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Old 03-27-2017, 12:01 PM   #1
cavebutter
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Pro/Rel Financial Analysis

I am running some test cases to see how Pro/Rel works over the course of 15 seasons. I'm doing this as a community service (because I am very noble) and so that I can get a feel for the financial impacts of Pro/Rel before I invest serious play time into it.

Please feel free to throw rocks at my method, make suggestions for things to look for, etc.

The set-up:
Base year: 1990
4 Leagues, all designated ML level
L1 (Premier) - Reputation 10; 20 teams; 2 relegated
L2 (Champions) - Reputation 7; 32 teams; 2 promoted, 4 relegated
L3 (Professional) - Reputation 4; 48 teams; 4 promoted, 4 relegated
L4 (Regional) - Reputation 1; 48 teams; 4 promoted, 4 relegated

I will be running at least 2 15 year sims (at least until I find results I like).

Factors I will be examining:
Team payroll
Team Revenue (total)
Team Media Revenue
Team Gate Revenue
Team Ticket Price
Team Budget
Owner Addition/Subtraction to budget

With each sim, I will explain which variables I tweaked and the results. Please chime in with any other analysis you think would be worthwhile!
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #2
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Sim 1

In this sim, the leagues are not in an association. Each has their own amateur draft.

Using 1990 as the base financial year,
L1 = 100%
L2 = 50%
L3 = 25%
L4 = 10%

One thing that may prove significant is that I have set the financials to re-import each year. I'm curious as to whether the percentage offsets carryover when this happens. If not, it would go a long way towards explaining what we're seeing. Sim 2 does not do this, so when the results are in, we can compare.

Over 15 years, the averages per league of total revenue, payroll, and budget look like this:

At first glance, at least the numbers are pointed in the right direction. The highest league has the highest payroll, revenue and budget, and the lowest level league has the lowest.

However, I'm not really seeing the kind of spread that I'd like. For one thing, there's only a 20% difference between the top league and the bottom league in terms of annual budget. This is despite there being a 90% difference in the setup.

(to be continued - I am having trouble posting images in line, so will break this into multiple posts until I figure that out...sorry)
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Old 03-27-2017, 12:53 PM   #3
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Sim 1 - The basics overview

Taking a look now, at these same metrics: Total Average Revenue, Total Average Payroll, Total Average Budget per year, by league.




The first thing that strikes me is the almost negligible difference in average revenue by league year over year. Maybe 1% difference between the top league and bottom for the first few years. By the last year of our sim, there's still only a 7% difference between the top and bottom leagues in terms of revenue. Again, we designed this so that there would be a 90% diff.

If we look at player payroll, we see that things are similar. Discounting year 1 and the first few years, we see that top league has a slightly higher average payroll over the sim, but not quite what I was expecting. By 2002, there's a spread of about $15M in payroll - the lowest league being about 67% of the highest. By the end of our sim, the spread is $20M or 63%.

Average League Budgets follow the same general trend as payroll. After being indistinguishable for the first few years, by the halfway point of the sim, the lowest league is 68% of the highest league. Things start skewing the other way by the end of the sim, where the lowest league ends with an average budget 84% of the highest league.

Why does this happen? My guess is that it has to do with revenue. It's going to be hard to maintain a real stratification between leagues if their revenue is so similar.

Next post will look at the factors that make up the revenue.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:14 PM   #4
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Is the size of the avg stadium in L4 considerably smaller than L1? Would this cause enough of a drop in ticket revenue to help? I have not started my pro/rel universe as I am still setting things up. My world though has a considerable difference in stadium size as you go down in level.
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:29 PM   #5
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I haven't looked at stadium size yet, per se, but the next post looks at ticket prices.

I mentioned on a different thread that I thought that stadium size was going to complicate things. Even if we start the lower leagues with smaller stadiums, does that mean we should be expanding/contracting stadia manually when a team moves leagues? I'd like to find a solution where we don't have to do that. For one thing, it would be a lot of work and for another, it's just not realistic.
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Old 03-27-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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Sim 1 - Revenue Breakdown

Here's where things get tricky.

