In FM16 and FM17 and a tried to reproduce the financial success I had with Barcelona in FM13 (having over 2 billions on the bank). As Barcelona did make a profit of around 200 million every season in case I didn't spend it all on new players, it was quite easy to so much money on the bank. Achieving this with Lyon is quite more of a challenge as currently we don't do much profits.
In my view following streams can be used to generate additional money:
The pre-season isn't just about playing friendlies and improving the own tactic anymore. All the big clubs do tours in Japan, China, USA or Australia. Compared to just play friendlies at your stadium, you will have quite some additional expensed (traveling costs), but I think even in Football there is a lot of potential with increasing the income using the tours. I really like to mix up tours with local friendlies. At the end of the pre season I'll play quite often to some local team with really bad quality to improve the teams morale. If you want to read more about the influence of the difference ways to play your friendlies, Guido Merry tried to analyze it in FM15 (and did quite well) and I feel it is still valid for FM15: https://t.co/YsQMApLovT
At the beginning of the save I made tour mostly in the US because you get some great appearance money and you can improve your rating in the nation at the same time (which leads to better merchandise income). But as Guido mentioned in his blog post on strikerless.com countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE will be wonderful as well.
In general I think it will be helpful to have an affiliated club in this countries to increase your profile. Additional you might even get some talented youth intake from one of your foreign affiliation.
At the end of the season 2021/2022 I decided to try something new in order to improve the merchandise income: I decided to sign foreign player with the main reason to improve the income. One of my scouts was currently watching player in the US and he recommended by some classy wing back, which could be signed on a Bosman.
I did only find positive points of his potential purchase: already part of the national team (which means high popularity in the US), good enough to replace Raffael as a right defender and he was even pretty cheap to get.
With the upcoming tours in Portugal (got invited to that), USA and Japan I was pretty fancy, the merchandise sales would go up a bit. But this wasn't the case the sales of merchandise articles increased from an average of £1.8 millions per month of last season to an income of £3,000,000 in the month of July:
This is quite an amazing increase regarding the fact I did also sell some first team members to offer the hot prospects of the academy some increased playing time. I thought less star players like Griezmann and Lopes should result in less merchandise sales, but no way. But the good results did not keep on, after one month we were back on merchandise sales around 1+ millions. What a disappointment...
Which leads us to the next revenue stream for big money: SELLING BIG. In the last versions of FM I had some troubles in getting acceptable offers from the other managers in the game, but since I loaded plenty of the top leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, Primera Division), it has been quite easy to sell players. In this 12 month, since adding the additional league I have been able to make outgoing deals of around £150,000,000 which left us with a balance of over 200 millions.
In order to make good profits on the transfers in general I don't pay more than 10 millions for players, there are exceptions like when you can get a world class forward like Griezmann or a quality defender like Riedewald. Apart from the transfer fee, I always look mostly for young promising talents which can be sold with some profit.
In order to improve to youngster to their best level I always try to have superb youth and training facilities. It may cost some money at the beginning as on a long term basis the money will be worth it.