Tuesday , April 20 2021

How Real is the Financial Side to Football Manager?

Over its near thirty years of development, Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series of games has won plaudits for its incredible realism and in-depth feature set. This isn’t just strictly limited to the purely on-pitch aspect but also extends into off-pitch things such as training and finance – here’s how FM deals with all things monetary.

One of the biggest aspects to the financial side of football, be it simulated or not, is transfers and scouting, and Football Manager has all of that down to a tee. There are obviously the designated periods in which clubs can choose to buy and sell players, but FM goes an awful lot deeper than just transfer windows.

When making offers, the game gives the option to add a myriad of clauses and bonuses to the club and players, such as a sell-on fee percentage, the option to pay for players in instalments, or even a lump sum of money if a player makes 20 international appearances. There are obviously the more traditional aspects of release clauses and it is possible to pick up some great bargains in the process.

Club reputation is also key in order for the right players to move to the right clubs, and unlike in other games such as FIFA, the option for Cristiano Ronaldo to be genuinely interested in a move to League Two Accrington Stanley simply isn’t there.

In addition, whilst transfers are a vital part of finance, there is also the option to go in-depth with the financial management aspect to make sure that the club doesn’t go into oodles of debt. Whilst the on-the-surface presentation of a club’s bank balance and profit/loss records may not seem interesting, it is possible to go even further in-depth to look at where the money is coming in and going out. For instance, it may be the case that a club is spending a fortune on player wages and there is a need to balance the books.

Football Manager offers the option for players to analyse their wage bill and financial records and therefore make informed off-pitch decisions on not only who to buy and sell, but also to comply with real-life rules such as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play Regulations. To add a little more to this, the balance sheets don’t just stop at wage bills, but also extend into every corner from sponsorship to stadium maintenance. This means that it is worth keeping a watchful eye on club performance and how this can impact not only the pull for the best players, but also how this can draw in more sponsorship money and improve the club’s financial position.

Relating back to transfers for a moment, with Football Manager’s customary Winter update, it brings with it the transfers conducted in the January transfer window and can allow players to see if the respective moves can make a difference to a club and perhaps turn their season around, as is obviously the case for the real world. By getting the latest news on football betting from providers such as bet365, it is possible to see if such moves have made a real difference to a team’s season.

For instance, the loan move of starlet and former Football Manager wonderkid Martin Odegaard to Arsenal looked to have revitalised their creative force in the midfield; which can be seen to be the source of increased goals and therefore wins in some recent performances. To win the Europa League, Arsenal currently have rather favourable odds of 7/1, and furthermore, thanks to a string of victories against Leicester and Leeds, also are slightly well-placed to finish in the Premier League’s Top 6 with odds of 4/1.

It will only be by the end of the season that the impact of January signings such as Odegaard can truly be judged by his impact thus far does look to have been majorly positive.

As one of the premier simulators in PC gaming, it should come as little surprise that Football Manager not only deals with the on-pitch antics well but also takes the off-pitch side to the game seriously. Being able to check on the status of a club’s budgets and more adds a certain degree of immersion that other footballing titles like FIFA can’t compete with and just gives it that edge.

About Arunava Chaudhuri

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