I love my 30+ season careers and the best thing about FM (apart from schooling your newgens) is the shuffling that happens in leagues. By shuffling I mean former weak teams becoming good and vice versa. And here comes the thing I spotted. OK, I have seen Werder Bremen dropping to non-league, Bukovyna Chernivtsi being bought by some wealthy Scotsman and beating 4:1 in the Champions' League, but I have never seen any of the European giants getting relegated. Barcelona and Real are still two most valuable teams and even though Marseille won CL 6 times, they are still third in terms of reputation and money (Barcelona hasn't even won the national championship for 12 years). OK, but I am mixing topics a bit - anyway - none of the big teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan, Juventus, Bayern, Real or Barcelona was even close to relegation. So - my question to you my fellow gamers is: have you ever witnessed a big decline in one of those teams' performance? Maybe one of them got in debt? Or had their stadium closed down? I am currently in season 2039/40 and nothing like this happened, apart from Werder playing in non-league for five years by now. However, I don't count Werder as a European superpower... Screenshots welcome
What I've seen is that whenever a really big club flirts with relegation early in the season they will always climb back up the table when they get around to sacking their manager, one day a manager will arrive at a Liverpool, Manchester United or AC Milan & be unable to save them from the drop but in my save that day appears to be some way off.
I'm in 2027 and the only really big drop I can see is Preston North End being in the BSN. Some of the big clubs in the top divisions around Europe have become mid table clubs but I can't see anyone who has been relegated. As for Bayern until I took over at Dortmund they won the Bundesliga 11 times in 16 years, I know they along with Man Utd, Barca, Real Madrid, have ridiculous amounts of money (hundreds of millions, Barca and Real Madrid have hit what seems to be a wage cap at £5m a week) in the bank and can just spend their way out of any domestic trouble.
It might have been FM 2010 or 2011 but in one of the patches there were some pretty crazy FIRST season relegations of big clubs. In one save Liverpool went down straight away. And I remember AC Milan had the same thing happen to them. This was 'fixed' with the next patch that came along, but it was interesting for a while.
I remember on a previous FM, i think FM11, AC Milan went down to Serie C. I'm not even sure how, they become a yoyo club between Serie A and B and then all of a sudden suffered successive relegations. The biggest fall from grace on this FM12 has been Nottingham Forest going into the Blue Square, Blackburn into League 1 and Fulham into league 2 after countless administrations
In FM08 I'm currently in 2040, and Chelsea are somewhat of a yo-yo club between Premier League and the Championship, while Man Utd have been docked 10 points 3 times in the last 6-7 seasons, and have just been promoted back into The Championship. Man City have just been relegated to League One.
I like it when minor teams rise to the top and vice versa.
I haven't seen any really big clubs suffer too much, this year they seem to much more stable then previous games. Though there are plenty of perennial mid-table or bottom half teams that start in top divisions that have dropped down the leagues.
As for Forest, it happened in my game too. In fact, they were relegated three times in a row, ending up in Blue Square North. They immediately went back to BS Prem and stayed there.
So, unfortunately you seem to support my observations that in FM 2012 top clubs only get richer and they never go down. That's sad. I hope in FM 13 SI are going to change it to make long careers more surprising and interesting.
Nevertheless, there are some nice observations I have made in my game:
* - Georgia are now seeded first in all draws, qualifying for every World Cup and European Champs
* - Armenia reached Best of 16 round in 2038 WC, where they were defeated by Ivory Coast - eventual champions
* - DR Congo won African Nations Cup 67 years after their last victory in 1972
* - Germany are seeded third, with their world ranking around 40th-50th place
* - Hungary are so weak that they fell behind Djibouti, Seychelles and Pakistan in the rankings
* - A Brazilian newgen called Rui became the best player of all-time, snatching 12 World Player of the Year awards and scoring over 600 goals for Marseille, helping them win 6 CL titles
* - Ukrainian league seems to attract most sugar daddies with at least three teams getting good money from them. Especially Bukovyna Chernivtsi, who are regular CL group stage team with a first 11 Brazilian international in their squad. To spice it up - Dynamo Kiev are a mid-bottom team nowadays.
