Welcome back to Northern Boys, a North-East only Football Manager save where we are in Season 5 of the newly branded “Regionnaire” save at the helm of Newcastle United Football Club…in the Championship…🤦♂️
That’s right – unfortunately last season (our fourth in the hotseat at St. James Park), we managed to get relegated after a string of disastrous results and FM-induced lunacy however in spite of this, our esteemed chairman Joe Ordiman contiunes to trust the process and decided not to sack us despite a multitude of boardroom summons to explain our poor form – not only that, we managed to capitalise on this extreme display of poor judgement by blagging big Joe into giving us a new contract for another 2 seasons 😄. WE ARE ELITE.
Though unplanned and unexpected at this point, life in the Championship at Northern Boys makes for an interesting concept. We had originally given ourselves 4 seasons to fully transition to a North-East only squad and staff policy, which meant that not only did we get relegated but we also bid farewell to Allan Saint-Maximin (Crystal Palace – £42m), Joe Willock (£28m), Callum Wilson (Almeria – £6m) and the regrettable sale of Northern Boy Nathan Wood to Leeds after they triggered his relegation release clause (£18m). As we embark on Season 5, we are officially a North-East only club that find ourselves in outstanding shape financially – our relatively low annual new transfer spend combined with high transfer revenue giving us an extremely healthy overall Bank Balance (£164m) and Transfer Budget (£92m) as we enter Season 6 which surely played into Joe Ordiman’s decision making when it came to not sacking us following relegation.
✔️ Positives – mission accomplished in terms of full migration to a North-East only model as well as having an extremely solid and healthy financial situation on which we can build for the future.
❌ Negatives – now that we are in the Championship, the quality of available and interested North-East players has rapidly dwindled, and it will be a long time before we can convinve the likes of GIovanni Reyna, Jordan Pickford or Jordan Henderson to return to their roots and join the Northen Boys gravy train…
Regardless, we need to bolster our squad depth with 46 league games ahead of us, and that’s exactly what we did.
Dan Barlaser (b. Gateshead 1997) – Rotherham (£8m)
Bali Mumba (b. South Shields 2001) – Norwich (£2m)
Even more entertainingly – after spending £8m on Daniel Barlaser who is a former Newcastle Academy graduate, we are given the news that we are entitled to 50% of his transfer fee due to a clause when he left Newcastle for Rotherham originally – meaning we essentially receive half of our own transfer fee back and pick him up for half-price 😄 #ShrewdOperator
Summary of Transfer Revenue & Spending to date
So here it is, confirmation of our first ever fully #NorthernBoys squad – ok, we probably would have struggled in the Premier League but now we need to bounce straight back up, no excuses.
Newcastle United Squad List 2025/2026
Goalkeepers: Bailey Peacock Farrell, Stuart Shaw*
Defenders: Dael Fry, Ben Gibson, Lewis Gibson, Mattie Pollock, Leif Davis, Fred Briggs*
Midfielders: Sean Longstaff, Lewis Wing, Shola Shoretire, Josh Mellor*, Elliott Embleton, Dan Barlaser, Elliott Anderson, Matty Longstaff, Jacob Murphy.
Forwards: Adam Armstrong, Sam Greenwood, Joe Hugill, Michael Smith
Northern Boys – Season 6 🚀
A shaky opening day defeat at home to QPR is quickly forgotten as we pick up 6 wins in our opening 9 games, going unbeaten for 8 of them and propelling ourselves up to 2nd in the league by the end of November with Brighton already breaking away from the chasing pack – Adam Armstrong picking up 16 goals and clearly showing the world he is too good for the Championship.
Of course this is where FM intervenes and decides enough is enough Adam – he proceeds to score just ONE GOAL in our next THIRTEEN games during a spell in which we didnt draw a single game and it was either win or lose all the way up until February after which we sat in 5th place, still well within reach of the automatic promotion spots and keeping us feeling very positive about our chances of bouncing back up this season. You would too right?
