Managing a virtual football team might be hard enough. But Football Manager will now ask players to do something even more difficult – deal with the consequences of Brexit.
The game’s developers have re-written the game so that it will simulate the potential consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. And players will then have to deal with the fallout – which in real life will impact everything from club’s abilities to get visas to their players to how much they can be paid.
The game tends to avoid politics, though real life decisions can tip over into the game – in previous games Qatar can have the World Cup taken off them, for instance, and new countries joining the EU will make a difference to the game. But as a rule it has tended to avoid politics, preferring to keep it out of people’s way.
What experts have said about Brexit
What experts have said about Brexit
1/11 Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond
The Chancellor claims London can still be a world financial hub despite Brexit “One of Britain’s great strengths is the ability to offer and aggregate all of the services the global financial services industry needs” “This has not changed as a result of the EU referendum and I will do everything I can to ensure the City of London retains its position as the world’s leading international financial centre.”
2/11 Yanis Varoufakis
Greece's former finance minister compared the UK relations with the EU bloc with a well-known song by the Eagles: “You can check out any time you like, as the Hotel California song says, but you can't really leave. The proof is Theresa May has not even dared to trigger Article 50. It's like Harrison Ford going into Indiana Jones' castle and the path behind him fragmenting. You can get in, but getting out is not at all clear”
3/11 Michael O’Leary
Ryanair boss says UK will be ‘screwed’ by EU in Brexit trade deals: “I have no faith in the politicians in London going on about how ‘the world will want to trade with us’. The world will want to screw you – that's what happens in trade talks,” he said. “They have no interest in giving the UK a deal on trade”
4/11 Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon's chairman has said claims that the UK would see serious economic consequences from a Brexit vote were "lurid" and wrong: “We were told it would be Armageddon from the OECD, from the IMF, David Cameron, the chancellor and President Obama who were predicting locusts in the fields and tidal waves in the North Sea"
5/11 Mark Carney
Governor of Bank of England is 'serene' about Bank of England's Brexit stance: “I am absolutely serene about the … judgments made both by the MPC and the FPC”
6/11 Christine Lagarde
IMF chief urges quick Brexit to reduce economic uncertainty: “We want to see clarity sooner rather than later because we think that a lack of clarity feeds uncertainty, which itself undermines investment appetites and decision making”
7/11 Inga Beale
Lloyd’s chief executive says Brexit is a major issue: "Clearly the UK's referendum on its EU membership is a major issue for us to deal with and we are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd's continues trading across Europe”
8/11 Colm Kelleher
President of US bank Morgan Stanley says City of London ‘will suffer’ as result of the EU referendum: “I do believe, and I said prior to the referendum, that the City of London will suffer as result of Brexit. The issue is how much”
9/11 Richard Branson
Virgin founder believes we've lost a THIRD of our value because of Brexit and cancelled a deal worth 3,000 jobs: We're not any worse than anybody else, but I suspect we've lost a third of our value which is dreadful for people in the workplace.' He continued: "We were about to do a very big deal, we cancelled that deal, that would have involved 3,000 jobs, and that’s happening all over the country"
10/11 Barack Obama
US President believes Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU: "It is absolutely true that I believed pre-Brexit vote and continue to believe post-Brexit vote that the world benefited enormously from the United Kingdom's participation in the EU. We are fully supportive of a process that is as little disruptive as possible so that people around the world can continue to benefit from economic growth"
11/11 Kristin Forbes
American economist and an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England argues that the economy had been “less stormy than many expected” following the shock referendum result: “For now…the economy is experiencing some chop, but no tsunami. The adverse winds could quickly pick up – and merit a stronger policy response. But recently they have shifted to a more favourable direction”
Brexit was too significant to leave out of the game, however. The game’s developers have said that they had to factor in a simulation because it is such a significant development, Miles Jacobson from Sports Interactive said.
After two to ten years spent in the game, it will alert the player to the fact that trade negotiations have been begun ahead of Brexit. A year later, a news bulletin will appear that tells the player what has happened – which could be anything from a hard Brexit that means new work permits will have to be applied for, to a soft Brexit that leaves freedom of movement in place and makes little difference to how easy it is to recruit players.
The game will decide which of those consequences happen by simulating how the Brexit negotiations could possibly work out. That was done by researching those various possibilities and plugging them into the game, after “a lot of reading, a lot of talking to politicians and people in football”, Mr Jacobson told The Telegraph.
Developers had initially planned just to have one version of Brexit in the game, where there would just be one scenario where Britain leaves the EU. But as it became clear that a number of possibilities could happen in real life, developers worked to make it so that the game would use artificial intelligence and percentage chances to work out a variety of different situations, Mr Jacob said.
The impact that Brexit has on football in the UK and elsewhere depends entirely on the deal that the government gets when it leaves. If hard Brexit is adopted then it might mean that EU players are treated the same as those from outside the EU – potentially excluding some of the biggest stars of the Premier League, or at least making it far harder for them to be signed.
Such rules would mean that players including N’Golo Kante and Dimitri Payet wouldn’t have been able to come to the Premier League, Mr Jacobson said. And so those same rules will be in place in the game.
But that’s only one possible outcome. Other scenarios see Britain adopt a system like Italy’s, where only a certain number of non-EU players are allowed, except if Britain has left the EU that will apply to players outside of the UK.
And in extreme scenarios, Brexit could force non-UK players who are already playing for Premier League teams to be forced to re-apply for work permits. The game reflects the fact that such forced deportations are unlikely to take place in real life, but it’s still possible for it to happen within the game.
Football Manager 2017 won’t just simulate the outcome of Brexit but the potential consequences that might have for the UK. So, for instance, Northern Ireland and Scotland might hold their own referendums – leading to those countries leaving the UK and staying in the EU.
The game also adds other complications involved in being a football manager today. Those include social media – which fans and the media can use to pressure you to leave your job – and things like sport science and charged press conferences.Reuse content