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Reducing Income
Posted by John Holden on Monday, Nov. 29th, 2010 at 8:09 AM

208,583k were spent in MSWL-U auctions in the first six seasons of play.

By my math 168,450k came in through regular sources of income.

That leaves 40133k unaccounted for, not including the 45297k floating around in the league as we speak.

There's a discrepancy here but it comes in four forms:

1) selling players to the non-league;
2) getting money for updated biographies and the like;
3) participation cash;
4) whatever the starting dollar amount was, a long, long time ago.

Selling players to non-league varies by team. I quickly did two teams: Dorchester (2130k in cash over six seasons) versus Port Vale (195 in cash over 6 seasons). I don't know how to do a good average. If we average 1000, which seems high, this gives us 30000 in non league sales, but this is a complete estimate.

I also looked at party points. Looks like PV earned about 330k for participation over the last six seasons. If we average most teams don't participate, let's say each team averages about 27k a season in participation. That's 4860k.

Let's assume each team started out with 300k. That's 9000k in the league from the get-go.

Updated biographies doesn't happen very often so let's ignore it for now and hope I overestimated the 30000.

Those estimates alone get us to 43860k, more than accounting for the auctions over the last six years. Obviously they are estimates BUT

My basic argument is there is too much cash coming into the league but it's happening slowly and we ain't noticing. There are ways to figure out how much exactly because there are good records but it is midnight here and I am lazy and sleepy.

Auctions have fluctuated in price by season from 20958k spent in season 1 to 39405k in season 3. Season 2 is high too but I think there were another couple auctions that year.

I think there should be an overall balance as to the money floating around. I don't think there needs to be any hard and fast rule but perhaps adding an auction player every several auctions or adding a very small amount to youth development say 25k per SBY for teams in the 1st and 2nd division may help with the balance.

Deserves a study. Bed time.

Readers Comments

I would not be opposed to expanding the auctions a little.  In particular the "pre-season" ones.  I think it was Andy or Compo who early on educated me to the need of the pre-season auctions (to give people a place to spend money).  In addition, those auctions tend to result in higher winning bids.  So again, that would be a viable option for me.  And it could even be "bid on these crappy age IV/SL 4 players".  

Allan Sellers on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 3:13 AM
 

What does this all have to do with a ham?

Mike Cabral on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 AM
 

How about making the high bid in an auction the actual bid as opposed to 1k above the next highest bid?

I'm too tired to elaborate on this but basically the winning team will spend more money and therefore should be one of the teams with more money unless they all boycott this idea.  I tend to buy a player a season and would be hurt by this but would still vote [in favor] for it.

Rob Baptiste on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 4:40 PM
 

That's an interesting idea.  I do think the current auction system is flawed, as you see teams just bid a zillion dollars to make sure they get the player, knowing they are not likely to get burned by the max bid.  Seems counter to the spirit of the auctions.

Mike Cabral on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 5:45 PM
 

I am on board with Mr Baptiste's idea and C-Ball's comments.  I think it would make auctions more strategic events throughout the season as managers would be far less willing to leave an extra 300k "on the table" if they don't have to.

I believe some players might be purchased at lower-than-current rates due to reluctance to shell out too much money for players.  However, I also believe it would work to reduce bank accounts over time as we would all still be bidding on players.  And is that not the aim here, to reduce lofty bank accounts [like those of Alon, Ian, Mr Commissioner and the like]...?

Seems a better alternative than taxing as it impacts all teams equally.

Brian Beerman on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 2010 at 9:20 PM
 

I have no qualms with the current auction system.

How about two extra players in the preseason auction? Or adding a backroom boy to preseason auctions only? There shouldn't be much demand for backroom boys but there always are teams which need them.

Still think a very small "schoolboy tax" would be worth investigating. Nothing which wouldn't allow teams to not buy schoolboys but you could take 450-900k out of the game a season if you just charged 10k per schoolboy, which is not unreasonable given the value of the schoolboy increasing over time.

John Holden on Friday, Dec. 3rd, 2010 at 6:02 AM
 

One thing I want to point out to my MEDITECH colleagues is that auctions in the Olmec world used to work the way they are suggesting - that the winning bid was the winning bid no matter what. Perhaps Al or Kevin can elaborate on why we moved away from this, but there was a pretty strong consensus across the leagues to change to the +1k system.

The issue is cheap managers.. too many people underbidding on too many lots. When I want a player, I bid my entire bank balance (witness Kai Owen, the II/14 FW from earlier in the season). I am willing to spend this entire amount if another managers forces me to do so. At the same time, I'm making sure that no other manager wins the lot for any sort of discount. 

