Football Manager is getting women’s football in the future, developer Sports Interactive has announced.
This won’t be a standalone edition of the game, but rather a brand-new women’s database merged with those already existing on Football Manager (FM) in a “one sport, one game” approach, giving managers a chance to take control of either men’s or women’s teams.
Unfortunately, the addition of women’s football won’t make it into FM22, Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson said. Still, it could be added to FM post-launch later on.
The FM boss also said that while it’s far from an easy undertaking it’s nonetheless an important one:
“We first started talking about it like five or six years ago and the cost-benefit analysis didn’t work out. And about 18 months ago we realised that unless someone like us went ahead and did this, it was never going to work out, because there’s a glass ceiling; and it’s ridiculous there’s a glass ceiling in the first place; so we decided to try and smash through it.”
The company started building a database of women’s football just a few months ago, but the plan is for it to eventually rival the men’s football database it has created over the course of nearly three decades. FM currently uses around 1200 researchers worldwide who view matches week in, week out in a bid to help keep the men’s database as authentic as possible.
Luckily, helping to crack this will be Tina Keech, Head of Women’s Research, along with expert knowledge from some of the biggest names in the game, including Chelsea Women’s Boss Emma Hayes.
“We want future generations to grow up in a world where football isn’t divided into ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’… it’s just football,” said Hayes.
“The ambitious plan that the Sports Interactive team have for Football Manager will play a huge part in getting us there.”
While the news have been a sign of hope to equality that is growing in the world of football, sadly, Sports Interactive has also received some negative comments on social media following the announcement.
In an statement, Jacobson told he had a stark message for these “fans”:
“To be really clear to people: consumer choice…
“If you don’t like the decisions we’re making around the game, don’t buy it. If you think adding women’s football is going to denigrate your experience, well I’m sorry, I hope you find another experience somewhere else that you can enjoy.
“We believe very strongly that this is the right thing to do.”
Football Manager 22 is released later this year; but, we’ll have to wait a bit longer till women’s football finally make its official appearance in a football video game, outside from the already known EA Sports FIFA game franchise.