Part of Football Manager’s charm is the ability to perform virtual miracles and pixelated pipe dreams.
Indeed those on-screen heroics can come in many guises, from guiding League Two fodder to Champions League glory, or even just developing that one wonderkid into a world class star.
But, what of designing your own competition and taking the Football Manager experience to a whole new level? We recently dabbled in the idea and devised our own ‘British Cup’ based on the musings of David Moyes.
According to the West Ham manager, the revamped tournament would be a way of revitalising the League Cup and making domestic football more entertaining, with other clubs from the Home Nations being drawn into the equation.
We wanted to test Moyes’ hypothetical scenario and see how Celtic and Rangers fared against English opposition. But, creating your own cup competition on Football Manager can be a complicated and sometimes overwhelming task if you’re new to the whole editing process.
So, if you want to put together your own competition on FM20, whether that’s a second-tier Champions League, Andrea Agnelli’s sycophantic ‘Super League’ or any other tournament for that matter, we have a step-by-step guide below on how to do so.
Step 1: Install FM Editor
To make any adjustments to your Football Manager save you must first download and install the pre-game Editor.
To do this you must first open up Steam, click on the ‘Library’ tab, select ‘Tools’, locate ‘Football Manager Editor’ and right click to install.
(Steam → Library → Tools → Football Manager 20 Editor → Download)
There is also the option of an In-Game Editor which you will have to purchase, but for the purpose of this guide, that is not necessary.
Step 2: Load up FM Editor and add competition
Your first step will be to add your own competition once you’ve loaded up FM Editor, and that can simply be done by clicking on the ‘competition’ icon.
Once there, select the ‘add’ icon and begin filling in the details of your competition. For the example below we have used the aforementioned ‘British Cup’.
Since our competition will involve multiple nations, select the ‘Continent’ icon and add in the necessary region. If you are putting together a domestic competition, then fill out the ‘Nation’ icon and leave the ‘Continent’ option blank, and vice versa.
You will also be required to select the style of your competition by ticking the ‘Type’ box and choosing from the options. We went with ‘Domestic League Cup’.
There are no other required steps to make in this section, but you may want to tweak a few minor details such as the ‘Winter Ball Colour’ and the ‘Use Extra Officials’ option, but again these are not necessary, only minor additions.
For the purpose of our tournament, we are replacing the Carabao Cup, so we first had to delete that by simply searching for the competition by name, clicking on the icon and removing it from the database, but this is not necessary if you’re creating an entirely new competition.
Step 3: Add Club Continental Rules
Unfortunately the above stage only scratches the surfaces. In order to make this whole operation come together and work smoothly we must fill out all the blanks ourselves, including the start date of the competition, when the proceeding fixtures will take place and of course, the final date.
To do that you must hover your mouse over to the ‘Rules’ tab at the top of your screen, and select ‘Add Club Continental Rules’ in the dropdown menu.
Once there you must decide when the tournament will reset every season. For the ‘British Cup’ (League Cup) we are looking at a March finish, so select a date immediately after the final has taken place — and of course, select the correct continent in the tab above.
You will then select which countries will be participating in the tournament and how the clubs will qualify. For that, select the ‘Qualification System’ tab, then ‘Nations’ and add your countries of choice — for us it’s the Home Nations.
For the specific clubs, select ‘Teams’, followed by ‘Add’ and then decide how many teams from each nation will enter the tournament. For us, we went with 128 clubs.
To determine how each team will register for the tournament, select ‘Type’ which will bring up an array of qualification options, but we just want ‘Nation Top Division Teams’, meaning clubs will enter your custom competition for simply being in the higher divisions.
This is opposed to say, European football where you have to finish in a certain position in the league or win a domestic cup competition — though both those options are available to select should you choose.
Finally, click on the ‘Qualified Competition’ option — highlighted above — and select your created cup so the teams will specifically enter that tournament, and tick the ‘Number’ icon — also highlighted — to add in how many teams from each nation will register.
Note: In our case we have a 128-team ‘British Cup’ so we will need 32 teams from each of the four Home Nations to reach our desired quota.
Step 4: Specific Competition Rules
Once the above stages have been followed select the ‘Cup’ tab and upload your specific competition, here you will be able to add in the finer details.
Your first step will be to add in the stages. We have 128 teams in the ‘British Cup’ so will have seven stages — if you have an eight-team competition for example you will only have three stages (Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final).
For the first stage select an appropriate name, for us it was unsurprisingly ‘First Round’, add in how many teams are starting at that stage (128 for us) — this step is not required for every individual stage, just the first — how many matches (64 in our case), and then the match and seeding rules (we went with extra time and penalties, and random teams to mimic the League Cup).
Then you will select your dates, we have just replaced the days of the League Cup fixtures, but you have the option to select any dates you want — you even have the option of creating a first and second leg by clicking on the ‘Number Of Legs’ icon and filling out the required information.
As always there are a few miscellaneous options to fill out such as the stadium and prize money, but again, these are not massively important.
Complete the above steps until each specific round has been filled out with the required information.
In our case 128 teams equates to seven rounds (First Round, Second Round, Third Round, Fourth Round, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Final), so we would have to fill out each stage with the necessary details (‘Number Of Matches’, ‘Match Rules’, ‘Seeding Rules’, ‘Date’).
Step 5: Test Rules
Once all the above has been followed you will then be required to test out your rules to see if everything adds up. Do this by simply clicking the ‘Test Rules’ in the ‘Rules’ menu at the top of your screen.
If you have filled out any information incorrectly, FM Editor will highlight this and direct you to the source of the issue.
Repeat this step and amend any irregularities until this message pops up: “The current club continent rules are valid.”
That is your cue to click ‘File’, ‘Save Editor Data As’ and name your file.
Step 6: Upload to FM
The final step is straightforward. Just load up Football Manager and when starting a new save, click on the database tab and select your file name.
If all goes according to plan your new competition should be waiting for you, and hopefully, you will have fixtures as riveting as Dundee United versus Bournemouth on the menu…