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13 years ago
2 weeks ago

I've been playing Football Manager, and before that Championship Manager, since 1992, when a group of school friends and I would huddle round their Amiga after school, each waiting an age for our turn. Apart from my family and my football club (COYB) it's been the longest relationship in my life. So any gripes contained within this piece are coming from a place of years of blood, sweat, tears, and mostly love for the game. It's also my first forum post on here, so this may have been discussed at length previously for all I know and I'm here reinventing the wheel!


One of my favourite aspects of the game is youth development. That's true in real life as well as in the game; I love academy football, looking at who is going to be the next big thing, watching players growing into stars and saving your club millions in the transfer market. On Footy Manager I spend hours combing the game for the best youngsters and developing them, and that's always been my transfer strategy, which ever club I'm managing. But in recent years I've grown a bit frustrated at how difficult it is to develop youngsters into good, let along top class, Premier League standard players. Not so much in terms of how to develop them (though I'm sure that's an area of continual learning and improvement), but because the standard of players playing in the U21/U18 leagues, and of most of the regens that subsequently appear in the game, seems far below what you'd expect in a game that seeks to mirror real life football.

This year I figured I'd try to quantify it with some simulation games, as an unemployed manager, on the FM23 beta. I actually did the same last season as well but misplaced the data, but what I've done is compared the current, real life state of play (using FM data at the start of the season) to three saves that I allowed to run until December 31st 2028. I kept it fairly narrow because of time constraints, but I think the numbers speak for themselves (with the caveat that the data could change before the full game is released, though I don't think that's likely to happen)

I looked at 9 top international teams; Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain (I didn't include Germany due to the License Fix). At the start of FM23, these 9 countries between them have 160 players at the age of 24 and under with at least one international cap. By December 31st 2028, across all three saves, only 27 new players aged 24 and under have an international cap with the same 9 nations. That's 9 per save, and encompasses anyone under the age of 18 at the start of the game, plus every regen that has appeared during the course of the game. Six and a half years into the game, almost every single player in every single national squad was already an international when the game began. A drop of of 160 to an average of just 9 is huge, and it certainly doesn't reflect the nature of international football in it's current state. Most of those 9 came from Spain and Belgium; Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Holland, Italy, and Portugal had an average of 0.5 capped players aged 24 or under per save, compared to just under 17 such players at the start of the game.

Then I looked at the so called ‘big 6’ Premier League teams, plus my own team Everton. At the start of the game, there are a total of 61 players under the age of 24 who would be considered first team regulars across those 7 clubs. Across the three game saves, by December 31st 2028, there are 60 players aged under 24 who would be considered first team regulars. That's 20 per game save. Whilst the drop off isn't as big as the international comparison above, six and a half years into the game there's just a third as many players under the age of 24 as at the beginning of the game.

To me this is clear evidence that the level of the youth players and the regens within the game simply does not match the reality of the standard of academy players at major clubs. Looking at my own club, Everton, we have a bunch of academy players that are very highly rated, most having recently been signed to long term contracts, and who are on the verge of a first team breakthrough; the likes of Reece Welch, Stanley Mills, Lewis Warrington, Isaac Price, to name a few, with Ishe Samuels-Smith in the younger age bracket. But at the start of the game most of those players have what I can only describe as pitiful stats, that would be nigh on impossible to develop into a player anywhere near a first team standard. Reece Welch, who has this season made his full debut for Everton's first XI, ended up in each of the three game saves being sold to the Jamaican Premier League. In FM22 it was the same story with Anthony Gordon; in a season where he broke through into the Everton first team, playing 40 times, his stats in FM22 were pretty poor, to say the least. 


To be fair it's something that you can take care of through the pre-game or in-game editor, but it can be really time consuming as you have to edit so many values, and try to balance improvements between both countries and clubs so you're not favouring your own team and are keeping the game competitive. And really, it would better if you didn't have to do that, as this does appear to be a pretty big blind spot in a game that puts a lot of stock in being realistic. And yes, I'm fully aware that running games and collecting data was probably a huge waste of time. Either way, I'll still be buying the game regardless; it's pretty much the only computer game I've played in the last 20 or so years! Thanks for listening to my TedTalk.

Brett Bayley
3 years ago
23 hours ago

Take a gander at this mod which addresses many of these issues in a rebalancing. I know he has it uploaded on the other Football Manager sites, not sure why its not available here? 


What does each file do?


