Making a Profit in FM21: Retraining, Free Agents & Affiliates

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.

If you haven’t already, make sure you check out part one where I cover friendlies and contracts: read here.

In part two of making a profit we are going to cover free agents, retraining players, staff roles, competition bonuses, playing well and affiliate clubs. Quite a lot to get through, so let’s begin.


Sign free agents with the intention of selling them.

This is a sneaky way of doing things, and sometimes it pays off. This is useful for larger clubs which would pay the wages for say 6 months, and then sell the player after. I have tried this with a medium sized club, and loaned the player out straight away and the other club are currently paying 90% of his wages. This means I am paying 10% of his salary over the duration. I have done this until the next window, when he will return with the intention of being sold. It’s effective, but could effect your teams cohesion. 

What you are essentially doing is bringing in a player for nothing, but you’ll likely pay a few bonuses which amount to quite a lot. Selling the player for more than the value of these bonuses as well as the wages, you instantly make a profit. 

Retrain players instead of selling them

The players you already have on the books might not be as good in their natural position any more, however this doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough anymore. Check out this article for inspiration by Oliver Jensen

The above link made me think even more about retraining and keeping the players you have on your books. I continue to do this now, and often like to train players in different roles/positions instead of selling them. It just contributes in a greater manner if the team are used to each other. I have often done this for a striker who isn’t quite up to standard, but retraining them as an inside forward or as a winger. Obviously, this all depends on how well your player would be in this position, your training methods and game time. 

I have had particularly good success training central defenders in to defensive midfielders and in particular, the anchor man role. Any sort of ball playing defender has an advantage before they even play there. 

Have staff on two different job roles

Two birds, one stone. As the saying goes. In my save currently I have a perfect scout, who can also double up as a coach. One member of staff, covering two roles, which in turn reduces the expenditure and gives me greater coverage.

Not only is it great for saving money, you are getting someone in to the club who will be multi-tasking and sharing the responsibility of his role.

Competition Bonuses

If like me, you are tight with your money, reducing competition bonuses at the start of the season will be a good way of saving money, but may upset a few players. I normally put everything on low, because I am really tight, but definitely changing from high to medium will do the trick.

Often if you reduce this, because you are saving money, the money is put in to wage and transfer budget, which may be more important for you. It’s entirely up to you, and I think it all depends what you are interested in.

Affiliate Clubs

Free money? Free loans? Yes, please. That’s the way I see it, if you’re lower down, I would definitely recommend getting as many senior affiliates as you can, just to boost that little bit of balance you have. I mainly use this for loans, if the competition rules allow, I try to get a few from the senior affiliate club to reduce on wage budget. Often the players are brilliant, so always prove vital in the season.

On the flip side, having affiliate clubs to lower league clubs can help you in the short and long term. You loan your players out, they get match experience and the affiliate club can grow over time. You may pay a small yearly fee, but you can also get first rights on any player they are selling. This allows you to match other clubs offers, and purchase players at the agreed price – if they are suitable.

Perform well on the Pitch

This really goes without saying, the better you are doing in matches the more likely you are to improve your finances. It does sound a bit silly that this is in the guide, but it’s important. You start winning games, improving your reputation, winning titles and continental trophies. This means you will start to make a profit, and with increased revenue means you can start upgrading on and off the pitch.

When playing at a low reputation league with continental places up for grabs, getting in to the early rounds of these tournaments can help fund your season just by playing one or two qualifying rounds. This is especially important with the introduction of UEFA Europa Conference League, which means more opportunity to play, as well as increasing money. 

This also has a bad effect, the more games you are playing, the team are likely to get fatigued. Having a balance of squad depth, combined with the intent to generate money is crucial. There are so many variations of how well success is determined, but I would say above all, performing well on the pitch.


I hope you have enjoyed this two part series, focusing on making a profit and increasing revenue. These aren’t the only steps you can use, but these hints and tips can help transform your club. The possibilities are endless, and now it’s down to you what you do with it. If you have any success from this guide, we would love to hear from you. 

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Written by Dictate The Game


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