Fixture Release Day: 1.Bundesliga Kick-Off

The German top flight 1.Bundesliga has released the details for the opening day of the season, scheduled for Saturday 25 August. Back-to-back champions Bayern Munich start their season at home to Hertha Berlin, who finished 13th last season. Runners-up in the last two seasons, Borussia Dortmund, will travel to Hamburg.

Promoted sides Freiburg and Dynamo Dresden both start their campaigns at home, to Eintracht Frankfurt  and Nürnberg respectively. Relegation playoff winners Düsseldorf are also at home, they’ll play Stuttgart.

             Bayer Leverkusen  -  Hannover
                Bayern Munich  -  Hertha Berlin
                   Düsseldorf  -  Stuttgart
               Dynamo Dresden  -  Nürnberg
                     Freiburg  -  Eintracht Frankfurt
                      Hamburg  -  Dortmund
                        Mainz  -  Mönchengladbach
                      Schalke  -  Hoffenheim
                Werder Bremen  -  Wolfsburg

Catch-Up Triple Post: Germany, Hirings, Italy…

A bird in the bush is worth three on the blog, or something. It’s slim pickings from G through to K in RTFM world, so we’re combining G, H, and I in today’s update. The latest focus will be on the silverware available in Germany and Italy, as well as the managerial hirings and firings since we last checked-in on the world…

If you weren’t aware that we managed Borussia Dortmund for two seasons, then hello! and welcome to RTFM. Both seasons brought title wins, with our last look at 1.Bundesliga in May 2015 as Energie Cottbus took Hertha berlin’s top-flight spot. But what happened since?

Dortmund retained the title in 2016 (a fifth in six season) under new manager Antonio Conte, becoming the first side since Bayern Munich in 2001 to win three consecutive titles. After a torrid 2015 where they finished 5th, Bayern bounced back to finish 2nd behind BVB, as Hoffenheim finished 3rd for their best-ever league finish, just two years after promotion. BVB went on to complete the domestic double with DFB-Pokal victory over Mainz, before beating them again in the DFL-Supercup at the start of the 16/17 season.

Bayern then won back-to-back titles in 2017 and ’18 for their 24th and 25th Bundesliga titles, with BVB playing second-fiddle on both occasions. Leverkusen and Wolfsburg finished 3rd in those two seasons respectively. Wolfsburg lifted the Pokal in 2017 with a win over Gladbach before lifting the Supercup, with Bayern completing the double with a final win over Dortmund in May 2018. SC Freiburg and Dinamo Dresden will be back in the top-flight next season after promotion from the second tier.

The German national squad lost in the Euro 2016 Semi-Finals on penalties to eventual champions Italy following a 0-0 draw in Paris. The route to the final four saw them top a group containing Croatia, Scotland, and Denmark, before knockout wins against Austria and then Switzerland. Joachim Löw resigned following the defeat, with Jürgen Klopp his replacement.

Their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign will begin against Morocco, ahead of further group matches against Australia and the Republic of Ireland. Germany are ranked 5th in the world behind Argentina, Italy, Brazil, and Cameroon in that order.

It’s highly likely that our return for the 2018-19 season will take place in the Premier League, so it’s time we took a look at the managerial comings and goings over the past three years at next year’s top flight English clubs.

Among the eyebrow-raising appointments are Liverpool giving Rafa Benítez a third spell in charge with his December hiring to replace the sacked Luis Enrique.

Tony Pulis is about to start his thirteenth season at Stoke City, making him the league’s longest-serving manager, José Mourinho  is second, four years after he replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Meanwhile, Man City are on their sixth manager in five seasons.