Daveincid's Alternative Youth Rating + Game Importance and others

  • Newly set National Youth Ratings
  • Game Importance adjustments
  • State of development adjusted according to DAC-List

The ratings are based on a huge database of personal research about all Nations

, which includes but not limited to:

  • HDI (Human Development Index)
  • Population of a Country
  • How popular football is in the country
  • Worldwide success national team
  • Continental success national team
  • Success U-national team
  • Which Confederation they are in (ex. UEFA, CONCACAF)
  • Value National Team
  • Record attendance National Team
  • Average league attendance from top league (as far as I could find them)

The combination of these changes will lead to:

  • Less newgens with world-class talent as per default
  • More worldwide diversification of talent
  • Easier to improve smaller nations where football is popular in long-term saves
  • Fight about the biggest talents, so the AI tries to keep their talents at the club, because there are less of them

Daveincid's Salaries, MWvalues and Sponsors v2.8

This file brings a lot of dynamic in a more static FM-World by default.

  • Adjusted market-values worldwide to replicate transfer fees better There are Nations which are generally sell their players too cheap (for example Brazil) or too high, I have done several
    adjustments to replicate the current situation as well as implement a reasonable increase of values if a Club or the whole league gained a higher reputation.
  • Increased salaries Default salaries are too low in some leagues. Less money on salary spent can have an inflating effect for bank balance overall.
    This money increases transfer fees in smaller leagues and causes problems there because these Clubs will get much higher transfer-fees as they usually get.
  • Future Superstars will now earn close to 30m/y, sometimes even higher to lower the gap compared to CR7, Messi etc.
  • Fixed too low salaries in unknown leagues which actually pay decent money.
  • Decreased salaries for some Nations Some Nations are paying much more money in the future as they do at the start of the save, without understandable reasons (No new Sugar-Daddy or overall success).
    This was again a complicated balancing-act to find the "sweet-spot". It's based on actual data as far as I could find them.
  • Improved Sponsors This file will give you a more natural progress of Sponsorship-behaviour in line with your success. Most Nations only see a marginal increase sponsorship, even with a strong increase of success. This file changes this behaviour for all Nations according to my calculated economic potential of the Nation. So poor Nations won't have a huge increase, even if you win the Champions League. Most Sponsors are local, or national connected, so the financial power is mostly down to the economics of a Nation. Sugar-Daddy clubs excluded.
Please keep in mind:

The shown market values are not directly linked to what is getting paid for a player or how good he is. This is also the case in default, but more tweaked in my file.
Wonderkids without first-team-match-experience have usually a really low market-value, due they haven't shown their talent under senior football conditions yet, like IRL.
The value also decreases when the player is running out of contract.
Once they played a couple of games and achieved success in U-National-Teams their value can rise extremely. Low market values doesn't mean that you will get the players for this price or even close. Their shown value also changes as soon as there is a transfer-fee paid for them.

Daveincid's current currency exchange-values

I have made adjustments to current values for 123 currencies. The biggest impact you will notice is in Venezuela.

This file will replicate the financial situation of all Nations more accurate to their current situation IRL.

v1.3 contains small fixes for North Korea and Syria.

Daveincid's League reputation change

This file lowers the gap slightly between the Top-Nations and all the others in Europe.

It also boosts Top-Nations outside of Europe slightly and should increase the competition globally.

v2.1 contains changes for Nicaragua.

Daveincid's financial behaviour improvement

The problem I see in Football Manager is, that it's always clear that all money from a transfer goes to the Club, the Player and his Agent. By default, when a Club is getting 90m for a player, the Club will get 90m. I think it's fair to say that this is sometimes not in line with the situation in reality. In some Nations the problem is bigger as in others.

The point is, that some Nations are well represented financially, so they are stable by default. Due to legal issues I won't say what the main problem is, but I am sure you guys know what I mean 


I tweaked v1.1 to be able to remove the finances file from my previous version completely.
v1.3 contains smaller tweaks.

So how do I stopped the constantly gain of money?

As already Benjamin Franklin said: «nothing is certain, except death and taxes«.

With this file all Nations are getting taxed by a certain percentage on their transfer-income immediately.

How should you interpret this tax in the game?

If a player from Club A moves to Club B for 50m, and Nation A has a transfer-tax-rate of 30%, they will immediately pay 15m of taxes as soon the player moved to Club B.

So the transfer-fee is 50m, but the selling Club only gets 35. This way I was able to avoid that Nations who buy cheap and sell high will be represented badly in the future, because these teams are going to pay extremely high transfer-fees and salaries which they would never do in reality, not even close.

