The different terms that you can offer to a player are explained in the tabs below. If used wisely then many of these terms can help you to reduce the overall cost of the player’s contract, particularly his wage. However, some terms are best avoided and should be removed or reduced by offering and increasing other terms as appropriate. It can be especially beneficial to offer a higher loyalty bonus and, in particular, a higher agent fee in order to lower other terms, as long as you can afford the costs that will be deducted from your transfer budget as a result.
These are the basic terms that must be included in any contract.
Generally this should be set as full time. Even at semi-professional clubs, where you will have the option to sign players on cheaper part time contracts, it is beneficial to sign players on full time contracts if possible and affordable so that they can spend more time training.
Another contract type available at semi-professional clubs is non-contract. Signing a player on a non-contract will mean that you do not have to pay him a weekly wage, with the player being paid by appearance fees and other bonuses only. This allows you to more easily build a squad without exceeding your wage budget, while you will not have to pay compensation should you decide to release a non-contract player in the future. However, you will be unable to prevent players on non-contracts moving to other clubs for free unless you are able to sign them on part time or full time deals.
At amateur clubs you can only sign players on amateur contracts. These are effectively not contracts at all; no wages or bonuses are paid to the player and there is no contract expiry date. As with non-contracts a player on an amateur contract can sign for another club at any time.
This should be set as player, unless you want a player nearing retirement to also take on a staff role. However, such roles are only available if the player has a Staff Attributes section on his Overview screen.
This should be set according to how important you believe the player will be to your squad and how regularly he will play. For guidelines on how many players you should have with each squad status see the Squad Building guide. You may need to increase the squad status however, in order to convince the player to sign, but this is also likely to lead to you paying a higher wage, while you may upset him later on if you reduce his squad status or do not give him enough matches to justify his high squad status.
This should be set to next available, unless you want to delay the transfer, perhaps while you wait on other potential deals, or to allow the player to continue gaining playing experience at his current club.
Generally, the longer you can tie a player down to his contract the better, particularly for younger players who are still developing. However, you may need to reduce this if you are struggling to meet the player’s demands. You should restrict the contract length you offer to older players as their contract demands are likely to fall as they start to decline, while selling such players can become more difficult.
This is the player’s basic salary per week and must be under the maximum wage allowed for the selected squad status. You should ensure that your total wage spending does not go over your wage budget, and ideally the wage you offer to a player should be in line with your wage structure. If you do not have a defined wage structure then you should be careful not to pay much more than the average wage for the selected squad status as shown in the Information panel. You can use other terms in the contract to help you keep the wage down.
This is paid out monthly over the length of the contract, but is forfeited if the player requests a transfer. If the player leaves the club during the contract he will be due the outstanding sum, if not forfeited. This bonus can be increased in order to keep wage spending down and help you to stay within your wage budget, but you should be careful not to increase your expenditure beyond manageable levels. The loyalty bonuses paid in each year are deducted from your transfer budgets for those years.
This is the amount that gets paid immediately on acceptance of the contract to the player’s agent. Increasing the agent fee can be a very useful way of reducing the overall cost of the player, as you will be able to reduce the ongoing costs of wages and bonuses by simply paying a higher amount up-front, while it can also help you to remove or limit unfavourable clauses. This approach will be less effective however, if the agent focuses on client gain and not personal gain. The agent fee is deducted from your transfer budget for the current year.
The below bonuses can be used as added incentives and can enable you to reduce other terms, for example the wage in order to keep wage spending down, or the loyalty bonus and agent fee to reduce transfer budget spending. However, you should be careful not to damage your finances by offering too much in non-wage payments. Many of the bonuses will also be added to the Wage Budget Contribution, as shown on the Information panel, and therefore still use up some of your wage budget.
An amount paid to the player each time he makes an appearance during his contract. It can be useful to increase this for backup players who you expect to play less regularly. For more important players a lower appearance fee and a higher unused substitute fee may be a better option.
An amount paid to the player each time he scores a goal during his contract. This is more relevant to attacking players, especially strikers, but can still have an effect for those in more defensive positions and so is useful to include for such players.
Clean Sheet Bonus
An amount paid to a goalkeeper each time he keeps a clean sheet during his contract.
Team Of The Year Bonus (Division)
An amount paid to the player each time he is named in your division’s Team of the Year during his contract. It can be particularly useful to increase this if you believe it is unlikely that the player will play often enough or perform well enough to make this team.
Top Goalscorer Bonus (Division)
An amount paid to a striker each time he wins your division’s top goalscorer award during his contract. It can be particularly useful to increase this if you believe it is unlikely that the player will play often enough or score enough goals to win this award.
