching, they couldnt find an appropriate club. how does that work? if i’m to be involved, shouldn’t i get a choice or something? i’ve never ever managed to establish feeder club connections on any of my previous saves either. any suggestions?

Nathan
Nathan
10 years ago

Looking forward to seeing this team with Manchelona :) You can find some really good free transfers if you look hard enough: I got Thiago off Barca and Santon from Inter after 1 season as Liverpool :) this team looks good enough for a mid table finish, Torres especially will get you a huge profit. Your forwards are quick, so are you gonna play them as poachers or complete forwards? I’m also wondering whether the role you play them as dictates which stats improve, e.g. poacher just improves speed and shooting/composure whereas complete forwards improve a wider variety but less dramatically.

Nathan
Nathan
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

I have Sanogo at the moment, except with the 11.3 update and a half year injury he is slow… his teamwork isn’t ideal either so he is a backup to Neymar. I play with a manchelona 4-2-3-1 formation, Gerrard as my AMC tends to hog the score sheet while my wingers (suarez inside forward and hazard playmaker) get a few assists/goals. I’ll see how Sanogo goes with complete forward but since Neymar is a similar age I might sell him as I found 2 16 yr old strikers with huge potential in Germany… a 4.5 star potential with low determination (was hoping to get Suarez to tutor but I can’t :( and 4 star with high determination, wonder which one will be better :), also have Torres as backup but he tends to miss a few sitters at the moment.

benevo146
benevo146
10 years ago

Cracking read as always mate, my Elgin save kind of wound up in a confusing end, so started a Bristol Rovers save, mainly to tie me over to 2012 but also to kind of see if i can follow you with Brighton, will be interesting to see. looking forward to saturday, keep it up!

tom
tom
10 years ago

28 Million?!?!? What a fantastic budget. Brilliant players brought in aswell. Galeano a fantastic buy and works great with the far post corner tactic.

I like how you are going for broke but with the players you have signed i imagine mid table is achieveable at bare minimum.

Alex
10 years ago

You mentioned my scouting profile :D. Bakambu will be worth that 10 million, his star rating is very impressive and he’s only 21! Good luck :)

Paul Meeks
Paul Meeks
10 years ago

2000 – 1 for Brighton to win the EPL!? With your track record it’s got to be worth a cheeky fiver ;-)

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Hey Darren,
Great signings! I’m trying to get Torres for Hull, the problem is that so are Real Madrid…

Bakambu will be amazing for you and Charlie Adam is a great free signing. You’ve got a quality midfield, brilliant strike force, steady defence, and reliable goalkeeper, things are looking up!

onecapwonder
onecapwonder
10 years ago

Wow, thats a nice budget there. Its an interesting idea that you should be offered more for a mid table finish than survival. Although there is a decent amount of money per Premiership place at the end its nothing compared to the amount of money you keep by surviving so you’d really expect a board to offer the same amount for “survival” up to “mid table” i.e maximise the chance of survival and then offer more for potential European football and the extra revenue it generates. Anyway I digress.

Those are some awesome signings, Spence and Clyne should become great fullbacks and Galeano has bags of potential, I bought him in my first Prem season and unfortunately he hasn’t fullfilled it (PotA has dropped from 4.5 to 3! despite proper training and being a first team regular don’t really understand it) but I can see why you spent 10mil, I forked out 13!

3.3mil for Erick Torres is just ridiculous he already looks like a great striker, good passing and creativtiy on top of everything else . Its nice to see John Fleck in there, he seems to be a consistently good player across most people’s games on here. The freebies all look great as well, whoever let Adam go must be crazy/very confident.

That squad looks up to the task of a mid table finish, you’ll probably push for Europe if they gel quickly. One things for sure, your side is going to be seriously quick!

Good luck with the season.

onecapwonder
onecapwonder
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Yep, although in the actual EPL you do get commentators and pundits saying of matches at the end of the season “it doesn’t really mean much” if they went to the club accountants they’d get another opinion.

I hope Galeano does well for you, he just never really got any better than the day I signed him on my save, hes not bad per say, just not worth what I paid for him. He also has the ” fairly poor intelligence on the pitch trait” which as I’m a bit of a stickler for centrebacks who can play irks me.

