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FM 2016 Competitions Preview: England, Part I

England leagues facts and stats

FM 2016 competitions preview

Hi guys, today we are going to start a new series where we show you a preview of league competitions in Football Manager 2016. Our first episode will be divided in two parts, since we’re going to take a quick view at England’s competitional system which includes no less than 6 tiers, starting with the Premier League and ending up with the two series from the bottom, Vanarama South and North respectively.

That being said, we’re going to see some short presentation of each tier and what is probably most needed, a table with all the teams in the league, showing up each club’s financial status, transfer budget, minimum expectations and even more, by clicking on a team you can see what players they have, with customized columns such as age, nationality, salary and value, or contract expiration dates.

I hope you will find our series helpful in deciding what club you should manage in Football Manager 2016. The plan is to write these episodes on a weekly basis and if all goes well then we should be able to cover all playable nations before the next year’s game edition. And now let’s move on to our first episode, England…

Top League & Continental Winners

Premier League: Manchester United (20), Liverpool (18), Arsenal (13), Everton (9), Aston Villa (7), Sunderland (6), Chelsea (5), Manchester City, Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday (4), Leeds United, Wolverhampton, Huddersfield, Blackburn Rovers (3), Tottenham, Preston NE, Derby Country, Burnley and Portsmouth (2), West Brom, Ipswich Town, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United (1).

UEFA Champions League: Liverpool (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005), Manchester United (1968, 1999, 2008), Nottingham Forest (1979, 1980), Aston Villa (1982) and Chelsea (2012). UEFA Europa League: Liverpool (1973, 1976, 2001), Ipswich Town (1981), Tottenham (1972, 1984) and Chelsea (2013).

Tier I: Premier League

  • 38 games (teams play each other twice)
  • Squad Registration: Maximum team size of 25 players
  • Match Rules: Players signed on free transfer can be registered at any time
  • Continental Qualification: 4 places for CL, 3 places for EL
  • Relegation: Bottom 3 teams are relegated

Today the UK’s top domestic league, the Premier League (English Premier Division) is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world. Since its inception in 1992 only a small group of teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and lately Manchester City dominated the competition so most of the other winners have quite a long period since their last title. Let’s take Liverpool for example, despite their 18 titles they have failed to win a single one since 1990. Arsenal won their last title in 2004, Aston Villa in 1981, Everton in 1987 while teams such as Newcastle and Sunderland had their success way back in the 30s. As for West Brom, their only title comes from the year of 1920.

Premier League Clubs (Ordered by Media Prediction)

 OddsINTStadiumTrainingYouthFinanceEst. ValueTransferExpectations
Chelsea (c)3.5CL41629State of artTopRich£1,02B£40,19MWinners
Man City3.5CL55097State of artTopRich£1,23B£0Winners
Man Utd6CL75635State of artTopRich£1,2B (433M)£60MWinners
Arsenal7CL60272ExcellentSuperbRich£780M (239M)£63.8MWinners
Liverpool21EL46122SuperbGreatSecure£800M (277M)£16.6MCL Qual.
Tottenham34EL36310State of artTopRich£766M (439M)£17MEL Qual.
Everton41-40157ExcellentExcellentRich£369M (115M)£2,25MTop half
Southampton51EL32505ExcellentTopRich£257M (62M)£10,95MTop half
Newcastle81-52404ImpressiveGreatRich£284M (150M)£700KMid-table
West Ham101EL35402ImpressiveGreatSecure£120M (92M)£0Mid-table
Stoke City101-28384SuperbGreatRich£171M (57M)£5MMid-table
West Brom201-26445SuperbGreatSecure£144M (25M)£0Mid-table
Crystal Palace301-26297GoodGoodSecure£177M (25M)£6,3MMid-table
Leicester501-32312ImpressiveGoodRich£183M (33,5M)£9,3MAvoid Releg.
Watford1001(p)21577ExcellentSuperbRich£179M£15MAvoid Releg.
Sunderland1001-48707ExcellentSuperbSecure£137M (214M)£0Avoid Releg.
Aston Villa1001-42785State of artSuperbSecure£188M (172M)£0Avoid Releg.
Norwich2001(p)27244ImpressiveGoodSecure£96M (2,2M)£11,8MAvoid Releg.
Bournemouth2001(p)11464GoodAdequateSecure£63M (35,5M)£2MAvoid Releg.