* - There is a lot of shuffling going on in Turkey, but only among the teams outside the top 4. The regular superpowers like Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor are always in the top half. However, I saw Ankaragucu getting relegated to 4th division.
* - Blyth Spartans managed to climb to Championship
and lots more
If you want to know something about your team in 2039/40 - let me know
I also miss the possibility of clubs virtually ceasing to exist, merging, appearing and re-appearing It would be a great addition! If new stadia were implemented and they work well (although the ones built for international competitions never get assigned to clubs :/), new teams could do the same.
That is even more extremely unlikely in FM12 as they TV deals Real Madrid and Barcelona have mean it's virtually impossible for them to get relegated. Even the AI can't mess up with a £600m+ transfer budget and £5m a week to spend on wages.
In mine, Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham haven't been out of the top 10 ever, except for one season when Man Utd finished 11th. I'm currently in the 2030/31 season. Wolves made it to 2nd 4 years ago though, managed by Laurent Koscielny.
In Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona have finished in the top 4 every year, and Sevilla are the only other club to have won the league. In Italy, Parma are the biggest club traditionally to have done badly, and were relegated to Serie C at one point. They've made their way back to Serie A now though, where Juventus have won it for 10 out of the last 11 years. Germany's even more predictable, with Bayern winning it for 13 of the last 18 seasons.
The biggest changes overall has been Wigan falling to League 2, while Newport County are currently top of the Championship.
I'm on 2040/41 now, and the biggest "decline" for a top-class team is Man utd. They have been in Europe only twice in last 10 seasons and last season they survived from relegation only by 3 points.
In Italy AS Roma got relegated in 2025/26, but bounced straight back up.
In Spain Valencia have been relegated twice (2021/22 and 2035/36), but both times they have bounced straight back up as well.
so nothing really dramatic...and now that I actually took some time to look all the leagues, this depresses me.
There is actually a "pattern" that every big league has a one dominant club right now:
England: MAn City have won 12 of the last 13 titles
Italy: Fiorentina have won 7 out of 10
Spain: Real Madrid have won 13/15
France: Marseille have won 20 out of 25 and the other 5 times they have been 2nd
Germany: Bayern have won 15/17 last titles.
This actually makes me sad. Because the big clubs don't even suffer from a managerial change. Real Madrid have changed manager 5 times during the last 15 years and every single manager has won the title in the first season in charge. And the same goes with Man City.
Currently playing in the French league with Metz, it is a massive Challenge to beat Marseille. They are paying their best players 180k/w and my top-earner is at 34k/w and I'm barely staying even with my balance.
That I remember in my current save in FM2011, Lazio got relegated to serie b and borussia is completely different than real life. While in real life they are in the top positions, in the game they relegate to the 2. Bundesliga and the season after it promotes to the 1. Bundesliga. They are always strugling to avoid relegation.
Not seen a big team go down for ages but I do see teams climb or collapse a lot. I am in 2023 and the lower leagues have changed quite a bit in England.
Seen Swindon spend 1 season it the Premier League. Newport, Wrexham and Bristol Rovers are in the Championship. Stoke, Forest Green and Dover are in League 1 with a bankrupt and bottom placed Bolton. Numerous non league sides are in League 2 with Coventry and Hull. Peterborough and MK Dons are in the BSP with Preston, Oxford, Port Vale and a couple of other league sides from the start in the BSN/S
The Premier League has hardly changed though. The same sides fill the top 8 slots every year. Everton and Aston Villa have become very good teams along with the usual suspects of Man City, Man Utd, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. There is usually about a 15 point gap between 8th and 9th with no sign of it closing. The 3 promoted clubs along with a couple of other clubs struggle with 32 points (sometimes even less) being enough to stay up for another year. Everyone else gets stuck in the middle with no danger of relegation due to the awful clubs and no chance of climbing because the top 8 is so strong.
Nearest I've had is Wigan have quickly gone down to League 1. Everton got relegated back came back up. As did Birmingham, QPR and Wolves. Only my Forest side has seen a non-relegated Prem club go up.
