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Making a profit in FM21: Friendlies & Contracts

Profit in FM21

Struggling with your finances in Football Manager 2021? This guide will help you improve your finances which will effect your finances both short and long term. The best way I look at this is as simple as you’re generating the club money which will be invested back in to the club. These simple methods will have an impact on your club and potentially change your outlook on finances. Let’s just get on with it, making a profit in FM21.

I have always been one who struggles with finances and usually ends up putting the club in the negative numbers. I wrote an article in FM19 about the importance of friendlies during the season, this was something I never considered prior to this, but it changed the club; for the better.

Friendlies during the Season

Maximising Profit: Friendlies

I currently have an Everton save, so friendlies like this are essential. I am not no obligation to play a strengthened team here, so I make the most of it. Taking away the income from the fee you are left with £90,940. This might not seem much to a bigger club, but if we do this most weeks in the season you are looking at a lovely income. 20 games with a profit of £90,940 leaves you with £1.81M.

Again, a few of you are reading this thinking that a profit like this isn’t much for a top team. This is money that you wouldn’t already have, so you are essentially making free money. That profit goes a long way, and I’ve calculated 20 games of friendlies. You can have more, and generate a larger profit margin.

These friendlies are a perfect opportunity to give other players a chance, or just let your assistant manage them. There’s no two ways about how easily this can be done. Create a ‘friendly’ team and just load that before the game, then skip the match. As simple as that. No harm done, but a lot gained.

You may think this won’t work for lower reputation clubs, but trust me it does. An example of this can be seen here:

Low league finances

You are making a healthy profit of £1,824. For a lower league club like Queens Park in the Scottish League 2 it can add up over the season. Using the same method, multiplying this base value by 20 it gives you an extra income of £336,470. There will obviously be out goings, but for a club that has a balance of £1M this is over a third of it’s balance. Using this as a base method, can push the club onwards.

For a more detailed explanation of this, check out the article that was wrote: Making a profit in FM19: the importance of friendlies


Having bonuses like appearance bonuses can ruin your finances. Let’s just say you have a game Saturday, Wednesday and Saturday, that’s 3 bonuses you are paying within a week. Just on one player, now look at this on a squad basis. It adds up, and will go against making a profit in FM21.

Whenever you are renewing contracts, try your best to remove bonuses. This is perfect for any club size, and all the bonuses the players may want can be removed. Just you may have to spend a little bit more on wages, but trust me it will save you a LOT of money.

Bonuses and Clauses

Here’s an example of a contract that Everton player Bernard wants:

Contract bonuses

Doesn’t seem too much does it? Everton won’t be qualifying for the Champions League, so that’s one I don’t need to worry about. Appearance fee? £33k, meh not too much. He plays 3 games in a week, that’s an extra £99k a week on his existing £165k wage, taking it to £264k a week.

Assist bonus? I mean if we’re performing well, he might get one or two a week over them three games. So lets say he get’s £49k a week on top of his £165k wage. This is all adding up now. Let’s just do some quick maths, so three games he is up to £264k plus an extra £49k which equals £313k. A lot right? That’s with me ignoring the unused substitute fee and the seasonal landmarks.

Here is what I negotiated the contract to be like:

saving money fm21

I managed to negotiate the wage after excluding all the bonus and clauses from £190k to £165k which is his base salary with the bonuses. This simple method will help you save millions at a big club and thousands per year at a lower end club. Sometimes you will have to pay an extra bit in wages, but as we have clearly seen, it’s very much worth it.

Calculations / Difference between salary

I have done some quick calculations to get a better explanation of this. Here are my findings:

Money saving FM21

I have done my best to show the first contract, compared to what the negotiated fee would be. I have used these numbers as a base, but obviously these will differ. Just for context, I am in February and Bernard has played 23 games so far, so I have used 30 as a base.

The calculations should hopefully be fairly straight forward, however, if not. The week/1 time is how much one iteration costs. So 30 appearances, is £33k because it is one instance of this happening.

The biggest finding here is that you can SAVE almost £2 MILLION A YEAR, just by taking your time to negotiate contracts. Bernard is one of the top earners at the club, but if you’re in it for the long run, doing this to all your players will save you a lot more than £2M. Just think, if you do this with 10 players at an average of £1M a year saving you save yourself £10M a year. This is a perfect example of making a profit in FM21.

Loyalty Bonus & Agent Fee

Another one which takes up a lot of your money, you have to think of this a lot. I used to not care about this, until I was giving people 2 year contracts and they were getting £5M on top of their contracts.

Here’s another example of this in practise. Using Seamus Coleman, who is 32. I want to give him a 2 year contract, but want to try and save my money where I can:

loyalty bonus FM21

This is a fairly nice starting salary that he wants, but I want to save money over the course of the two years he will be at the club.

FM21 improved contract

This is a lot better then the deal he wanted. However, we need to reflect this to his existing contract which is riddled with bonuses, which a lot are not achievable.

Although we are spending an extra £20k a week on Coleman, he will no longer receive the bonuses he has. That 20k a week can easily be substituted for some of his existing bonuses, especially the loyalty bonus being £2.5M. We are saving money in everyway possible.

Summary of making profit in FM21

These two examples of saving money can really maximise the club you are managing finances. Obviously, this is not an overnight rags to riches story, but you will find the club in a better financial position then they were before. I have mainly used examples from a top club, but these methods apply to all clubs no matter the country, or reputation. Be smart with your finances and you can improve your club on and off the field in a shorter period of time.

I really do hope these methods will help you in your save. I used to not care about finances until I couldn’t sign the players I wanted, now, with me saving money, I have more funds to help develop the club on and off the field. Doing this will help you make a profit in FM21.

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Written by Dictate The Game


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