Northern Boys to Men
We are further boosted with reports of a Golden Generation coming through our Youth Intake. With our finances in such strong shape we have reach a point where our Training Facilities, Youth Facilities, Youth Coaching and Youth Recruitment continue to improve year-on-year and as you may have seen above, we are reaching that point in-game where Newgens are coming to fruition with the likes of Fred Briggs and Josh Mellor both breaking into the first team to become regulars on our teamsheet.
Our Season 6 Youth Intake brings news of more high-potential Newgens at Newcastle and brace yourselves because something magical is about to happen. While live on stream joking about Football Manager Newgen names and the like, we are presented with our latest Youth Intake and at the top of the list sits one player who is listed as an elite prospect with 4.5 star potential:
Not only is he Irish, not only is his name absolutely glorious – the boy can play and fingers crossed we can develop him into a top centre-forward for the club. He is also accompanied by Gabriel Odumousu, who in addition to having 4.5 star potential is also tipped as having the potential to be none other than the next Michael Owen! Assuming this is football and not punditry related, hopefully this lad can be a big part of Northern Boys for years to come.
It begins. 16 games to try and secure our return to Premier League football and see if we can take our band of misfit Northern Boys back to the big time. North-East bums are officially sweating.
March was sh*te and April wasn’t much better. Adam Armstrong’s barren run continued and we couldn’t find anyone to step up and grab the goals we need to keep our promotion push going – add to this a RIDICULOUS amount of late goals conceded and suddenly we’ve only picked up one win in 7 games, throwing our chances of promotion (and even making the playoffs) into serious jeapordy with just 4 games remaining..
This is a bottle job beyond belief. As if getting relegated wasnt bad enough, we are now in serious danger of missing out on a playoff spot and languishing in the Championship for another season (assuming Joe Ordiman doesn’t deem missing the playoffs as a sackable offence). As it stands we have just 4 games to decide our fate; 12 points to play for, 4 points off the automatic promotion spot with 3 teams all on 70 points and 6 teams competing for 4 playoff places..say what you like, the Championship is absolute chaos.
Strap yourselves in because FM is about to take us for a ride…
We beat Preston 3-0, lovely jubbly. We then travel to Rotherham where go 2-0 up before our keeper Bailey Peacock Farrell decides to produce not one but two goalkeeping howlers which result in a poor 2-2 draw. I MEAN SEROUSLY, WHAT THE F*CK IS HE DOING:
That 2-2 draw is followed up with another 2-2 draw, this time at Home to Birmingham where it was us who went 2-0 down and scraped a 2-2 draw. That means, with one game remaining we sit in 6th place knowing that we have to win to ensure a playoff spot and not rely on other results to go in our favour. Surely we can beat 16th placed Luton Town to keep our promition hopes alive??
3-1 up with 10 mins to go and we end up drawing in the 93rd minute. 90 PLUS THREE. ANOTHER late goal and another kick in the FM crotch as Luton condemn us to finish in 7th place meaning we miss out on the Playoffs and will contend the Championship again next season for the second year in a row. Brighton run away with the league and are joined by Norwich and Ipswich in the Premier League, while we look forward to facing Leeds, Crystal Palace and Bristol City in the Championship next season – so much for the £42m Palace spent on Allan Saint-Maximin!
Positively – we don’t get sacked, with the board disappointed but still fully trusting the process – so much so that they go on to make what must be the most bizarre decision of the save so far..
5 seasons down and we continueu the wild adventure that is Northern Boys here at Newcastle, not always going to plan but never failing to disappoint in terms of entertainment, narrative, fury and overall FM mania – would you have it any other way? Next time we will take a look at development in the North-East with a particular focus on our affiliates in the region, as things appear to be going well for them after our continued support and investment…
Thanks for reading,
Want to get involved and/or get real-time updates or sneak previews? I’ll be posting regular updates in the MaddFM Discord server as well as on FMSlack (#MaddFM) so feel free to drop by and keep an eye out. You can also catch me streaming occasionally on Twitch.tv/MaddFM as well as most Mondays on 5* Star Potential, your weekly Football Manager podcast.