“No one likes us…” Introducing Red Bull Salzburg

This save is about to grow arms and legs because alongside RBLeipzig, I’ve taken over at Red Bull Salzburg too!

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I say I…Red Bull Salzburg’s (who’ll be RBS from now on) new manager is recently retired (on my save, and also in the non-FM world) German legend, Philipp Lahm. He’s been persuaded to join the Red Bull Revolution and takes over from Stefano Colantuono, who was quite frankly doing a terrible job at the club.

I mentioned at the end of season 3 that they’ve been performing terribly in the Austrian Bundesliga so far. 5th, 3rd and 4th. That’s only 1 European qualification in 3 seasons, in a league in which they should be absolutely dominating. Not good enough. Will Philipp Lahm turn around the clubs fortunes in his first ever season in management? Rapid Vienna have dominated the league for the last 3 seasons, will their dominance come to an end?

So I thought I’d put together some thoughts that’ll hopefully show how the Red Bull Revolution is going to work from now on with taking charge of both teams. RBL will still very much be the primary focus, the German Bundesliga is where the money is and success there means success across the board. However, some of that success can definitely filter down to RBS, to ensure that we’re continually successful there. Not just in league performance, but in qualifying for Europe and in developing players/scouring hot prospects.

Will RBS be a development club? Yes, you could say that. Will they be mistreated? No, certainly not. They’ll receive the full backing and support they need to win the Austrian Bundesliga, and if there’s a player able to make the step up to RBL, they’ll receive fair compensation. In short, think of Naby Keita or Dayot Upamecano’s careers so far, and that’s how the system will work.

To summarise, here’s the aims for RBS:

  • Win the Austrian Bundesliga
  • Qualify for the group stages of European competition
  • Scout and buy promising talent
  • Develop the talent, give them gametime
  • If good enough, move player to RBL

There’s much work ahead before all of that though. As the club has been AI managed for the last three seasons, I’m sure you can imagine the state of things. Those years of mis-management and no European football means that the club are actually £2m in the red when I take over. Time to get rid of any deadwood or sellable assests, and restructuring the playing staff. Alongside that, the backroom staff need an upgrade to if we’re going to get round to finding and developing players. More on both of those in the next update.

This is just a quick update to document the latest goings on, and how things will be going forward. I’ll leave you with the latest player to make the step up to RBL from RBS, and another who looks like he could be on the way very soon…

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Following Valentino Lazaro in season 1 and Dayot Upamecano in season 2, Dimitri Oberlin joins RBL in a £5.25m move. This move wasn’t one of those well thought out, in the pipeline for a while ones though. I was more than comfortable keeping Oberlin at RBS to watch him tear up the Austian Bundesliga and lead us to the title, but West Brom came in with a bid that matched his release clause. I think he looks decent, so I wanted to keep him in the Red Bull family. Planning to see how he does in a rotational role at RBL this season, more than likely in one of the three slots behind our targetman role.

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One player that will be staying at RBS and hopefully leading them to the title is 19 year old hot prospect, Lukas Kalkan. He’s the pick of the bunch right now at RBS, and has room to develop further too. An injury has ruled him out of the early part of the season, but when he returns to full fitness and gets a prolonged period of gametime, his attributes will hopefully soar.

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