Football Manager 2020 is not out officially just yet. The 19th November release date is tantalisingly close, and for those that have pre-ordered the beta is now playable.
FM20 has promised a whole raft of new features for the hardcore player and casual alike that should make it a fresh experience for those that ran deep into the 2030s in FM19.
One of the major changes Sports Interactive have made this year is a series of new decisions you need to make when you take on a job.
From a Code of Conduct you agree on with the players, and have to stick to, to the Club Vision.
This is a plan laid out by the Chairman when you agree to take on the job and, since you are new and unproven, is inflexible and rigid.
Failure to keep the club on track with this vision will lead to a sour relationship with the board, and if you keep missing targets you will soon be on the hot seat.
This feature is a big improvement the previous win the title/challenge for the title pre-season expectations that can sometimes be so vague and tricky to work with.
So what will be expected from you if you take over one of the big English clubs this year?
WINNERS: City expect nothing but free-flowing trophies
The Premier League champions have had high expectations ever since their Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.
Having taken home the last two Premier League titles the expectation, along with playing possession and entertaining football, is to win the Premier League once more in the 2019/20 season.
The other big requirement for your first season in-charge is to take the team toward European glory. You are required to at least make the final of the Champions League, which is going to be very tricky.
To help with this the domestic cup competitions are downgraded in importance. While you are expected to make the FA Cup final this is not as crucial as Premier League and European success.
The 2020/21 expectation is to once again win the league, and that will be the aim for every year. While you may receive some grace if you miss out on the final day, dropping out of title contention in March could see you looking for a new job.
DROUGHT: Bringing home the Premier League will make you a star
Liverpool’s quest for a first Premier League title fell short once again last season, though they had the always-welcome consolation prize of lifting their sixth European Cup as they beat Spurs 1-0 in the Champions League final.
When you take over at Liverpool you’ll be expected to play attacking and entertaining football, while also signing players under the age of 23 for the first team and developing local talent from the club’s youth system.
The on-going plan will see you work to expand the stadium, increase commercial revenue, maintain the club’s current level of self-sustainability and reputation, while also working within the wage budget.
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The goals for your first season in charge are very high. The board expect you to win the Premier League and reach at least the semi-final of the Champions League.
The FA Cup is still relatively important to the board so you are expected to make the final there, while the Club World Championship is on the fixture list this season and you are expected to bring that home too.
The following season you are again expected to win the Premier League, which will be a recurring aim for as long as you stay at the club.
SURVIVE: Contending during the one-year transfer ban is key
The Blues are a constant yoyo of triumph and disappointment. They lifted the Premier League in 2015 & 17 but between those wins were dark seasons. Last year saw them lift the Europa League trophy to win a spot in the Champions League, but a transfer ban and the departure of Edin Hazard makes them a tough job for anyone in FM20.
Their expectations are for you to maintain the excellent youth system the club has, and hand out only one-year contracts for players over 30.
Competitively, you are expected to qualify for the Champions League through a top 4 spot in the Premier League as well as make the quarter-final in the Champions League.
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The board want an FA Cup final out of you too, which given the young team you have to work with and one-year transfer ban will be a big ask that requires more than a little luck.
In the 2020/21 season you will be expected to challenge for silverware and work toward a challenge for the Premier League title.
Should you meet these targets and get a contract extension then by the end of the 2023/24 season the board expect a Premier League title once again.
BACK TO WINNING WAYS: United have fallen behind
As the most successful team in Premier League history, Man United’s downturn in recent years has been bitterly disappointing for fans.
As the new manager you have to increase commercial revenue and maintain the team’s status as one of the biggest in the world.
You will be expected to have a top 4 finish in the Premier League, and at least make the final of the Europa League. An FA Cup semi-final is also required of you.
This is all in service of building to a title challenge in 2021/22 and eventually bringing the trophy back to Old Trafford in 22/23.
NEW ERA: Can you be the next icon for Arsenal?
The Gunners are still finding their way in a post-Arsene Wenger world.
As the new boss you will be expected to play attacking and entertaining football, as well as signing players under 18 for the future.
In your first season in charge the board require a top 4 finish in the Premier League along with another appearance in the Europa League final and an FA Cup semi-final.
The words “work towards” and “challenge” come up a lot in future seasons, with an aim to winning the Premier League in 2023/24, which will mark 20 years since The Invincibles and Arsenal’s last Premier League triumph.
SILVERWARE: End Spurs' drought and become a club legend
Spurs have had a purple patch in recent years but come away empty handed. Defeat in the Champions League final last season was another dagger to their hopes. Can you take over and bring the silverware home?
Well, the board expect you to challenge, but winning things is not a specific goal for Spurs. During your tenure you are expected to maintain self-sustainability, limit contracts for over-30 players to 2 years, and stick to a rather rigid club culture.
You are to develop players within the club’s youth system, play possession, attacking, and entertaining football, sign English players, sign players under the age of 22 for the future and not sign anyone over 30.
As far as the competitive expectations go, you need a top 4 finish in the Premier League in your first season, and then reach the quarter-final of the Champions League and the final of the FA Cup.
In season 2 you will be expected to reach the latter stages of the Champions League and work towards a Premier League challenge, though the board do not lay out anything beyond challenging for the title. If you can go further and win the thing you will quickly become a legend at the club.