SeasonEleven.EpisodeFour | Dernière ligne droite
Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 blog with Stade Rennais. If you missed my previous post, you can catch up with everything that happened, here:
February 2030 – May 2030
As other saves and blogs begin to wind down, and attentions turn to the new game, we’re still battling on with Hannes Wolf at the wheel. I want to get at least another couple of seasons in under his watch before we call it a day.
The Coaching Team
Hannes Wolf has done excellently in his first season as Stade Rennais new manager. There were a few late-stage blips in the league which made me think we might bottle the league again, so it wasn’t all plain sailing.
The team carried on their early season form into February, after losing to Metz 1-0. During March, not a single goal was conceded in the six matches we played with 21 goals scored. Wolf could go on to do much better than I had in my final season.
Round 34 was the first point where I was sure the league title was staying with Rennes, though. PSG had fallen to a 1-2 defeat to Amiens while we hammered Montpellier 4-0 to go 10 points clear with just four games to go. A game in which Ayari scoring another hat trick which has seriously made me consider Hossam’s future after he turned down my latest contract offer.
Shortly after, we beat PSG 2-0 in the Coupe de France final. A great result. Our sixth win in eight seasons.
PSG then went on to lose against Lyon handing us the league title before we’d even kicked a ball. Three cups down, one to go.
We were back in the Champions League final after overturning a 2-3 deficit to PSG. Beating them 1-0 at home to go through to the final on away goals. Liverpool are all that stands in our way.
Liverpool had Rivis in goal, who we sold to them last season for €120m. They also have Jacky Rault on loan there, but he hasn’t been getting much game time. What could go wrong…
Well, as it turns out a lot can go wrong. It was Rivis who won the Champions League for Liverpool with this penalty save. Our third Champions League final in a row and our second defeat on penalties.
A bitterly disappointing end to the season, but super proud of all that Wolf has achieved in his first season in charge at Rennes. It is now down to me to strengthen this team and get it into better shape for the season ahead.
With the exception to the Champions League, I don’t think we could have asked for a better season from Wolf. Trophée des Champions winners. Coupe de France winners. Ligue 1 winners. Champions League finalists.
Show me another manager who has done that in his first season!
The Business Side of Stade Rennais
We are haemorrhaging money. It is clear that we are going to need to seriously trim the squad, cut down on the wages and try to bring in some extra money through player sales this summer. I will evaluate the squad after this season has finished seeing which players are not justifying their wage and look to move them on.
Hannes has a set XI that he seems to always play, so these players will become the core group. The next group who are on the fringes will have the appropriate salaries and squad statuses. It could mean some big names and great players leaving. But we cannot afford their wages for sitting around and not playing.
It’s not just the fringe players, though. Amro Hossam, our star striker turned down my latest contract offer. He is wanting far too much money and his agent is a dick. I’m tempted to let him go this summer if we get an offer in the region of €100m which I think is fair for a player of his quality.
Commercially, we managed to secure some good deals, mainly due to the Champions League win last season and our rise as one of the most reputable clubs in the world, only second to Real Madrid.
We’re also on the lookout for an affiliate to improve our profile in another highly lucrative market. This should help achieve one of the board’s objectives to increase the profile and commercial revenue from marketing the club to foreign fans.
The Recruitment Team
With the need to trim the squad very evident, I’ve been scouring the globe for good backup players for the first team. I will be sitting down with the scouts and coaches to see which of the first team players remain and who needs to go.
We have 29 players out on loan. That’s a huge number of players. If there are any players over the age of 20 who are out on loan then we need to seriously consider their future. A lot of these players are probably first-team ready, so unless we can loan them out for a fee or at the very least have their wages covered as part of the loan if there’s room to develop them.
We will be looking at the Asian markets to see if we can get a good, but high profile player to improve our commercial income as we need to keep raising revenues to stay on top in France. It’ll be a tough balancing act.
Thanks for following along with my save this year!
As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!
Until next time, à tout à l’heure.