Q: How is a team's budget calculated?
A: The budget is the team's anticipated revenue, modified for savings (which will increase the budget) or debt (which will decrease the budget) carried over from the previous season.
Q: Why is there a spending limit, even in sports like baseball that don't have salary caps?
A: The enforced budgets are not true salary caps, but are just that: budgets. If there were no cap on a team's spending, then the entire financial aspect to these games would be moot since a team could run up a monstrous debt and suffer no penalties.
Q: This is unfair! My veteran team had $25 million in savings and lost $5 million of it! / This is unfair! I'm a new coach in a league and have no money; how can I compete against established veteran teams?!
A: This is obviously a tricky issue. At DEL, we want to reward teams for good financial management, but not to the extent that new coaches are unable to compete for free agents. The adopted solution is to assume that owners will allow a team to spend 100% of its unused surplus the next season but eventually will pocket the money and use it for other purposes. After all, it is hard to imagine a real-life GM asking his owner for a $10 million budget increase on the basis of a $10 million profit 20 years ago.
Q: I just joined a league late in the season. Why do I have so little money under budget even though my team's salary is very small?
A: The budget is pro-rated by the fraction of the season remaining. For example, if the season is 90% finished, it would only cost you $1 million to sign $10 million worth of players. Consequently, your small budget is effectively no different from a large budget earlier in the season.
Q: Why can't I overspend if my team has a surplus from the last season?
A: Actually, you can overspend. The budget is calculated with your team's debt or savings taken into account (as well as anticipated earnings), so a team that is carrying over a savings is allowed to spend more than its anticipated income.
Q: My team is already at the budget limit and I still want to sign more free agents. What can I do?
A: You are obviously not in a good situation here. If you don't really need the free agents, you are best off not signing them. Your next best objective will be to trade away your most expensive and least valuable players (such as backups making $1 million) for less expensive players. If you are really desperate, you can trade away players or picks for cash, or cut players on your roster. Cuts are generally the last straw, because you still have to pay pro-rated bonuses for cut players, but lose their services.
Q: How do I avoid getting into financial trouble?
A: You need to start each offseason with a financial plan. Look over your budgetary situation and decide which of your current players without contracts you want to re-sign (and are worth re-signing). After that, consider trading away expensive backups. Whenever you make any trades, be sure to look out for the contracts of the players involved. Also be sure to notice if a player is still eligible for the league-minimum minor league contracts. Finally, make a strict budget for free agent signings and stick to it.
With a little bit of planning and effort, staying under budget is not difficult at all. The people who get into problems are usually the ones who don't bother thinking about it until too late.
Q: Do playoffs give my team extra revenue?
A: A playoff game counts, financially, the same as any game. There are ticket sales, TV income, and salaries to be paid. So if your team makes a profit during the season, it will make a profit in the playoffs. If not, it won't. DEL Cup games, however, do produce extra income. For every round that you advance beyond the first round, your team earns $0.8 million in baseball and football, $0.4 million in other sports.
Q: What are press rewards, and how do I get them?
A: If you send a press release with sufficient content, your team will be given $0.4 million (football or baseball) or $0.2 million (basketball, hockey, or soccer). You can receive one reward per week.
Q: Why did my salary change so dramatically when training camps ran?
A: Before training camps, the computer makes assumptions as to what players will be placed on the training squad or minor league and adjusts your salary accordingly. Once training camps have run, you will actually make those moves.