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How to get to the top with no money in the bank

There are many ways how you can get your team to the top. A large part of successful managers (if not a majority), if asked, would say that at first they gathered many millions training players in lower divisions and then spent it all on salaries, while constantly going up. This approach, although in many cases works, takes lots of time, is boring and is not sustainable once you run out of money. This article will explain one of the alternatives – a fast tracked guide for managers who want to have fun, go up the ladder and settle in upper divisions.

While reading this article, please keep in mind that the situation may vary depending on the country where your team is based and on what you already know about Hattrick. All the knowledge which I am sharing with you here, I gathered over the years of constant experimenting and improving my own team. The following is a step-by-step explanation of an approach that has been tried and if applied well, will also work for your team. Nevertheless, you need to know that the explained model is flexible and you can make as many modifications as you wish. The focus of this article is the team's economy and training, while the matters of game tactics are omitted.

1. How to start

So, you are stuck in lower divisions and wondering how to get your team to the top? Well, you need to know that every small decision you make now will affect your team in the future. In lower divisions*, the priority of your team should be training. It is important to balance training and the improvement of your team while maximizing your profit from selling your trainees. Keep in mind that training in upper divisions is much more difficult from an economical point of view, so your success will largely depend on how much of a steady income you are able to generate in lower divisions, before you move to the upper divisions.

For lower division teams I recommend playmaking training type, because it is the most efficient when you want to generate profit and move up the ladder at the same time**. One of the disadvantages of this type is that for some teams it may be hard to compete both in the league and in the cup without sacrificing some training spots (I will explain that later). As noted in the rules, each week you can allow up to 6 players get a full playmaking training (all inner midfielders) and up to 4 players get a half playmaking training (all wingers). This means that the most efficient formations for this training type are those which incorporate 5 midfielders. Breaking it down, we have 3 inners and 2 wingers who gain training for their weekend league game, and another 3 inners and 2 wingers for their midweek cup/friendly game.

I suggest that the 3 inners, who are supposed to be playing in league games, should be ones that you train for your own team and that you are never going to sell. Buy 17 or 18 year old passable (6) or solid (7) playmakers with some side skills (for example inadequate (5) / passable (6) passing/defending) and a useful specialty (for example head, technical, powerful, unpredictable). If you can afford it, you can buy NT/U20 potentials, but keep in mind that they tend to be expensive and that you may have to obey the orders of a corresponding NT/U20 coaches or scouts. It is important that those 3 are from the country in which your team is based; because it will give you economic benefits in the future (their salary is lower).

The 3 inners who are going to play in weekday games may initially be a bit cheaper and their main function is to generate profit for your team. Basically, you are going to keep them for some time until they improve their playmaking skill (and as well side skill if you are willing to incorporate i.e. passing or defending once in a while) by between 2 and 4 levels. Then, you sell them and replace with new ones with a lower skill. There is no rule about how many skills or how often you should do it, as it all depends on the current situation on the market, which changes constantly. You simply have to repeat this operation for all 3 players, making sure you sell for much more than what you originally paid for them and do this until you get into the upper divisions and when you start going further in the national cup. Don’t forget about hiring a solid coach!

As for your wingers, the situation is more flexible. Since their playmaking training is slower, it is harder to generate profit, but it’s still possible. I suggest you can use those spots the same way as with your inners – the ones who play on the weekend may be your first-team, long term wingers and those who play on a weekday may only be there for reselling with profit. Alternatively, you can put your defenders or forwards (a good option are technical forwards with high a passing skill) on those positions, as they can also benefit from using playmaking.

2. Improving your team and results

Once your training system is set up, you need to monitor the situation and make constant adjustments to your squad. Your first-team (weekend) inners are gaining skill, experience and loyalty, while your weekday inners come and go and generate profit for your team. This profit should be spent according to what you need most at the moment. For example, if you feel you need to improve your attack or defense ratings, you can replace your forwards or defenders respectively. If your stadium is getting full every game, maybe it’s time to expand it… The rule is that you don’t want to hold money for no reason – make adjustments as often as you need to make sure you improve and gain advantage over your league opponents. This was my rule over the time and as I am a very impatient manager, I never kept more than €6 million in the bank for more than a week.
This stage will take you at least a few seasons and you should be able to kick off and achieve better results. In the meantime you can check the forum, revise game rules and other guides to learn more about tactics, game economy and perhaps also about the national team system, as you may need to use this information in the future.

