Football Manager team makes commitment to women's football

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Sports Interactive has been working on the Football Manager series for 29 years now - and for that entire time, it has only focused on the men's game.

Well, today, SI has made a commitment to bring women into the heavyweight franchise in the coming years.

Making history

This won't be the first time women's football has appeared on a Football Management game, with We Are Football releasing a game earlier this year - but that was completely unlicensed.

FM aims to open up its unrivalled level of detail to the women's game.

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STEP ASIDE - The men will share the FM stage with women in years to come

Miles Jacobson, Studio Director at Sports Interactive, said: “We have NO interest whatsoever in making a standalone women’s football version of FM.

"What we are doing is adding women’s football to FM... one sport, one game.

“We know that adding women’s football to FM is going to cost in the millions and that the short-term return it delivers will be minimal. But that’s not the point.

"There’s no hiding that there’s currently a glass ceiling for women’s football and we want to do what we can to help smash through it.

"We believe in equality for all and we want to be part of the solution."

Women's football is certainly on the rise, with the latest WSL (Women's Super League) broadcasting deeal with Sky and the BBC worth up to £24 million, with Lionesses stars Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton and Fran Kirby becoming household names.

Worth the wait

Those hoping to see women's football in Football Manager 2022 - you may be a touch disappointed, as this is a long-term project from the Sports Interactive team.

Not only does the team need to integrate women's clubs and national sides into the game, but that also comes with its own transfer market, female-specific strings of text - and building an entire women's football database from scratch.

The FM developers have already begun motion capture with female athletes, showing their commitment to the cause.

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HARD YARDS - Motion capture has already begun on motion capture

The process has now begun on speaking to clubs to assist with this mission - with AFC Wimbledon Ladies & Girls and Watford Women already with the brand thanks to existing deals, but commercial agreements have now also been signed for the 2021/22 season with Leicester City Women.

Chelsea Women's Manager Emma Hayes is also on board:

"Women's football is capturing the imagination of fans across the globe and we're making huge strides in terms of attendance figures and broadcast deals

“For the women's game to get to the next level, though, it needs to be recognised as an integral part of the world of football, not something separate and different.

"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.

"The ambitious plan that the Sports Interactive team have for Football Manager will play a huge part in getting us there.”

Who knows when we will see the women's game in Football Manager - but we know when it does arrive, it will be done to the exact detailing you'd expect.

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