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Hello from our Football Manager 2022 Contracts Guide. If you are looking for a simple guide to contract negotiations on FM 22, you are at the right place. This guide will help you.
This is the guide zeeb it was created by. You can find the author’s link at the end of the guide.
Football Manager 2022 Contracts Guide
Welcome to our Football Manager 2022 Contracts Guide. This guide will show you detailed information about contracts in the game!
Contracts in General
What is a contract? A contract is an agreement between two or more parties, broadly speaking.
Every time you get a legitimate job, you sign a contract when you’re hired.
The contract will dictate what you should be paid, if you have any bonuses or if there are any clauses. It is the same with sports contracts.
In FM22 you sign players under different types of contracts, the most common is a Standard Contract where you pay a set wage for a set amount of time. Other common contracts are Youth Contracts, Amateur Contracts or Non-Contracts. We’re going to talk about the Standard Contract.
Briefly put, Youth contracts are for youth talent when they first arrive on the professional scene, it’s minimum wage but must be replaced later. I haven’t actually used Amateur Contracts, but I suspect they’re like either Youth Contracts or Non-Contracts or something in between.
Non-Contracts are important however. These contracts essentially works the same way as a loan. Except you aren’t loaning the player from a particular club. This however means that any club can come and swoop the player by offering them a Standard Contract. Non-Contracts doesn’t have a set Wage, but instead use bonuses. As with every contract, these should be non-existing at best or low at worst. Anything else should be trash canned. Yes, you can have a Non-Contract without any bonuses or clauses, meaning the player plays for your club entirely for free.
What you want to do when you negotiate a contract with another party, be it in Football Manager or in the real world, you want the contract to be as favorable to you as possible.
As a club, you want to focus primarily on Wage and Contract Length, which are requirements in Standard Contracts.
You as a club, want the Wage to be as low as possible and the Contract Length to be as high as possible, in most cases. Some situations may arise where a long Contract Length is not favorable, such as with an old player or a player that is below average quality in whatever sense you deem worthy.
How do you determine what a “good” Wage is? That can be done in the Squad -> Analyst Report -> Facts screen. All you have to look up at this screen is the Average Wage in relation to the league and not your club, which should be on the right side. That number would be a fair wage for an average player in your team, fair means player favorable, so you want to go beneath.
Try and always make sure the contract is at least 3 years long in most cases with clauses included.
You want 1 year for contract renewal/trade negotiations, then you want 1 year incase it doesn’t go your way the first attempts. The last year can be substituted by using the Optional Contract Extension By Club clause.
When there is only a year left on the contract, you give more and more power to the player as time goes on, since they can basically screw you over by deciding to leave on a free. Then you lose any potential monetary income you could’ve gotten for said player. You always want to be the one in control. A player that doesn’t want to leave can be put in the Gulag (Reserves) until they grow so bored that they’ll beg you to leave. This is more effective the more time you have left on their contract.
Sure, it sounds mean to lock a player in for 8 years and they only get paid in scraps or to put them in the Gulag (Reserves), but never forget that they agreed to the contract and the benefits and risks that comes with it. It’s not your fault they didn’t bother to read it before signing it. This is why most professionals have agents. An agent will try and make sure their client doesn’t get ripped off and gets the most favorable deal possible, thankfully we can pay them off with the Agent Fee section in the contract. Never cheap out on agents, they can persuade a player to accept a very club favorable contract.
Let’s take an in-game example of a laughably bad contract; The one and only Lionel Messi.
In my current playthrough Lionel Messi makes roughly €1,200,000 a week in-game.
This is an extremely expensive contract and legend or not, he is not worth that amount of money, period.
There are players who are almost as good as him but makes way less than that or future younglings with potential to match that makes only a fraction, these are comparisons you should make. How many players that are almost as good, now or in the future, can you fit inside his wage? If it’s more than 1 you know it’s a bad contract. This goes for any contract.
