Selling Players

On a regular basis, particularly when you first join a new club and after you sign any new players, you should review each of your squads and try to sell any players who are surplus to your requirements.

Deciding Which Players to Sell

A simple way to decide which players to clear out first is to select the Assistant Reports view for each squad. You can then order players by Potential and try to sell anybody with a potential ability star rating of one gold star or less. You should, however, ensure that you have enough players left in each position to retain a competitive squad with sufficient cover, as you may not be able to immediately replace all of the players that leave.

For the rest of your squad you should establish a squad structure as discussed in the Squad Building guide, while it is also beneficial to set a wage structure as discussed in the Player Wages guide. Those players who are at or close to their full potential and have been given a not needed squad status, along those players whose wage is too high for their squad status, can all be deemed as being surplus.

Furthermore, you may want to consider selling a player in the following circumstances:

  • The player does not fit your tactical style, for example, he is slow and you like to play a quick counter attacking style.
  • The player has poor ratings in important mental attributes, most notably Determination, but also Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Creativity, Decisions, Teamwork and Work Rate, along with the technical attribute Technique for attacking players.
  • The player is disliked by other players and is negatively affecting morale.
  • The player has displayed a poor attitude (not including his attitude on the pitch or in training). For example, he has criticised you in the media. You may want to warn the player in his Private Chat that he will be transfer listed if his attitude does not improve (in the Transfer and Contract category).
  • The player wants to leave. You will have the option to talk to the player and let him know if and when you will try to sell him.
  • The player has underperformed on the pitch and has not justified his squad status and wages, or he has lost his place in the squad to another player. You may want to warn the player in his Private Chat that he will be transfer listed if his match performances do not improve (in the Transfer and Contract category).
  • The player has been regularly underperforming in training. You can judge a player's training performance by checking your assistant's monthly training reports and by viewing the player's own training report. However, you may want to talk to the player about his training performances in his Private Chat before trying to sell him (in the Development category), and perhaps warn him that he will be transfer listed if he does not improve in training (in the Transfer and Contract category).
  • The player has past or reached his peak, meaning that it would be financially beneficial to sell him now rather than later. However, you may want to keep him to add experience to your squad or if you believe he will be useful as a tutor for younger players.
  • The player could be sold for a good price and give you extra transfer budget to buy other players. You will normally have a percentage of the sale (the % of transfer revenue made available as shown on your club's Finances screen) added to your budget.
  • You want to reduce the wage spending or free up space in the wage budget to bring in another player.
  • The player’s contract is due to expire within two years but his demands are too high or he does not want to renew. You may want to consider warning the player in his Private Chat that he will be transfer listed if he does not agree to sign a new deal (in the Transfer and Contract category), or ask him to lower his wage demands first if the option is available.
  • The player is at or near his peak and his contract is set to expire within about two years, therefore by selling him now you could get the best price for him and reinvest in younger players.
  • The player has not yet reached his peak but there is interest from other clubs in him (as shown on the Transfer Status section of his Transfer screen) and his contract is due to expire in the next two to three years. Therefore, you could be able to get a good price now and avoid having to offer him a more expensive contract and pay the associated renewal fees.
  • A club has already approached you with a bid for the player which is too good to refuse as you may not make as much from the player if you instead wait and sell him in the future.

Deciding Which Players to Loan Out

In addition, you should review your squads for any players who it would be appropriate to loan out to other clubs in order to give them first team experience. That is, anyone who is not currently good enough to play in your first team but who has sufficient potential to be capable of breaking into the team or to be sold for a higher amount in the future. For more guidance on when and how to loan out players for this purpose see the First Team Experience guide.

You may also want to loan out any surplus players who you have not been able to sell, in order to give them an opportunity to attract interest from clubs and to remove them from your wage bill.

How to Sell a Player

You will find it much easier to sell a player if he has attracted interest from other clubs, as shown on the Transfer Status section of his Transfer screen. To increase interest you can try making him more attractive to other clubs by playing him more often or giving him playing time at another club on loan (perhaps at a feeder club if no other clubs are interested). You can also set an asking price, again on the Transfer Status screen. This could be set, say, at or below the player’s current value in order to encourage more interest or, if he is a valuable first-team player, then setting it above his value would generally be appropriate.

The most effective way to increase interest in a player though is to transfer list him, which you can do using the Transfer Status drop-down, as this will make other clubs aware of your willingness to sell. This can be done in combination with giving him a Not Needed squad status, which will have a similar effect. However, although this is usually an appropriate approach for an unwanted player who is not good enough for your squad, it is likely to reduce the value of any offers you receive. Therefore, for a more valuable player who you want to sell and who has already attracted interest it is advisable to not transfer list him or change his squad status.

