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Utilising affiliate clubs | Wednesday Wisdom

Whether it is multi-club ownership or the traditional feeder club method, it is always an advantage for a football club to have affiliates around the world. Some affiliates in world football are obvious and share the same branding, others may not be so in your face. How does Football Manager represent these in-game, and what benefit can a player get from having these links? @AccordingToFM breaks down the ways you should be using your affiliated clubs. 

Utilising affiliate clubs | Wednesday Wisdom

To decide how best to use your affiliates, you first need to see what options are already included with your club of choice. To access this information, go to ‘Club Info’ on the side panel, and then select from the Affiliates menu at the top. Here you can see the details of the clubs already linked to your club. By clicking on each available club, you can see a list of what the link offers and can decide on how best to use it.

Watford Affiliated clubs FM20

What do these links offer?

There are several benefits a side can get from being affiliated with other clubs. Deciding which option suits your club and its goals best can be key to success. 

First option to buy players 

As the senior side, you will have the first option to buy any player from the affiliate club. If a transfer bid is accepted by the affiliate, then you receive an email and have the option to offer the same amount. You will then be granted permission to talk to the player, who then has the option to choose which club he will move to. This means you can leave a high potential player at the affiliate club until they develop, only deciding to buy when another club comes in.

Loan to affiliate 

One main option which is utilised a lot of real-life football clubs is to loan players to the affiliate club at a lower level or different league. This can be used to give some youth players important game time to aid their development. There is, however, no obligation for the club to play your players but the player can generally be recalled at any point. This option can also be used in Football Manager to help give game time to foreign players who you cannot register in your squad for the current season. 

Loan from affiliate 

If you are the smaller club in this partnership then you may get some benefit from loaning players from your parent club. These players may help you gain promotion or fill a gap when short of transfer budget. In many cases, you will not be under any obligation to play the loaned player. This can also work if you are the senior club and need to fill a gap in your squad or to try a player. 

Recruit foreign youngsters 

Having an affiliate from a different nation could increase the chance of getting a newgen from that nation in your youth intake. Though it is not always certain, it could help to bring in players from nations with a higher reputation. 

Annual fee

Some links come with an annual fee payable to one party in the agreement. This could be a handy boost for your finances if you are on the receiving end. If, however, you are the one paying out, then consider the benefits attached to this. You can always try to negotiate the existing link, or close it altogether. 

Annual friendly 

With this option, the parent club will bring a team to face the affiliate during preseason giving a potentially bigger crowd than a regular league game. This would help to increase gate receipts and therefore finances. 

There are many more advantages available with affiliate links including boosts to merchandising, greater scouting knowledge and sharing of staff and facilities. Upon arriving at a club, it is always a good idea to check this page and see how best to use the existing links.

How to get them? 

So, what can you as a manager do to change the affiliates currently linked with your club? To add an affiliate, you should go to the ‘Club Vision’ screen, make a board request and then select ‘networking’ on the drop-down menu. This gives you several options to request a new affiliate, negotiate an existing affiliate or speak about a senior affiliate. 

Watford Club Vision FM20

By selecting the ‘request new affiliate’ option you will go to the board interaction screen and be faced with a number of options. Using the above information, you can now select the best option needed for your club. Once granted, the board will come back with a list of potential clubs for you to select the best affiliate. 

Watford board meeting FM20