12 Flowers (a Championship Manager 01/02 story): Chapter 1

Back in the day, I was a member of a Championship Manager/Football Manager forum known as The Dugout. While only an offshoot remains, my favourite subforum was The Managers Diary, a place where people wrote stories about their CM/FM saves. I dabbled a bit there too but my all-time favourite story was called 12 Flowers, written by ArsenalJoe. I’ve since tried to locate him but to no avail (someone on Reddit has the same username but never replied to my message). I managed to save his story before the forum shut down and I will be publishing it here for posterity (albeit without explicit permission, so if you’re reading Joe, I’m happy to take it down and full credit goes to you).

Note: as with many Championship Manager 01/02 saves, this one actually died before it reached a natural end so I’ll be publishing everything that was written up to that point. I will also be replacing any offensive language (swearing remains but ableist insults will be removed) because they don’t enhance the story in any way and, well, they’re offensive. Everything else will be as it was originally written.

This is played on 01/02 using the ODB (original database from v3.9.60)


My name is Joe Bloggs, and I have an interesting story about my life so far. It all started when I somehow grabbed the attention of South African first division side City Sharks. They were desperate for a manager for their interesting blend of 43 and 16 year old players and somehow found out about me. I became their manager and we were dead certs for relegation, but amazingly I managed to get them promoted on the final day of the season to the Premier Division. Once again, I had to deal with 10000000000-1 odds on us being champions. We were now almost certain to go down, but after 15 games I amazingly had managed City Sharks to top spot in the league. The talk was of whether I could stay there and lead Sharks to an amazing league victory, but then I disappeared, never to be seen again in South Africa (well, almost).

I had been captured by the dark lord, Big Jake C, and he said there was no way of getting back to South Africa and continuing my reign as manager of the City Sharks. He had the power of the 1 Bling-Bling of London, and I could not go against it (he’s a rich bastard basically). His words still echo in my brain from that very day. “Oi, you iz gonna do a job 4 me now Joe B,” he said. “You know dat der iz da 12 flowers near here, alright, well you iz gonna get da 12 flowers by winnin’ da championships in da 12 places. An’ if you start dissin’, den I iz gonna blepse you till you iz dead mate, respect.”

In proper English, there are 12 flowers in 12 different countries, and I have to win the league in all these countries to win the 12 flowers and throw them into Mount Big Jake, so Jake C will release me from this strange state of being held under his influence by the 1 Bling-Bling.

  • I couldn’t get a job in England, so that flower was out of my grasp.
  • I didn’t fancy eating Haggises, so Scotland is ruled out.
  • I crossed over to mainland Europe, but I was strangled by some frog’s legs on my entrance to France. I quickly managed to escape, and although I was nearly caught for wearing a head-dress I made it to Spain.
  • In Spain, I thought it was a bit too hot, so I turned back at once.
  • This ruled me out of Portugal for the time being because I would have to go through Spain.
  • Germany had the infamous sausage wall blocking it, and those who broke through were faced with the prospect of being eaten by German madmen, so that was ruled out.
  • Holland had the wall of clogs, and the tulips beyond it meant that the 1 true Dutch flower was hard to find.
  • The Pope had decided to employ the Italian mafia to keep out intruders to his nation.
  • Greece had the spirits of Aristotle and Socrates guarding its walls, and Russia and Turkey were the unknown lands that were a bit dangerous to be heading into.

As a result, I travelled to the only safe one of the 12 nations, Belgium, and the home of KRC Zuid West.

It soon became clear that the 2nd division in my first season in charge was becoming a 3 horse race. KRC Zuid West under the management of me, Geel and KV Mechelen were fighting it out for top spot. KV Mechelen dropped out for a bit, and KRC led for almost the whole of the season, until they went on a losing run, and KV Mechelen fought back but too late. By the last game of the season KRC Zuid West led by a point from Geel, needing a win against RFC Liege to clinch promotion. In an even game where both sides had a man sent off, KRC won 4-2 and its top flight football now for us. Now it’s pre-season and time to get rid of the useless 35 year-olds we have in time to play the big boys.

Stuff is going on in the lands of the other 12 flowers (teams are winning championships):

  • That French Lot win the Belgian league (La Louviere)
  • The Magpies fly in and take the English championship (Newcastle)
  • BV Borussia Dortmund win the German league.
  • The only other shock sees NAC win the Dutch league.

Confused? Here it is in simple footballing terms. I’m KRC Zuid West manager. I won the Belgian 2nd division in my first season. Now it’s pre-season before my 2nd season at the club, where I’ll be in the top flight.