Fleck has been one of my most consistent performers over 3 seasons and while he doesn’t have amazing skills across the board the ones he needs for an AMC are all 15+. I’ve used him an advanced playmaker in the manchelona (great formation btw) and as a straight up AMC in a 4-2-3-1 and hes been effective in both.

Rob Yeats
Rob Yeats
10 years ago

Fantastic wheeling and a dealing Darren! I’m tipping you to shock the Premiership and to get European qualification at the first time of asking.

Lye
Lye
10 years ago

Hi Darren,

No wonder you are proud of your signings. You have bought a few youngster who can slowly grow with the club. They can make a contribution now. The title probably will be too much this season (hope you will prove me wrong though :) I am gunning you to finish in the top six. Good luck.

Excessive
10 years ago

Whey! You used Erick Torres.. will be interesting to see how he develops under your management mate, and I’m sure you will get the best out of him.

Brilliant signings, excellent board, you should really go along way to fulfilling that mid-table finish that you’re gunning for!

Good luck :)

Mikey
Mikey
10 years ago

I’m scoutig Joe Lewis from the very 1st moment at brighton but still no money in the bank to sing him…looks very good hope I can buy him in PL.

Otherwise very good signings..good luck in PL.

onecapwonder
onecapwonder
10 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

Mikey if you are after good young English goalkeepers early in the game check out Jason Steele (Middlesbrough) and Jack Butland (Brimingham reserves) both are developing nicely for me as 1st and 2nd choice, Butland really is good enough to be first choice for most EPL sides though.

Mikey
Mikey
10 years ago
Reply to  onecapwonder

Good…I’m playing Brigton as Darren and I’m also hoping for bck to back promotion :) I bought Henderson very cheap and quite good goalie besides his throwing :) I’ll check your tips for sure. Thanks

George Dobson
George Dobson
10 years ago

well done amazing signings you will definatly stay up and you could even push for europe if all goes well ;D!!

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
10 years ago

Wow, the board were very generous in giving you a lot of money Darren, and I’m sure they’ll be rewarded, as your signings are very good :) Bakambu and Torres should be your main strikers for around 10 years, and if they realise their potential then you’ve got yourself a couple of bargains, although of course Bakambu is a bit of a risk. I reckon you’ll finish at least in the top 8, good luck!

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
10 years ago

Hey Darren
I told you you would get a lot of money once you got to the Prem. Charlie Adam on a free, that was the biggest bargain ever. Wright Phillips is good, he is really fast.

Johnny Karp
10 years ago

The transfers are nothing short of excellent Darren, you have picked your targets well and manoeuvred with great ability with a not so big budget. Brighton’s future looks bright to me ;)

riggsy
riggsy
10 years ago

Great signings there Darren, and you certainly have a squad good enough for at least mid-table finish, and I genuinely believe that you will be more involved in a fight for the last European spot! Anyway, good luck mate and I’m sure you will have a great season in the EPL :)

Vineeth
Vineeth
10 years ago

Hi Darren,

For the amount you have spent, your transfers look simply amazing …you have beefed up all areas of your team ,but for me your strongest area are the forwards…a Torres & Bakambu partnership….can’t imagine the havoc those 2 are going to cause… :D

And you have some serious luck …. Charlie Adams, Ismail Aissati & Wright-Phillips on a free??? :O

Your first team looks great…depending on how quickly they gel…hopefully you can get a top 6 finish…

All the best Darren… :)

Martin - F.M.J.S
10 years ago

Hi Darren

You have managed to get some really good signings for the Seagulls. Good to see the board giving you some money to spend this season too and Charlie Adams on a free, bargain. Good Luck mate.

Jayzinho
Jayzinho
10 years ago

Great solid signings mate, cracking job over the last 2 years! I’m following your game closely as I managed Colchester so it’s the same path! Looks as if you’ll achieve a safe mid-table position this year hopefully getting some scalps along the way!

Sears
10 years ago

Everybody’s pretty much mentioned everything, so a big good luck wish from all of us in Ireland … :D Hoping to see you finish in the top 10, or even in the top 7!

Good luck buddy ;)

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