To get a better idea about 

what the taxes stand for:

  • general bad financial behaviour by default
  • overall transfer-costs
  • unknown receivers of money (please don't feel offended, I am just objective)
  • other advantages in transfer negotiations (Houses, cars, Jobs for family-members etc.)

I know it's kind of a controversial interpretation, but this way I was able to balance so many things in FM much better, and it will be as effective in short as in long-term-games.

Please keep in mind:

There will be still some weird transfers without any influence on my side. This is mostly down to a new takeover of a Club. Sometimes the new Owner pays so much money for a player as a promise for his election-campaign.


Daveincid's Transfer Preferences

This file gives you a more accurate behaviour of transfers. Most Nations are linked together in some way.

An example for Africa:

The best players from Malawi are getting poached by Zambia, due it's a better league and geographically close. If they are overperforming in Zambia they might get transferred directly to Europe. But often they need to take a further step, so they get poached by DR Congo.
This league is again stronger and more in the focus of Europe and the biggest Nations of Africa. So they might move to Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco or Algeria.

This system is done for all 227 Nations!

v2.3 Smaller tweaks for Japan and Malaysia to force them buying more Brazilians/South-Americans

Daveincid's club transfer preferences

I researched Clubs which have a strong affinity for a specific nationality of players in the past and present. This is now a criteria in Visions of the Club.

So these Clubs should buy more players from these Nations. It will be in most cases a criteria of your board to follow these transfer preferences. It's part of the clubs philosophy.

v1.3 also has some edits of Director of Football to further improve the behaviour in transfers of these Teams. I removed RB-Salzburg, because it causes problems in combination with DaveTheEditor's megapack.

Following teams have been edited:

  • FC Nordsjælland – Ghana (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Wellington Phoenix FC – New Zealand (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Ludogorez Razgrad – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Wolves – Portugal (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • NPS Volos – Argentina (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • AGS Asteras Tripolis – Argentina and Spain (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • PSV Eindhoven – Germany (no permanent Club Vision)
  • Kristiansund BK – Senegal (no permanent Club Vision)
  • Union Técnica de Cajamarca – Argentina (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • FC Porto – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Benfica Lissabon – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Sporting Lissabon – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Sporting Braga – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Sevette FC – France (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • FC Sion – France and Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • FC Lausanne-Sport – France (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • AS Trencin – Nigeria and Netherlands (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • MFK Zemplin Michalovce – Greece (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Dunjaska Streda – new affiliation (CD Universitario Panama)
  • Konyaspor – Bosnia and Herzegowina ( no permanent Club Vision)
  • Schachtar Donezk – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • FK Lwiw – Brazil (is ongoing Club Vision)
  • Ujpest Budapest – Serbia (no permanent Club Vision)
  • Kisvarda FC – Ukraine (is ongoing Club Vision)

Daveincid's Ticket-price-adjustments

Worldwide ticket-adjustments to avoid weak teams in financial poor Nations are paying too high ticket-prices.

Please Note:

Ticket-Prices are a really tough task, because the game generates ticket-prices as soon as you set value too low in the editor, even if the value would be correct for a specific Club. It makes it impossible to set the correct values. The main goal of this fix is to avoid way too high ticket prices. There is also a big chaos as soon as a Club get's relegated or promoted.


In some cases a second division team has the highest ticket prices after promotion. This is also the case in default version. It happens less with my files but it still occurs.

v1.1 contains further improvements.

Daveincid's citizenship-fix

I made corrections for 95 Nations for "years to gain nationality". It was quite difficult to get it right because sources sometimes vary. There are some interesting years included. Might be worth scrolling through the Nations to find out 


Daveincid's Nations agreements by DaveTheEditor

This file was made by DaveTheEditor! Thank you for your help🙂

It adds 24 agreements between Nations. You can find this information in the Nation-tab-overview!


Daveincid's Derby fixes

This file 

adds 300+ missing Derbies from Clubs and Nations in over 50 Nations


There are Derbies included like:

  • Teheran-Derby in Iran between Estheghlal and Persepolis
  • The "oldest Russian Derby" between Spartak Moskau and Dynamo Moskau
  • "La guerra del futbol" between El Salvador and Honduras
  • "Derby of Ghana" between Asante Kotoko and Accra Hears of Oak SC
  • and soo many more!

There have been over 1,000 reputation-adjustments as well to ensure a logical worldwide distribution.


