Championship Manager: My Story
I’ve been playing Championship Manager, in one form or another, for over a decade now. I bought my first
copy of CM back in 1993, Championship Manager ’93 for my Commodore
Amiga 600. Each and every season I went down to Computer World to spend £9.99 on the latest data
update and took it home to create a brand new version of CM.
My A-Level programming coursework was a football management game written in Pascal. I named it
Relegation Manager, although the simplicity of the game more closely resembled that of Premier Manager,
it was definitely inspired by good ol’ CM. Relegation Manager scored over 80% for my programming module
… more than CM ’93 achieved in most magazine reviews!!
Had I not spent all my time playing CM I wonder what kind of grades I could have achieved at school?
Needless to say I got ‘enough’. In the Summer of ’96 I got 5 Bs, 4 Cs, and an A (that being pretty much
the requirement for continuing on into sixth form) despite spending my ‘revision time’ plotting Wycombe
Wanderers rise through the football league. In ’98 I was busy completing season twenty-something
of my longest running Championship Manager career when some people might say that I’d have been better
off putting my energy into revising for my A-Levels … again I got what I needed — nothing more,
nothing less; one B (economics), one C (mathematics) and an A (computing)
I had to wait 2 years after the release of CM2 to get my hands on it. Mind you, that two year wait did
lead me to complete 26 seasons on CM ’93, guiding the mighty Liverpool through over 2 decades of complete
dominance, amassing a fortune of over £150 million in the club accounts in the process of doing so.
Although CM2 looked initailly to be due for an Amiga release hopes of that soon died. When I left home
for university in 1998 I needed a PC .. for my uni work. So I bought a brand new Packard Bell PC
(400Mhz, 28[!] Mb RAM, with 1Gb HD) from PC World with my girlfriend, on that day I also bought a
copy of CM2. Cynics among us may say that the only reason I bought a PC was to play CM2, and they’d be right.
My university life rather closely resembled my school life; there were the times I was playing Championship
Manager, and there were the time I was wanting to play Championship Manager. I remember many a time sat in
Linear Algebra planning my next transfer coup, the one that would surely secure another league title for Liverpool.
Things have changed a great deal since I first got lost in world CM. Back then data updates were released
once a year, cost £9.99 and involved mastering a new set of CM game disks from the original game and
update disks. Today, if you take into account the unoffical updates, then you will usually not have much
trouble finding an update not more than a week old throughout the year, and it’s free and doesn’t involve
formatting three new 3.5″ floppy disks.
The most noticable change in CM is the gaming press’s opinion of it. Back in 1993 CM ’93 received a miserly
score of fifty something percent from whatever Amiga magazine I bought at the time. Today, even the incredibly
buggy first release of CM4 received rave reviews and incredible scores from a press clearly happy just to sell
issues off the back of their CM4 exclusives!
Half a year after the first release of CM4, after releasing 5 major patches, SI seem to have a worthy addition
to the Championship Manager series.
The future of Championship Manager is uncertain, Eidos
and Sports Interactive are parting company, with Eidos retaining the CM brand, and SI the CM code. CM may live
on in the hands of Eidos, but will Championship Manager become the next ‘name’ Eidos use to generate high sales
for crap games? Only time will tell, anyone for a game of
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness?
CM will live on but it won’t be Championship Manager as we know it now, but in everyway that counts,
it will be Championship Manager.