With FM19 on the horizon I had decided that my FM18 adventure would finish on Season Nine. An odd number, perhaps, but it gives me the chance to right the wrongs of last season’s regression. To end on a high we would need to return to Champions League football and leave the club in the best possible position to kick on and succeed in my ficitonal absence.
On The Pitch
Footballing updates will be brief as I’m concentrating more on developing the club with a more holistic approach.
The opening ten fixtures were a mixed bag, key losses to Real Madrid and Barcelona hurt but we were scoring plenty and had won half of those games. What followed was a fantastic run of form in which we played sixteen consecutive games without a loss. Our season almost dereailed in the latter stages when we closed out with only four wins in our final fourteen games. A 91st minute winner on the final day lifted us from 6th to 3rd, sealing Champions League football once again!
Sensing it was a last chance, we made a real go of the Spanish Cup. A fantastic victory over Real Madrid, sealed late by Kurt Zouma, on our way to the final summed up our desire to do well. Sadly we were well and truly outclassed by Barcelona, although it should be noted that three of their goals came in the final 10 minutes as we were pushing forward to try and snatch an equaliser.
Our great efforts were also extended to the EURO Cup, a run to the semi final! Ultimately Tottenham were too strong over two legs but we definitely did ourselves justice in this competition.
Recruitment and Player Development
I’ve switched up the format of this section as I feel it important to first show our outgoing transfers to justify our signings made. Before the month of July had finished pre-season, Monaco swooped to complete the signings of defender Horacio Tabarez and midfielder Carles Aleña for a combined £40m – nicely split to £20m for each player. Another defender, Miguel Angel Rubio, was also sold on to Malaga for £2m after failing to really make a proper breakthrough into the first XI. As January rolled around, our inability to settle the goalkeeper’s spot continued when we allowed Ibrahim Naciri to leave fro £4.5m to Marseille. The big transfer news of the season came midway through the winter transfer window: Czech wonderkid striker/winger was sold for a monstrous £105m to Arsenal – a huge profit of £95m on the £10m we spent in Season 6.
I believe this season to have been one of our more active transfer seasons of this save. We continue to enjoy a free signing and, following Adrien Silva’s retirement, pounced to capture Granit Xhaka as a defensive midfield option. Yet again we broke our record transfer fee by making a £25.5m move for midfielder Paco (Liverpool), further strengthening our midfield with the loan signing of Dider Dias (Manchester United). Defensive restructuring was required and we sealed a £10m signing of Javi Perez from Atletico Madrid. The final pre-season signing was ex-Spurs striker Alfredo Morelos on a free transfer following his release. With the huge January outgoing we moved to add star quality to the squad: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich) arriving for £16.25m. Delano Zevenbergen (Gelsenkirchen) provided us an alternative threat as a wide targetman and was an inspired signing for £23.5m. Benjamin Weis (Hamburg) was available for £11.25m and would slot straight in as first choice left back, the final signing was the experienced Victor Wanyama (INTER) for £2.2m – a player I had been pursuing for the past year.
Financial Outlook and Club Development Progress
Some finances may seem out of timing but I complete all financial sums using the ‘last season’ column on the Finances tab so that should explain any late/missing amounts (which may come in the following season’s accounts).
One area of our income took a bit of a hit this season due to losing out on a Champions League spot but that was more than made up for by the huge fee received for Jiri Gabriel.
We were set for a financial year loss before the next season’s TV income arrived in. Our biggest transfer outlays to date contributed but these were well absorbed by the aforementioned transfer income.
Training Facilities: 5 stars – State of the art
Youth Facilities: 5 stars – State of the art
Youth Recruitment: Extensive
Junior Coaching: Exceptional
Corporate Facilities: Average
Reputation: 4 stars – Continental
Finances: 5 stars – Rich – Account Balance: £72,688,560 (at 30/06/2026)
Estimated Value: £376 million
European Club Rankings: 26th
End of Season Stats
Most apperances: Kurt Zouma – 52(2) appearances
Top Goalscorer: Borja Mayoral – 24 goals (17 League, 3 Spanish Cup, 4 Europe)
Most Assists: Gerard Deulofeu – 22 assists (11 League, 11 Europe)
Clean Sheets: Jaume Riera – 17 clean sheets (13 League, 2 Spanish Cup, 2 Europe)
Highest Average Rating: Gerard Deulofeu – 7.50 average rating
The Ultimate Compliment
After 9 seasons rebuilding this club from the third tier to annual European qualifiers and potential future title competitors… how could you move on from that? The following was the ultimate compliment and a fitting note to bow out on.
Of course, I rejected this. RCDM to the core!