The Villarreal Project: PSV Eindhoven

After spending the last weeks and months waiting to start my FM20 journey, I could wait no longer, the FM itch is real and I needed a save to get the juices flowing. If you’ve put yourself through reading my stuff over the last couple of years or have listened to the 5 Star Potential Podcast you’ll have heard me refer to ‘The Villarreal Save’ numerous times. The Villarreal Project was born from reading the book ‘Yellow Submarine’, written by Sandi Jamieson, the book tells the story of Fernando Roig’s, the Villarreal President’s, vision to make Villarreal one of the top teams in Spain and then Europe.

You can read the original #FM18 post here which will give you an idea of how I implemented Roig’s ingredients in to FM18 with Villarreal but as we move forward in to FM20, I’ll be starting The Villarreal Project with PSV Eindhoven.

Why PSV?

Those of you that are old enough to remember the likes of Romario, Ronaldo & van Nistelrooy won’t need me to explain why I’ve chosen PSV, their history, mixed with a channel into European football for some of our favourite South American’s led me to choose PSV as the second team to implement Roig’s ingredients and challenge myself to manage this team under the influence of The Villarreal Project.

The Ingredients

  1. Quality of Leadership
  2. Financial Strategy
  3. Political Strategy
  4. Manager Profile
  5. Player Recruitment
  6. The Football Complex
  7. The Stadium
  8. European Success
  9. Community Ownership
  10. First Love

Quality of Leadership

An efficient, determined and loyal group that are powerful enough to deliver it’s aims without internal opposition.

#ProjectV – In line with the structure at Villarreal who have a reputation for high standards when it comes to their staff recruitment and I will be looking to bring in my own back room team that will be amongst the league’s best.

Financial Strategy

At Villarreal, Fernando Roig started The Villarreal Project using his own money, but nowadays the club is fully sustainable without external investment. PSV have investors and through Toon Gerbrands, the club’s Chairman, he has the ability to provide financial support to the club as and when it is required.

#ProjectV – The focus for PSV is to create a sustainable financial model that is not restricted to buy low, sell high. I want to create a model that allows us to invest in potential, potential that can give us success in European competition which will provide it’s own revenue and inevitably profit through sales when the time comes.

Political Strategy

Generate a global network that will help support the club financially and otherwise.

#ProjectV – PSV currently have affiliations with teams from Peru, Colombia & Belgium. My initial task will be to increase the global reach through the marketing of players such as Ritsu Dôan (Japanese) & Erick Gutiérrez (Mexican). The long-term ambition is to increase our visibility in South America, most notably, in Brazil.

Manager Profile

Develop a profile of the right kind of manager who can deliver the exact kind of attractive, successful football the leadership want from their club and then recruiting to match that profile.

#ProjectV – For this save the manager profile will be former Championship Manager legend, Nii Lamptey. A former player of PSV with a link to the Football Manager franchise seemed logical and is the first African pseudonym I have used in Football Manager.

Player Recruitment

A player recruitment strategy that is geared to produce a more talented squad of players at the start of each season than the one at the start of the previous season linked to a buy cheap, sell high strategy to generate sufficient income for the recruitment strategy to be self-funding.

#ProjectV – As mentioned above, the buy low, sell high strategy will be slightly different with PSV as I will be looking to generate income through competition prize money and not player sales alone.

The Football Complex

To develop a football complex as good, if not better than can be found anywhere in the world. From the base of that complex will come the Cantera that will eventually ensure a regular supply of quality footballers for the first team of the club.

#ProjectV – PSV already possesses fantastic facilities, but I will take every opportunity to improve them when available. One possible idea is that I challenge myself to field an entire starting squad with graduates of our junior teams…

The Stadium

To create a modern stadium geared to the capacity of the community and fill and equip it for European competition at the highest level.

#ProjectV – The Philips Stadion in Eindhoven is a 35,000 all-seater stadium that is currently in a good condition, with a grass surface with under soil heating. There is always a possibility that we could generate enough income to suggest a new stadium as the current stadium is over 100 years old and has hosted European competition regularly.

European Success

The best way to hone the club’s competence and reputation is to be consistently successful in European competition. Every European competition is important so every match must be taken seriously.

#ProjectV – As above, treat every European game as important and maximise the opportunity to progress. We start in the Champions League Second Qualifying Round so I will be giving it our all to progress to the Champions League proper.

Community Ownership

A community ownership strategy within the community to ensure the club belongs to the fans and not any individual.

#ProjectV – There is not much I can personally do to impact this ingredient, but as I have done before, I can take notice of the social media interaction and hopefully make decisions that will make keep the fans confidence in my management.

First Love

A campaign that involves a sophisticated campaign to replace a fan’s Big Club/Small Club dual love with an unambiguous first love for Villarreal.

#ProjectV – Well, PSV are a huge club in Holland so I don’t see there being much I will need to do here, but what can be done is keep the fan’s confidence in our results and transfer activity.


Thanks for reading the introduction to the new save. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into a save so expect to see the second post coming soon! As always, keep and eye on my Twitter feed @FridayNightFM for updates and also on the 5 Star Potential Podcast where I’ll be discussing the save every Monday.