Now, let’s talk about bonuses. Bonuses should never be handed out unless absolutely necessary to ensure you get to keep the player, but always make sure they’re worth it as well.
Clauses, these can be very favorable to you or very favorable to the player. Make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick. Always try and add clauses that are favorable to you and always make sure you get Optional Contract Extension By Club locked in the contract, the amount of years should vary depending on if it’s a youth player or an adult player, more on that later. Optional Contract Extension By Club is one of the best clauses you can add since it works as a “panic button”.
Morale is important when it comes to contracts, a happy player is more willing to be talked into bad deals and unhappy players are harder to please. Unhappy players might not even want to sign a new contract with the club. But sometimes it can be good to make the player unhappy, for example if you want to sell them but they don’t want to leave. Do not waste your time negotiating with an unhappy player, instead wait until they’re in a better mood.
Contracts in general needs to be very carefully negotiated, do not get too estatic about the player you are signing, there are always other players. If you negotiate a bad contract, it could be the ruin of you or/and your club. Always pay extra attention to the bonuses and clauses included within.
Also keep in mind that unemployed people in general have less leverage than someone who is already employed since they have no proof of their worth. In this case, free agent vs signed.
You will always encounter players who, no matter what, will demand unrealistic contracts. Just deny them and send them on their way, it doesn’t matter how good they are, if you’re reluctant about it then it probably means you feel it’s more than they’re worth and we want the most favorable contract for us, not them. Club > Player.
It should never matter how rich or poor you are or whatever other comparison you want to insert, there are no excuses for accepting bad contracts, same is true for real life.
Generic Player Contracts
The most common contract you’ll encounter. Most players fall under this category.
There are a few things to keep in mind here, as stated in the Contracts in General section, you want to get the most favorable contract you can.
Playing time should always be as low as it can possibly go, it doesn’t matter for happiness or development but acts as a promise from you to the player. You don’t want to give promises if you don’t absolutely have to, that way you can’t break any. Sometimes you will have to increase or decrease it depending on circumstances, adjust accordingly but keep this general rule in mind.
As far as Contract Length goes, you want them locked in for longer if they’re above average quality in relation to your club/league and less if they’re not. Less if they’re old (Prime is 27~, so anything above) or longer if they’re young. Simple.
Wage is another matter, you need to determine how good a player is, that way you can reliably assess what his default Wage should be by checking the league averageWage. Then adjust it accordingly but always push for minimumWage.
You can find out the league average Wage in Squad ->Analyst Report -> Facts.
To find out how good a player is, compare him to other players in your squad or in the league you’re in. Compare him to bad players, average players and good players. Take notes, physical, digital or mental of what they’re being paid and then come up with something that you find satisfying.
Bonuses and player favorable clauses should be avoided like the plague, they are only to be used if all other options are exhausted and the Wage can not be pushed any lower. On the other hand, club favorable clauses should be added whenever possible, some clauses are even worth a slight increase in Wage, the Optional Contract Extension By Club is one of these and should always be added, even at the risk of the negotiation failing. This single clause gives you incredible control over the contract.
The Injury Release Clause can be good to put on older and/or injury prone players with high wages, if they get an injury that is so severe that they’ll miss most of the season and they’re on their last year anyway, you might as well just trigger it and send them packing and getting rid of those passively ticking wages as well in the process that just bleeds money. But it’s not as important since you can always sell the player as well, it’s a nice option to have but not worth fighting for.
Club favorable clauses are the following:
- Top Division Relegation Wage Drop
- One-Year Extension After League Games (Final Season)
- Optional Contract Extension By Club
- Injury Release Clause
Here are some player favorable clauses that can be used if caution is applied:
- Seasonal Landmark Goal Bonus
- Seasonal Landmark Assist Bonus
- Seasonal Landmark Combined Goal and Assist Bonus
- Relegation Release Clause
Then we have the player favorable clauses that should be avoided as if radioactive:
- Yearly Wage Rise
- Wage After Reaching Club League Games
- Wage After Reaching International Appearances
- Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant)
- Sell On Fee Percentage
Yearly Wage Rise, Wage After Reaching Club League Games, Wage After Reaching International Appearances, Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant) and Sell On Fee Percentage can be accepted as a last resort, but only under very controlled circumstances. For example you want Yearly Wage Rise to be as low as possible, same with Wage After Reaching Club League Games/International Appearances, Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant) to be as high as possible and Sell On Fee Percentage to be as low as possible. Preferably, you don’t want any of these to exist at all.
Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant) can be particularily devastating if the amount is lower than what you expect to sell the player for in the future, it lets other clubs steal the player from you for that amount whenever they want, regardless if you like it or not.
Always push for what you find to be a good deal. If the deal falls short, you can always try again later, which is why it’s important to lock players in for at least 2-3 years. You need 1 year as security to make sure your deal gets accepted then 1 year just in case it doesn’t.
Despite all this, if a player still doesn’t want to sign for your club, then sell them. Nothing more to it. They can’t be forced to accept a contract and some players just won’t ever budge. Forget about them and move forward, there are always more players to be signed. Don’t narrow your vision and get greedy just because you found an extremely good player, you’ll find more.
The last point is very important, I know from personal experience how clouded your judgement can be when you’re hyped about a player and in the beginning I had a VERY hard time to let go of players I really wanted on my squad, sometimes I offered contracts that were detrimental to my club just to keep them. But I learned that no player is worth the financial stability of the club.
Add this mindset to your arsenal and your contracts will make other managers across the world filled with envy when you snatch up players for cheese burger prices. Your only concern is to make a profit, it’s a business.
Youth Player Contracts
For talented youth that you want to keep for the future, the setup for a successful contract is very simple. You want to lock them into your club for as long as possible for as little wage as possible and preferably with no promises and on Youngster playing time.
Playing time should always be as low as possible on any contract since it has no impact on a player’s development, but it works sort of like a promise and they can demand you to stick by it, if you fail to do that they will get angry and morale might spiral out of control across the whole club as a result.
The 5 most important things to focus on in the contract itself are the following:
- Contract Length
- Optional Contract Extension By Club
- One-Year Extension After League Games (Final Season)
- Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant)
Wage should always be kept to a minimum. The best contract would have 0 wage, but that is unattainable and for obvious reasons. Non-Contracts are a different matter, but with such a contract you’re essentially just hiring the player, so another club can snatch them up whenever they want.
For Contract Length and Optional Contract Extension By Club you want to add the maximum amount of years possible.
For One-Year Extension After League Games (Final Season) you want to add as few games as possible, preferably only 5.
These 3 things will ensure that your player will be locked to your club for an extensive amount of years, so you have plenty of time to develop him or sell him.
If the player or contract itself demands a Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant) make sure to put it unrealistically high (1B for example) and lock it in so it can not be altered by the player.
Do not offer any bonuses or player favored clauses unless you have to. If you have to, pay extra attention to what you are offering.
It would be a bummer if the Minimum Fee Release Clause (Any variant) turns out to be way below the player’s value later and another club rips the contract out of your hands.
Make sure to begin offering this contract 2 years before their current contract runs out, you want 1 year to keep negotiating if you can’t land a favorable contract during your first attempts, then you want another year for emergencies, for example if the contract can not be agreed upon and you have to sell the player.
Here is an example of a favorable youth talent contract you can and should attempt to land. It’s not perfect since it has the Wage After Reaching Club League Games clause, but I didn’t really care for it and just wanted the deal done with, it was buss ticket money anyway. Yes, I should’ve done better, but we can all improve and learn.
As you can see in this particular contract, the player is locked to my club for a total of 8 years at the age of 18 for the minimum amount of Wage possible. They will stay at my club until they reach the age of 26 while getting scraps. If they turn out good and starts complaining about it, then I offer them a better deal, but if not I’ll just keep them until I can sell them for some good money. If they turn out to be a problem for club morale, I put them in the Gulag (Reserves) until they either calm down or gets sold.
