Have You Played Championship Manager Season 01/02?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Write about any iteration of Championship Manager and Football Manager and you’ll hear people bring up a particular version of the game. Hint: it’s also the only one to appear in our list of the best 50 strategy games. It’s Season 01/02.

This seasonal update didn’t add anything overly significant from the base game, but it was the ultimate iteration of Championship Manager 3, and arguably the last in the series before it started towards over-complication or, at the very least, a different design ethic. I played it for hundreds of hours, including for a lengthy period of time long after it had been superceded by Championship Manager 4 and the beginnings of Football Manager.

I’m not alone. In 2008 Eidos released the game as freeware, which means you can download it legally and play right now. What’s more, its healthy community, who mostly reside at champman0102.co.uk, continue to update the game each year with the latest transfers. Here’s the latest data update from April 2015.


  1. DrollRemark says:

    Following the clearly still relevant policy of only need to buy one copy of Championship/Football Manager every few years (also I was a poor student), CM3 was my jam. As you mention in the article, it was beatifully streamlined.

    That said, I do have a bit of a soft spot for the 2d engine introduced in CM4. I questioned the point of it until I saw my striker score an absolute beauty of a curler in one match. Never again.

  2. mytaxe says:

    thank for post this i will buy one ….
    any nulled version on internet please post that link …


  3. deiseach says:

    Every so often I load this up, take on the management of a half-dozen top clubs, and try to flog all the best players to my club. Reading the anguish of Carlos Kickaball as I whack yet another two-week fine on him never fails to amuse.

  4. Themadcow says:

    Bought FM07, went back to CM01/02. Bought FM2011, went back to CM01/02. Bought FM2014, went back to CM01/02.

    Every year I hold out hope that the latest edition of FM, Classic or Touch will recapture that feeling of Fantasy Football that CM01/02 provided. Taking minnows to the heights of Champs League glory, completing a whole season in an evening, buying and selling with casual abandon…

    Yeah FM is a different game, a better ‘simulation’ of being a Manager I guess – but CM01/02 is still the ultimate ‘fun’ Football Management game and thanks to modern processing power it’s even better than it used to be when it was released. Oh, and I still insist on using my CM01/02 disk rather than mounting the virtual drive… not sure why.

  5. wondermoth says:

    Is this the iteration where Tonton Zola Moukoko was at the peak of his powers? There were a few seasons where he was deadly, but I can’t remember which one was most ridiculous.

    • Spuzzell says:

      No, this is Cherno Samba 01/02, you’re talking about Moukoko 99/00.

      Cherno Samba, Mark Kerr and Maxim Tsigalko. Title and Champions Leagues favourites for a decade right there for around £5 million all in.


      • Quimby says:

        Julius Aghahowa, To Markers and, just because you might want at least one defender, Isaak Okoronkwo.

        Was very sad to see Cherno Samba retire in real life earlier this year. Made me feel very old…

        • Quimby says:

          To Madiera…

          • Themadcow says:

            One player that always goes under the radar is the god of dribbles and assists Achileas Kourtoglou. He’s one of the overpowered Greek players in CM01/02 and while he doesn’t have the obvious stats to be a worldbeater he’s absolutely ridiculous in terms of his ability to create chances – like a hybrid of Hazard, DeBruyne and Payet with a hint of Messi.

            He and Tsigalko form an attacking threat that can take even the lowest of clubs into the upper echolons of the CL, although against the highest quality players (Bayern etc.) their lack of 20’s can be an issue.

  6. JRHaggs says:

    I once had a player banned from all footballing activities for six months in this game (might’ve been the version from the year prior) because he headbutted a referee in the face on the field. Couldn’t believe what I was reading.

    I think that moment is why I still play FM.

  7. dsch says:

    Chrome claims that the data update file is malicious, for some reason. Seems fine, though.

  8. pelwl says:

    Their latest data update is from October 2015, not April.

    Still the best version of FM for me. Been downhill since CM4 which I was one of the testers for in SI’s office and I didn’t like much, not realising that it would pretty much get worse year on year.

    I bought FM 2010 a few weeks ago and even the classic/touch version is still too slow and dull for me, let alone the full version with all the press talk, etc.

    • pelwl says:

      FM 2015 I meant. Although I did have 2010 as well – the only 2 versions I’ve bought in the last 15 years and I liked neither of them.

  9. Andy_Panthro says:

    I originally skipped this one. I’d played many hours of CM00/01, and then went on to CM4. But after the disappointments of more recent FM games, I found myself going back to play this version.

    I do wish it was CM4 that was available for free though, I feel like that was just the point where there was enough complexity for me. Much like others here I do hope that the “FM Touch” or “classic” mode of the new one eventually becomes something I could play regularly, instead of just bouncing off it.

  10. drewski says:

    00/01 was the one that clicked with me. Played a bit of 01/12 too, though, mostly in an attempt at multiplayer that didn’t quite work. But I love this series so much. I don’t even bother with the new ones because I know they can never recreate the magic of the CM3 era games. Winning the European Cup with Lokomotiv Chita or IFK Visby, such memories.

  11. Zankman says:

    With no nostalgia glasses (having never played it before), I downloaded the game to try it after I saw it listed in the Top Free Games article you guys had here.

    I quit after some 30-40 minutes; Might have been a bit harsh, but, I just wasn’t having fun.

    The interface/UI is just far too obtuse and convoluted. Makes doing absolutely anything a chore

    The match simulation wasn’t really fun in any way either.

    • Themadcow says:

      Funnily enough, CM01/02 is probably one of the very, very few games that don’t disappoint me when I return to them (one of the others being X-Com). The match engine is best enjoyed at the faster speeds in all honesty as CM01/02 is primarily a game about the buying and selling aspect of management more than it is about matchday tinkering.

  12. JamesTheNumberless says:

    The CM3 variants were pretty strong, it was just frustrating that they coincided with about the worst period in living memory for the team I support. (and the best for the neighbours I grudgingly admire) But my personal favorite will always be CM2 96/97 – I can’t attribute this to any particular feature, but it’s probably the one I played the most, the only one I think in which I got to the point where I had an entire team of regens.