Looking at ticket price, media and merch contracts, gate revenue, season ticket revenue, and owner cash adjustments.




First ticket price. This is something that individual teams control. The first thing to note is that the sim starts with all ticket prices equal. I don't know why that is. You would think that the percentage adjustments made at league setup would affect ticket prices as well. Ticket prices remain essentially equal for the first half of the sim. Even by the end, we only have a $4 spread between the cheapest and most expensive average tickets. This is the first big issue. Clearly, the most meaningful way to control revenue is to pull this ticket price lever. For whatever reason, the game has not done so.

Looking at local and national media contracts, the situation gets even stranger. We have parity across all leagues for the first couple years. By 1999, we are practically backwards from what we'd expect. The top league has a combined average of $14.8M and the bottom league is at $15.9M. Again, this is a powerful lever that the game can use to regulate revenue, and it's pulling it the wrong way! By the time the sim ends in 2005, there's a $5.4M spread in media revenue in the wrong direction.

Finally, let's look at the bluntest instrument in the shed: Owner cash. I would have expected this to be a fallback to keep team budgets in line with their leagues. Regardless of revenue and payroll, owners make adjustments to team budgets to suit their whims. What happens in our leagues?

Not much until 1994. Before then, owners pretty consistently pulled the same amount from teams' budgets each season. By 1994, we start to see L1 owners putting cash into their teams. 218K against a spread of -2-3M in the lower leagues. But this pattern does not hold for more than a couple of years. By 1999, all owners are pulling money from team budgets. The lower leagues have more money pulled, but even at a factor of 2, as it is by 2005, it is not enough to create the stratification between leagues that we want.

So, it looks like we're building a case for a few things that have to be tweaked in the next sim:

1 - Ticket Price. Whatever the % offset between leagues is, we have to make sure that ticket price matches it

2 - Media Contracts. Same.

3 - Owner cash adjustments. We can't go in and police these adjustments for each team, but we also should find out how these are being or can be used to make sure that teams stay within the budget norms of their leagues.
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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Sim 1 - Individual Teams

One last exercise while I am waiting for Sim 2 to finish. (Anyone else noticing long sim times?)

Let's look at some of the same metrics for individual teams over the course of the sim. We'll look at at one randomly chosen team who started the 1990 season in each league.

We'll start with team 5. (The Paris Towers, for those who care)

The Towers started the sim in L1 with a a budget and payroll below league average- -$7M and -$2M, respectively. After 3 seasons in L1, they're relegated to L2, where they stay for 1 year. That year, the owner injects $3.5M into their budget. It could be because he felt that there was one free agent who could help their club back into L1. Could be that after three years of pulling money from the budget, he felt the pain of relegation.

The following year, they're relegated again. Again, the owner responds with a cash infusion. It doesn't work, and they are relegated again. The cash infusions from the owner begin to taper off as the Towers settle into life in L4. Each year from 1999 through the end of the sim, the owner pulls more and more cash from the budget.

However, the team's overall budget keeps climbing with inflation. By the end of the sim, the Towers' budget is 6% below league average.

Next, we will take a look at team 26 (the New England Reds).

The Reds start the sim in L2 and stay there for 2 years. At the end of the second season, they're relegated to L3, and we see a small cash infusion from the owner. Two more years, and they are relegated again. For their first year in L4, we see the same big infusion that we saw from the Towers. As if the owner says to himself, "We need to throw money at this problem!!" This only lasts for one year, as the Reds stay in L4 for 4 years.

Then we see something interesting. They're promoted at the end of the 1997 season (back to L3) and the owner responds by pulling the most money from the budget in franchise history. This reduction puts the Reds right around L3 average, but cuts their payroll to 12% below league average. Owners are fickle and not always logical, but this seems...fickle and illogical.

