Season 9 – Northampton Town, League One
Board Expectations: Top Half (changed to promotion after board promises)
Players In – 9 for 700k
Players Out – 8 for 0k
After three great seasons of consolidation in League One something had to give if we were to push on to the next level so I decided to blow all my cash in terms of both transfer funds and wage budget. To get extra money I promised the board promotion.
It was a huge gamble that I hoped would pay off. The bulk of my spending went on the addition of a Centre Half “Spikey” and a Central Midfield playmaker “Buzz-Cut” who were instantly my best players on paper the spine was now in my team. These were the “next level” players we need but their wages were huge.
Seven new youngsters also came in who my assistant reckoned would be better than my current crop but only time would tell.
I had decided that I would give it two more seasons and if we didn’t obtain promotion then I would walk if I wasn’t pushed.
We started the season badly and yet again found ourselves in lower mid table.
Buzz-Cut got injured early on and was out for four months but his return coincided with a return to form and we entered the final ten games in a play-off position with the automatic slots not out of the question.
Of course the gods of FM had other ideas and we gradually slid away and finished six points shy of the playoffs.
Thankfully despite us not managing promotion the board let me keep my job, mainly because we had a really good cup run where we finally got knocked out in round five to Premier league Everton.
We’d been lucky up to that point, we had only been drawn against teams at our own level or below but it was great to have a big day out for the fans and the gate receipt money was gratefully received.
Good signs were there of course and I felt that if we could keep everyone fit next year would be our year
Season 10 – Northampton Town, League One
Board Expectations: Promotion
Players In – 0
Players Out – 3 for 0k
This was it the moment of truth, there was no more money for signings, no more excuses. I couldn’t rely on another cup run to keep my job and with my contract running out I’d likely be gone without securing promotion.
I made no signings this year (I couldn’t have anyway) but I did release a few older heads, which was fine, as youngsters coming through were looking a lot better anyway.
The season proved to be excellent and by game ten we were top with Dreadlock ST banging them in as he had done every year only this time others were chipping in as well which had been an issue in previous seasons.
Some kind of glitch in the matrix gave Dreadlock ST, and a few others, bald heads this season but thankfully it didn’t effect his form.
Buzz-Cut became quite the playmaker and won a player of the month early on with the fans calling him an inspired purchase, just as well really because his wages were nearly double that of every other player.
His partnership with Dreadlock ST was becoming a joy to watch as time after time his little threaded through balls would be tucked away by our main man and the opposition seemed to have no answer to it.
This wasn’t the only pleasing partnership that had developed. You may remember Comb-over RB, well by now he was converted into a right sided midfielder and his pace and crossing coupled with dreadlock ST’s new streamline bonce we had struck gold and stayed top for the remainder of the season.
Cups – Got to the fourth round of the FA cup where we lost 3-0 at home to Leicester.
During the summer the club decided to expand the stadium by more than doubling it to 19500, this would be paid for by loans that amounted to paying back around 500k a month, how we’ll cover this I have no idea, I can’t imagine the difference between the income in League One and the championship would be that great.
Time will tell but it sounds like a white elephant and has me worried.
In the past few seasons Stalybridge slipped back into Blue Square North and finished as low as 17th under my former number two. I told the media of “our great friendship” during the season but it didn’t seem to help.
Still no sign.
Returned to League One straight away and have continued to finish around mid-table having some epic battles with ourselves.