LLaMa Save Suggestions

From clubs in financial trouble to fallen giants, every club has a story to tell and here the Yellow Llama unearths his favourites and sends his findings home to his fellow llamas in Peru.

Portugal - FM22

"LLaMa's don't do challenges, but sometimes they need a push in the right direction"

-Ancient LLaMa proverb


  • Young Llama suggestion - One for the young LLaMas, unsure if the llama life is for them & ready to dip their hooves in the water.

  • Old Llama suggestion - One for the more experienced amongst us, each unique & different in it's own way.

  • "Random" suggestion - A random suggestion based on a number of well thought out factors. Mainly that the team plays in yellow. Well, that's about the only factor really.

And, finally,

  • Yellow Llama's Legendary Twisted LLaMa Suggestion - For the less discerning LLaMa who wants to spice up their save. Not for the feint hearted, it has come to my attention that these might not always fit in with the official LLaMa guidelines. Look, you don't HAVE to try it. I mean I'm not holding a gun to your head. Yet.

Dearest Llamas,

It is vital that you do not publish this letter on the internet.

I know I've said this before, but I am pretty convinced that one of you leaked it again. But this time it is vital. You see, Thompson has been killed. Murdered. And, on the basis that the local press has reported that a Llama was seen in the area at the time of his demise holding a detonator, I am likely to be a suspect. Particularly because the Llama in question happened to be Yellow and wearing a bowler hat, monocle and had a moustache.

"Ah!" I hear you cry, "it could not have been you, old yellow, as we all know that your eyesight is perfect, hats don't suit you and it is unlikely that you would sport a moustache because of your dedicated and thorough beauty regime!" You would of course be right on all those points, however, I was invited to a Christmas quiz with a number of prominent Government officials over the Christmas period. Since there was already an individual due to be in attendance who had unruly bright yellow hair and a musty, zoo like odour, I wanted to stand out.

So, by complete coincidence, I did indeed purchase a fake moustache, a monocle and a bowler hat from a fancy dress shop just a few days before Thompson was blown all over Blackpool beach like an improperly secured windbreak. Also, by complete coincidence, it is believed that I had a motive having found that Thompson hadn't been paying my national insurance contributions as agreed. This could have resulted in me being refused state pension in later years without paying a top up fee. Furthermore, by complete coincidence, my alibi is that at around the time of his demise - in fact about 15 minutes before - I was stealing a detonator and explosives from a nearby demolition site.

None of this looks good, I admit, so it's quite important that I am not found. No one would believe it wasn't me, not least because I actually killed him using explosives whilst wearing a disguise on the basis that he hadn't been making my national insurance contributions as previously agreed.

Anyway, today I am in PORTUGAL! This is primarily because I took a wrong turn whilst attempting to swim to Ireland in a blind panic. It's ok here, mind. It's nice and warm, and there are LOADS of lower league teams to choose from due to a recent restructuring of the leagues. This means that you can start way down in the fourth tier. Not only that, there is a great deal of variation between the clubs at this level, meaning things can be as challenging as you like!

Even better, Portugal has some proper giants to slay, as I am sure you are aware. Only five clubs have won the Portuguese Championship since it began in 1934. And two of those five have only won it once each. The other three are MILES ahead of everyone else in the country as far as infrastructure and support base goes, so it would be a hell of a challenge finishing above any of them even if you started in the top division, let alone the fourth tier. Oh, and for a bit of extra spice, the league championship has never been won by a club from outside Lisbon or Oporto. Good luck.

Just gonna have a look at the leagues now so I can make my suggestions - don't worry, I am sure they are easy to escape fro..... Oh. There are 61 teams in the fourth tier. Don't fret, I am sure that it is quite easy to understand the rules on promotio..... Oh. Looks like there are six groups which are then seperated into groups and then are later sorted into a number of promotion and relegation groups. Don't panic though, I am sure that in the league above, things calm down, let's just look at the rule page..... Oh.

I think it's best you just try to win as many games as you can and hope that good things happen, to be honest.

Cable Car, Lisbon

League Champions 1946
Estádio do Restelo, Lisbon

Young Llama Suggestion:

Club: Clube de Futebol OS Belenenses

City: Lisbon

Title Odds (roughly): 18-1

Board Expectations: Top Half

Why Them?: Remember those five clubs who have won the Portuguese title? Well, Belenenses are one of them. And now they are in the fourth division. Not only that, they are a true tale of football going wrong when ran as a business.