The Reds stay in L3 for 4 years this time, with owner cash coming back in the last two seasons. When they're relegated again in 2002, there's another large cash infusion. When they don't get promoted, however, cash starts going away again. That said, they end the 2005 season with a budget 35% above league average.
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:48 PM   #8
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This is good information cave. I will try to do some testing later with smaller leagues. Hopefully the sim time will be quicker.
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Old 03-27-2017, 03:52 PM   #9
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Here's a nice rags to riches story. Team 71 - the Havana Landslide


Along with the steadily increasing success of Havana, we see a pretty even hand on the tiller from ownership. After two years of cash pullbacks consistent with the rest of the league, Havana is promoted to L2 after the 1991 season. This is followed by another year of cutbacks, then years small adjustments followed by years of no adjustments at all.

Here the striking thing is the change in media revenue between 1991 and 1992. We see the sum decrease by about 75% even as the team moves to a higher league. No real explanation for this - we need to check the media contracts every year!

Lastly, we look at team 121 - the Tel Aviv Swift.

Starting in L4, the Swift don't make their first upward move until after year 8. During their initial stay in L4, we see the owner pulling cash every year. In fact, we don't see a cash infusion until year 12, when they are starting their second year in L2. That year, 2001, the swift had a team budget and payroll 51% above league average. Cash and payroll continued to climb for Tel Aviv through the end of the sim, even though they were relegated for the final season.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:30 PM   #10
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This is exactly the info I am looking for before I start my own P/R league. I don't have the free time to do this so thank you for doing this test.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:34 PM   #11
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Frustrating

Sim 2 has been running all day. It took 7 hours sim 14 years!! I exported the financial results and they looked great!!

Then I looked deeper and saw that none of the teams were promoted or relegated in this sim. For some reason, the Enable Automatic Promotion and Relegation box was unchecked. Sigh. I won't have time to run this one again until I get home from work, so it'll be another day until I have the chance to do the analysis as I run the sim overnight.

But it does look good in that the year over year numbers look right for leagues without pro/rel. But, of course, the whole point was to look at what happens in a pro/rel world. So, it will have to wait until tomorrow. Until then...
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Old 03-27-2017, 09:34 PM   #12
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What are the average crowds baseline set at for each league? and how many games was each league playing?
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:18 PM   #13
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Thanks so much for this info, and for sharing it. I'm still prepping my setup so I haven't tried to advance yet.

I do intend to turn off inflation though, I don't care about numbers inflating, and I think it will be easier to control that way.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:29 AM   #14
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This is good info as I have been trying to recreated the English Football League System down to level 5 (conference national). Here are a few things that I found

1. At the beginning of the game when you set up the first league, it's best to create all of the leagues that you wish at the same time. I felt that after getting to the "News/Mail" page and then creating another league, the game started to lag considerably.

2. When you change your financials, make sure you click refresh (just under the "average profit" on the left) that way you can have a rough estimate of how the teams will do.

3. Click "assign financials to all teams" just above the base attendance. This implements any changes that you have done. And for safety means, I also clicked on assign contracts to players and coaches (may not need to have been done but I did for the "better safe than sorry" mentality).

4. When choosing the percentages to use the financials, make sure every single thing you can change on the screen, is multiplied by that percentage you want to use (player contracts for certain star players, national contracts and media contracts, even scouting and development budgets and base coach salaries).

Hopefully this helps, the only thing I really toyed around with after was the base ticket price and base attendance (I personally wanted the average profit to be on the plus side). After I saved my financials I had my first division average 150M/year all the way to my 5th division averaging about 5M/yr.


