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Football Manager 2023: Messy Messina – how to balance the books in FM23 II

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So, we last spoke in January when it was clear to me that Messina was in a mess and there was a lot of work ahead to sort that mess out – I am talking about a financial mess as things on the pitch weren’t too bad.

In fact, I think we sat 4th when we were predicted to be relegated so it was better than that – things on the pitch were decent.

And they remained decent – faith was put in the younger brigade and there are few better sites on FM than watching a young team mature together and become a good team.

We won the Coppa Italia Pro and got to the semi-finals of the playoffs – in fact, we led Juve Stabia 1-0 after the first leg at our place. But, it all fell apart in the second as we went behind early, went down to ten shortly after that and couldn’t find a way back in. There was a brief glimmer of hope when we scored to make it 3-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate – another goal would have seen us through but we conceded late chasing it and that was that.

In a way, I was relieved – sure, my first FM23 promotion would have been cool especially against the odds but when it comes to trying to get this club back on an even keel it is probably better we stay in Serie C and see what happens next season.

And now it’s back to sorting out the contracts and trying to fit everything into the RWB (real wage budget) which I explained last time.

When I last wrote, it looked like this;

Already committed to next season (2023/24) were five players.

Crea – winger/striker – 17 – €550 p/w
Anglieri – CB/RB – 21 – €550 p/w
Duga – GK – 23 – €650 p/w
Ekuban – striker – 23 – €650 p/w
Marino – CM – 24 – €625 p/w

It became apparent that Crea’s deal included an agreed wage increase after 10 matches pushing him up to €800 a week. He’s still waiting for that 10th game so he’s either going to have to be sold or moved out on loan until his contract expires.

Since then, we’ve had the youth intake and that was a new experience for me – the “elite” talents and most of the “top” talents wanted to go full-time pro immediately and were asking for at least €525 a week. Immediately, that wasn’t going to be possible as I cannot afford to tie up those wages in 15-year-olds who are very unlikely to be able to help the team immediately.

So I had to drop into the lesser talents – who, don’t get me wrong, are still decent-ish. Five of those are now on youth contracts at €150 a week a pop.

I cannot see any minimum age rules for Serie C so they could be used in emergencies next season.

There was a mistake made in the market – I signed a midfielder called Marchesi in January and he didn’t do enough to break into the side and now wants to leave. He has a contract for next season and I still think there’s a player in there somewhere, but I’ll try and move him on in the summer window which will free up a spot but also mean I need a strong replacement in there as he was very much part of the planning.

Our young striker Iannone who can also play off the left did enough to get a contract for next season on €525. The two on-loan central defenders, Berto and Fili from Atalanta and Empoli respectively, both agreed to sign on €525 a week contracts.

There were a couple of surprises as well – I’d forgotten I had two players out on loan. A keeper called Quartarone is on €525 a week and really not very good. I’ve transfer-listed him in the hope of clearing out that space – I want a loan keeper there next season plus I have an Academy one if needed.

There’s also a centre-back called Alampi who is 17 and has a lot of potential – he’ll be in the squad next season and is on €525 a week.

So, it looks like this right now;

Crea – RW/LW/ST – 17 – €550 p/w – now transfer-listed
Anglieri – CB/RB – 21 – €550 p/w
Duga – GK – 23 – €650 p/w
Ekuban – ST/LW/RW – 23 – €650 p/w
Marino – CM – 24 – €625 p/w
Marchesi – CM – 23 – €550 p/w – now transfer-listed
Iannone – LW/CF – 21 – €525 p/w
Alampi – CB – 17 – €525 p/w
Quartarone – GK – 19 – €550 p/w – now transfer-listed
Berto – CB/DM – 20 – €575 p/w
Fili – CB – 20 – €525 p/w

D’Amore – DM/CM – 18 – €150 p/w
Zappala – CB/LB – 18 – €150 p/w
Marchi – CM – 15 – €150 p/w
Regonesi – RB – 15 – €150 p/w
Cecchi – LW – 15 – €150 p/w
Cernuschi – CB/RB/LB – €150 p/w

Total committed: €6,225 p/w
Remaining against RWB: €2,086 p/w
Average per player so far: €565.91
Average per player remaining: €521.50

What does all that mean?

I have 4x first-team spots left I can fill with waged signings – if I cannot shift the keeper and Crea who are listed and won’t be used. Marchesi, I’d rather keep to be honest.

Right now, on contracts for next season, we have;

GK x3 (two senior – though one won’t be considered – and one Academy)
RB x2 (one senior, one Academy with another who can play there if needed)
CB x5 (three senior, two Academy plus one senior option who can play there if needed)
LB x0 (though we have two Academy options who can play there, one of which is 18)
DM x1 (one Academy plus one centre-back who can also play there if needed)
CM x3 (two senior, one Academy plus one Academy who can play there if needed)
RW x1 (one senior, but not being considered – plus Ekuban who can play there if needed)
LW x2 (one senior – Ekuban – plus one Academy and Iannone who can play there if needed)
ST x1 (one senior – Iannone – plus Ekuban who can play there if needed)

Therefore, the recruitment process looks like this.

First up, I need to make a decision on Spaticchia – he is 20 and can play all down the left-hand side (which is a bonus, he can cover two positions at least) and possibly could play CM in an emergency. In fairness, his versatility plus the fact I don’t have a senior LB means he might well get an offer.

Andrea Mallamo is also 20 and can play both DM and CM – to be fair, given our need for a DM then there is a good chance he gets an offer.

That said, before I wade in with contracts I will attempt a proper round of scouting and see what options might be available to us.

We definitely need;

GK x1, RB x1, LB x1, DM x1, CM x1, RW x1, LW x1 and ST x1 (9 in total)

Only four of them, as it stands, can be permanent signings – meaning around five loans, which feels about right.

The GK, the RB, one LB, the DM, the CM and the ST I would be happy being loans from Serie A clubs. I think one LB and the wingers on either side probably need to be permanent signings – so given Spat’s versatility, it is likely he’ll get chosen. But we’ll look around – we could do with a bit more experience as well.

think all that adds up to this…

fm23 messina squad plannerTime to get scouting!

Speak soon.

comeontheoviedo
Old-school FM/CM player, author of 'Johnny Cooper: Championship Manager' and someone who now very much starts a save and quits halfway through...

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