Taking Football Manager into extra time

Football Manager used to simulate a thousand years of football

Image:  Adam Haworth on Flickr

Image: Adam Haworth on Flickr

A Reddit user with too much time on his hands has used Football Manager 2015 to simulate the next thousand years of football. The entire simulation took 58 days to perform, with the user having started the simulation on March 4th this year.

The results, which have been put together in this spreadsheet, are surprising. If we are to be believe the simulation, Sheffield United and Burnley will dominate the Premier League, while big names such as Chelsea and Liverpool will quickly decline. The simulation also has England winning the world cup a whopping forty-one times, although this is probably due to England being chosen as the only playable nation.

Some strange records were also set during the course of the simulation. For example, Burnley broke the record for highest average attendance in the Premier League, with nearly a hundred thousand people coming to each match during the 2875/76 season. Considering that Burnley’s current population is only around seventy thousand people, and that it has been in steady decline for a while now, this seems a tad unrealistic.

In Europe, Real Madrid took home 108 Champions League titles, while half a million people turned up to watch one match between Salzburg and Red Star. In the Europa League, Principat went on a losing streak of 257 games, failing to win a single game between the years 2431 and 2996.

You’d be right in thinking that Football Manager becomes more broken the longer you play it, but that’s what makes the results of this simulation all the more interesting. How boring would it be if the usual suspects continued to win the major trophies for the next thousand years? The absurdity of having some of England’s smallest teams triumphing in the Premier League is far more enthralling.

This isn’t the first time someone has pushed a game to the limits in this way. A few years ago one gamer revealed that he had been playing the same game of Civilization II for nearly ten years. The game had become a “hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation”, in which the three remaining factions were locked into a devastating war for diminishing resources. The game was dubbed ‘The Eternal War’ and gained a strong following and its own subReddit.

Both the spreadsheet and thread surrounding the Football Manager simulation make for interesting reading. Our very own York City can be found right at the bottom of the spreadsheet. While even teams as miniscule as Forest Green Rovers manage to win the Premier League at some point in the next thousand years, York never even makes it to the top flight. In that sense at least, the simulation seems pretty accurate.