In my set up I wanted to roughly recreate the financials of the English football league so I roughly set up my financials like this (percentages are based on the number at the start of the save for example 5 star player wants a 20M/yr contract)
Premier league (MLB) - player contracts 150%; media contracts 200%
Championship (AAA) - 100% across the board
League One (AA) - player contacts 65%, media contracts 70%
League Two (A) - player contracts and 55%; media contracts 65%
Conference National (R)- player contrasts 20%; medis contracts 35%

I had 116 teams in the game and it ran better than the "Promotion" QuickStart. Dimmed 5 years in about 20-30 minutes I'd say (wasn't really keeping track but it wasn't 7hours!)
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Old 03-28-2017, 11:03 AM   #15
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Coming out it from a football perspective the key things to try and get right I think will be tv contracts (huge difference) and ticket prices.

As an example from the English Leagues..

Premier League tickets prices are about £50
League 2 are generally £20

rest will fall in between.


Tv Contracts

The latest 3 year Premier League TV deal was for 5.4bn pounds, a staggering amount.

Rough figures from that..... Each team got around 50m from domestic and overseas tv income. They then got money per their finishing position (see below) and then they got around 9m for having 10 or less games shown live and an extra 750k for each game above shown above 10. Aston Villa who finished bottom last season earned £66m for doing so altogether! Then they got another £1m plus payment per position (from bottom to top)

http://www.totalsportek.com/football...ey-table-2015/



Not sure of excat details but I think Championship teams get around 2m from the Football League Tv deal and then lower for League 1 and lower again for Lge 2.


So I think they key is to make the media money vastly different for your top league. An option to have some kind of ticket price cap per league would be useful as well.



It would also be useful for another test sim to remove the draft and have FA instead to see if the top level teams snap up the best FA with their extra money.



The only other thing we then have to replicate is to get just about every team into massive financial debt

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Old 03-28-2017, 11:12 AM   #16
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Last night I did a quick sim for 10 years of a very small league. Mostly defaults as I wanted to get a baseline. I created 3 leagues each with 6 teams. The league reputations were as follows. League 1 = 10, League 2 = 7, League 3 = 4. The division winner from league 3 moved to league 2. Last place from league 2 moved down to league 3, league 2 and league 1 operated the same. There was a 5 game championship between the top 2 teams in league 1 and thats it. I figure its best to start small and get the numbers we are looking for and then see if it scales up to larger leagues. The year was 2000 and none of the financials were touched. The league did not have an inaugural draft or rookie draft. The initial year was a little off as I had some big market teams in league 3. It naturally started to fix itself as the big market teams would get promoted. Below is the snippet of some of the financials after 10 years.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:09 PM   #17
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Sim 3- Overview

So I ran the sim again over night. (I am really having a problem with sim times. Just installed the patch this morning so hopefully things will get better?)

Here's the details for Sim 3.

Same league structure as before.
1990 baseline.
L1 - Reputation 10; Financials 100%
L2 - Reputation 7; Financials 50%
L3 - Reputation 4; Financials 10%
L4 - Reputation 1; Financials 5%

All leagues are in an association with a shared, random order draft pool.
Simmed from 1990 through 2008. Financials do not automatically import.

Starting to crunch numbers now, but the initial numbers look promising.

A note about stadium capacity. I mentioned it before in this thread as well as in another one. I don't want to have to monkey around with stadium capacities as teams move up and down the ladder. It's too much work, and not realistic for teams to have to make major stadium renovations each time they get promoted or relegated. From a financial standpoint, the relevant factor is revenue. That said, all of the stadia in this sim have capacities between 33-51k.

More soon.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:42 PM   #18
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Great work guys! This is so helpful! I started a league that mirrors English soccer, and used Premier as MLB level, Championship as AAA, League 1 as AA, and League 2 as A. Just in the early stages, so don't have much data, but am enjoying playing the game this way. There was a fairly consistent drop in a teams budget if they were relegated, and about the same "bump" if they were promoted. Like several already mentioned, just playing around with things right now, and once I am satisfied with my setup, I'll get more serious with this.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:50 PM   #19
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Really useful work. Thanks very much.
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Old 03-28-2017, 12:59 PM   #20
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Thanks to the guys providing financial information on the EPL. It does help give an idea of the financial separation between the leagues.
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