You see, Belenenses decided to create an SAD (Sociedade Anónima Desportiva - Public limited sports company) in 1999. Not only did the club itself then get into financial trouble, but so did the SAD. This led to a split in 2017/18, with the Club itself needing to be dissolved and reforming, starting in the regional leagues, whilst the business entity took its place in the Primera League and formed a new club, now known as "OS Belenenses Futebol".

As you can imagine, this didn't please everyone and, much like in England with AFC Wimbledon/MK Dons, football purists, supporters and historians have each picked a side.

The goal here is not only simple, but also obvious - restore Belenenses to the top division, ideally at the expense of the "other" Belenenses. Once that's done, becoming the top club in Lisbon would be a whole new challenge in itself!

Good luck, Young Llama.

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked

I have to be honest, usually it is pretty simple to find something ridiculous or obscure to spend your time doing when things go wrong. However Lisbon is amazing and there is LOADS to do. It's almost worth getting sacked on purpose. Well, that can be your excuse. Still, I recommend that you visit Hospital de Bonecas. Kind of.

Hospital de Bonecas is a museum, of sorts, for dolls. Well, bits of dolls. You can see completed dolls if you wish, but the star attraction is drawer upon drawer full of doll arms, or doll legs. It is so popular that you have to BOOK, and has a 4.5 rating on trip advisor. Humans are a weird bunch. I do love that the FAQs understand the psychological effect this place is likely to have though, as the top three questions on Trip Advisor are;

1- What time does it open?

2- Do you need to book in advance?

3- Where is the nearest hospital?

Still, I found when I visited that the disembodied heads spoke more sense than my Coaching Staff.

Dolls Heads - Nearly as disturbing as your defensive record

Campo Municipal da Ribeira Grande

Old Llama Suggestion:

Club: Sporting Clube Ideal

City: Ribeira Grande

Title Odds: 10,000 - 1

Board Expectations: Fight Bravely Against Relegation

Why Them?: In a 61 team league, it is fair to say that almost every club would be challenging. It is also fair to say that there is challenging, and then there is challenging. Sporting Ideal have title odds of 10,000/1, a weekly wage budget of £900, no money, have never played above the third tier, and have 20 players - only three of which are defenders, so playing with the first transfer window closed will no doubt be a pleasure.

I actually chose them though because of their name. Another Sporting, but it amused me that, of all the clubs I could think of to manage in Portugal with Sporting in their names, this one is probably the least "Ideal". Unless you are a LLaMa. In which case you're laughing.

Oh, and they play in white and green hoops just like their namesakes.

Good Luck, Old Llama!

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: I've got to be honest, Portugal is incredible. Like Lisbon, Ribeira Grande is beautiful. This makes it difficult to recommend anywhere in the true spirit of the LLaMa. There are areas of outstanding natural beauty everywhere.

There is a place called Miradouro Caldeiras de Ribeira Grande though, which according to google image search is a bloke clearing out a drain. I've run the name of the place through google translate which comes back as "Caldeiras de Ribeira Grande viewpoint". If it is, indeed, an attraction based around blocked drains then I believe that this is the best tourist attraction I have found.

Not sure what the point is if the drain doesn't happen to be blocked when you attend though. I suspect that it's just that elderly gentleman in the photos standing about monitoring the flow in case of a particularly large stool or nappies or something.

Drains - Stink worse than your defensive record

Campo do Adelino Rodrigues, Funchal

Random Llama Suggestion which has taken into account lots of specific factors:

Club: Clube de Futebol Uniao Madeira

City: Funchal

Title Odds: 2000-1

Board Expectations: Avoid Relegation

I have, of course, considered a huge variety of factors as I always do when making a random suggestion. I have previously been accused of considering far fewer factors than advertised, but this is simply not true. And it's difficult making a random suggestion based on so many factors when deciding between 61 clubs.

I've talked about coincidences before in this letter, and just because this suggestion happens to play in yellow, I am sure there will be more talk between you all.

Anyway, just six years ago, Uniao Madeira were in the top division in Portugal. They did only last for one season before relegation, but they had a sustained run at the top back in the 90's. Now here they are right back at the bottom, heavily in debt. They also have a single player taking up almost all of their wage budget who is going to be pretty difficult to get rid of.

But still, the media predict a better season than the board, so maybe you will be ok. Maybe. You might not though. And if you don't, I have little doubt that there will be some lovely stuff to do if you are sacked......

Good Luck, Random Llama.

