#FM16 : How to Build a Club (part four)


Right then, we are back with the next update.  90 days, or thereabouts have passed and it is time to check in with what we have done so far.

Let’s quickly review the previous section and remind ourselves of what we aimed for at this point.

30 days

Jumping ahead, by the end of the first month I hope to have achieved the following, considering after 30 days in the job I will have two weeks until the season kicks off.

  • Key positions in the team recruited
  • With the players recruited, a clear idea of playing strategy
  • Steps in place to recruit the remaining players

As you saw from the previous post, the squad is in place.  We have a couple of holes, only one goalkeeper and one right back so I am completely gambling on no injuries or suspensions.  We have started to develop a clear playing style as well, which is pleasing.  I will go into that in a little more detail in a bit.  Steps are in place to recruit on a longer term basis, more explanation below.

60 days

Two months in the job will equal three league matches!  By this time I will hopefully have…

  • A squad of 19/20 players
  • A refined financial plan
  • Scouts now scouting key areas where I believe we can find talent
  • A clear idea of what a Yoko player should look like
  • The basis of a playing style, though I would expect it to be very much a work in progress

Let’s break it down bit by bit.

A squad of 19/20 players

Pretty sure I showed you the squad in the last update, but here they are again for you.


19 players, all of differing ability.  The view I am using is something inspired by Ozil on Cleon’s site – it also fits into the “what a Yoko player looks like” piece that I will come on to.  Like Ozil I was a massive fan of Saachi teams, especially his great AC Milan side of the late 80’s and he, along with many other coaches, form the opinion that the stats you can see on show are the key ones when it comes to making a complete footballer.  I’d probably go one step further and add in determination, possibly personality too.  But this is a start, and when recruiting the squad initially I was keeping a spreadsheet telling me how many “greens” they had in these key areas.

A refined financial plan

Love this bit.  All done, and pretty solid now.


The bit on the left remains the same.  In the middle, I now know a lot more about our ticketing, gates etc.  So, we sold 2935 season tickets at £96 a throw.  That added up to £281,760.  We charge £14 for a ticket, and our average attendance is around 6000, meaning about 3000 of them will pay £14 on the gate.  21 home games means £882k for the season, plus ST’s equals £1,163,760.  On the right you can see the final number, which is our total wage spend for the season.  Tickets are covering the wages, just.

That is not the final story though.

expenditure1 expenditure2

Schoolboy error – I’ve been a bit free and easy with the bonuses and appearance fees.  That’s costing us.  Staff wages are £25k a month, so £300k a year – that pushes us above the gate receipts.  Non-football costs (what the hell are they?) and matchday expenses are costing us £100k a month, so that will go over £1m for the year.  Scouting is seemingly expensive, will see if that drops now we are not scouting so many players at one time.  The “youth setup” expense pisses me off as I have no U18’s and no U18 staff!  And, as ever, you have to love “other”.  All this adds up to a revised financial projection of:

financial projection

I’ve seen worse.

We’ve had some pleasant surprises in the income stakes:

  • Matchday income £75k (season to date)
  • TV revenue £70k
  • Merch £70k
  • Corporate hospitality £35k
  • Sponsorship £192k

All in all, this once again shows the sense of working out a “real wage budget”.


Now we have got through the initial panic of scouting anything Japanese we are being slightly more refined.

I have four scouts – one is based in Brazil as there is SO much talent there but because we were late to the party we have not picked up the best ones available.  I am only allowed four in the squad, so will have to wait until next season now to improve my foreign players – however, I am not too disappointed with who I chose really.

The other three are now scouting Japanese competitions – namely JFL, J3, reserves and U18’s.  This will help be build a profile of players getting some kind of game time so I can go all “StS” on them at the end of the season.  I trust this method and I am sure it will uncover some diamonds.

The Yoko Player

I think I’ve covered this in the section above.

How we play

Again, credit to Ozil for giving me an aha moment.  A lot of my tactics on FM16 to date have been overly complex, and if I took one player out of the team the tactic would struggle – Ozil reminded me to keep it simple, therefore I have gone very much back to basics with basic shapes and roles, and limited TI’s.


So this is the main tactic.  Due to the players I was able to bring in, I have had to go pretty narrow.  The concept it simple, both full backs push on and the DM provides the security to allow them to do so.  In front of the DM are two runners, one a little more disciplined and the other purely looking to get forward whenever possible.  The logic behind the front three is that the right side drops a little deeper to provide a nice triangle between the CM/S and FB/A on the right.  The DF/D drops into the midfield quite a lot, but also does the pressing job I hope for.  On the left, he is completely free to just get in behind the defence and, hopefully, get on the end of the far post cross from our right back.  The style is simple – high press.  When we win it, sensibly work it through the lines picking the right pass.  See the TI’s below.


It’s a solid set of TI’s that can also allow me to go more attacking if needs be without changing too much.  Plus, I am not setting my stall out on any particular way of penetrating them – this seems to allow the team to make decisions in game better.  That said, if they are obviously weak in an area we can drill down on that by using the TI’s.


If we need to mix it up a little bit in attack, I have switched to this shape once or twice.  It plays as nicely.  Same TI’s.


If we are ahead with 15 or so to go, I always flick to this to shut up shop and it works perfectly – not a goal conceded with it in force!


Building a club the “right way” is all well and good, but if it does not lead to results then you won’t get a great deal of time to build a club.  So let’s look at how Yokohama are doing.


Not a bad first ten games.

The table looks like this:


Unbeaten, three goals conceded.  Very happy with that, considering our prediction was 15th.


Pass completion and average possession was not something I was setting out to storm, but we seem to be doing a good job.  But, I am happy that we defensively sound and good at moving the ball forwards.

player stats

We are doing ok in the player performances too – the dribbler is our right FB/A!

av rating

Right back and left back in the top two.


This is how the squad is actually performing.  Looking at the two full backs – they cover the most ground, notching up over 13km per game.  62 and 58 passes completed by game respectively is insane, expecially when they keep the % complete above 80%.  They also have more key passes than the front three put together!  I won’t break each player down bit by bit, any questions shout.

That’s where we are at then – but does the planning stop here?  Is “How to Build a Club” over?

Not at all, I would say Phase One is complete however.  When building anything, and again sticking my corporate hat on, there is a time to put the plan in action, to stop theorising and start actually doing.  That time is now.  The basics are in place, now we need to “do” for a period and see where we are going.  I would suggest the next logical break point for me to really get into the weeds of where the club is at will be leading into the transfer window.  Unless anything alarming happens between now and then I will let the club evolve in its own way.  As we move towards the mid-season point I will start jotting down where I think we need to be looking at for the second phase of building Yokohama.

I trust this is still of interest, so speak soon!

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