Clubs in Derby Manager have a history and you can be a part of it.
The club you choose to lead will greet you with open arms and hopes that you will be the manager that takes them to the top.
But in Derby Manager you don't own the club.
The club has a chairman and a board of directors, while you are hired to lead and take care of everyday business.
Popularity. Much like managers, clubs also have popularity - a measure of their current fame.
Winning matches will improve club's popularity and allow it to attract better players.
Stature. Clubs also have stature - a measure of their long term reputation on the world stage.
Stature is built over seasons and (in-game) decades, and it brings more stability to the club in terms of finances and facilities.
Match satisfaction. For each match you play the Board will tell you how satisfied they are with the result.
This affects the Board's overall satisfaction with your performance as well. Your job is safe as long as board's satisfaction is at least at a poor level (you won't get fired immediately if it goes to awful but your time will eventually run out if you don't improve it soon).
Stadium and attendance. Your home league games are played at your stadium (cup games are played at neutral ground).
The attendance depends on your and your opponent's popularity, your latest string of results, and transfer hype from new players.
You can decide to increase the capacity if the attendance is high throughout the season and your popularity is high enough.
A-team. These are the main players you will rely on throughout the season. They train if they played a match within the last 3 days (training updates are over night UTC time).
B-team. Teams have B squads that train even if they don't play (and playing can give them a boost to training as well). Use it to develop promising youngsters,
give second chance to fringe players, or simply to ensure training for players that can't get a breakthrough with the first team.
B squads have most intensive training, but omit match preparation so players lose match sharpness quickly.
Youth school. Every team has a youth school where local kids train and play. From time to time a player from your school will be recognised as a
possible talent and brought into your B squad. More powerful clubs will have higher criteria for bringing in new youngsters than low league clubs.
As a result, top league teams will have fewer intakes but often with better starting quality, while low league teams will have more youngsters but of questionable starting quality. Players with huge potential (which is hidden) can be generated in any team regardless of level.
Team spirit. Players in your team will sometimes annoy you with their demands - they will want better salaries, more playing time and similar.
You don't have to react to every single complaint, but it is wise to try and keep your overall team spirit as high as possible, otherwise your results may suffer.
Different players will have different impact in your dressing room. Leaders, for example, affect team spirit more than youngsters.
Buying too many new players in short period of time will also compromise the atmosphere in the club.
But then again, sometimes it's best to rip that band-aid right off and replace half of your squad at once.
Just be prepared to suffer a bit until all newcomers settle (should be within 10 days from joining).
One of the key aspects of your club is financial stability. Use money to buy players and pay for the ones you're already stuck with.
Income. Your club has some regular revenue from sponsors and merchandise that depends on club's stature and popularity.
You also earn money from attendance for home league matches. Attendance money in cup matches is split evenly.
There is no bonus for final position at the end of the season but each match has a bonus that goes to the winner (or is split if there's a draw).
Expenses. The money you earn is used to pay players' salaries, facilities, and stadium maintenance.
Keep in mind that the expenses are paid even between seasons when there are no matches played.
Negative balance. Normally, you aren't allowed to go into debt with finances, but your Board will allow a small overdraft when buying players so you wouldn't miss out on interesting prospect for being a tiny bit short.
Training investment. One of the most important ways to handle money is to set the right level of training investment.
On your training screen you can set the level for your club. The highest level won't necessarily bring you the best results in terms of players' value growth compared to the cost of training. Consider the structure of your squad and how many prospects you have. Training is explained in more detail here.
Old players (over 30) will at some point decide to retire and you can promote them to staff members. Staff boosts one area of your club for several months.
You can pick a function for a player to take, but you can have only 1 person per position so pick wisely.
The duration of their contract depends on how long were they in your club. For 1/3/6/12+ months in the club they will get a 1/2/3/4 months contract.
The impact they have is determined by their experience, and can be increased if the player has appropriate trait as noted below:
Assistant manager (intelligent, determined or influential): gives boost to team spirit
Head coach (intelligent, technical or tactical): gives boost to A-team training
Fitness coach (intelligent, injury prone or physical): increases injury recovery rate
Development manager (intelligent, ambitious or consistent): increases training speed
Youth coach (intelligent, technical or tactical): boost to B-team training
Lead scout (intelligent, wanderer, adaptable): increases youth generation speed
Brand ambassador (intelligent, showman, charismatic): increases attendance on home games
There is also an option to make a player into club's shareholder, in which case you will get player's value as an investment (up to 10M, even if the player is worth more). This is a default option if the player retires automatically on his own.