Premier League 2018-19, Managerial History since June 2015:
  David Moyes        Mar 17 -
  Rafa Benítez       Dec 15 - Feb 17 (sacked)
  Laurent Blanc      Jul 15 - Nov 15 (sacked)
  Arsene Wenger      Sep 96 - Jun 15 (retired)
  Pasquale Marino    Dec 16 - 
  Steve McClaren     Nov 15 - Dec 16 (sacked)
  Gus Poyet          Dec 14 - Nov 15 (sacked)
  Dougie Freedman    Dec 15 - 
  Nigel Adkins       Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
  Paulo Sérgio       Apr 17 - 
  Gareth Southgate   Jan 16 - Mar 17 (left, Wolves)
  Alan Shearer       Jan 14 - Dec 15 (left, WBA)
  Roy Keane          Feb 18 - 
  Michael Appleton   Nov 15 - Feb 18 (left, Wigan)
  Sam Allardyce      May 15 - Oct 15 (sacked)
  Fatih Terim        Nov 16 - 
  Luciano Spalletti  Jan 13 - Nov 16 (sacked)
  Pat Fenlon         Feb 16 - 
  Steve Bruce        Dec 13 - Feb 16 (sacked)
  Neil Lennon        Nov 16 - 
  Lee Clark          Jan 16 - Nov 16 (sacked)
  Ståle Solbakken    May 15 - Dec 15 (sacked)
  Rafa Benítez       Dec 17 - 
  Luis Enrique       Nov 16 - Nov 17 (sacked)
  Eddie Howe         Dec 14 - Nov 16 (sacked)
  Luciano Spalletti  Dec 17 - 
  Oleg Luzhnyi       Nov 16 - Dec 17 (sacked)
  Laurent Blanc      Jan 16 - Nov 16 (sacked)
  Javier Aguirre     Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
  José Mourinho      Jun 14 - 
  Lee Clark          Jun 17 - 
  Pasquale Marino    Nov 15 - Dec 16 (left, Villa)
  Stuart Pearce      Nov 12 - Nov 15 (sacked)
  Alan Curbishley    Feb 16 - 
  Pat Fenlon         Jan 14 - Feb 16 (left, Everton)
  Paul Ince          May 16 - 
  Chris Powell       May 15 - May 16 (sacked)
  Tony Pulis         Jun 06 -
  Alan Pardew        Mar 16 - 
  Paolo Di Canio     Aug 14 - Feb 16 (sacked)
  Slaven Bilic       Nov 15 - 
  André Villas-Boas  Jul 12 - Nov (left, Bayern)
  Alan Shearer       Dec 15 - 
  Alan Curbishley    Dec 14 - Dec 15 (sacked)
  John Sheridan      Oct 15 - 
  Gordon Strachan    Dec 14 - Oct 15 (sacked)
  Steve McClaren     Dec 17 - 
  Gareth Southgate   Mar 17 - Nov 17 (sacked)
  Mark Hughes        Aug 16 - Mar 17 (sacked)
  Martin Jol         Jun 15 - Jul 16 (resigned)

Italy are the reigning European Champions after their 2-0 win over Bosnia at Euro 2016 in France two years ago, and go into this summer’s FIFA World Cup ranked 2nd in the world (behind Argentina). Wales, Ghana and Saudi Arabia await in Russia next month. Roberto Mancini manages the national squad, following Cesare Prandelli’s resignation after the Euros.

After two years of winning the Italian top-flight, Juventus were beaten into second place by Inter in 2016 as the Milanese club won their seventh Serie A title in eleven seasons. AC Milan then won back-to-back titles in ’17 and ’18 ahead of Juvé and Inter respectively. Impressively, Fiorentina finished 3rd in two of the past three seasons.

AC Milan lifted the TIM Cup in 2016, denying Inter the domestic double in the final. Juventus then won in ’17 and ’18 with victories over Inter then Milan.

RTFM is returning after a hiatus since we resigned as manager of Borussia Dortmund at the end of June 2015. The three seasons since then have been fully simulated in the original FM13 save, right up to the eve of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Our daily news will return on 15 June 2018, with regular blog posts between now and then to highlight what’s happened in our absence.
NB: The entirety of RTFM is being played on Football Manager 2013. Regen players will have ® after their names to indicate this. Be aware that changes to competition rules since the summer of 2012 will not have been implemented in our save (e.g. UEL winners do not automatically qualify for the UCL), and this includes any new clubs or franchises, though we will endeavour to report on correct/current competition titles.
We will return to club management after our save generates the domestic leagues we’ve selected for the 2018-19 season on, or shortly after, 20th June. Feel free to ask questions in the comments or @realtimefm.

