Developers should take a look at Hell Albion in Netherlands Division 2. This bot managed club has 16 players and all of them are over the age of 30. At least two of their players will be retiring after this season, which will bring their squad size down to just 14 players. I doubt this is the only club in the game like this.
This begs the question, what mechanisms are in place to stop a bot managed club from eventually losing all of its players and being unable to field a side for matches? Should there be auto-generated youth players for bot teams when they get below the minimum roster size? Allow bot teams to participate on the transfer market? Surely there is a reasonable solution for this problem.
As I remember they will be granted players with a very low rating to make sure that they have the minimum squad required, but the new players will have a player value of $0.
If they dont have enough players to place a lineup for a match, they will be given autogenerated players. It is the same for user controlled teams too if they go below 16 available players due to injuries, suspensions etc. But those players wont be any good, will be very weak and old players.
But I thought the minimum amount of players a club could carry is 18. Not the case for bot controlled clubs?
It can go below 18 due to player retirements. And the auto-replacements are done just before the next match of the team, so the user has enough time till the next match to fix it.
In the early seasons we had a manager who just bought old players with all his money and at one point his team had only 14 players due to retirements. He quit the game soon afterwards obviously :D