“It’s not a decision to take lightly. It’s not as easy as just going ‘we will go pro then’. We’ve worked very hard to maintain our levels despite being amateur. Yes, we finished a disappointing 9th in the league. But we did get to the Coupe de France semi-finals where we only lost 1-0 to the great Marseille. A part of me still believes it is possible to get into Ligue 1 as amateurs, it really does. Yet there is so much sense in turning pro. What will we do? Well, even Zidane thinks now is the time….”
THE ARGUMENTS FOR TURNING PRO
I turned to the loyal #tenpotatoes crowd in Slack for their thoughts.
#1 Are we stagnating?
Can we call one season where we finished lower than the season before stagnating? Forget the cup, because anything can happen there. Is this just a blip or is it a sign that the teams around us are going to keep spending and getting better players than us because, well, they are paying them?
#2 Being able to sign all those lovely newgens
Well, would we actually be able to? Even if we turn pro, I will revert to my initial philosophy of only signing players on a free transfer, so will much actually change?
#3 Think of the transfer fees you can make!
Hmm, maybe – but unless I am selling players for over €1m a pop I am not sure we really need the money.
#4 You’ll be able to invest in more facilities
I am not sure I agree. Just turning pro will not change that – we already have “great” facilities as that is where the money has been going so far. Turning pro will come at a cost and if anything will mean I will have less money to invest in infrastructure.
#5 Players will develop faster when pro as they will be training full-time
Possibly, possibly. I cannot completely disagree with that, but the players are improving as it is so would the actual gain be worth the outlay?
#6 You’d finally get a reserve team and an Academy side?
Again, not sure that would be the case – though there has been an excellent suggestion about “managing” an affiliate side (a bit like Reids did in Taste the Feeling on FM17).
So the arguments for have hardly overwhelmed me.
That said, if we did go pro we probably would be able to sign better players. It would make the save progress logically into the next phase – managing that transition from amateur to professional and the financial aspects of making sure we balance the books. Plus, if I was looking to bring in players that were actually with clubs (albeit on free transfers) then I could start to employ some statistical recruitment methods which would be fun. Right now, every new signing is a bit of a punt.
THE ARGUMENTS FOR STAYING AMATEUR
#1 Imagine how good it would feel to get promoted as an amateur team
I can’t deny, it would feel good.
#2 What’s the harm in giving it one more go?
There is no real harm as such, though I did start to lose interest in the last few league games of last season – and if I don’t see some quality potential recruits then I cannot see us doing better this next season.
#3 Yeah, but imagine how good it would feel to get promoted as an amateur team
And so on and so on and so on.
See, it is a fecking difficult decision. It really is.
Find out what I do very soon…