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: So, in Funchal, there is a whole museum dedicated to that Legendary winger/forward. He's won loads of stuff, but I've never heard of him, personally. I did ask my scouts about him but he had "no intention of joining Cowdenbeath at this time", so I didn't bother persuing it.

The problem you've got as a LLaMa is that you're going to want to avoid finding out what this blokes real name is unless you come across him in one of your saves. And that's going to be very difficult. Unless you gouge your own eyes out before attending. Which would likely limit you later in life but also impact your enjoyment of the museum. And so, although eyeless you would no doubt be given employment as a referee in the Portuguese fourth tier, I would suggest a visit to the 3d Fun Art Museum instead.

3d Fun - The sharks are circling, you were warned

The Yellow Llama's Legendary Twisted Suggestion

Not only is this suggestion both legendary, twisted, and also not a disgusting as it sounds, I have also built in an easy/hard mode which you can also use as a bit of a get out clause if things go wrong. I am quite proud of this one as I often find that I have nowhere to go if I fail during one of these saves, but this time I have a lovely safety net, waiting for me with open arms as I hurtle down the chasm that is my own management ability. And thus, I bring to you The Curses of the White Castle!

Estádio Municipal Vale do Romeiro, Castelo Branco
The Club Shop

Club: Sport Benfica E Castelo Branco

City: Castelo Branco

Title Odds: 15-1

Board Expectations: Mid Table

Or, more accurately but much less Wallace and Gromitty, the Curses of Sport Benfica E Castelo Branco. Indeed, there are not just two Belenenseseseses and more than one Sporting, but there are also TWO Benfica's.

Now, us LLaMa's know a bit about what it means to REALLY suffer. So it must be particularly grating for the 150 odd season ticket holders at Benfica CB to constantly hear about the "curse" that poor old SL Benfica were put under in the 1960's, having just won back to back European Cups under Manager Bella Guttman (I can name him, he's been dead 40 years so is unlikely to sign for your Bergnäsets AIK side, chill).

True, they've not been able to win a European Competition since that fateful day, but they've won 37 league titles and 26 cups. Boo hoo. It must be SO difficult for their poor fans.

Compare that to Benfica CB. They have never won the league. They've never even played in the top flight. They've also never won the cup. They won the third tier outright in 1960 but that's about it. So, lets be honest about things, who is really cursed here? In fact, forget just the one curse. There are a number of curses to break here;

1- Win the third tier again (if you can work out how) - the "other Benfica" were still being managed by Guttman the last time Benfica CB did this. And bear in mind you start in the fourth tier, so you've got to get up first.

2- Get to the top division for the first time in the clubs history.

3- Win the Cup

4- Finish above SL Benfica

5- Win the League

6- Win the European Champions League before Benfica do.

Your board have reasonable expectations, they want youth development, players sold for a profit and will finance you with a pretty decent wage budget to start with. You've got a decent squad too, promotion shouldn't be a million miles away to start with. But - and here's the twist - at some point, you're going to have either a decision to make, or a decision made for you.

You could stick with Benfica CB. Or, if you do well and are offered a job higher up the league, you might choose to take it. Or, of course, you could be sacked. And if so, then the challenge isn't over - if you are sacked, or if you fancy a bit of a change having been offered another job, there is always the option of lifting the curse of SL Benfica as an alternative, having worked you way up to do so.

Imagine Benfica CB sacking you only to see you lifting the Champions League with their namesakes a decade later - the ultimate revenge!

Good Luck, Legendary, Twisted Llama!

Things to do when you're inevitably sacked: As you know, I love to take in the local culture, particularly art. Anyone familiar with my suggestions knows that I usually suggest a gallery, but I didn't think it could possibly get worse than Chelmsford.

Enter Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Castelo Branco. Exibitions include crude children's crayon drawings of triangles, a shopping trolley full of cinder blocks and a giant white cube in the lobby for you to lean against and cry.

Throw in a child's sandpit literally right up against a road and you might even see the next exhibition being created live under the wheels of a passing truck. Which will probably be being driven at speed by a man attempting to get the hell out of there through fear of being drawn towards the sobbing cube.

He will then be absorbed into the cube and become part of the gallery itself to live forevermore as an immoveable cinder block, crushed under the huge weight of its own internal struggle in the shopping trolley that we call life. Or a crayon triangle.

Anyway, I've got police to avoid and places to go, so that's me.

Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Castelo Branco. - Collapsed, much like your title challenge

Portugal League Overview

Still fancy Portugal but aren't convinced by any of the above suggestions?

Ask the yellow Llama to pick you a random Portuguese side