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When you join a new club you should review your current staff and check to see whether there are any better, cheaper alternatives available. Explained below are the various considerations you should make when choosing individuals to join your backroom staff, along with details of how to negotiate staff contracts.

The Staff Roles guides discussed what staff attributes and other qualities you should look for in each type of staff member. However, as well as these, you should consider the wages demanded by potential new staff along with any compensation fees payable, their age, experience and qualifications, and the board's staff limits.

1. Staff Wages

Your club's Boardroom Overview screen shows the total current spending on wages and the wage budget. The current spending only includes player wages, and so excludes wages paid to your staff, and likewise the wage budget is for player wages only. Therefore, the amount you spend on staff wages will not affect the amount you can spend on player wages.

However, the wage budget does affect the maximum wage that the board will allow you to offer new staff members. The bigger the budget, the higher the wages you will be able to offer during negotiations.

Staff with higher reputations are likely to demand higher wages, and therefore you may need to find staff with lower reputations so that you can meet their demands.

2. Compensation Fees

When signing a new staff member who is already employed by another club you may need to pay compensation to that club for the early termination of his contract. This fee, if applicable, can be seen at the bottom of the Contract Offer screen. Therefore, you can choose to end negotiations if you want to avoid the fee.

Any compensation will be paid out of the transfer budget, and so should be avoided if a similar quality staff member can be signed without a compensation fee or if the fee will use up a large part of the budget. If the fee is greater than the budget at the point when the contract is agreed then the signing will be cancelled.

3. Age, Experience and Qualifications

When signing new staff you should also take into account their age and experience. At a high reputation club you will need a backroom team made up mainly of older, more experienced staff with higher reputations. At lower reputation clubs such staff will be unobtainable and you will have to settle for lower reputation personnel. Therefore, it can be useful to employ younger staff members as their attributes and reputation will improve with age and experience.

Even at higher reputation clubs however, it can be useful to employ some younger, developing staff members on lower wages as they can be used to support your higher quality staff, can help reduce your spending and will hopefully improve and develop good relationships with you and your players over time.

If you are considering signing a foreign member of staff then you should take into account whether he has any previous experience working in your club's nation by checking his History screen, and also whether he can speak the language by checking the Information section of his Overview screen. If not, then a good Adaptability attribute would be beneficial.

You should also check a potential new staff member's familiarity in the staff role you want him to fill, as shown in the Staff Roles panel on his profile. He may not be as willing to sign in a role that he is not very familiar with, although his familiarity will improve over time as he gains experience in the role.

When looking to sign new coaches you should consider an individual's coaching qualifications, as shown on his profile and detailed in the Staff Attributes guide. Since coaching courses can improve staff attributes it can be better to sign a coach with lower qualifications, who therefore has more potential to improve, than a similar coach with higher qualifications. However, you will need to convince the board that sending a particular coach on a course is worthwhile, or otherwise wait until the coach himself decides to go on a course.

For potential new scouts you should consider their scouting knowledge, which is discussed in more detail in the Scouting Knowledge guide. This can also be worth considering for potential staff in other roles as the knowledge of all your staff will contribute to the overall knowledge of your scouting network.

4. Board Staff Limits

The Staff panel on your club's Boardroom Overview screen shows the current number of staff allowed in each role category. The advised column shows the maximum number of staff that the board will allow you to sign in each category. These limits will be higher the more secure your club’s financial status is and the greater your club’s reputation is.

The role categories are as follows:

  • Director of Football
  • Head of Youth Development
  • Reserves Manager
  • Youth Manager
  • Assistant Manager
  • Reserves Assistant Manager
  • Youth Assistant Manager
  • Other Club Staff - including coach, fitness coach, goalkeeping coach and physio.
  • Other Reserves Staff - including reserves coach, reserves fitness coach, reserves goalkeeping coach and reserves physio.
  • Other Youth Staff - including youth coach, youth fitness coach, youth goalkeeping coach and youth physio.
  • Scout

You should generally aim to employ as many coaches, scouts and physios as the board will allow by selecting the best personnel possible subject to your financial restrictions.

However, at some clubs, particularly those in low reputation nations and league divisions, you will need to be careful when signing staff. The limits set by the board may be too high and could result in your club suffering significant losses if you maximise staff numbers. You should therefore carefully assess your club's financial situation and keep a close eye on your finances to ensure that you have enough income to support your staff wages and other expenditure.

Employing more coaches will lighten their workload and so improve the effectiveness of training, as explained in the Assigning Coaches guide.

Employing more scouts will give your scouting network greater knowledge and allow you to scout more geographical areas and competitions at the same time, which in turn will help your scouting network's knowledge to grow more quickly as new nations are scouted.

In addition, the more physios you employ the more effectively they will be able to reduce the likelihood of injuries occuring, reduce injury times and reduce rehabilitation times.

If the number of your current employed staff in a certain role category is higher than the limit shown, you will not be able to sign a new staff member in that role category without first reducing staff numbers to below the limit, meaning that you will end up with fewer staff in that category. In this situation it can therefore be beneficial to retain poorer staff, for example to lighten your coaches' workload or to build up scouting knowledge. Generally at a new club however, you will want to replace existing staff with your own higher quality staff.

5. Finding Staff

You can search for staff from the Staff section of your manager's Search screen.

The Add Condition drop-down menu will enable you to specify conditions to narrow your search. You will generally want to specify a required familiarity with the staff role you are looking to fill, while you may want to set a maximum reputation in order to reduce wage demands, search only for individuals who are not employed in order to avoid compensation fees, or search for staff who have not completed their coaching qualifications and who will therefore be more likely to improve in the future.