An amount paid to the player each time your club wins promotion during his contract. It can be useful to increase this as if your club is promoted then extra revenue is likely to be earned to help cover such payments, while the bonus would not need to be paid if your club is not promoted.
Avoid Relegation Bonus
An amount paid to the player each time your club avoids relegation during his contract. This can may be requested by the player if your team is a contender for relegation. If your team is not likely to be relegated though, it may be preferable to use other terms, particularly if this bonus is not requested.
International Cap Bonus
An amount paid to the player each time he plays for his country. It can be useful to increase this if you do not think the player is likely to make many international appearances. For young, developing players you should bear in mind that they may gain many caps in the future and so including this bonus could prove costly if the player continues to demand its inclusion in his contract. This bonus cannot be offered to players who have retired from international duty, which is shown on the Information section of a player’s Overview screen where applicable.
Unused Substitute Fee
An amount paid to the player for each match where he is included as a substitute but not brought on. It can be useful to increase this for important players who you do not expect to often be named as a substitute, perhaps in order to offer a reduced appearance fee. It can be a costly bonus to offer a backup player however, with a higher appearance fee perhaps being a better option.
Many of the below clauses can be used as added incentives and can enable you to reduce other terms. However, you should be careful not to damage your finances by offering too generous clauses.
Minimum Fee Release Clause
A minimum fee that if offered by another club will allow them to discuss a contract with the player without having to have the transfer offer accepted by you. It is generally best to avoid this clause if possible, particularly for younger players whose values are likely to rise during their contracts, or at least to try to set it significantly above the player’s value. You may alternatively want to use the foreign and domestic variations of this clause instead.
Relegation Release Clause
A minimum fee release clause that only comes into effect if your club is relegated during the player’s contract. It can be useful in tempting higher quality players to sign for your club if you are predicted to be competing in the lower half of the league table, since their quality might be the difference between relegation and staying up, or even competing for a higher placed finish.
Non Promotion Release Clause
A minimum fee release clause that only comes into effect if your club fails to gain promotion during the player’s contract. It can be useful in tempting higher quality players to sign for your club if you are predicted to be competing in the top half of the league table and need the extra quality to push for promotion. It should, however, be avoided if possible or at least set at an amount that you feel is acceptable for the player. You should ensure that this clause is taken out of the contract after gaining promotion.
Yearly Wage Rise
A percentage that the player’s wage will rise by at the end of each season. This is cumulative, so the actual money value of the rise will increase each year. This clause should be avoided by using other less costly terms, or at least kept as low as possible, due to the significant effect it can have on your wage spending over time, especially for longer contracts. Similar clauses that can possibly be used to replace this one for younger players are wage after reaching club career league games and wage after reaching international appearances.
Promotion Wage Rise
A percentage that the player’s wage will rise by each time the club is promoted. This is a much preferable clause to yearly wage rise and is likely to be a necessary clause to include when trying to improve your side and move up to a higher division, while it can also help avoid your players becoming unhappy with their relatively low wages after a promotion. Furthermore, the costs of the clause can be covered by the higher income received as a result of promotion. However, you should try to keep the percentage as low as possible as a player is likely to request a further rise when it is time for his contract to be renewed. This clause should ideally be combined with a relegation wage drop clause to avoid wages spiralling out of control if the club is relegated and promoted again either in the current season or a later one, perhaps after an initial promotion.
Relegation Wage Drop
A percentage that the player’s wage will fall by at the end of the season if the club is relegated. This is a useful clause to include if your team may be involved in a relegation battle, or are simply predicted to finish in the bottom half of the table, during the player’s contract. You should bear in mind that this could occur either in the current season or in a later one, for instance after a potential promotion. It can help avoid having to pay unaffordable wages after dropping to a lower division in which you will have less income and a smaller wage budget. You may need to reduce or remove this clause in order to tempt a player to sign, in which case you should be confident that the player is of the quality your team requires to stay up.
Sell On Fee Percentage
A percentage of his future transfer fee that the player will receive if he is sold. This can be used as an extra incentive for the player but can make it harder to make a net transfer profit. It can be useful if you do not expect to be selling the player for a particularly large fee, perhaps because he is an older player who is likely to fall in value. However, unless you have bought the player for free or at a low cost, then it may be preferable to include the sell on fee profit percentage clause instead.
Sell On Fee Profit Percentage
A percentage of the profit made, if any, on his future transfer fee that the player will receive if he is sold. Again, it is an added incentive for the player but can make it harder to make a net transfer profit. It should generally be avoided or limited in the case of younger players as their value may rise considerably and you may end up forfeiting part of a large profit if they are sold while this clause remains in their contract. However, it can be very useful to include in the contracts of older players who perhaps will only be sold on after their value has fallen.
