The Football Management Phenomenon

Growing up in the early 90’s for most kids largely consisted of going out and kicking a ball around for hours, reluctantly going to school and stopping off at the arcade to spend unused lunch money.

Many teenagers dreamed of a day when they could play a good quality football game from the comfort of their own bedroom and not need to skip a meal just to get that football game fix. Luckily, they didn’t have to wait very long for a decent quality football game to become available on most consoles. The real game changer though, was the launch of the first proper Football Management game.

Instead of simply being able to perform a few standard football skills, Football Management games gave you full control and power like you’d never had before. From selecting the team, to scouting, to merchandise control, you now called all of the shots. The world of football gaming was changing and many people were impacted by the phenomenon of Football Management games. Have a look at this interesting interview with Miles Jacobson for an insider’s perspective of how it changed lives.

Lets look at the history of the wonderful Football Management games.

Where it all started 

As early as 1982 the success story begins with the release of Football Manager video game on the good old ZX Spectrum. Prior to this, there were text-only games available but the first proper football manager game with animated graphics, showing match highlights, was created by Kevin Toms and rolled out in 1982.

From there it was a huge success and rolled out to other consoles. It wasn’t pretty on the eye, like most games of that era but boy was it addictive. Funnily enough, the name of the developers was Addictive Games, who were then sold to Prism Leisure Corporation in 1987. For more gaming insights, visit

Six years on…

1988 saw the eagerly anticipated sequel – Football Manager 2, with various additions such as having the option to be national team or a league team.

Game on!

By now, other developers were catching on to the potential that football management games presented. The early 90s saw a flurry of developers rolling out their own versions of football management games: Championship Manager, Sega’s Football Manager, FIFA Soccer Manager and FA Premier League Football Manager were all launched in this period.

In the early 2000s, developers realised that they could release a new game each season, with updates to the players and kits and all the modern day football marketing and revenue strategies.

The games that are available today are so advanced that not only do gamers use them, they are now known to be used by football club’s particularly for scouting, due to the fantastic statistical analysis that goes into each game.