The Football Manager Documentary Is Self-Descriptive

Football Manager is an odd cultural duckling. Its nerdy, number-heavy presentation holds it back from the ooh-it’s-like-a-film mainstream acceptance of Call of Duty, et al. Meanwhile, its being about football stops it from being embraced with the same open arms as, say, EVE Online, despite it inspiring similar levels of passionate brain-crazy among its far larger audience. Its far less talked about than its vast success would suggest it should be.

This news seems a good thing, then. An Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary is a Football Manager documentary being released in select cinemas in the UK come October 7th.

Glumly I report that there’s no trailer to show, though SI’s Miles Jacobson does explain the motivation behind the film:

“The documentary isn’t our story – it’s the story of the people who escape to the alternative reality of being a football manager, and the effect this has had on their lives. It’s also the story of how a computer game made by football fans has become a part of the world it set out to replicate,” says Miles Jacobson, Studio Director of Sports Interactive. “But it’s not just for people who play – it’s also for people who’ve ever wondered why others spend so much time escaping into this world.”

Which means lots of talking heads, both famous and dedicated players of the game, and hopefully some insight into how the structure and rules of Football Manager compel people to play and invest so much into the game, beyond simply “cor footie its a bit realistic innit cor.”

If you want to see the film, it’s being shown at (a minimum of) 26 Vue cinemas, with more being added according to demand expressed according to the instructions provided here. The currently planned cinemas are (deep breath): Aberdeen, Birkenhead, Birmingham Star City, Bolton, Bristol Cribbs, Bury the Rock, Cardiff, Cheshire Oaks, Doncaster, Edinburgh Omni, Fulham, Gateshead, Glasgow Fort, Islington, Leeds Light, Manchester Lowry, Oxford, Piccadilly, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield, Swansea, Watford, Westfield White City and Westfield Stratford (gasp).

I like Football Manager and so does Adam, though neither of us were asked to appear in the film. Don’t they know how handsome we are?


  1. drewski says:

    Ahh, Football Manager. Still the game I’ve played more hours of than any other, despite not having touched it for at least five years now.

    • Vurogj says:

      I know that feeling, I put nearly 1200 hours into FM12, and burned myself out on it so badly that I’m only now thinking this year might be the one I get back into the series.

      • Cassius Kray says:

        Christ, you’re making me feel bad about having FM12 open as I browse. It’s 2065. Maybe I need help…

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Yeah similar, over 500 hours here too. I generally go in a 3/4 year cycle with Football Manager. After playing the last SI Championship Manager (03/04) and the first Football Manager (2005), I didn’t touch the series until 2009. Then didn’t touch it again until 2012. So I guess it’s about time to pick it up again with 2015 and I can kiss a whole bunch of free time goodbye for a few months.

  2. Themadcow says:

    Yeah, not a patch on the CM01/02 movie tbh.

  3. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    “Its far less talked about than its vast success would suggest it should be.”

    This is simply not true. When I was at school “Champ Man” was the game you heard people talk about more than any other. There was even a “meme” at my school where something good/someone doing something impressive would be followed by “twenty” in reference to the highest stat value in the game. For example an impressive vault over a desk would bring about a declaration of “Dave Smith…twenty”. Somebody walking into a lamppost comically would bring about “Lamppost twenty”. It was all very stupid and juvenile of course but it shows the popularity this game has/had.