Seasonal Landmark Goal Bonus
An amount that the player will receive after scoring a certain amount of goals in any one season during his contract. This can be used as an incentive for attacking players, particularly strikers, to not only sign the contract but also to score goals whilst playing for your team. However, it can also be effective to include in the contracts of more defensive players, in which case you will be able to offer a bigger bonus for a lower amount of goals. In particular, it can be useful in reducing more costly bonuses and clauses, particularly if set at a challenging level.
One-Year Extension After League Games (Final Season)
A minimum number of matches in which the player must play in order to automatically have another year added to his contract length. It can be used for older players in their final season so as to avoid having to agree a new contract and pay additional contract fees if the player is still a useful part of your team, while if he has not been required you will be able to release him for free at the end of the year.
Match Highest Earner Clause
The player’s wage will automatically increase so that it always matches that of the highest earner in your squad. So if you later sign a new player on a higher wage or increase the wage of one of your existing players above that of this player then his wage will increase to match. You should always check whether this clause has been included in contract negotiations and also whether it is already present in the contracts of your current squad, before removing it if possible by increasing other terms. It is particularly damaging for lower division clubs as after promotion you will need to bring in new players on higher wages. It may be acceptable to include in the contract of a world class player when managing a top club if you think his talent will continue to justify him being the highest earner in your squad for the duration of his contract.
Top Division Promotion Wage Rise
The same as the standard promotion wage rise clause but only applies if the club is promoted to the highest division. It can be used if you are in the second highest division and will not be activated if your club is relegated and then promoted back again.
Wage After Reaching Club Career League Games
The amount to which the player’s wage will rise after playing the set number of league games at the club during his career. This is often requested in the contracts of young players who have not yet played many or any matches for the club and you should try to reduce it if possible, or remove it altogether if the player will already be paid a decent wage. It allows you to pay them a smaller wage now, before increasing it to the level of more senior players if they manage to break into your team. This avoids the player becoming unhappy at being on a low wage after breaking into the team and prevents you from having to agree a new contract with extra fees paid and possibly an even higher wage demanded. This clause is a good alternative to the yearly wage rise. If the player has already broken into your first team then a better alternative might be the wage after reaching international appearances clause.
Top Division Relegation Wage Drop
The same as the standard relegation wage drop clause but only applies if the club is relegated from the highest division. It can be used if you are in the highest division.
Minimum Fee Release Clause (Foreign Clubs)
The same as the standard minimum fee release clause but only applies if bid by a foreign club. It may be requested by a player with an ambitious personality who wants to play in a higher reputation nation. You may be able to use this clause instead of the standard clause to reduce the chance of the player leaving for a domestic rival.
Minimum Fee Release Clause (Domestic Clubs In Higher Division)
The same as the standard minimum fee release clause but only applies if bid by a club in a higher division. It may be requested by a player with an ambitious personality who wants to play for a bigger club. You can use this clause instead of the standard clause to reduce the chance of the player leaving for a rival in the same division.
Minimum Fee Release Clause (Domestic Clubs)
The same as the standard minimum fee release clause but only applies if bid by a club in the same nation. This could be useful if you are one of the top clubs in your nation and it is more likely to be foreign clubs that attempt to buy the player.
Wage After Reaching International Appearances
The amount to which the player’s wage will rise after playing the set number of games for his national team. It can be offered as an incentive to players who have not yet been capped by their country in order to keep their current wage low before increasing it if they become good enough to play regularly for their nation. It is therefore similar to the club career league games clause. How easy it will be for the player to activate the clause depends on the quality of his national team and his own ability and potential, but generally this will be a harder target to achieve and so may not be accepted by the player as a replacement for the club career league games clause. It can be used in a similar way, however, in the case of a young player who is already good enough to play for your team but has not yet broken into his national team. This clause is a good alternative to the yearly wage rise clause.
Optional Contract Extension By Club
This gives you the option to add the agreed number of years to the player’s contract expiry date at any point during the contract, with all other terms of the contract remaining the same. You can choose to include an optional extension of one, two or three years. The clause can then be activated by selecting Trigger Contract Extension Clause from the player’s Contract drop-down menu. This can help you avoid the cost of agreeing a more expensive contract with a younger player when his contract is renewed later in his career, after he has potentially improved and established himself in your squad. It can also help you avoid the possibility of losing the player for free at the end of his initial contract or having to sell him before the expiry date if a new contract cannot be agreed. However, since it is an unfavourable clause for the player you may need to offer other more favourable terms in order to persuade him to agree to the clause.