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.

Which Players to Sell

A simple way of deciding 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.

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.

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 player and is negatively affecting morale.
  • The player wants to leave.
  • The player has underperformed over the course of a season and has not justified his squad status and wages, or he has lost his place in the squad to another player.
  • 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 a player about his training performances in his Private Chat before trying to sell him.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

How to Sell a Player

To try to sell or loan out a player you can either list him and wait for clubs to make bids, or offer him directly to clubs, either with or without listing him as well.

You will find it much easier to sell a player if he has attracted interest from other clubs, as shown on the Transfer Info section of his Transfer tab. To increase interest you can try making him more attractive to other clubs by playing him more often or giving him experience on loan. You can also set an asking price, either in addition to transfer listing the player or as an alternative, from the Transfer Status section of his Transfer tab. This could be set, say, at or below the player’s current value in order to encourage bids or, if he is a valuable first-team player, then setting it above his value would generally be preferable.

To transfer list or loan list the player you can select the Transfer listed or Available for loan options. However, it would be best to instead do this through the Private Chat section of his Overview tab. After selecting the Transfer Status category and then Transfer List Player or Loan List Player, you can give the player a reason for him being listed and so potentially avoid upsetting him and other members of the squad. You should be aware however, that by transfer listing a player you will typically not be able to sell him for as high a price as you might otherwise be able to.

Offering to Clubs

If you wish to sell or loan out a player quickly then you will probably want to offer him directly to clubs by selecting Offer to Clubs from his Transfer drop-down menu and then selecting an Offer Type out of either Transfer or Loan.

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.

Following your initial offer you should reduce the amount 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 during the transfer window when more clubs are looking to buy.

Additional Clauses

On top of the basic offer you can include additional clauses to try to improve the future financial benefits for your club. In particular, you should always try to include a percentage of profit from next sale or a percentage of next sale clause, including when you are offering players for free. As well as being particularly beneficial when selling young players who are likely to improve and increase in value at their new club, you may get the option to buyout these clauses in the future, as can also be the case with most of the other additional clauses and additional fees.

It can be useful to attempt to include a buy back price when selling a young player, especially if you believe they have a decent chance of being good enough for your first-team in the future but you are selling them mainly due to competition for places in your squad. This will allow you to discuss terms 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.

Including an arrange friendly clause can be beneficial if you are selling to a much bigger club who would not normally agree to a proposed friendly. The club will then have to agree to any friendly you later propose as long as this is within the set period as specified on the Comments panel on the Offer to Clubs screen.

Additional Fees

Additional fees can be used to try to make the player more affordable for bidding clubs by spreading out payments using monthly instalments or a fee per league appearance, or delaying parts of the payment until a particular condition is met using one of the other fee options. These other options can also be used to make extra money from the transfer if the player makes a certain number of league or international appearances or if his team get promoted.

All of the additional fees can be especially useful if you are offering to sell an expensive player as it will make it easier to sell him for greater than his value if payments are to be spread out over a period, while when offering to clubs with poorer finances it will make them more willing to place a bid. 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.

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

Offering for Loan

When offering to loan out a player you can choose to request a monthly fee and a percentage of the player’s wages that the bidding clubs must offer to pay. Generally though, when offering out a young player to give him first-team experience you should set the monthly fee to zero and you will probably not be able to demand a very high wages percentage as this will restrict the number of potential loaning clubs that you will have to choose from. If you are offering a more senior player to temporarily remove him from your wage bill or to give him further experience that he will not get at your team due to competition for places then you may be able to increase these figures.

Using the loan options you can choose whether the loaning club will be allowed to include the player in cup matches or matches against your own team, and whether he can be recalled at any time during the loan. The can play in cup matches option should normally be included, unless you want to prevent the player from becoming cup-tied if the loaning club is playing in any of the same cup competitions as your team and if you are likely to want to use him in such a competition later in the season. The can be recalled option should generally always be included as this will allow you to bring the player back to your squad if he is needed or if he is not getting sufficient games at the loaning club.

You can also offer players for sale on loan-to-buy deals, where the loaning club will be able to buy the player for a set fee at any time during the loan deal. This can be a good option to use if you are struggling to sell a player because clubs cannot afford to buy him, and allows you to at least remove him from your squad temporarily and possibly permanently in the future. This is done by setting a future fee as part of the basic offer.

Finally, you can set a required squad status that the bidding clubs must give the player as a minimum and your preferred position that he should be played in during his loan. This can be useful if you want to ensure that the player is given matches by the loaning club and want to help his chances of performing well. For example, if you are loaning him out for experience, or to increase his value or your chances of selling him in the future, then you will most likely want him to at least be a first team player and play in one of his natural positions. Leaving the Make Loan Squad Status Non Negotiable boxed unticked will help prevent this condition limiting the number of offers for the player too much.

Responding to a bid

When a club makes a transfer offer for a player you will receive a news item and be able to view the offer on the Transfer Centre section of your club's Transfers tab. Here you can compare it against any other others received and either accept or reject offers. You can also click View Offer to go to the Transfer Offer screen and negotiate the offer by changing some of the terms, although the bidding club may have made the offer non-negotiable. This is normally the case if you have offered the player out yourself or if you made a previous negotiation non-negotiable. In addition, you can opt to stall the offer to give you extra time to respond beyond the decision deadline. This can be done, for example, to help you try to find a replacement or to give other clubs more time to possibly make a larger bid. However, the stalled offer may be withdrawn by the bidding club.

In some cases the 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 players who you do not view as having any future at your club, such as those in your youth team with poor potential, you may need to release them if no club will even agree to make a bid for a zero price. This is done by selecting Release On A Free from a player's Contract drop-down menu, although you will have to pay compensation for ending a contract early in this way. 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 reserve 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 normally expensive, while mutual termination is often not possible immediately and may even upset others in your squad, particularly if the player is in 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.

Buyout Clauses

Occasionally, your Board will negotiate a deal with a club that has previously bought a player from your team that will give you the option to sell the rights to an additional clause or additional fee that was included in the sale in exchange for a certain buyout fee.

You can view a list of all transfer clauses by selecting the Clauses section of your club’s Transfers tab. Any players that have clauses that you can buyout 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 sold will display a Sell Clause button. For any sellable clauses you should assess whether it would be more profitable to sell the clause now or to wait until the clause or fee is potentially activated, after consider the likelihood of the event occuring. You should also consider whether you need the money now or whether a potentially larger amount likely to be paid in the future is preferable. Bear in mind however, that any negotiated buyout fees can change over time. If you buyout a clause then a percentage of the 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 additional clauses or additional fees when selling players as it is often possible to make an immediate profit on buying them out if a deal becomes available, while it is worth checking the Clauses screen every month for any potentially profitable buyout clauses.

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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