C.D. Guadalajara – A Team Guide (Part 1)

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Greetings all.

This is the first team guide I have created and, as always, feedback is appreciated. Hopefully this will encourage you all to request team or league guides that will be done in the future. This guide ties in with a career save I am planning involving joint management of Chivas and the Mexican national team that you will be able to follow here in the near future.

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For those looking for a Bilbao challenge save without the inconvenience of managing Bilbao like so many others before, welcome to the other hardcoded club side in FM17 that can only sign particular players. Chivas may only sign players of Mexican nationality, so I suppose one could consider it a “Bilbao-lite” as the restriction is slightly less onerous. Even so, it makes for a nice twist on your standard Football Manager save.

Founded in 1906, Chivas are an extremely popular side in Mexico. In fact, according to a study done last year (2016) they are supported by 44.2% of the Mexican population. Founded by a Belgian gentleman, the club colours are based on those of Bruges which is where he came from. Originally named Club Union, it was determined that clubs in Europe that held the citie’s name in which they were based were more popular so they changed name to C.D Guadalajara which is the name they hold today.

From 1943-1956, the club struggled with a few 2nd place finishes leading to the nickname of “Ya Merito” or “Almost There!”. Also, they received the Chivas nickname when they were called “Chivas Locas” or “Crazy Goats” in a game against Atlas. In 1956, the dam broke and they won the title with a last minute winner in the final game of the season. Capitalising, they went on to win 7 titles in the period to 1970 and they also became (to my knowledge) the only team to win 4 titles in a row between 1958-59 and 1961-62.

The club suffered what could be considered dark times from 1970 through to the mid 2000’s with financial troubles blighting the club during this period. The bright sparks were titles in 1986-87 and (after the league went to two championships per season) the 2006 title. The club also reached the semi final of the Copa Libertadores in the 2005 tournament.

The club have suffered ups and downs since then with a Copa Libertadores runner up spot in 2010 and the Copa MX Apertura in 2015. They won the SuperCopa in 2016 but have not won a league title since the triumph since that 2006 Apertura.

This is where you come in. Beware though, the board have notoriously twitchy trigger fingers.

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The first thing to mention is that there is a lot of leg work to be done before you click that continue button. A massive squad with a huge amount of players on loan including Carlos Salciedo (who is on loan to Fiorentina and a mainstay of the national team), multiple affiliated clubs with whom you have loan arrangements and financial obligations, an u20 and u18 squad plus a B team (Chivas Premier) means there is a lot to get through. But first, let’s have a look at the club as a whole before getting bogged down in the sheer multitude of players and tactical options at your disposal.

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Continental reputation, a loan debt of £141 million pounds and you are not allowed to spend any of your filthy lucre on non-Mexican players. Still, the facilities are brilliant and you have an extensive youth recruitment network. This will come in very handy when you consider the philosophies the club prefers upon taking the job.

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Unless you have a board meeting to consider these (but where would be the fun in that?), you will be expected to play attacking football and develop players using the youth system. These are some nice philosophies in my opinion and play into how a “Chivas Locas” team should be played.

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In what must be a cruel joke, Carlos Salcido is leading the team from Tuscany. You only have 12,000 season ticket holders but it shouldn’t be an issue getting good crowds at the romantically named Estadio Chivas. Luckily for you, you own the stadium so rent isn’t an issue and it is in very good condition as well.

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If we consider the youth focus, the club is extremely well placed to cater to that need. Extensive youth recruitment, good junior coaching and great facilities will really help you in creating that home grown team, at the same time making the fans and board happy. What more could you want?

If there is a minor quibble, you do not have the best youth facilities in Mexico (Pachuca does), so you should go to the board and try and convince them to upgrade the facilities as soon as you can. It naturally is something you can’t do on your first day, but it should be possible within a few months of the start date.

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Finances look OK. You are spending a massive £660 pounds per week over the agreed transfer budget, but with a transfer kitty of £4.61 million you surely have some wiggle room. Given the club facilities, philosophies and the quality of player that you have on loan I cannot see you needing to use much of that budget at all. So you can put some of it into your wages to create the illusion of frugality. Then again, with only 10% of your transfer revenue being put back into your budget you will probably need to wheel and deal a bit.

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The elephant in the room. You have £105 million in the form of a bank loan to pay off with almost £35 million interest payable. Sheesh. This is to be paid off at an extortionate £852,000 PER MONTH until 2029! This is a serious drain on your potential, but as the projections show, you should still be increasing the club’s value as time goes on so I would keep an eye on it.

As they say in fire awareness advertisements down here, “Be alert, but not alarmed”.

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The amount of sponsorship coming in is fantastic really. I wouldn’t be concerned about the amounts halving upon relegation because, let’s be honest, if that even becomes a possibility while you manage here you will be finding new employment.

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You have an absolute ton of affiliated clubs. Of the clubs, interest should be paid to Tepic. The arrangement there is a first option one where Chivas can make a bid any time one of their players receives a bid from elsewhere. In practice, I feel that this would only be of use if you are a sadistic megalomaniac who hoovers up players to prevent their rivals getting any.

What?

You ARE a sadistic megalomaniac? Well, I’m sure we will get along just fine.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will go through the squad(s) and see who stands out and who we may safely move on.

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