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Romanian FM 2012 Story: Money Makes the World Go Round

Hello friends and welcome to a happy episode of my Football Manager 2012 story! Why is it so happy? Well, I guess the title might have already given you a hint: I finally had money to spend, lots of money! After doing the domestic double last season the board finally decided to give me a share of the Champions League wealth to spend on new players and that is exactly what I did! :)

When the initial budgets were announced on June 14th I was in disbelief, almost 6 million pounds for transfers! Needless to say that I immediately spent some of that money…

… but not enough, so when the season expectations were set I got something extra in exchange for a title challenge promise.

The whole budgets thing can be misleading though so I guess I’d better show you the transfers so that you can see for yourselves how much I have really spent this summer. Well, it wasn’t all about spending as I managed to get some money into the club through player sales. The total is 3.8 million but another 1.9 million will be added in December when Alvaro Casanova will be leaving the club in exchange for that sum. There were some important sales so let me give you a bit more details on those:

Joabe was sold because he didn’t want to extend his contract, Mexican club Atlante paid 1.8 million for him.

Tshepo Tshabalala was sold because I found a Romanian replacement, 1.3 million pounds were received for him from fellow Liga 1 club Otelul Galati.

Denis Alibec wanted to leave the club and I accepted his request, he left on a loan to buy deal to Rapid Bucharest. You might think that I regret losing him but I really don’t because I have much better strikers now ;)

You can also see that there were lots of outgoing loans and that is because my Under 19 team has no less than 39 players at the moment, I just had to let some of them go in order to get some first team football.

And now the huge list of incoming transfers: 23 new players for a total of 8 million pounds! You already know that most of these lads went straight into the under 19 team and some of them have already left on loan deals but there were some big money signings that I will describe a bit later.

A bit later is now, let’s see the squad, role by role:


Octavian Ormenisan, Xaropinho – no changes here although I am looking for a new goalkeeper.

Right Backs

Ionut Peteleu, Lubomir Cerny – with Alvaro Casanova complaining about wanting to move to a bigger club I had to find a replacement and I think I have: 17-year old Lubomir Cerny was bought for 250K and I think he can become even better than Casanova.

Left Backs

Florin Krajcar, Danut Gongolea – Gongolea is one of the most expensive signings, I paid no less than 2 million pounds! I guess that’s a bit too much but it was a matter of pride because he is the best player in the national under 19 team so I just had to get him ;)

Centre Backs

Juan Belencoso, Edward Motha, Ionut Putanu, Michael Vesely – just one new name here but a pretty exciting one: 17-year old Vesely who was bought for as low as 50K. This lad might have a huge future ahead of him.

Central Midfielders

Mihai Onicas, Silviu Pana, Milton Mella, Nenad Grumic, Dejan Danicic, Paul Anton, Drazen Tokic, Martin Lukac – Do I really need 8 central midfielders? Normally the answer is no. But since I have two rather long term injuries to deal with (Danicic out for two months and new signing Anton out for 3 months) I had to expand my numbers in this department. There are three new names: Anton is a reliable and versatile Romanian while Tokic and Lukac might become first team regulars.


Liviu Ganea, Raul Rusescu, Manoel, Rastislav Benko, Rodolfo Oliver, Daniel Mazzoni – here is where I went crazy with the money! There are three new names but two of them were quite costly: Oliver was bought for 2.4 million and Mazzoni for 1.9 million while young Benko was quite a bargain at 350K. I won’t be commenting on their attributes, you can view their profiles  by clicking their names and see for yourselves. Just a quick note on Daniel Mazzoni: he has an Italian passport so he is not a non-EU player but unfortunately the deal went through one day too late so I was unable to register him for the Champions League.

I think I have a much stronger squad overall, especially upfront. That wasn’t very obvious in the friendlies but we didn’t have time to play too many of those because of the Champions League qualifying rounds.

But before the Champions League preliminary battles we had another important game to play, one with silverware on the table: the Romanian Super Cup against Rapid Bucharest. You all remember how we won the title against them last season so I was expecting a fierce rivalry on the pitch.

Rapid vs Viitorul (Romanian Super Cup)

Starting Line Up: Octavian Ormenisan – Ionut Peteleu, Edward Motha, Juan Belencoso, Danut Gongolea – Mihai Onicas, Silviu Pana, Nenad Grumic – Rodolfo Oliver, Rastislav Benko, Raul Rusescu

I was expecting my lads to show some determination right away but that wasn’t really the case and it was Rapid that broke the deadlock after 14 minutes on a nice team move. Fortunately we pegged them back immediately as young striker Rastislav Benko bagged a goal on his debut to make it all square after just three minutes. We were not playing well though and Rapid came close to scoring again on the stroke of half time but my goalkeeper pulled off a huge save to keep the score level at the break.

