Skip to main content

Football Manager 2020 release date confirmed: wishlist, trailers, and everything we know about FM 2020

football manager 2020
Image credit: Sports Interactive
(Image credit: Sports Interactive)

There's just over a month to go until Football Manager 2020, and Sports Interactive has revealed a plethora of features, including the release date. There's far too many small features to list in this article – check out Miles Jacobson's Twitter feed to see features revealed daily – but we have got all the key info you need to know about, from the Football Manager 2020 release date to trailers and our wishlist for the game.

Football Manager 2020 release date and platforms

Sports Interactive has revealed the Football Manager 2020 release date at last; the embedded tweet above reveals that the game will be available for PC, iOS, and Android on Tuesday, November 19. Players that pre-order can play the beta around two weeks beforehand – the date isn't confirmed, but it makes it around Tuesday, November 5.

This means that they're moving away from the traditional Friday release schedule which we've seen for the last few years, instead opting for the midweek launch day. There's no news on either the Nintendo Switch or Google Stadia release date, but "more details will follow soon" according to the press release. Unfortunately, there's still no plans for a PS4 or Xbox One release.

Football Manager 2020 trailers

We're just a month out from the launch of Football Manager 2020, so Sega has released the first trailer for the game. It doesn't explain much about the game, instead focusing on social media reactions and opinions that tend to flood the internet after every football weekend, but hey, good to know the game definitely exists right? Check out the first Football Manager 2020 trailer above, and read on for our wishlist.

Football Manager 2020 wishlist

Here's our Football Manager 2020 wishlist of features we want to see in the next title, and future games as we enter a new decade:

Women's Football

Football Manager 2020 - Women's football

The women's World Cup is taking place in France this summer - it kicks off today (June 7) in fact - so FM 2020 would be the perfect time to introduce women's football to the game. The female version of the sport has surged in popularity in the last few years and FIFA introduced women's football a few years ago, so it's about time Football Manager followed suit.

There's just one problem; this is still a distant pipe dream. Jacobson is asked time and time and time again when women's football will be added to the game, and his answer has remained the same: When it becomes financially viable. In a November 2018 interview, Jacobson explained that when they eventually do women's football, they want to do it properly.

“The majority of people who play Football Manager are male, just as the majority of football fans are male,” Jacobson says. “But, just as there are more female football fans, what’s been encouraging over the past few years has been the fact that more female players are playing the game. We very much hope that one day this will be commercially viable and, when it is, we’ll do it properly. All elements of the professional women’s game will be included.”

So I guess that's that. Including women in the game would be a huge undertaking and while it's definitely something to strive towards, it doesn't look like it's coming any time soon.

Improved 3D Match Engine

Football Manager 2019 - Match Engine

Image credit: Malavida.com (Image credit: Malavida.com)

When you look back at Football Manager from 10 or so years ago, there's a huge difference in the quality of the match engine. But when you compare Football Manager 2019 to other leading football games, the match engine is light years behind. Animations frequently glitch out, there's very little sense of realism when you watch the matches play out. Anyone who plays FM knows that the 3D match engine is in dire need of some work.

It's time to implement those changes with Football Manager 2020. A lot of the time, you can instruct players to do something in a match but when you're watching it play out, your player will visibly defy orders. The match engine needs to implement features like players dribbling round goalkeepers when in a one vs one situation, multiple players need to stop closing down the same player on the same path, that sort of thing. Football Manager is repeatedly lauded as the most accurate football game - praise that is definitely warranted - but the match engine needs to be brought up to scratch.

Improved Assistant Manager Feedback

We've all been there. You've kicked off against a bigger club and you're playing a defensive formation, only for your assistant manager to kindly inform you five minutes in that you're being overrun in midfield. That's great and all, but how are we being overrun? What effect will that have on the game if I don't fix it? How can I fix it?!

The quality of your assistant manager's feedback will always depend on their stats and the level of your club, but it would be a welcomed change to have more detailed feedback. "We should change to a shorter passing style" followed by 10 minutes later, "We should encourage our players to play a more direct style of football". Make your mind up, ass man!

Spectate Training

Football Manager 2019 - Training

Image credit: Balls.ie (Image credit: Balls.ie)

Training in Football Manager has always been something only the most dedicated of players dive into, but it would be incredible if we could spectate training matches. When you've just implemented a brand new 3-2-1-1-3 asymmetric formation inspired by Sir Alex Ferguson's St. Mirren days, it's somewhat risky to use it straight away in a league match.

Aside from pre-season friendlies, there's almost always something at stake when testing new tactics in Football Manager. Being able to organise an intra-squad friendly to watch your tactics in action before you jump back into the title race could be crucial, because if your starting XI lose 6-0 to your youth team, you know it's probably not going to help you win the league.

Throwback Career Mode

This is another one that doesn't seem likely to happen but since Football Manager runs on the same engine every year, it could be a possibility. Have you ever dreamed of managing the 98/99 treble winning United squad? How about Arsenal's invincible 03/04 season? Or Derby County in their record lowest points season in the Premier League?

A throwback mode would allow you to do all that and more. You could jump in at the start of any season in history - within reason of course, it's unlikely you'd be able to manage Real Oviedo in 1925 - and see how you perform with legendary players. Cultivate Bebe into the great he was destined to become, prevent Michael Johnson from succumbing to his mental health problems at Man City, or see what happens if you poach Lionel Messi before he makes a first team appearance. I can dream.

More Question/Answer Variety

Press conferences and tunnel interviews don't have a huge impact on a Football Manager season - that boils down to your players' performances and your tactical capabilities - but it can affect your relationships with other managers, players, the board, etc. A lot of managers tend to skip press conferences and the like, but for those of us who like to attend, there needs to be some more variety in both the questions asked and the responses available.

There's only so many times I can say that I have belief in the abilities of my players to end this run of bad form, or decline to disclose my tactics for an upcoming match. There's only five options to select for any question and it rarely has the response you actually want. A dynamic response system where you can construct a reply from sections of pre-made phrases could work, especially since the "Additional Comments" section rarely has any effect.

Youth Team Management

Football Manager 2019 - Yan Valery

Image credit: FootballWhispers.com (Image credit: FootballWhispers.com)

This was a feature in earlier Football Manager games that was only recently removed, and it's left avid players baffled as to why it's no longer a thing. In real life, almost everyone starts their management career at a youth team, building up the under-18s, followed by the under-23s, until they get their lucky break in first team management.

Being able to do this in Football Manager would be absolutely huge for those dedicated players. It won't be for everyone because it would likely take years in-game until a first team management role is offered, but for those who want a 50-year long career rising to the top, being able to start in youth management would be the ultimate enabler.

Football Manager 2019 experiment: Is Frank Lampard going to succeed at Chelsea?

Frank Lampard

(Image credit: Soccrates Images / Getty)

For something a little different, I've done an experiment in last year's Football Manager to see how well Frank Lampard could do at Chelsea. It's an interesting tale of dubious transfers and questionable tactics, and you can read all about his time in charge here to see how long he lasted, and whether he could build Chelsea back up to the titans they once were: Football Manager 2019 experiment: Lampard to Chelsea.