Some (possibly bad) wheeling and dealing in the transfer market sees us with this team by the time July comes:

 KRC Zuid-West-Vlaanderen - Monday 1st July 2002

No  Name                       Position(s)  Nat  Born      Age  Caps Gls  Wages   Expires Value
-   Alderigi, Michael          DM L         FRA  9.1.79    23   -    -    £1.6K   6.6.05  £65K 
-   Anic, Darko                AM C         YUG  5.3.74    28   1    -    £600    28.6.04 £210K
-   Aquino, Marco              S C          BEL  13.4.81   21   -    -    £300    30.6.03 £20K 
3   Bakula, Marijan            DM C         HRV  17.4.66   36   -    -    £375    30.6.03 £9K 
-   Baudry, Olivier            D/DM LC      FRA  13.4.70   32   -    -    £925    11.6.05 £75K 
35  Biebauw, Wouter            GK           BEL  21.5.84   18   -    -    £140    20.6.03 £10K 
36  Bilic, Danko               M C          HRV  9.12.78   23   -    -    £650    9.6.04  £55K 
19  Bohari, Ibrahim            S C          CTA  21.7.78   23   23   2    £300    Rolling Free 
-   Brocken, David             D/DM R       BEL  18.2.71   31   2    -    £725    8.6.05  £210K 
23  Buayi-Kidoda, Rigo         F RC         DRC  11.9.76   25   17   5    £850    16.6.04 £160K 
1   Camara, Kemoko             GK           GUI  5.4.75    27   48   -    £1.4K   18.6.04 £160K 
6   Cosic, Mario               M R          HRV  23.3.82   20   -    -    £350    3.6.06  £110K 
26  Eyjolfsson, Siggi          S C          ISL  1.12.73   28   -    -    £425    30.6.03 £110K 
-   Friedrich, Manuel          M LC         GER  13.9.79   22   -    -    £1.8K   24.6.05 £30K  
-   Gadiaga                    AM/F LC      SEN  30.11.79  22   4    -    £625    8.6.05  £160K 
24  Harmat, Mario              AM C         HRV  19.9.70   31   -    -    £425    30.6.04 £220K 
-   Hauck, Rainer              D C          GER  16.1.78   24   -    -    £825    5.6.05  £35K  
-   Karnebeek, Andre           D LC         HOL  1.3.71    31   -    -    £1.5K   14.6.05 £65K  
-   Mampaey, Kris              GK           BEL  2.11.70   31   -    -    £1.7K   8.6.05  £190K 
9   Matas, Paul                S C          HRV  27.2.74   28   -    -    £425    30.6.04 £150K 
7   Medvid, Davor              S C          HRV  28.8.79   22   -    -    £425    30.6.04 £700K 
22  Peeters, Rocky             M C          BEL  18.8.79   22   -    -    £375    30.6.04 £250K 
-   Pinxten, Harald            D C          BEL  1.9.77    24   -    -    £325    1.6.05  £90K  
-   Rögele, Steffen            DM C         GER  28.5.74   28   -    -    £2.2K   28.6.04 £70K  
28  Rosandic, Marko            DM L         HRV  2.11.75   26   -    -    £925    2.6.04  £210K 
29  Segers, Pieter             M RL         BEL  3.11.79   22   -    -    £300    22.6.03 £50K  
33  Sieuw, Ludovic             D LC         BEL  27.2.83   19   -    -    £140    5.6.05  £26K  
11  Smjecanin, Dzemo           S C          BOS  6.6.72    30   -    -    £375    7.6.05  £95K  
-   Tankary, Ibrahim           F LC         NIG  24.3.72   30   35   13   £400    28.6.04 £140K
34  Techel, Nicolas            S C          BEL  29.5.83   19   -    -    £300    30.6.03 £24K  
17  Urosevic, Bozidar          GK           HRV  9.2.75    27   -    -    £275    30.6.04 £40K  
32  Van Laer, Bart             S C          BEL  28.7.79   22   -    -    £100    30.6.04 £35K  
30  Vanfleteren, Mathieu       AM L         BEL  3.8.80    21   -    -    £200    30.6.05 £55K  
-   Verhoeven, Kenny           DM C         BEL  21.6.81   21   -    -    £675    22.6.05 £200K     

I’m still looking for another defender, but after a couple of rejections I have to settle for a loan. 24 y/o D RC Peter Mentink joins us on loan for the whole season from Twente, and we also get 22 y/o right wing-back Daniel Calvo on loan from Charleroi for the season. Both of the signings won’t cost us a penny

And with all our new players, our first game is a friendly against Arbroath:

KRC Zuid West v Arbroath (Friendly)

Arbroath of the Scottish first division visit us and we get a good start. Last year’s top scorer and fans player of the year Davor Medvid scores after 13 minutes to give us the lead, but all our new players don’t really gel too well and I bring in a whole load of substitutes in the 2nd half which messes up the team a bit. Eventually we suffer for all my substitutions when in the final minute Jim Mercer fires the ball into the back of the net. 1-1, but I have enough excuses for our defeat.

KRC Zuid West 1-1 Arbroath
(Medvid 13; Mercer 90)

MOM: Jim Mercer (8)

And now our 2nd and probably last friendly against Freiburg:

KRC Zuid West v Freiburg (Friendly)

With most of our players back to full fitness it’s our strongest side that will line up in the coming season that goes out onto the field to face Freiburg, who came 11th last season in the German top flight. The first half sees us totally in control, and just after the half hour mark Senegalese summer signing Gadiaga goes on a great run and hits a crashing drive into the top corner. Freiburg hit back before half time when our goalkeeper Kris Mampaey can’t hold a shot from Alexandr Iashvilli and Adel Sellimi taps in from close range. I make a few substitutions but not as many as in the Arbroath game and another summer signing Darko Anic hits the winner in the 58th minute.

KRC Zuid West 2-1 Freiburg
(Gadiaga 33, Anic 58; Sellimi 45)

MOM: Steffen Rögele (10) He’s our DMC.

Our very first top flight season kicks off next time.

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