Road to Glory saves are VERY common in England, yet with the way that FIFA works, stints in the bottom 2 divisions of English football are hard to keep realistic, so here are a handful of tips that might help you keep your next English RTG more realistic. Most examples will be based around Cambridge, as they are a team I support but are applicable to all clubs in the 3rd and 4th Tier.
1) We don’t like signing Foreigners.
Ok, Ok. I know how this sounds, but it’s not as bad as you think. EFL Clubs are POOR. They can’t afford players from France, Spain, Germany etc, as the fees involved are so high. Instead, clubs buy the cheaper players, also known as the homegrown player. 71.9% of League Two players are English, and 63.1% in League One. And when you consider players outside of the British Isles, that number jumps to a whopping 95.4% in League Two and 84.1% in League One. So when compiling your transfer targets for the window, look at the players in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and send your youth scout to the 5 countries within the British Isles.
2) Don’t Buy High Potential Youngsters
Looking at SoFIFA, the top 9 highest potential players across Leagues 1 and 2 are all on loan from Premier League clubs, and while it may seem tempting to sign wonderkids like Chukwuemeka or Scarlett, most EFL clubs steer well clear of this. So, I suggest you limit the potential of players you can sign (for example a max of 76 in League One and 74 in League Two, but you can choose whatever you think works best) or use the Global Scouting Network. It tends to recommend players that fit the bill the best, and only scouting the home nations (something I will come onto) should keep the players you sign more realistic. In regard to your homegrown talent, I’d keep him for one season (without a dev plan to slow his growth) and sell him in Season 2, unless you start in League One and get promotion straight away. It is slightly up to you, but I know of a certain person who would tell you to sell him straight away.
3) Don’t Sign Long Term Deals with Players
There is what I describe as a High Player Turnover in the lower divisions. Most players don’t stick around for long periods to make themselves club legends. Using Cambridge Utd as an example, they have several players who they signed this year who only have short term (1 or 2-year deals), for example, Will Mannion, who was signed this year, whose contract runs out in the summer, despite him being 23, or George Williams who only got a 2-year deal. But it’s not just the contracts, Joe Ironside is a good example of someone who doesn’t stay around too long (Although I hope he does now…). See his movements below, essentially jumping from club to club, so don’t be scared of accepting offers for players.
4) You’re Transfer Budget Is Not at All Realistic
Don’t spend all your money essentially. Market Values in FIFA are supposedly accurate to real life, but the problem is that they’re just not. The average Value of a Player according to Transfermarkt is £71k, whereas in FIFA it comes to a whopping £571k. Bit different isn’t it! So how do you combat this? Well? There’s not much you can do, as in every league, you go in, it’s all vastly inflated until you get towards the top leagues. I’d suggest when you’re making an offer, look at how much you’re offering and don’t spend more than £1m total in either League.
5) Free Agents Are Broken but are VERY Realistic
Yep, not much more to say. They’re hella broken. 92 Rated French CFs popping up left, right, and centre. But there is a way to keep it, shall we say, “in the realms of possibility”. 6 of Cambridge’s 8 signings and all 6 of their permanent departures were free transfers. I.E. Free signings are the way to go for most League One and Two clubs. So, how do you keep the most broken system in the game realistic I can’t hear you ask? Well, don’t abuse it. It may sound like stupid advice, but if you pair it with some of the other tips it can be used yet not abused. Sign players of lower potential, of home nations, and slightly older and you’re onto a winner. Take the Cambridge save I ran, I had two Free Agent options for CM/CDM. I had a 33-year-old, 66/66, Jack Colback, or an 18-year-old, 64/84, Charlie Patino. Who did I sign? Colback. While a higher rating, his age means he won’t grow too much and won’t stay as one of my best players for long. This is the sort of thinking I recommend applying to your own save.
I hope these tips help you keep your saves realistic, and if you have any questions feel free to message me on the Discord server (@Sammaboi67+2). And also make sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.