How to keep your players happy in Football Manager

Learn how to maintain positive (or a least neutral) relationships with your players in Football Manager to increase your chances of achieving your objectives.

The latest Football Manager releases have brought a significantly increased amount of unhappy players.

The complex behaviour of individuals has been implemented to replicate common real-life scenarios.

It’s basically about the same things that happen all the time in football: agents want better contracts for their clients, less-played squad members want more playing time or just the old annoying demand of wanting to move to a bigger club.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your players happy.

Squad Status

Players that have an important squad status will be more demanding, therefore you will make them unhappy faster if you don’t give them a lot of playing time.

Try to reduce the number of individuals having Key Player or First Team status, but be cautious. Go only one nudge a time, otherwise, you might seriously upset them.

I also want to mention that by having a player’s status as Backup or Not Needed you will encourage other clubs to bid on him.

Clean Squad Depth

Plan ahead. You must have your competition squad defined before the transfer season ends. Ideally, you’d want it sketched before the pre-season period. Your whole team could suffer if one of the unneeded players starts to moan.

Sell whoever you don’t plan to use. If you can’t find a buyer, at least look for a loan move. Same goes for youngsters who expect to play whilst you don’t need them at the time. Just find them a temporary move to avoid disrupting your squad’s morale.

Communication is Key

Some players which don’t get much playing time will start to complain. Ideally, you want them on Rotation or Backup status to avoid it, although it might still emerge, depending on their personality and how much they play.

Private discussions will forge your relationship with the individuals. Try to speak often especially with the less used players. If you’re being objective they will react well, even if it’s to praise or criticise.

Things to avoid at all cost

  1. Saying you expect a win and lose. It will tear apart your team’s morale. Try to be more realistic about your chances (match odds;)
  2. Ignoring players which want to discuss something with you.
  3. Fining players who have been at the club for a few seasons. Bond players tend to stand up for each other; some might lose faith in your as a result of fining someone unfairly (in their opinion;)
  4. Making promises you won’t keep. Attempt anything else but don’t lie. It just won’t do you any good.
  5. Saying wrong things during team meetings. If you’re just before an important match, lowering your morale means throwing away any chance to succeed. So analyse your team’s form before opening your mouth.
  6. Don’t challenge a player that wants to leave. If he is asking for more playing time, use that (1st) option if you can fulfil his demands. If he wants to move to a bigger club tell him you will accept a bid that matches your valuation of him. Just set a huge asking price and increase his squad status to discourage possible bidders.

With the risk of repeating myself, again and again, I will mention that Morale is probably the most important factor in FM15 success. Consider downloading our Football Manager eBooks to improve your chances of becoming a successful manager.

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