Benko, the young Slovakian striker, had quite a few things to show that evening though and he banged in his second goal of the game 10 minutes after the restart. Then the game cooled off, it was reasonably quiet and I had nothing against that. But we got punished for our attitude eight minutes before full time when Rapid scored the equaliser after some rather clumsy defending from new boy Danut Gongolea.

The game went into extra time and that’s when young sensation Rastislav Benko turned on the style again: first he earned a hat-trick on 96 minutes and then he bagged his fourth of the game by tapping in a good low cross from Gongolea. It was an exciting match overall but I have to admit that we won it thanks to just one player.

Match highlightsclick here to watch

And now the important part of the summer: the Champions League qualifying rounds! Well, there isn’t much to say really because the three rounds were quite easy. We started with a quiet 2-0 aggregate win against Buducnost Podgorica from Montenegro, then killed the tie against BATE Borisov in the first leg and finally did the same against Dinamo Zagreb in the last round.

The easy qualifying run didn’t earn us a better place in the group stage draw though, we were seeded fourth again so we were handed another impossible group: Inter Milan, PSG and Sevilla… I hope we’ll get at least one point this time, I can’t really hope for more.

The odds are firmly against us in the Champions League but I guess we were fortunate to avoid the top favourites in the group draw.

Since we’re talking about odds, here is the bookmakers’ view on the Romanian Liga 1: Rapid are the favourites and we come fourth! Usually I don’t express very optimistic thoughts but this time I can say it out loud: the bookmakers are wrong this time because I think we have by far the best squad in the league.

I can prove it too as I have already played the first seven league games of the season. We should have won all seven of them but we were a bit unlucky against Dinamo, we dominated all our opponents quite clearly and I think we’ll be able to have a much better goal scoring ratio once the squad gels. There is one goal I want you to see, the third one that we scored against Gaz Metan in the opening match of the season: click here to watch

Rastislav Benko is by far our best player so far with his staggering scoring ratio but I’m pleased to see “veterans” Raul Rusescu and Liviu Ganea competing well against their younger rivals. Expensive left back Danut Gongolea seems to have settled in right away while centre back Edward Motha is finally showing good form after a not very convincing first season with us.

So, I have stopped the game just before our first Champions League group game, against Sevilla. I have some good club news before wrapping up the post though:

1. We sold all the season tickets for the very first time!

2. Our already excellent youth facilities will be further improved!

3. Even though I have spent loads of money the club still has over 4 million in the bank! I love the Champions League! :)

That’s all for now my friends, thanks a lot for reading this happy update! But don’t go away before sharing your thoughts about our new signings ;)


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Martin PickardChris WoodMartin - F.M.J.SCalinMalhar Bhadbhade Recent comment authors
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that really is a happy update. with all the transfer and champions league money coming in i’m surprised about your wage budget. 45k/w is a bit stingey for a champions league group stage team surely? i guess is you transfered even a million pounds in transfer money over it would probably go up to 80k . how do you sign these players for such low wages jonnhy?


Wow, money is coming in fast now. Thats great to see. Oliver is pretty good, he seems like he might play a big part for you. And you are doing really well in the league, a draw is the worst result.


Great pre-season Johnny. Your new strikers look brilliant! You have made a brilliant start to the season and I think you can win the league again. Good luck in the Champions League, it will be tough but hopefully you can get some points!


Your signings are look pretty cool, Im sure you can repeat your double.
Good CL,I know you can gain some points there and also a recommendation for you: why are not try europa leage for next season?
Good luck


yes you are right! I don’t pay much attention to money at all but it will be a good chance for advancing to the knockout stage.


Excellent signings Johnny, once again you’ve managed to find some excellent young prospects pretty cheaply, well done mate :) You’ve started very well, and I can’t see you losing your league crown, I hope I’m right ;) The CL group is quite tough, but I’m sure you’ll do better than last time. Good luck!

Matt Clark

very busy transfer window johnny, bit of a shame about the champions league draw but showing early dominance in the league
could you show the profile of the argentine wonderkid you had but had to let go – his name escapes me


Wow great signings Jonny! Your young strikers look incredible, Oliver looks he could be a real powerhouse!


Some very nice signings, and a superb start to the season. Hopefully you can manage to grab at least one point in the Champions League group. Having to come through the qualifying rounds, will always mean any of the groups you end up in, will be tough. I guess it’s going to take a lot of patience before your team has enough quality to qualify from the group stage, but I’m sure you’ll get their in the end.


I must take my hat off to you Johnny; you made some brilliant purchases despite managing a club with a poor reputation. I presume you’ve an excellent scouting team scoping the world for these new players? I’m particularly impressed by your new strikers, as long as they play to their full ability no defense will be able to contain them ….

Best of luck in the CL, another tough group but every group is going to be tough for a few more years as you establish yourself in the CL.