The Attributes button will allow you to specify minimum attributes ratings for the specific attributes that will be important for the new staff member, as explained in the Staff Roles guides.

Ticking ask assistant manager to exclude unrealistic transfers will remove staff who your assistant believes are unlikely to be interested in contract negotiations, allowing you to focus on more attainable targets.

Alternatively, if you do not need someone urgently then you may prefer to place an advert for new staff in a specified role in the Job Centre, which can be accessed from your manager's Jobs screen. You will then be given a list of applicants in about a week's time.

Before placing an advert for a role you will need to ensure that you are under the board's staff limit for that role.

6. Freeing Up Space

If you offer a contract to a potential new staff member but are not below the maximum staff permitted then you will need to free up space before he agrees to sign or the deal will be cancelled.

You can do this by terminating or mutually terminating the contract of another member of staff from their Contract drop-down menu. This staff member should be in the same role category, as explained above, as the staff member being signed.

A compensation fee will normally be payable for early termination of a contract, although if a staff member agrees to a mutual termination then this will be cheaper, or even free. Therefore, it is advisable to attempt a mutual termination first. This will always be accepted by inherited staff at a new club.

When signing a new assistant manager it is not necessary to terminate the contract of your current assistant, as it will be terminated automatically when the new signing is confirmed. This helps you to avoid spending a short period without an assistant. However, this will not allow you to offer a mutual termination, and so it is advisable to offer this first if you expect the new assistant to sign.

7. Offering a Staff Contract

You can offer a potential staff member a contract using the Approach to Sign button while viewing them. This will take you to the Contract Offer screen where you will be shown his contract demands and be able to suggest terms.

It is advisable to start contract negotiations by offering a lower wage than initially demanded, before then negotiating upwards at a rate determined by the urgency of the individual’s response to the previous offer after you click Suggest Terms. On the right of the screen you will see a description of the staff member's negotiating style, which may also affect the best way for you to negotiate.

7.1. Contract Terms

As well as the basic contract offer terms, such as job, contract length and wage, you can include the following clauses in negotiations:

  • Yearly Wage Rise - This will increase the staff member's wage by the selected percentage each season. It can prove to be an expensive clause overtime and so is generally best avoided where possible, particularly since the effect is cumulative and so the actual monetary rise will be higher each year. However, it can help you to encourage a staff member to agree to a lower initial wage.
  • Promotion Wage Rise - This will increase the staff member's wage by the selected percentage every time the club is promoted, which can also help you to encourage him to agree to a lower initial wage, especially if your club is a contender for promotion. However, it is less favourable to the staff member than the above clause as the rise is not guaranteed.
  • Relegation Wage Drop - This will reduce the staff member's wage by the selected percentage every time the club is relegated, which can help your club save money if relegated and avoid any need to terminate staff contracts and pay the associated compensation fees. However, the staff member will be less willing to sign with this clause active, and so may require a higher initial wage.
  • Top Division Promotion Wage Rise/Relegation Wage Drop - These are variants of the above two clauses that only apply when being promoted to or relegated from the top league division.
  • Waive Compensation For Managerial Role - If set to yes, then if the staff member leaves your club to sign as the manager at another club, your club will not receive the compensation fee for an early contract termination from the other club, which could otherwise potentially discourage or prevent the other club from signing him. This clause can therefore help encourage a staff member to sign for your club, possibly allowing you to offer a lower wage or other, less favourable, clauses. Selecting no will have the opposite effect.

If you want to mark a contract term, such as the staff role or wage offered, as non-negotiable then you can do this by clicking the padlock icon next to the term before proceeding with negotiations. This can be useful if, for example, you want to sign the staff member in a specific role or if the staff member's demanded wage is above the maximum you can offer. However, this can lead to the staff member refusing to continue discussions. The offer as a whole can also be marked as non-negotiable using the button at the bottom of the screen.

7.2. Information Panel

The Information panel on the right also provides you with the following information:

  • Job Interest - This depends on various factors such as the staff member's familiarity with the staff role you are offering, the seniority of the role, your reputation, your club's reputation and his personality. The more interested he is the easier negotiations will be.
  • Maximum Wage - This is the highest wage that the board will allow you to offer the staff member in the currently selected role. Offering him favourable clauses and a shorter contract length can enable you to offer a lower wage and so may be necessary if he wants more than the maximum wage. Alternatively, clicking budget adjustment and then moving the slider on the Boardroom Overview screen to the left will allow you to increase your wage budget at the expense of your transfer budget, and so will increase the maximum wage. The slider can be moved all the way to the left if you do not need any immediate transfer budget for new signings before being moved back again after offering the contract. Clicking Confirm will register the budget adjustments, allowing you to offer a higher wage after returning to the Contract Offer screen. You can also ask the board to increase the maximum wage allowed to staff on the Board Meeting section of the Boardroom screen. Such a request is more likely to be accepted if you have developed a good reputation with the board by achieving success at the club. You can view the board's confidence in you on the Confidence section of the Boardroom screen.
  • Maximum Staff Permitted - This is the board's limit for staff in the selected role, and corresponds to the limit shown on your club's Boardroom Overview screen as discussed above. If the current staff numbers figure is equal to or higher than this then you will need to free up space as explained below.

7.3. Offering Staff Contracts to Players

You can also potentially offer a staff contract to one of your players if he is approaching the end of his playing career, allowing you to hire someone who is possibly already among the favoured personnel of other players in your squad and who may improve his staff attributes over time as he gains experience and qualifications in his new staff role.

A player will need to have staff attributes visible to be offered a staff contract, as explained in the Staff Attributes guide.

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