We’ve just got season seven of The Football Manager Football Show underway and we’re bound for Scotland.
After Shane’s unceremonious sacking at Milan after the January transfer window had closed, he spent two months in the cold before being picked up by Hearts, wrapping up their final six games of the season.
While he got to grips with a tricky start to life in Scotland, I was busying myself by blowing the Serie A title on the last day of the season, running out of steam with Inter over the final two or three games.
We couldn’t really have Hearts looking for another new manager after just six weeks so with Serie A wrapped, I’m off to take over Hibernian for season seven of the podcast and in the process, we continue the rivalry theme of the podcast in a bid to find out who the new Duke of Edinburgh will be.
As it happens, Hibs (fourth) wound up finishing five points clear of Hearts (fifth) by the end of the previous season as Rangers strolled to another Cinch Premiership title under Steven Gerrard (yes, he’s still there), those results putting the Edinburgh clubs in the mix for the preliminary qualifying rounds of the Europa Conference League.
Is there a plan for Hibs?
The club were almost 30 points adrift of the top but here’s the deal – we’ve got a challenge on our hands.
In terms of budgets, things are pretty small. The entire team wage budget (145k) is less than some of the bigger earners I’ve just left behind at Inter. Indeed, some of the regular starters probably brought home in a month what I’ve got as a transfer budget for the season.
Hibernian last won a Scottish Premier League title back in 1952, finishing runner-up in 1953. They were runners-up again to Celtic (73/74) and Rangers (74/75) but that’s as good it would get for quite some time.
A third-placed finish behind Motherwell in 1994/95 was repeated another three times, the most recent being the 2020/21 season. But when you look at the history books, the Celtic-Rangers stranglehold on the league title hasn’t been broken since the mid-eighties.
I’m not say we’re going out to win the title, but we’ll give it a hell of a shot for as long as we can.
The board are hopeful of making the Europa Conference League group stages proper, so if that comes to pass it’s going to be a hell of a trip with some serious dollars on the line.
Some new faces to help
Arriving to Hibernian, I’ll be working with a plenty of new faces as well for the season ahead which means trying to bed players in early.
Taking over in the offseason means I’ve been able to exercise a few options myself, namely the arrival of Greg Taylor from Celtic on a free transfer while I’m reinforcing the frontline and giving Troy Parrott another rattle, paying just €235k in loan fees for the season.
He had a decent run with me in the Championship for Leicester when we finished runner up in season 2 (during the FM21 cycle) so hopefully he’ll find form in Scotland.
Listen: FMFSHOW 68 – Scotland Premiere
For updates, be sure to pick up new episodes of The Football Manager Football Show, available every Friday wherever you do your podcast listening.