Good luck ;)


Hi Johnny
I’m suspecting this will be the turning point season as with all your other stories you are beginning to find those young players with astonishing attributes. Vesely, Oliver and Mazzoni look fantastic. Behind the scenes you really built the club up with improvements all around and now a very healthy bank balance too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you pull ahead of the Bucuresti teams this season and go further in the Champions League. Good luck!


Hey Johnny
Very good results in Champions League until now. Your group is not impossible and with some confidence from you and your players the 3rd place for Europa League can be reached.
Nice transfers you did there, but what are the active leagues in your career? I don’t seem to find that many good players like you and it seems your league choices are better than mine :)
Looking forward for the next episode where you will get some draws/wins in Champions League.

P.S: I ended my unbeaten run after a poor game with Astra Ploiesti(2-0) even if their goalkeeper(Silviu Lung Jr.) was defending my goalpost. I won the title after my 31st game and I really enjoyed because it was after the match I played against Steaua Buc. :D

Darren Smith

Now we are moving! Fantastic signings mate and those new forwards are sensational for a Romanian club and have exceptional talent. I can’t wait to see if you go one step further in Europe this season.


Ah this looks like it will be quite a fun season. And I noticed that you got Mazzoni from Velez, which I’ve noticed is one of those clubs that just produces great youth (the clear king being Barcelona Juniors Lujan of course).


Finally some transfer money for you Johnny, I like Gongolea, it can be quite hard to find good left backs in the game, the group stage draw is again a super tough one, good luck on improving on last season (just need to nick a point somewhere) but I think it will be quite hard for your team to improve their seedings if you cannot get a result at all in the group stages :P

The bank balance is good and there is enough to get your facilities improved, so things are definitely looking rosy, good luck


good to see you’ve finally got some money to spend
i think your going to runaway with the title this year judging on the form in those first few games
in your champions league group i think you might be able to get into the europa league because i think you will be able to win some of your home games and hopefully pick up some draws away from home
anyway you’ve got a great squad this season and i’m looking forward to seeing what you can do this season


Hi Johnny,

Without money surely the enjoyment of playing FM gets a bit lesser. Again you have brought in some really good youths especially Benko who have already prove he could be the bargain of the season. Unlucky on the draw in the CL but i guess you can’t do much except strengthen the squad and increase the continental reputation in order to be seeded higher. Great start so far and it should be another title in the bag.


I’m glad you’ve been able to replace Joabe and Alibec with quality players as I didn’t think they were really good enough to take you on to the next level. Good start to the season, I’m sure you team will start to win by more than one goal as they become more familiar with one another. Good luck in the Champions League (could you do an Apoel?).

Ana Garcia

Busy transfer window!!

I like the fact that you sent almost a full squad of players to Farul! Am guessing they are one of your feeder clubs.

Glad to see you finally get some of that champions league money to spend! You definitely have earnt it and have spent it very well it seems.

Some of your signings look very good especially Rodolfo Oliver who looks very good for only 19.

Your group looks like another tough one with Inter Milan and Sevilla so hopefully you can take a few points of PSG!

Good luck as always. :)


Hi Johnny,

I haven’t commented in a while but have kept up to date with your story. Now could be the turning point in your game, where you really crack on and dominate Romania each season, and keep pushing in the champions league. Good luck :)

Malhar Bhadbhade

hey johnny,
there was real excitement from you in this particular post, and not without good reason! those are some really awesome signings you have made, and your strikers would do well even in the premier league! congratulations on your start to the season, its clearly going to be a convincing title win this time around. really looking forward to your next post because im keen to see how you go in the champions league….best of luck for that! keep up the good work!


Congrats, Johnny, that was a great pre-season for Viitorul Constanta and from now on I am sure that things can go from better to perfect. You have spent the money wisely and the two new strikers that you managed to bring in are absolutely amazing – too bad you couldn’t register Mazzoni for the Champions League, but this means you’ll have a great striker for the league.

This year, the Champions League draw looks pretty nice and I am sure that you’ll manage to finish third (maybe even second with some luck) so I guess that you’ll get even more money to spend next season.

Martin - F.M.J.S

Some good new signings, I’m glad your board have given you some extra cash and you have spent it wisely. Good luck in the CL, it’s a tough group but hopefully you can pull off a shock or two.

Sorry for the delayed response had the flu. :(

Chris Wood
Chris Wood

Johnny, when you sold the boys like Joabe, Tshabalala and Alibec, how did you do it? I mean, did you transfer list them first for say 2m and then scale it back or did you do the classic ‘Offer to Clubs’ for them all and just see what you could get? Some very nice returns on those players! Great job Johnny

Martin Pickard

YES JOHNNY SPENDING MILLIONS!!! Haha nice post and an awesome start to the league campaign…thats what we want to see…ALL GREEN! well apart from the draw, but Dinamo are a decent team. Can’t wait to see how you do in the Champions League…I feel a point coming from either PSG or Sevilla. Hurry with the next post :)

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