The next step in selling a player is to encourage bids by offering him to clubs. Although, if you are happy to keep a player but also willing to sell him for a high price, then you might want to set such a price as his asking price but avoid actually offering him to clubs (or listing him). This is likely to result in a higher bid in the event that an interested team does approach you for the player.

If you prefer then you can delegate the responsibility of selling a player to a member of staff by adding the player to your unwanted list from his Transfer drop-down menu.

Offering to Clubs

You can offer a player to clubs on the Offer To Clubs section of his Transfer screen.

If offering to sell a good player who other clubs are already interested in and who you have not transfer listed then you may be able to ask for up to two-times his current value when setting the fee and any additional fees. Otherwise, you will often find it difficult to sell the player unless you offer him for less than his current value, but you should still start by offering a higher amount than you expect to receive.

You should be careful not to leave the checkbox ticked to transfer list the player and set his squad status to Not Needed if you do not want these changes to be made, as may be the case as discussed above. You can set this checkbox to be unticked by default on the Personal Assistant section of the Staff Responsibilities screen.

Following your initial offer you can reduce the amount requested in a new offer every few days until a club makes a bid. Be careful not to offer the player for less than you are prepared to sell him for however, as you will be unable to request a greater amount once a club matches your offer unless they make the bid negotiable.

You will usually receive more bids when the transfer window is open as this is when more clubs are looking to buy.

Additional Fees

Additional fees can be used to try to make the player more affordable for bidding clubs by either:

  • spreading out payments over time - monthly instalments, fee per league appearance; or
  • deferring payments until a particular condition is met - fee after league appearances, fee after international appearances, fee after minimum league goals, fee after promotion.

As such, they can help you to sell the player for more than you would be able to if you demanded the entire payment up front. By using these fees to make up a large part, if not all, of the total value of the offer you may find it easier to encourage bids for higher amounts. This is particularly important to consider when selling more valuable players.

The deferring payments especially can be a useful but there is obviously a risk that the condition will not be met. Therefore, the achievability of the conditions set should be considered carefully. These payments can be more appealing to the buying club however, due to the uncertainty of the payment.

In contrast, monthly instalments are guaranteed to be paid, but will be less appealing to the buying club as a result.

The fee per league appearance offers a compromise in that there is a high chance that some payment will be made, but if the player stops featuring for any reason then the overall payment will be reduced. On the other hand, this fee can be very profitable if the player remains a regular starter for his new club (although the fee will only be paid for a maximum of 50 appearances).

However, when including additional fees in a sale you should bear in mind that the total value of the transfer will not be added to your transfer budget straight away.

Additional Clauses

You can also include additional clauses to try to improve the future financial benefits for your club.

The most useful clauses are percentage of profit from next sale and percentage of next sale. You should generally try to include one of these in a sale (including when selling a player for no fee), unless you believe it is unlikely the player will be sold for a fee in the future, perhaps because he is nearing the end of his career. The percentage of profit clause is obviously the most appealing to the buying club out of these two, but it is not suitable if the player is unlikely to be sold for a higher value in the future, perhaps because he is at or near his peak. This clause can be particularly valuable for young, developing players, however.

It can also sometimes be useful to attempt to include a buy back price when selling a young player if you believe he has a good chance of being good enough for your senior squad in the future. It may be, for instance, that you are selling him as there is too much competition blocking his development in your squad, and you want to ensure you get a good price for him now before his potential falls. It could also be that his wage demands are too high for a backup player. A buy back clause will allow you to discuss a contract with the player if you make an offer for the agreed amount in the future, as long as the player is still at the club who bought him from you. However, including the clause will most likely mean that you will have to settle for less in fees, and so you should only do so if you believe there is a good chance that it will be useful in the future.

Including an arrange friendly clause can be beneficial if you are selling to a much bigger club who would not normally agree to a friendly. The club will then have to agree to any friendly you later propose as long as it is within a certain period, which is shown on the right of the Offer to Clubs screen.

Finally, in some circumstances you might want to include a loan back length, which will allow you to retain the player's services for a specified period after the transfer goes through. This can be useful if you are selling an important first team player or key player to a bigger club, as it will effectively delay the player's departure and give you time to find a replacement. It can also help you to sell a player who is unlikely to want to renew his contract at your club, or whose demands are likely to be too high, at a higher price than you would be able to if you let his contract run down, while still being able to use him for most or all of his contract period. The buying club will only agree to such a clause if it benefits them in some way, however. Therefore, the player should be a young, developing player who would not necessarily get into the first team at the buying club straight away.

Responding to a bid

When a club makes a transfer offer for a player you will receive a news item. You can view the terms of the offer and respond to it directly on your News Inbox screen, or click View Offer in the bottom-left corner to view it in full screen. You can also view and access all offers from the Transfer Centre section of your club's Transfers screen. Here, you can compare offers more easily and clickly respond to them individually or in bulk.