Tier II: Sky Bet Championship

  • 46 games (teams play each other twice)
  • Squad Registration: Emergency goalkeepers can be signed at any time during the season
  • Match Rules: The match squad must have no more than 5 loan players
  • Promotion: 2 teams promoted, 4 qualify for playoffs
  • Relegation: Bottom 3 teams are relegated

The Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average match attendance for the 2014–15 season of 17,857, the Championship ranked slightly ahead of the German 2. Bundesliga as the most-watched secondary league in the world. In the 2014–15 season, A.F.C. Bournemouth were the division champions, Watford were the runners up, and Norwich City were the promotion play-off winners.

Championship Clubs (Ordered by Media Prediction)

 OddsINTStadiumTrainingYouthFinanceEst. ValueTransferExpectations
Hull City6(r)25586ImpressiveAverageRich£74M (84M)£3,5MPlayoffs
Q.P.R.9(r)18136GoodAverageSecure£66M (196M)£2MPlayoffs
Derby County13-33597ExcellentSuperbSecure£73M (9,5M)£0Playoffs
Middlesbrough13-34766ExcellentExcellentSecure£50M (2,5M)£1,4MPlayoffs
Burnley15(r)22546GoodAdequateRich£62M (6,25M)£2MPlayoffs
Cardiff15-33316ImpressiveGreatSecure£49M (137M)£1MTop half
Fulham21-25700SuperbGoodSecure£72M (26M)£4MTop half
Nottm Forest26-30576GoodGoodOkay*£35M (15M)£0Top half
Ipswich Town34-30311ImpressiveGreatOkay£26M (62M)£500KTop half
Brentford34-12802AdequateAdequateSecure£33M (9,75M)£2MTop half
Brighton34-30384ExcellentExcellentSecure£54M (131M)£6MTop half
Sheff Wed41-39812ImpressiveAdequateOkay£39M (2,1M)£4MMid-table
Reading41-24197SuperbGreatOkay£37M (6,5M)£2MMid-table
Leeds Utd41-40242ExcellentGreatOkay£34M (15,25M)£150KMid-table
Bolton41-28723ExcellentGoodInsecure£31M (108M)£0Mid-table
Blackburn41-31154SuperbSuperbSecure*£34,5M (151M)£0Mid-table
Charlton Ath.41-27111AverageGoodOkay£36M (8M)£250KMid-table
Birmingham41-30016ImpressiveGreatSecure£32,5M (5,75M)£250KMid-table
Huddersfield41-24590ImpressiveGoodSecure£20,5M (4,5M)£2MMid-table
Rotherham51-12053AveragePoorOkay£7,25M (5M)£150KAvoid releg.
Milton Keynes81(p)30582AverageAverageOkay£16,5M (17,5M)£150KAvoid releg.
Bristol City81(p)16000GoodGoodSecure£19,25M (21,5M)£3MAvoid releg.
Preston NE81(p)23404ImpressiveAdequateOkay£14,5M£1MAvoid releg.

Tier III: Sky Bet League 1

  • 46 games (teams play each other twice)
  • Squad Registration: Emergency goalkeepers can be signed at any time during the season
  • Match Rules: The match squad must have no more than 5 loan players
  • Promotion: 2 teams promoted, 4 qualify for playoffs
  • Relegation: Bottom 4 teams are relegated

League One (sometimes referred to as Sky Bet League 1 for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division of The Football League and the third tier in the English football league system. At the end of each season the top two clubs, together with the winner of the play-offs between the clubs which finished in 3rd–6th position, are promoted to Football League Championship.

League 1 Clubs (Ordered by Media Prediction)