I like the +1k system. What I'd like to see change is managers' hold on their purse strings. Be a bit more willing to spend in excess. Let's face it - the down economy has NOT hit MSWL-U.

Rob Peterson on Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2010 at 5:06 PM
 

Why are the top teams out to "hurt" the lesser teams?  A schoolboy tax is terrible!  Why should a rebuilding team be assessed a tax on "free" players - perhaps the team's only method of bettering his or her team if they already do not have money.  There does have to be some incentive for money being spent but if the team manager already isn't stockpiling during auctions that person is unlikely to partake in any of the other ideas we throw out there.  No one is going to buy a lousy player to avoid taxation and if that high purse team is buying another team's good player - it would be from a team that either has [an] excess of good players or a team really low on cash, whether a good team or bad.   Al or Kevin, enlighten me on the +1k system versus standard auction.  Thanks.

Rob Baptiste on Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2010 at 11:33 PM
 

To be honest I can't remember why we went to the "+1k is the winning bid" system.  We moved to it a while back in the original MSWL and I stuck with it as I was leveraging that code to write the auction program for this league.  Presumably someone, around 2003 made a great case on why to move to this system, but I can't remember what it was.  :-)

So I too need to be reminded of this...but my point would be that there would need to be some compelling arguments to change the current +1k approach.  I know it took me a while to get the existing system working in the original MSWL.  And I was lucky to get it working quickly in this league.  But I wouldn't want to move to a separate system just for change sake as the amount of effort to do it, and in particular to test it, well, I can't commit to that time as I'd rather do other things.  But I wouldn't say no if the arguments were compelling.  I'd just want to enlist someone else's coding/testing help to make it happen.

Back onto this topic though...  :-)

I am good with adding to the pre-season auctions.  Can I get more detailed thoughts on what to add?  Another Age I or II or III or IV or V?  We decided to remove the BRBs, so I might want to stay away for another season or two but am not against a V or two....

Before I leave this topic, here's one thought...eventually (not in the next season or two), would we want to move to a "wages" approach?  That would definitely take some money out of the game.  In theory the bigger teams are paying more.  Again though, as someone pointed out in one of the threads I do want to keep the rules-set and game itself as simple and straightforward as possible, so I'm all for slow, incremental change and not looking to revamp many areas every season.

Allan Sellers on Monday, Dec. 6th, 2010 at 5:05 AM
 

I'm not opposed to the notion of wages - it worked well in PSFA. Though I don't know that there's money in the league to the extent that wages wouldn't hurt a lot of teams.

I would recommend that if we do decide to do this, let's implement it in a "test" mode for a season, so managers can see how the wages would have affected their teams throughout the season. This would entail Al adding a couple extra columns to the appropriate tables so that we can track the teams' "real" bank balances, the wages that would be payed out, and the "fictional" bank balance tracking how those wages impact the balance (so managers can see how their auction bids might be impacted due to the wages).

Rob Peterson on Monday, Dec. 6th, 2010 at 5:38 AM
 

I believe there were a few reasons to shift to the "+1k system" of bidding in auctions.  It's been a while, so here's what I remember as being the primary arguments in favor of the shift.

Prior to the change, every team got 5 bids.  The bids were static, meaning that if the winning team bid 700k and the 2nd place team bid 500k, you had to pay the full 700k for the player.  So if you wanted player A at auction, teams would typically spend 3 or 4 bids on that one player.  Bid 1: 400k, bid 2: 550k, bid 3: 625k, bid 4: 700k, bid 5: 800k+, or perhaps "bank," meaning bid everything (remember when these used to be processed manually and every league had an auction commissioner?).

This led to a few problems.  First, in order to get a player you either had to bid the bank on your first bid, thus precluding the possibility of getting any other players at auction since you just went broke (or for the next 2 or 3 auctions until the balance went back up), or you had to spend multiple bids searching for the sweet spot where you were the high bidder, yet not so high that you were wasting money.  In the second case, if there were only a few players that the top teams would want, then the lesser players received no bids.  We had a whole lot more players that were never bid upon as managers spent 4 or all 5 of their bids on the one player really worth getting for their team.

At the same time, this meant that the rebuilding teams ended up spending more on a B-list player than they were worth.  Many managers would jump the max bid on their #5 pick to something with a good chance of trumping the others.  The rebuilding teams were not able to build up any team depth and a bank balance to overtake the top teams already established in the Olmec leagues.  For this reason, several leagues (most notably SESL with their 3 divisions) shifted to an auction for each division instead of a league-wide auction.  That was the only way a team in the bottom half of the league ever had a prayer of getting a good player, or getting a mid-range player at a decent value.  Top apprentices in particular almost never went to a team that wasn't in the top division.