Daveincid's mods awards fixes

This file fixes literally all missing and illogical award-reputations in all Nations and in all international competitions as well according to my own research-database.

This is very important when it comes to a players transfer-behaviour, his loyalty, his career-path, his market value, the reputation of a Club and much more!

The best player in a weak League will now be much quicker unhappy if he wins awards and he thinks he is too good for the Club. Convincing these players to stay is much more difficult! On the other side it's a chance for a Club to grow their reputation if they are able to keep these players. It's very tricky but it adds so much more dynamic!

Most important awards created for over 200 Nations worldwide, like:

  • Best Player of the Season
  • Best Youngster of the Season
  • Best XI of the Season
  • Best Manager of the Season
  • Best Topscorer of the Season

All these awards are of course in line with all existing reputation-values to fit perfectly into the whole system!


Fixes continuous Reputation:

Increase of RB Salzburg

RB Salzburg is getting year to year a small reputation-boost when they get awarded as the best team in Austria. 10 years later they are close to be the biggest Club in the world without much success. This is now fixed with this file.


Balanced Increase of Manager Reputation:

This change should balance the increase of a Manager's (AI und User) reputation worldwide. So you shouldn't be poached by a very big Club too soon (in some cases).

Please Note:

A small percentage of new awards won't show as a text (empty field only). I tried to fix it but no chance at all. But the most important thing is that the reputation works!


Daveincid's realistic injuries

This file was re-done from scratch. The goal was to get a better representation of short-/mid-/long-term-injuries as well as some new injuries to bring a bit more of "social interaction" into Football Manager 


You will get more injuries, more variety and more frustration 


The injuries-stats were compared with real-data with several simulation-tests in FM over 5 years.


Daveincid's club data fixes

This file adds a lot of missing data for almost 700 1st and 2nd-Division-Clubs in 150 Nations worldwide:

  • Nicknames of Clubs
  • City-Location
  • Rivals
  • Year founded
  • Club Colours
Please Note:

Year founded sounds easy, but there are sometimes 2 or even 3 dates available due re-founding or club-fusions. I took the date which seems the best option IMO.

Daveincid's club-finances fix

This file includes the sugar-daddy-fix file but it has a lot of more features:

  • Finances of Top-Clubs adjusted
  • Slightly lowered the financial power of Lars Windhorst at Hertha BSC to avoid 100m €+ Transfers in the near future
  • Added Debts to some Clubs according to the newest sources
  • Added Barcelona's transfer debts and adjusted their overall financial Situation

Daveincid's geographics and languages

This file took me roughly 2 months to complete. It's just insane^^


  • Added missing Inhabitation Ranges for over 5,500+ Cities
  • Added correct number of population for 1,250+ local regions
  • Added 500+ Cities to the correct local regions
  • Added missing coordinates of over 1,800 Cities
  • Added missing altitude-values for 4,200+ Cities
  • Added City-Attraction-values for all Cities worldwide

What's the effect of the changes?

  • Better distribution of place of birth's for newgens
  • More realistic travel cost's for Clubs in Nations/Cities with missing coordinates
  • Influences sponsorship-deals
  • Influences Fitness of players
  • It allows me to replicate the changes with the languages more adequate
  • It's the fundament for a future project🙂


  • Added over 100+ new official languages worldwide
  • Increased language-difficulty by 30%
  • 181 Nations edited
  • 1,800+ local regions edited
  • So many single cities edited

A lot of African Nations have set French 100% as their main-language. Sometimes not even 10% where capable of speaking French. With adding new languages, this is fixed for almost all Nations. In general I have only added official languages which are recognized and do have a minimum of 1% of it's population.
There are also regional languages added like Basque or Catalan or a lot of different Chinese languages. All languages have been edited as realistic as possible with the existing language family, language group and language sub-group in the editor.

What's the effect of the changes?

  • It represents the diversity of Nations much better. So many people do speak a 2nd or even a 3rd language, even without having it's Nationality. This isn't reflected in the game, until now😉
  • It can change the way how you are scouting for players. The wonderkid from South Africa you signed for Manchester United is homesick, because he speaks only Xitsonga (4%) instead of English (100%).
  • Players which are located in a City which have a majority of a language, which isn't similar to a Nations language will now learn this language.

I for myself speak some Spanish, but I have no relation to any Spanish speaking Nation. All Data is from official sources like wikipedia etc.


Daveincid's Club Reputation

This file contains small Reputation-Adjustments for some Brazilian, Argentinian and Mexican Teams to improve balancing in Long-Term-Saves.

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