 OddsINTStadiumTrainingYouthFinanceEst. ValueTransferExpectations
Sheff Utd7-32609SuperbGoodOkay£28M£500KPromotion
Millwall11(r)20146GoodGoodOkay£18,5M (20M)£0Playoffs
Doncaster17-15231ImpressiveAverageOkay£4,9M (11,75M)£80KPlayoffs
Bradford City17-25136AdequateAdequateOkay£9M£50KPlayoffs
Oldham26-13581AdequatePoorOkay£3,1M (6M)£0Top half
Walsall26-10989ImpressiveAdequateOkay£4,3M (2,1M)£100KTop half
Peterborough34-14084GoodAdequateSecure£8,25M (5M)£300KTop half
Scunthorpe34-9144GoodBelow AvgOkay£3,8M (3,4M)£50KTop half
Barnsley34-23287GoodGoodOkay£8,25M (5M)£100KTop half
Coventry34-32604ImpressiveGoodOkay£9,5M (5M)£0Top half
Bury41(p)11376SuperbSuperbOkay£5M (180K)£125KMid-table
Chesterfield41-10504AdequateAdequateOkay£4,5M (5,5M)£200KMid-table
Burton41(p)6912State of artTopOkay£3,5M£75KMid-table
Swindon41-15547GoodPoorSecure£7M (3M)£250KMid-table
Gillingham41-11440AdequateBelow AvgOkay£3,8M (900K)£50KAvoid releg.
Blackpool41(r)17000Below AvgBelow AvgOkay£4,2M£40KAvoid releg.
Colchester41-10105GoodGoodOkay£3,5M£0Avoid releg.
Port Vale41-19148AdequateBelow AvgOkay£3,6M£0Avoid releg.
Southend51(p)12163AverageAverageOkay£2,7M (4,9M)£25KAvoid releg.
Fleetwood51-5532AverageAverageOkay£2,8M£35KAvoid releg.
Crewe51-10153SuperbAverageOkay£3,9M£10KAvoid releg.

Tier IV: Sky Bet League 2

  • 46 games (teams play each other twice)
  • Squad Registration: Emergency goalkeepers can be signed at any time during the season
  • Match Rules: The match squad must have no more than 5 loan players
  • Promotion: 3 teams promoted, 4 qualify for playoffs
  • Relegation: Bottom 2 teams are relegated

League Two (often referred to as Sky Bet League 2 for sponsorship reasons) is the third-highest division of The Football League and fourth-highest division overall in the English football league system. At the end of each season the top three teams, together with the winner of the play-offs between the teams which finished in 4th–7th position, are promoted to Football League One and are replaced by the four teams that finished bottom of that division.

League 2 Clubs (Ordered by Media Prediction)

 OddsINTStadiumTrainingYouthFinanceEst. ValueTransferExpectations
Notts County3,5(r)20300AverageAdequateOkay£5,25M (1,1M)£50KPromotion
Luton Town6-10110AdequatePoorOkay£3,3M£80KPromotion
Leyton Orient9(r)9311AverageBelow AvgOkay£3,5M£0Playoffs
Stevenage17-6722ImpressiveBelow AvgOkay£2M£0Top half
Plymouth17-16388Below AvgAverageOkay£2,4M (3,9M)£0Top half
Wycombe17-10264ImpressiveBasicOkay£1,8M (1,2M)£0Top half
Cambridge17-8696AdequateBasicOkay£2,4M£100KTop half
Oxford Utd17-12573Below AvgBelow AvgOkay£2,5M (7,5M)£0Top half
Northampton21-7600AdequateAdequateInsecure£1,5M (15M)£0Top half
Exeter34-8830Below AvgBelow AvgOkay£1,6M£0Mid-table
Wimbledon34-5339BasicBasicOkay£1,8M (475K)£30KMid-table
Carlisle34-16683AveragePoorOkay£2,9M (120K)£100KMid-table
Dag & Red41-6070BasicPoorOkay£1,2M (120K)£20KMid-table
Newport Co41-11676Below AvgPoorOkay£1,4M (375K)£3KAvoid releg.
York City41-9196AdequateBelow AvgOkay£2M (4M)£18,5KAvoid releg.
Accrington41-5070Below AvgBelow AvgOkay£775K£0Avoid releg.
Crawley41(r)6134Below AvgBasicOkay£1M (900K)£10KAvoid releg.
Mansfield41-9186BasicPoorOkay£1,5M (625K)£0Avoid releg.
Bristol Rovers51(p)11485GoodPoorOkay£2,3M (6M)£25KAvoid releg.

Next time we’ll take a quick look at the remaining leagues from England’s competitional system, then move on to other playable nations in the game. Below are some of the conventions I took in order to show more information in a compact view in the tables (I guess some of you figured most of them out, already). Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave any comments or feedback. Happy managing!

Table Conventions

  • Under INT – CL, EL = Europe during first season / (p) = promoted club / (r) = relegated club
  • Under Finance – asterisk sign (*) = club is under transfer embargo due to breach of financial regulations
  • Under Estimated Value – loan debt is shown in parenthesis ().

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