2015-16 Bundesliga Fixture List Revealed


Borussia Dortmund will begin the defence of their 1.Bundesliga title with the visit of FC Nürnberg to Signal Iduna Park on 22 August, before a trip to last season’s 2.Bundesliga champions Kaiserslautern on 29 August.

Deutsche Fußball Liga today revealed the full fixture list for the 2015-16 season, with the opening day giving us two mouth-watering clashes between top six sides from last season as Bayern Munich host Wolfsburg, while Leverkusen entertain runners-up Hamburg on Saturday 22 August.

Kaiserslautern are back in the top-flight after three seasons chasing promotion, but they’ll face familiar opposition on the opening day as they open their campaign with a trip to Fürth, the side they pipped to the 2.Bundesliga title last season by three points.

Energie Cottbus, promoted via the Playoffs, are back in the top-tier of German football for the first time since 2009 and they’ll host Freiburg on the opening day.

  Saturday 22 August

                  FSV MAINZ   -   SCHALKE

The German domestic season begins with the DFB-Pokal First Round on 15 August, and the draw will be made on Sunday 05 July. The curtain-raiser DFL-Supercup will take place between Schalke and Dortmund on 25 July in Gelsenkirchen.


BVB’s league season will begin at home to Nürnberg, and end with the visit of Düsseldorf. The opening five games all look winnable, with the visit of Leverkusen on 26 September the sternest test BVB are likely to receive ahead of a run that sees them play the rest of last season’s top six over the next seven games, including a trip to Schalke on Halloween.

All are subject to change due to UEFA Champions League scheduling or TV broadcast:

JULY 2015
08 SV Wuppertaler           A                                FR
11 DSC Arminia Bielefeld    A                                FR
25 Schalke                  A                               GSC
15                                                          GC1
22 FC Nürnberg              H                               1BL
29 Kaiserslautern           A                               1BL
12 Borussia Mönchengladbach A                               1BL
15                                                          UCL
19 VfB Stuttgart            H                               1BL
23 Energie Cottbus          A                               1BL
26 Bayer Leverkusen         H                               1BL
29                                                          UCL
03 Eintracht Frankfurt      A                               1BL
06 Bayern Munich            H                               1BL
17 FSV Mainz                A                               1BL
20                                                          UCL
24 SpVgg Greuther Fürth     H                               1BL
28                                                          GC2
31 FC Schalke 04            A                               1BL
03                                                          UCL
07 VfL Wolfsburg            H                               1BL
21 TSG Hoffenheim           A                               1BL
24                                                          UCL
25 Hamburger SV (TBC)       H                               1BL
28 SC Freiburg              A                               1BL
05 SV Werder Bremen         H                               1BL
08                                                          UCL
12 Fortuna Düsseldorf       A                               1BL
22                                                          GC3
16 FC Nürnberg              A                               1BL
23 Kaiserslautern           H                               1BL
30 Borussia Mönchengladbach H                               1BL
06 VfB Stuttgart            A                               1BL
09                                                          GCQ
13 Energie Cottbus          H                               1BL
20 Bayer Leverkusen         A                               1BL
27 Eintracht Frankfurt      H                               1BL
MARCH 2016
05 Bayern Munich            A                               1BL
12 FSV Mainz                H                               1BL
19 SpVgg Greuther Fürth     A                               1BL
22                                                          GCS
26 FC Schalke 04            H                               1BL
APRIL 2016
02 VfL Wolfsburg            A                               1BL
09 TSG Hoffenheim           H                               1BL
16 Hamburger SV             A                               1BL
30 SC Freiburg              H                               1BL
MAY 2016
07 SV Werder Bremen         A                               1BL
14 Fortuna Düsseldorf       H                               1BL
21                                                          GCF

BVB Review: Hummels Fans’ Player of Year


As the club awaits the release of the 1.Bundesliga fixtures tomorrow, a spokesman for the official Dortmund supporters’ club has announced that club captain Mats Hummels is the Fans’ Player of the Year for the second successive season.

