If you’ve missed some of my Tweets about this, my time at Greenock Morton on FM16 has come to an end. We are the ‘Ton no longer. The save isn’t over though, and will continue as per the results from the poll in my previous post. This post will give a brief summary of the 2013/24 season, and I’ll follow up with an outline of what you can expect to see next from me in FM16. Incidentally, if you want to reminisce and read back all of the posts from the ‘Ton save, just hit the image below.
A good looking first half to the season. The eagle-eyed and big followers of the save will notice that 3-2 defeat against Hearts, and will marry it up with our defeat against Hearts in the first match of the season previous. A 48 match unbeaten run in the league, sandwiched between two Hearts defeats firmly cemented their status as our bogey team.
The second half of the season doesn’t look as nice at all does it. I like to imagine that the run of four straight losses in the league came around the time rumours started circulating about my future at the club, and so the team started to get complacent. These defeats in the second half of the season would have cost us…
If Celtic hadn’t been so atrocious as well. 8 losses in the league matched our combined losses tallied up across the previous three seasons! A shocking season in all honesty, a sign that the dominance was fading and that it was time to go?
A final season domestic treble wasn’t to be, as we fell short in the League Cup, but we did manage to secure a Scottish Cup win, our fourth in a row.
One of the big reasons I started to think about moving on from Morton was our inability to really kick on in Europe. That being said, even after a couple of years of qualifying for the Champions League group stages, we’ve been dealt some pretty unlucky hands in terms of groups. The 2023/24 season was no different, as Arsenal and PSG were drawn out of the hat. The Europa League was secured after a 3rd placed finish, with 2 wins over the groups whipping boys, Standard, 2 draws in our home games against the big boys, and 2 losses in our away games against them. Looking back, a win in our last group game at home to Arsenal would have seen us qualify for the knockouts, but alas, we couldn’t break through and a 0-0 draw saw them proceed.
We successfully steered past CSKA in the 1st knockout round of the Europa League, after one of the great nights under the lights at the newly expanded Cappielow. The 2nd knockout round was a Battle of Britain, against Liverpool. I wasn’t confident, but in the end, I was gutted by the result.
A narrow 1-0 away defeat, and a goal conceded after 11 minutes of the home leg wasn’t ideal. But by god did we give them a fright. A 2nd goal earlier than the 86th minute, and I think we would have done it. It wasn’t to be though.
So, the league was won. The Scottish Cup had been secured, and I’d made the decision to resign and leave Morton. The board had one final trick up their sleeve though.
They of course, weren’t to know I was leaving at this point. But again, I like to think of this as them trying to tempt me to stay. Growing the club has been something I’ve been writing about for years in-game now, and a new stadium is a huge step on the ladder to the club competing off the pitch with Celtic and Rangers. I’m gutted I won’t be managing them to do it. Maybe if it was named after me…
That’ll be that then, well until FM17 anyway. Morton are my club, and my first save on any new version of the game is always with them. It just so happened that this year, it went on for a bit longer than it usually has done in previous years. And it was far more successful than I could have ever thought it’d be.
We started off in the Scottish Championship with a, surprising and encouraging at the time, 3rd place finish, being defeated in the promotion play-offs by Hibs. From 3rd, to 1st, as we won the Championship and gained automatic promotion to the Premiership in the 2016/17 season. 2017/18 is when things got a little bit crazy, as at the first time of asking, we won the Scottish Premiership. A tactical shift followed in 2018/19 and we followed up that title win with two consecutive 2nd place finishes. The 2020 Vision was published and it became the blueprint upon which our three consecutive domestic trebles between 2020/21 and 2022/23 was built. And finally, as you’ve seen today, my career at Morton ended with a domestic double.
All in all, one Championship win, 5 Premiership wins, 3 League Cups and 4 Scottish Cups. I led the club into the Europa League and the Champions League and brought in over £75m to the club selling players, having spent £45m. The clubs future is bright, and they’re competing and beating Celtic and Rangers when they shouldn’t be.
Stay very much tuned, as my next move will be revealed very soon.