Football Manager's user interface will look markedly different to anything that has come before. Navigation between screens will be easier, with each screen explaining what information is on offer and how to get to other, related information. Consistency between separate game elements will also be more noticeable than in previous football management games: operations such as player filtering and sorting will now work consistently throughout the game. The game's look – which now includes a two-panel option – will also be easily customised, allowing managers to store their preferred views and to return quickly to them.
Sports Interactive's long-standing and award-winning game engine has been refined and tuned in accordance with the feedback received from fans of its previous games. For example, Football Manager 2005 incorporates more than 30 extra fields for player data, including the all-new new 'preferred moves'.
As has always been the case with Sports Interactive's management simulations, Football Manager 2005's database and competition simulation will be as up-to-date and accurate as is humanly possible.
Managers will be presented with enhanced information before and after each match, to show team line-ups, injuries and tactics before the match, and lots of stats about the match afterwards.
Managers will receive information on international performances, allowing them follow their players' careers and ascertain how they are performing at the highest level.
Managers are likely to receive 'video clips' (executed using the game's acclaimed 2D match engine) of a player's performances, sent to them by that player's agent with view to a possible transfer.
In addition to commenting on individual players, coaches will now offer their opinions on the squad as a whole, thus helping managers to decide which areas of their team need improvement.
Non-playing jobs will be advertised through an in-game 'Job Centre', improving the manager's ability to hire coaches and other staff.
Managers will be able to offer surplus players an opportunity to agree mutual contract termination, which will reduce the cost of releasing players and trimming squads.
Managers can now approach other clubs to offer young players on loan, a process which will make it easier to give younger players competitive experience. Also, when players' loan periods expire, the manager will have an opportunity to extend the loan (where appropriate).
Managers can click on any other manager's name and issue a comment to the media relating to that person. The effects of these comments will see an increase in the amount of pressure surrounding title races, relegation battles, Cup ties and so on. It will also be possible to use this feature in relation to your own players, other clubs, media pundits etc.
Playable leagues in 43 countries.
More than 140 playable senior divisions and in excess of 100 playable cup competitions.
Reserve and junior league competitions.
More than 235,000 players and staff (from 145 different countries) with players boasting more than 120 separate attributes and non-playing staff boasting 40.
A database of more than 14,000 clubs, 3,000 of which can be managed.
Data supplied by a network of more than 2,500 researchers from around the world.
Updated 2D 'top-down' match engine.
Improved 'radio commentary'.
Increased interaction with the media.
Reworked injury system.
Improved scouting system.
Improved finance module to reflect the changing face of football.
Comments when negotiating with human managers (network multi-player game only).