12 Days of Something III: That Time I Ruined the Gibraltarian Economy

Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.
Another edition of the game that destroys marriages and students.

In May of this year, Gibraltar became the 54th member of UEFA after over a decade of Spanish protest. I don’t intend to get into the politics of Gibraltarian sovereignty, treaties signed over 300 years ago, European law regarding its border with Spain or the domestic politics involved in the current standoff. No, instead this is about Football Manager and the costs of cheating at a game that is a series of spreadsheets.

Recent editions of the game have allowed players to add leagues to the game, so it was only a matter of when the Gibraltarian leagues were added by a user. To keep it in context, the top division of the league had to expand to 8 teams in order to qualify for UEFA competitions. All of the matches in both divisions of the league are played in the same stadium. It’s a completely amateur competition in a nation with a smaller population than even San Marino. So how could I break this game in a quest to get this small nation 4 Champions League slots in the shortest time possible?

That's Leo Messi, playing for a team in the Gibraltar 2nd Division
That’s Leo Messi, playing for a team in the Gibraltar 2nd Division

Thanks to a real time editor that could be attached to Football Manager 2014, I could now transfer whatever players I wanted to whichever club I wanted. So what I decided to do was to bring in a team of world superstars to build the greatest side ever assembled to win the trophies in Gibraltar.

Take that video above of a routine 18-1 victory in the 2nd division. Utterly ruthless because all I wanted to do was score as many goals as possible. So much attacking that it was little wonder that I finished the 22 match season with a goal difference of +245.

Domination, shame about the 2nd place team on +5 goal difference though
Domination, shame about the 2nd place team on +5 goal difference though

The good news for that first season was the fact that the game was smart enough to give my superstars amateur contracts to play in an amateur league. I would soon find out that once my chairman decided to go part-time, it would utterly ruin the experience.

Look at this balance sheet, wow.
Look at this balance sheet, wow.

Many of you will realize that it is quite expensive to run a professional football club. With attendance in the mid-3 figures, professionalism isn’t really possible. However, my players needed to get paid their hundreds of thousands of pounds every week. While my team continued to win games in the top division and progressed in the Europa League, my club was spending regular time in court with the administrators. That £142 million loss was in the space of 5 months. The annual loss would have been in the region of £250 million. That’s about 25% of the annual GDP of Gibraltar. While not anywhere near as big as the Icelandic banks in 2007, had I actually managed to make a semi-professional football club too big to fail. Needless to say, I was not surprised by the next bit of news.

damn you uefaThat would be the end of this game, and remember kids, cheating is bad.

3 thoughts on “12 Days of Something III: That Time I Ruined the Gibraltarian Economy”

    1. The lesson is that no matter how badly you mess up a powerful entity, a government will always be there to bail you out and you won’t lose your job.

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