New Save Reveal: Lifting The Latics

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OLDHAM ATHLETIC

The original club was formed as Pine Villa in 1895 but unfortunately ceased to exist on 4th July 1899. From the ashes, Oldham Athletic was born. The Latics enjoyed much success in their early years finishing runners-up in the First Division (the equivalent of today’s Premier League) in the 1914-15 season.

The Club would come to lose their top-flight status in 1923 and would not regain it for 68 years. Most of the following years would be spent languishing in Division Three North, Division Three and Four. The Club have enjoyed 3 Championship winning season; the first under the legendary George Hardwick in 1952/53, in 1973/74 and 1990/91.

Dark days would soon hit the Latics when they had to go cap in hand to the Football League to seek re-election after finishing bottom four in Division Four. It’s fair to say the Latics have had a rollercoaster ride over the past 20 years. seeing action in the Premiership and the equivalent of the Championship before being relegated to League One.

Oldham were founding members of of the Premier League back in the 1992/93 season where they managed to stay for three seasons – one season in the old First Division and two in the newly formed Premier League. The Club has also enjoyed some success in both club competitions – FA and League Cup.

The FA Cup has also brought much disappointment for Oldham when they lost two semi-finals to Manchester United. Their 1990 appearance in the final four was their first time of reaching that stage since 1913, but they were eventually eliminated after a 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the replay after an enthralling 3-3 result in the initial clash. The Club appeared again the semi-final again in 1994, losing out 4-1 in the replay following a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

More recently, the Latics had fallen on hard times and were forced to go into administration in the summer of 2003, however some much needed financial stability was provided when three American-based investors – Simon Blitz, Simon Corney and Danny Gazal – purchased the club the following November.

Image courtesy of https://www.oldhamathletic.co.uk/

THE SAVE

AIMS

5 Year Plan:

  • 1st Year: Stabilise the club; Build a solid Backroom Staff set up; Promotion
  • 2nd Year: League 1 Mid-Table with a push for Playoffs
  • 3rd Year: Championship Promotion; Upgrade to Training and Youth Facilities
  • 4th Year: Championship Mid-Table; Invest in Youth
  • 5th Year: Premier League Promotion; Financial Stability
  • Years 5 – 10: Ambitious attempt for Premier League and Champions League Glory.

1st Year:  Stabilise the club; Build a solid Backroom Staff set up; Promotion

While the backing of the three American investors has brought some much needed financial stability to the club I want to attempt to build on this so that the club will always be one step ahead as we attempt to fulfil our 5 year plan. The financial side of Football Manager has never really been something I have worried about too much in past editions so for FM19 I would like to go much more in depth into this and hopefully learn more for myself regarding the business side of the game. I plan to do this by investing heavily in the youth setup; promoting from within and some shrewd investments in the loan markets whilst also attempting to keep wages to a minimum where possible. There will be a strong focus on homegrown players featuring.

Backroom staff has always been something I have focused heavily on. Always striving to have the best possible coaching set up around me in every attempt to reach the coveted 5 star rating covering all categories. I’ve been known to pay over the odds on buyout clauses and wages just so I can land the staff I want. However, for this save I am going to try and do it differently. I will of course strive for the best possible staff but this time I will be much more prudent with my options; not paying ridiculous amounts but scouring the globe for unknown but quality additions whilst also keeping with the efforts to ensure the club stay financially healthy.

I aim to win promotion back to League one within the 1st season. I don’t mind which way this is achieved be it winning the league, an automatic promotion spot or a Playoffs win. The Latics have a media prediction of 7th for at the beginning of the first season so I feel this is a reasonable target to aspire too. Although Oldham’s real-life form doesn’t seem to reflect this with them languishing mid-table 13th position (at the time of writing) approaching the halfway point of the season.

I will reveal more in depth aims for the subsequent years as we approach that point in the save.

My main objective of this save is to take myself out of my usual FM comfort zone and experience features within the game that normally I wouldn’t really take a second look at. This included the financial aspects of the game and youth development. However; the main one for this is Training. With the huge Training Overhaul introduced in this years’ edition in an attempt to make this aspect easier for both new and experienced FM players it makes sense to finally learn how this works. I will be using this amazing article by @Cleon81 as reference to guide me along: FOOTBALL MANAGER 2019 TRAINING MODULE – HOW IT FUNCTIONS.

In the next post I will look to cover any summer transfers incoming and outgoing; backroom staff changes; tactical thoughts for the coming season and financial changes.

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