Football Manager 2017 review: Thanks to Brexit, it’s the deepest game yet


At first glance, it's business as usual in Football Manager 2017. Transfers, tactics, man management, financial balancing acts, scouting, competing for silverware—everything you'd expect from the series is present and correct. But dig deeper, and you find a clever twist.

For the first time, politics impact everything you do. Football Manager 2017 not only encourages you to think about how popular sports are impacted by wider political ideals, but also how sport simply can't exist without a surrounding society and culture. This is a game that doesn't just entertain, but makes a political statement too.

There are no prizes for guessing which political topic Football Manager 2017 tackles. Brexit, the UK's favourite national pastime, is here, warts and all, ready to rain on your managerial parade. Of course, no one really knows for sure the exact impact Brexit will have on the UK, especially when it comes to football, and so it takes on a number of different forms. At a randomised point over the course of your first few seasons, you're informed of the type of Brexit the British government has managed to negotiate with the EU, and what that means for your squad.

The "soft" Brexit scenario sees free movement of workers remain and, therefore, bringing in EU players remains as straightforward as it is today. A "hard" Brexit means EU players are subject to the same work permit regulations governing the signing of non-EU nationals, so a player must have already proven themselves as a top professional before they're granted working rights by the government. For example, players are more likely to be given a work permit if they have won a number of caps for a top national team (Germany, Brazil, Argentina etc), if they are one of the highest earners at their current club, or if their transfer fee is especially high.

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