For what would probably be my last save on this version of FM I decided to test it out and run every single league as playable.

I let the higher being of LLM select where I would start, and he sent me to Bulgaria.

Season 1 – Vidima-Rakovski (Sevlievo), Bulgarian B Division

Media Prediction: 3rd from 16

Board Expectations: Promotion

As I arrived in the lovely Bulgarian countryside, my first mission was to double check that I had been sent the correct brief on the job in hand. Gain promotion in my first season? You’re having a giraffe! Then I ran my eyes over the squad and could see that we had the makings of a formidable squad for the second tier of Bulgarian football. All that was lacking was a spearhead for my attack, so I went out and signed 3 free transfers. 2 Brazilians and 1 Congolese (all strikers) came in.

This is when I found out that in the “B” division, you can only have 1 non-EU nationality in your matchday squad! Fortunately for me, Um Bongo was actually applying for his Bulgarian paperwork to come through, so he would soon be a nationalised Bulgarian and only 1 Brazilian would then be unhappy. I still felt like a right muppet, though I put this oversight down to my poor Bulgarian reading skills.

Anyway, onto the season and we were just tremendous. Our home was a fortress, where we only failed to win once in the league and once to a top “A” side in the cup. Our away form was also good, and we stormed to the title and promotion with 2 matches remaining.

League Position 1st (16)

P:30 | W:23 | D:4 | L:3 | F:62 | A:17 | Pts:73

Season 2 – Vidima-Rakovski (Sevlievo), Bulgarian A Division

Media Prediction: 12th from 16

Board Expectations: Avoid relegation

After we were so convincing in the league last season, I was reluctant to make a huge number of changes to my lineup, so I added just a Serbian MC after reading the league rules on players, and seeing I was now allowed up to 5 non-EU players in the match day squad.

To say we were inconsistent would be an understatement, but we did manage to stay clear of the relegation places throughout the season.

We guaranteed our survival with 4 matches remaining, at exactly the same time CSKA Sofia also clinched the league title.

League Position – 8th (16)

P:30 | W:12 | D:6 | L:12 | F:42 | A:46 | Pts:42

Season 3 – Vidima-Rakovski (Sevlievo), Bulgarian A Division

Media Prediction: 11th from 16

Board Expectations: Avoid relegation

During the close season I let some dead wood go, and signed a few players to improve the first team squad. My judgment, however, was awry and the players that came in didn’t improve us at all. We had to fight hard for survival all season, and with the poor results came the inevitable tinkering and shuffling of the team and tactics on a regular basis.

Of course this didn’t exactly help matters, and we were in and out of the relegation places all season. After the mid-season break I finally decided to stop tinkering and settle on one tactic, and the players eventually gelled enough to survive for another year in the “A” division. Phew!

League Position – 11th (16)

P:30, W:10, D:4, L:16, F:48, A:54, Pts:34

Season 4 – Vidima-Rakovski (Sevlievo), Bulgarian A Division

Media Prediction: 12th from 16

Board Expectations: Avoid Relegation

To try and get us climbing the table I released 4 fringe players and brought in no less than 8 players who should be able to take us back into the top 10. I had lots of wiggle room with the wage budget as we had been operating at just 38% of our allocated figure for the last 2 years.

Despite all the new faces, we started the season with quite a bang and found ourselves in 2nd position after 7 matches. The bubble soon burst, though, and we were back down in 11th before I could pronounce my star midfielders name!

The poor form continued either side of the winter break, but thanks to our flying start to the season, the odd win kept us well clear of relegation. Our form returned ust as mysteriously as it left us with 5 games to go, and a strong finish saw us clinch a record high of 7th position.

League Position 7th (16)

P:30, W:12, D:9, L:9, F:59, A:44, Pts:45

In other news, CSKA Sofia won their 3rd consecutive “A” Group title. Oh, and I saw the Mechelen job had become available, and applied for it. The Vidimata board did not like that and sacked me.

Balls.

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