Following a long association with Eidos who published Sports Interactive'sChampionship Manager games, the two companies parted. Eidos retained the rights to the Championship Manager name and Sports Interactive retained the game code and database which they developed into Football Manager 2005. This is therefore the first game in what became the long-running Football Manager series.
This game is primarily a management game. The player accesses all aspects of the game from team selection, transfers, media interaction tactics and the like via a menu system. Actual games are viewed in a top down 2-D mode. As is customary with games in this series a data editor is supplied so that the player can update the game as transfers take place and regulations change. Some of the game's featured statistics are:
over one hundred attributes for each player,
over five thousand teams in fifty countries,
over one hundred attributes for each player
statistics for over a quarter of a million players and staff,
a database with over two and a half thousand contributors.
New game elements include:
A Media section which allows managers to influence the managers of other teams and players by making statements to the press and TV
A completely revised interface
The Physio Room which provides accurate injury data
Together with ESPNSoccernet and GamesRadar, Sports Interactive Limited ran a contest from 12th February 2004 until 8th April 2004 to design the Football Manager logo. From over 6,000 entries, a final shortlist of ten was selected, for which users could vote. The contest was won by Stuart Luff from Sheffield who walked away with £10,000. The other finalists received a year's supply of Sports Interactive games and other SI merchandise.