By shifting the system to "+1k" instead, this brought about a few things considered as positive changes at the time:

1) Teams would actually be able to bid on 5+ players per auction instead of just 1 or 2.  This served to generate far more interest in the mid-range players, which pushed up the prices on those dramatically.

2) Top players still went for high amounts, as more teams were willing to write in higher amounts.  Knowing that you would win by just 1k over the next highest actually led to higher bids.  There was less risk attached to the bidding, with equal rewards for the top players, so more managers opened the check (cheque) books.  With more teams willing to gamble and throw out higher numbers, prices went up.

3) The rebuilding teams had a far better chance of netting mid-range players or lesser apprentices at good prices.  If you had to spend all 5 auction picks looking for a deal on just one player, and you lost, you missed out on the other players that you might have won.  With more bids being spread around, we quit seeing backups and depth guys never get bid on, and more money filtered out of circulation.

4) No players were left "bid-less."  A 1k bid would be a waste of a bidding slot.  So if you wanted a player, you had to throw out an amount that might actually win, such as at least 75-100k.  However, that player might not be worth that for your team, as they'd be solely a backup who played once every 3 to 4 matches.  The shift to the +1 allowed teams to bid the 75 to 100k, knowing that they might get the player for far less, and had little chance of actually spending the full amount bid as if anyone else valued that player similarly then it was likely that the player would go for 110k or so.  You would push up prices for your competitors, while haivng a chance of getting a player at an absolute steal.  Why not bid on the little guys if you weren't going to win one of the big ones?

So to recap, the arguments were that top players would get higher bids due to decreased risks of "throwing away" money, more bids could be spread around so more teams had a chance to get players, mid-range player prices would increase, and no player would be left with no bids at all, so the small-money teams had a better chance of improving without having to spend T11 prices on a T16 player.

In United, however, it should be noted that all managers can bid on all auction picks every time.  There is no limit of 5 bids in entirety in a listing of 8-9 players.  Shifting to any other system would require re-visiting a limit on bids or shifting to 3 or 5 bids on every auction listing.  In either case, I do not see the end result being an increase in auction spending.  I see it going down.

Kevin Martin on Tuesday, Dec. 7th, 2010 at 8:21 PM
 

I know my deductive reasoning is incorrect but if the teams that are winning the auctions now have LESS money than the big money teams - wouldn't they still be winning albeit with more of that team's money spent?  They had to (or are) bidding more than the 1k over anyway.  I do not know the numbers but I got a player for 800k and bid 1100k.  Under the current system, sure I saved myself 300k but under the old, aka static process, I still would have won but my bank emptied.  In either case, I was willing to bid up to 1100k because I have no way of knowing if someone bid 799k or 1090k.  If I thought/felt someone had bid 799k, then I would have bid only 800k since in essence that is what I am doing with my 1100k bid, thinking that someone COULD HAVE potentially bid 1099k but not 1100k.  I do not see the need for bid limits either.  There is more player value per auction than anyone one team has in the bank although perhaps a spending limit or number of auctions won could be put in place.

#4 would still occur more than likely and #3 being possible but stagnant money MIGHT move.  [Yes, it very well may be at the expense of the spending teams for as they spend money and dwindle their accounts those with money left may bid in the later auctions and pickup bargains.]

 Maybe MORE players per auction, another pre-season auction and cutting the last two auctions which are late in the season and do not garner much interest to most teams or allow players to be picked up at TOO much of a bargain.  

Rob Baptiste on Thursday, Dec. 9th, 2010 at 12:02 AM
 

I'm on board with the notion of auction tweaking...would someone like to propose a specific plan (number of auctions, number of players, etc) that we could kick around?

Allan Sellers on Saturday, Dec. 11th, 2010 at 4:34 PM
 

How 'bout an extra age IV player an auction, or a reduction in non-league sales prices?

And non-league sales actually going to a non-league team if the SL is > the average for that non-league team :) ?

John Holden on Sunday, Dec. 12th, 2010 at 6:17 AM
 

I think the non-league sales price alteration might be more than I'd want to update right now (that would require some specific design on what the change would be and then ensuring its updated everywhere).

But I'm still okay with the auction tweaking...poll to come shortly...

Allan Sellers on Sunday, Dec. 12th, 2010 at 5:05 PM
 
 
 
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