The Dortmund Best XI for the past season has also been named, with no great surprises as First Team Manager Gray Surman’s strongest eleven all being represented, including summer signings Lars Bender, top scorer Stevan Jovetic, and André Schürrle.

The substitutes were named as Heinz Lindner, Felipe Santana, Dennis Praet, Ivan Perisic, Robert Lewandowski, Andreas Beck, and Viktor Fischer. Mario Götze finished the season as the leading assist creator in 1.Bundesliga with eleven.


BVB Board Announce 2015 – 2016 Budget


The board of directors at Borussia Dortmund have made announcements this morning regarding the club’s finances ahead of the transfer window opening on Monday as preparations begin for the 2015-16 season.

First Team Manager Gray Surman has been given an initial transfer fund of £15.85m, and the wage budget is set at £1.33m per week (current spends £1.2m p/w). 100% of any fees raised will be made available, and should the current wage total remain constant, then a £20.2m transfer kitty can be spent excluding any fees received.

The club made a total loss of £13.2m last season, but prize money has now been paid by UEFA and DFL meaning that the club has made a profit of £28m in June alone. The club’s current balance is £79.26m, with £1.04m being raised through the club’s membership scheme, a similar amount as last season.

The board announced that dividends totalling £13m will be paid to shareholders, with the turnover for the last financial year being approximately £228m.

The 1.Bundesliga fixture list will be released on 20 June. The opening day of the season will take place on 22 August, with the DFL-Supercup at Schalke scheduled for 25 July.


The double-winning U19 side have arranged their first pre-season friendlies. They will travel to SC Freiburg on 01 August, before playing at Hamburger SV four days later. Freiburg finished 7th in Group 4 last season, while Hamburg were 3rd in Group 2.

Mats Hummels: German Footballer of the Year


hummelsMats Hummels has been named the Deutschlands Fußballer des Jahres after he captained Borussia Dortmund to the domestic double, as well as lifting the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup over the last ten months.

The 26 year-old centre-back, capped 46 times by Germany, polled ahead of team-mate Neven Subotic in second, while Javi Martínez of Bayern Munich was third. Last season, Dortmund’s Ivan Perisic won the accolade.

klaas-jan-huntelaar-70Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke) scooped the golden boot for finishing as 1.Bundesliga’s top scorer, finding the back of the net 29 times in the league. The Dutch international also scored 12 times in cup competitions and 8 times for his country giving him a total return of 41 in 45.

Hamburg head coach Frank de Boer has won both the Manager of the Year and the Players’ Manager of the Year awards after the 45 year-old guided the club to second-place, their highest finish since 1987. Title-winning Dortmund boss Grayson Surman polled second in both awards, and Freiburg’s Christian Gross came third in both after he clinched them Europa League football next season.

Goal of the year went to Marcel Risse for his 82nd minute strike for Fortuna Düsseldorf in their 3-1 win at home to Bayern Munich in February. He put Düsseldorf back in front with a wonderful 60-yard lob past Manuel Neuer.

Goalkeeper of the Year: David Ospina (Schalke)
2nd: Diego Benaglio (Wolfsburg), 3rd: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Defender of the Year: Naldo (Wolfsburg)
2nd: Philipp Wollscheid (Leverkusen), 3rd: Joël Matip (Schalke)

Midfielder of the Year: Mario Götze (Dortmund)
2nd: Lewis Holtby (Schalke), Simon Rolfes (Leverkusen)

Striker of the Year: Stevan Jovetic (Dortmund)
2nd: Ádám Szalai (Mainz), 3rd: Stefan Kießling (Leverkusen)

The Bundesliga Select XI features four Dortmund players: Mats Hummels, Mario Götze, André Schürrle, Stevan Jovetic. They join goalkeeper David Ospina, Lewis Holtby, and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke; Jerome Boateng and Philip Lahm of Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg defender Naldo, and Hamburg’s Karim Bellarabi.