When viewing an offer you can negotiate with the bidding club by changing any of the terms and then clicking either Negotiate Offer, to receive a response within two days, or Suggest Terms, to receive a response immediately. Generally, if you are happy to try to reach a deal with a club, you should choose to negotiate the offer, as suggesting terms for an immediate response is more likely to result in the bidder withdrawing their offer altogether if they do not want to meet your demands.

You will not be able to change a term if the bidding club has made the offer, or the individual term, non-negotiable, which will usually be the case if they have met the demands you made in a previous negotiation or when offering the player. During negotiations you too can make individual terms, or the entire offer, non-negotiable by using the appropriate padlock icons.

If you are not willing to sell the player to the club at any price then you can click Reject Offer and then provide a reason for rejecting the bid if you wish.

You can delay your response until the decision deadline shown in the news item. This can allow time for any other interested clubs to make bids, and possibly for you to try to attract more interest by offering the player if you have not done so already. The more bids that come in the better, as it will give you more options from which to choose. With multiple bidders it can also be easier and less risky to negotiate bids upwards. For example, you could request a higher bid from one club, perhaps the club you believe to be one of the most wealthy bidders, while temporarily keeping the other bidders waiting. If the negotiation is successful, then you can either accept the new, higher bid, or request an even higher offer from another club.

If necessary, you can click Stall to give you extra time to respond to an offer beyond the decision deadline. However, this can be risky as the bidding club may withdraw their offer.

In some cases your club's board will deem a large offer too good to refuse and will accept the bid on your behalf. In this situation you will be unable to offer the player a new contract and so will have no say in whether he stays or goes.

Releasing on a Free and Mutual Termination

For some low value players who you do not view as having any future at your club, such as those in your under 18 squad with poor potential, you may need to release them if no club will even agree to make a bid for a zero fee. This is done by selecting Release On A Free from a player's Contract drop-down menu, although you will have to pay compensation at the value of his remaining contract. You will be told the amount of compensation payable before confirming whether to release the player.

Alternatively, you may be able to agree to mutually terminate a contract by selecting Mutual Termination. This will enable you to pay less compensation but will normally only be agreed to by players who are unhappy and want to leave your club. Therefore, you might have to reduce a player's squad status to not needed, place him in your under 21 squad and keep offering mutual termination to him whenever the option is available, until he ultimately becomes unhappy enough to accept.

However, releasing a player is often expensive, while mutual termination is often not possible immediately and may even upset others in your squad, particularly if the player is among their favoured personnel. So instead you may prefer to try to loan out a player until his contract expires, preferably with a percentage of his wages being paid by the loaning club.

You can also mark a player as Set For Release from his Contracts drop-down menu. This will ensure that he is not offered a new contract and so will leave for free when it expires.

How to Loan Out a Player

Any player who you wish to loan out should first be made available for loan using the Loan Status drop-down on the player's Transfer Status screen. You can then offer the player for loan on the Offer To Clubs screen by changing the drop-down at the top of the screen to Loan Offer.

If you prefer then you can delegate the responsibility of loaning out a player to a member of staff by adding the player to your development list from his Transfer drop-down menu. The player must be aged 23 or under to be added to this list.

The process of loaning out a player is discussed in more detail in the First Team Experience guide.

Buying and Selling Transfer Clauses

On the Clauses section of your club's Transfers screen you can see a list of all the active transfer clauses agreed with clubs on past transfer deals.

Occasionally, your board will negotiate a buyout fee for one of these clauses with the club concerned. This will give you the option to buy or sell the rights to the clause for an agreed fee.

Any players for whom there is a buyout fee agreed will have a currency symbol displayed to the right of their name in the left-hand panel. Selecting a player's row in this panel will show you details of all their clauses, and those which can be bought or sold will display a Buy Clause or Sell Clause button. For any such clauses you should assess whether it would be more profitable to buy or sell the clause now or to wait until the clause is potentially activated, after considering the likelihood of the relevant event occuring. You may also need to consider your current finances and whether you need money now, even if it could be more profitable to wait. You should bear in mind that any negotiated buyout fees can change over time; they may become better, worse or even disappear altogether.

If you buy a clause then the buyout fee paid will be deducted from your transfer budget. If you sell a clause then a percentage of the buyout fee received (the % of transfer revenue made available as shown on the Finances screen) will be added to your transfer budget.

You should always try to include clauses when selling players as it is often possible to make an immediate profit on selling them if a deal becomes available, while it is worth checking the Clauses screen regularly (say once every month) for any potentially profitable buyout fees that appear.

Further Reading

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater tactical knowledge and understanding.

The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders - learn how to think like a football manager.

Will You Manage? - tells you the skills needed to be a great manager and gives essential tips for fantasy football success.

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