A New Start | Bursaspor #1 | Football Manager Stories

Hello and welcome to a new post written by Alex Sneddon. Alex began a save with Orlando Pirates over in South Africa and was having a really good time there. You can read his first post with the Pirates here: https://vivalavidafm.com/2017/12/03/los-piratas-1-the-pirates-are-here/

Unfortunately, the save wouldn’t load for Alex, meaning that all of his progress with Orlando Pirates had been lost. Rather than throw his computer out of the window and give up FM completely, Alex has started a new save with Turkish side Bursaspor and will be writing about his story here. Enjoy the first post in hopefully a long series here on VivaLaVidaFM.

Bursaspor | A Football Manager Story

First of all, thanks for taking the time to click on the link and hopefully you will enjoy my career save as manager of Bursaspor.

Secondly, I would be grateful if any comments were left, negative or positive. Everything will be taken on board, as I could do with some assistance throughout the season.

  • Why I chose Bursaspor as my next venture…

Turkey is my chosen destination and I have decided to join Bursaspor as manager. The club competes in the Turkish Super Liga.

My knowledge of Turkish football in terms of players and clubs is fairly basic. I know I am entering not only a beautiful country but a very religious one at that and that Turkish football is well known for its passionate fans and their associated explosive pyrotechnic displays!

I am very aware of the three big football clubs in Turkey (Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas), however, I opted for a club which has a great fan base and stadium but sadly not the same success.

Let’s hope I can add a few pieces of silverware into their trophy cabinet, as it looks like there is plenty of space available.

One Turkish Super Liga title
One Turkish Cup title
Two Second Liga titles

The League Rules

A total of 34 games will be played over the course of the season.

A financial reward for a win or a draw?

Financial position

I never usually start with this in a blog however, this challenge will be about more than just footballing success. Have a look at the financial situation at the club… wow, the club will pay £844k on a monthly basis to its creditors.

A picture tells its own story. It will be eight seasons before all is clear, unless “someone” steps in and rescues the club.

The current balance available is £2,748,129, with a transfer budget set at £1,548,275. Not a lot but does money always buy success? We will see…

Objectives for the season

Looking forward, I would like the team to be consistent in terms of collecting points and make our stadium a fortress. Home games are very important as our fanatical supporters would expect nothing less than passion and determination to be shown on the field of play and also to play with committed effort for 90 minutes, regardless of the score.

Finishing in the top half of the table would be a perfect start to my career in Turkey and reaching the quarter-final or beyond in the Turkish Cup would be a dream. Qualifying for European football would be even better considering the financial status and our fans deserve it after all these years.

The board of directors fully agree with my objectives so let’s see how it goes.

Pre Season – Training Camp

9th July – 19th July

The training camp was supposed to be based in Brussels, Belgium. I usually always like to take the players away for a nice trip but I made the decision to cancel it. The decision was not taken lightly as I know the players always look forward to visiting and building relationships away from the local area.

I have arranged some friendly matches against a couple of Dutch Eredivisie sides and Turkish top league sides prior to the league season getting underway.

The squad

I don’t like to single out players however, we have a Ghanaian international, Emmanuel Badu, on loan from Udinese and he is our most impressive player. He will be on loan to us for a year and there is no clause stating his parent club can recall him. Great news all round for the club. We are paying 50% of his £16k weekly wage – even better!

Emmanuel Badu | Bursaspor

We have nine players who can play in central midfield. Somehow I don’t think they will all feature this season unless we are struck down with injury problems. I am considering loaning or maybe even releasing some players in order to free up some much-needed funds. There is no point paying salaries to players who just sit around and watch.

I will be forced to recruit more playing staff into the club. The current group of players are of a good standard although there are several weaknesses. The full-back positions are not good, in particular our left side. There is no real back up to accommodate any injuries so I will be definitely looking for players to fill that position. I have identified two areas in which we are very weak.

Our defence and attack need strengthening and hopefully some new faces will divert attention away from the financial state of affairs. I need to tread carefully in the transfer market and rely on my own knowledge of players but will of course seek assistance from the scouting team. I will visit South America on a regular basis as I have good connections in the country. I will also look at the Turkish transfer market so please don’t think I am ignoring them.

Transfers and Loans

Well, after taking my time studying each individual player to identify their strengths and weaknesses, I came to a number of conclusions. The squad really lacked defensive fullbacks and I wasn’t too impressed with the midfield either. Really tough decisions had to be made and so they were. This was the busiest transfer activity I have ever experienced and hopefully no mistakes were made.

  • Ins

A trip to South America was in order and I opted for a flight to the sunny climate of Brazil. Everyone knows Brazil is the place for silky, skilful players. Gems can be found on the streets or maybe even in the bottom tier. I managed to get the signature of three – and one was really significant!

1st signing

Jander was released by Portuguese side, Aves. Brilliant for his age and I felt he was a bargain.

2nd signing

Ronaldinho Gaucho | Bursaspor

I think everyone will recognise this face. The team needs some inspiration and the experience of this man will surely help our youngsters.

3rd Signing

Diego Cardoso | Bursaspor

This young lad was rotting in the Santos reserve team. I just have a feeling he could be a future star. He only cost £100k so if it doesn’t work then I am sure I can recoup the money paid.

So there you have it, the only three I have brought into the squad. I need to be careful though as I can only register 14 foreign players in the Turkish league. I have reached my maximum now.

  • Outs

I have loaned out a number of U21 players in order to gain first-team experience. Unfortunately, two players have been released from their contracts as I felt they won’t improve to the standard needed for the first team.


Bursaspor has the worst staff average in the league – I was really quite surprised at this finding. The good news is that there is space available to recruit three coaches. This is essential, as a good coaching team is crucial for any youth development.


The training regimes will be left to my trusted assistant manager Adnan Ornek. Adnan was born and raised in the city, and he knows what the football club means to everyone associated with it. Individual training regimes will be controlled by myself as I like to help players improve on certain aspects of their game. Advice will be taken/given if Adnan visits my office with any concerns and/or feels that certain players need to be praised for their efforts.


My initial tactical approach will be a 4-2-2-2 formation, the standard 4-4-2 will be my chosen second option if a game is going against us.

My tactic – the 4-2-2-2

I am using the 4-2-2-2 asymmetric formation as I feel this will suit our players and their style of play. The players have not been named in the tactical setup, although positions are set to suit individuals. Interesting formation and on a personal note, I should confess I have never attempted this before.



A standard approach will be my initial plan of attack, although this may change depending on the standard of the opposition. Not many instructions but I feel too many could confuse the players and we don’t want that to happen.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction and look forward to hearing your feedback. Thank you for following my story and apologies for the quick termination of my Orlando Pirates save. I was really enjoying the save but will now turn my attention to Bursaspor!

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