3. Balance your economy

If everything goes well, you should make quick improvements and move up a few division levels. However, at one point, you will “hit the wall” and realize that you start spending a significant amount of money on wages. This is when you know that you are no longer in lower divisions. The “hit the wall” situation normally occurs when the majority of your first-team players reach about supernatural (14) / titanic (15) level. It is very important that you monitor your team’s economy and carefully read the numbers. Basically, in a 2-week period***, your expense / income balance should be above 0. If it’s not, you may want to make changes in your squad. If your first team inners are still making fast progress, but you are stuck in one league level for a longer period and have issues to balance your economy, you can slow down the wage growth by temporarily changing your training type to improve their secondary skills, which are also very important. For example, you can improve their passing or defending.

4. Changing your approach

Your first team inners should be between 23 and 27 years old, around titanic (15) or extra-terrestrial (16) level in playmaking and this is the time to to make a final attempt to get to the top divisions. As you are now able to reach further in the cup, you need to sacrifice training of your weekday trainees many weeks in each season. At the same time, your stadium is getting bigger and the ticket income starts to make a big difference in your budget. This is the when you need to accept that you are no longer going to profit of your training that easily and that you need to shift your priorities away from training.

As training is no longer an option, you need to focus on results and a balanced economy, which will allow you to stay in upper divisions for many seasons. At this point, excluding the tactical component, your game performance and finances will depend on each other. You need to win to keep your fans happy, so that you can make profit of ticket sales and you need that money to pay your awesome players and avoid bankruptcy.

You may want to use your first team inners in both league games and cup games whenever this is necessary in order to go to the further rounds and gain more money of ticket sales. You may also want to give a chance to improve playmaking skill of your wingers, defenders and technical defensive forwards (TDF) , as this will improve your performance, but do that only for easy games or friendlies. Risking results in favour of training will no longer feasible at this stage, so don’t worry about putting the same player on a training position twice during the same week. According to your preferences, you may also train secondary skills from time to time. You also need to invest in a coach with high leadership skill, as at this stage a smart management of your team spirit is a very important tool that affects your results. Also, invest in players with a specialty and a decent set pieces skill.

5. Staying in upper divisions

Hopefully you will get to the top division before the core of your team gets above 30 years old. Maintaining your team in upper divisions for many seasons is not easy and some countries where the competition is greater, impossible. The most important thing is to carefully select your players. Remember that you should look for players that fit the set of tactics you want to use and not the other way. Never try to base your tactics only on the types of players you have or are willing to have.

You need to put together a team of around 14-15 strong, multiskilled players or monoskilled with the main skill of supernatural (14) or more, all with specialities. If you can afford it, you may keep up to 3-4 players at mythical (17) or higher, but it is important to make sure those are the most important ones in your team and that they will always be used. For example, the may be a keeper, two inners and a forward. As you will not have any savings in the bank, you cannot afford to overpay your players and each week you need to make sure you are not loosing money in a long term.

A good idea is to organize your salary expenses and to set an upper limit of your total weekly wage budget. Then, decide how much of this budget you are going to devote to each position. For example, you may want to be spending around 45% on inner midfielders, 20% on defenders, 15% on forwards, 15% on wingers and 5% on your goalkeeper. This will help you maximize your performance while having a sustainable economy.

In order to further improve the quality of your players without overpaying, you may want to base your team on players from your country and invest in a National Team player, as you can get a further salary reduction. Also, remember that older players (29 years old and more) tend to have a lower salary which may also help you. However, you will need to make sure they maintain a good stamina and don’t start loosing skills before they leave your team.

After a while, your players are going to get too old and you will need to change them. Don’t wait until your player starts loosing their skills and value. Normally, you should start thinking about replacing a player when he is around 32 years old. When you sell them, try to look for a similar or better one who is younger. When searching for a desired player, make sure you maintain a good quality of your team and at the same time, stay under your budget limit.

6. Final remarks

My recommendation is that you shouldn’t spend money on unnecessary things, such as away international friendly games or name change, as every amount may have a big importance in the future, even a small one. Whenever you have a chance, try to play your friendly games at home with teams from upper divisions.

Another suggestion is that you should invest in your youth academy. It is a good additional source of income and players that you can train further in your senior team. Don’t get discouraged if you are not able to find anyone for a long time. Finding the right players is a matter of when, not if.



Above are only the basics of my approach. If you have questions or are willing to get more advice on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact me in person.



*The definition of a lower division varies by country. Usually it is a division where teams on average spend less then €100,000 on salaries every week. In a large country it can be div. VII or lower, while in a small country, it may be IV or lower.
** An alternative training choice can be scoring, which in many ways is similar and can also be applied to this model. However, in order to avoid confusion, this article will explain the case study of a team training playmaking.
***A 2-week period in Hattrick normally refers to two weeks, in which one week is with an away game (when you loose money) and another week with a home game (when you make profit of ticket sales).

2011-12-27 23:48:55, 20101 views

Link directly to this article (HT-ML, for the forum): [ArticleID=14444]

 
 
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