That’s basically all you need to know about talented youth contracts, so a final reminder; begin negotiations at least 2 years before current contract expires as to not lose them on a free, get wages as low as possible and add club favorable clauses. The most important thing is to lock them in for a long time and make sure no one can steal them. If you have the Optional Contract Extension By Club clause, which you always should, you can wait until 1 year before it expires and trigger it if it looks grim and seems like a good idea.
Do not anger the player in any way before you’ve landed the contract, it makes negotiations much harder than they need to be.
World Class Player Contracts
Sell them, they most likely have insane wages and/or wage demands and are just atrocious to negotiate with.
I personally never sign players such as these and I don’t believe anyone else should either, let the donkey club that loves throwing money around like they had endless coffers have them. Let it be their loss, it’s on them if they want to be irresponsible with their club’s money. You’re better than that. Focus your attention instead towards the future which is youth talent.
If you start a save with someone such as this on your team, someone who’s wages are abnormally high in relation to your league, immediately try and sell them for value. See what the club bought them for and sell them for more. You can do that by opening the player’s Overview -> History -> Career Stats. Have them pack their bags and leave, taking their ridiculous wages with them, as soon as possible. If they’ve performed during their time at your club and you manage to get 1€ more by selling them then what the club bought them for, the club made a good investment.
Personally, I don’t believe they’re worth what they’re being paid and I would never in my life buy such a player. My favorite player is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it doesn’t matter what save I play, I can never bring myself to purchase him, I just don’t believe he’s worth the cost and if my favorite player isn’t, then no one is.
If you try and sell them but fail to the point that they leave on a free, don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Yes it sucks, big time, but at least you don’t have to deal with their wages dragging you down anymore. Move on, move forward.
Long story short, avoid World Class Players, they’re generally not worth their weight in gold and you will find it a struggle to get them to accept a club favored contract, which is the whole point to begin with.
Loans is another great tool that you always should employ.
Lower league teams can do wonders by loaning in a good player from a superior league since their players are overall usually much better. These players can make a huge difference and if you’re not at your country’s premium league, you should always use the maximum amount of loans you’re allowed to by restriction of the league rules.
But loans can also be viably used for premium league teams since you can loan for example a star player with incredible abilities from another club for just a season. So instead of having to take over their nasty contract, you can just pay them to make a difference for a season.
Be careful you don’t pay too much though and that you can fit their wage in your budget. Preferably you will only pay their wage, but those can be hard to find since who would want to loan out their star player if they don’t get paid for it? They’re already paying the wages. But that is also the reason why they might consider loaning them out, their ridiculous wage.
Loaning out players can also be a viable strategy and a moneymaker. For example by having extra players that you loan out every season and make sure the loanee club pays their wages AND some extra. Can be quite an income.
Youth talent should be loaned out after the age of 17 when training is less valuable to them than playing time if you can’t play them or find value in playing them yourself. This ensures they won’t stagnate and will continue to improve.
Loan contracts can be lucrative and should always be considered. Just make sure you don’t lock yourself into a loan by removing Loan Cannot Be Terminated when you’re loaning someone in and force it in the contract when loaning someone out as well as the clause Can Be Recalled, which lets you take the player back should the club prove inefficient for their growth.
The point of a football club is to make more money than all other football clubs. Players play the biggest role in that, they’re the moneymakers. If you can secure cheap contracts on high valued players, you’ve won.
Because at the end of the day, if you make more net profit than your rivals, you’ve won. It just guarantees that when all is said and done, you will be the most profitable and richest club in history and that is the entire point of your job.
Winning will come naturally when you’re the one holding all the money, letting you swoop up any potential youth talent that your rivals are eyeing, if you can outspend them, they can’t grow their squad successfully and won’t be able to compete with you during games.
Now go on and negotiate club favorable contracts, go be a winner.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask them below in the comments.