And yes the top 7 contain Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, plus a rejuvinated Everton and my ex-Forest team in third (I built them up and left.). Man United in 11th with a handful of games to go. This will make the 3rd year they will miss out on the Champ. League, and second from Europe. Will be interesteding to see if a rot has set in, but I doubt it.
Most dramatic drops happen when the original chairman resigns and is replaced by a random Club Legend who's in the db as Director of Football or in similar "cosmetic" capacity and therefore doesn't have the resources and the attributes needed to be a good chairman.
In my current save Udinese got relegated the first season and never came back, Roma are now a bottom-half side, Milan and Juventus have become Europa League candidates at best, while the likes of Napoli, Genoa, Palermo and Torino have been climbing the ladder.
(all of that while I'm dominating with Modena).
Changes in ownership and debatable attributes for original chairmen have turned Serie A into a laughable league... Not that such things haven't happened in real life, but the landscape of Italian football shouldn't have changed so dramatically in a mere five years. Especially because the clubs taking over aren't in a position to do so.
In my FM09 save, it's September 2021. The current Premier League champions are...Ipswich Town - they have won 4 out of the last 5 league titles.
Arsenal and Man city usually battle for the title. Chelsea are mid table, last season saw Liverpool survive the drop by only about 4 points and worst of all.....
Manchester United are just back in the premiership after spending 2 seasons in the Championship.
Otherwise it's the usual yo-yo clubs - Birmingham, Wigan, QPR etc
I had a game from ages ago (think it was FM 05) where Liverpool were relegated, but it was after a very long time, around 15 seasons I think. But even then they just came straight back up anyway. I think I may have seen Valencia go down too, but they're not necessarily a giant. That sort of thing happens a fair bit in Spain anyway. Atleti, Deportivo, Betis, etc. have all gone down at various times recently, and Valencia even were very close to it themselves when Ronald Koeman was in charge, and that was when they have both Villa and Silva.
The other "big teams" in the Premier League have all being taking up the top six places in the Premier League.
No major falls from grace, the only real surprise you could say was that it took PSG until 2019 to finally lift the French League title.
Again no real surprises in this league, Werder and Dortmund have had the odd bad season here and there but nothing major as in the other seasons they have been in the CL places or chasing for the title.
Feyenoord had a terrible season in 2014/15 where they finished second bottom (17th) but managed to avoid relegation by winning their Relegation Play-Off games. Ever since that season they have been always finished in the mid table or bottom half of the League.
AC Milan have gone from title challengers to an average mid table side, in 2014/15 they had their lowest ever league finish where they finished the League in 15th. However the season after they finished 4th but have struggled since with finishes in 12th, 11th & 14th.
Juventus had one dreadful season in 2019/20 ending up 16th - which was very bizarre since they won Serie A the season before!!
Malaga were relegated finishing 18th in 2014/15, but bounced straight back to La Liga. Suppose you could count Barcelona not finishing in the top three for the last three seasons as a surpise, although the lowest finish was only 5th.
While overall no big teams have fallen really, some other teams have become title challengers, the most noteable is Genoa who have become one of the top sides in Italy (without a Tycoon takeover) consistently challenging for the Serie A title - despite winning it it only once they haven't finished outside the top three in any of the last five seasons. On the International Stage all the major Nations still compete for the Euro's and World Cup with the odd team having a bad tournament here and there. The main surprise was Belgium winning the 2016 Euro's and Mexico winning the 2018 World Cup.
On my save from FM2007. Year 2031: Chelsea in Championship, Barcelona in bottom of Liga Adelante, Schalke, Hannover, Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund in 2. Bundesliga, Werder in Regionalliga, Ascoli and Arezzo in top 4 of Serie A, AS Roma in relegation place
On FM2007 I had a long term save in Norway, and Rosenborg got relegated to the regional 3rd tier. When you consider that a fair few of the 2nd tier teams in Norway are semi-pro, that's some pretty bad management. This was probably no more than a decade into the save as well.
I also recall seeing Inter relegated on one version. I also became Lazio manager on one game when they were in Serie B about 10 years into the game. 6 years later and they were Champions League winners.
West London IRL. Charlton Athletic (2020/21) (FM13)
I never see enough shuffling, mentioned it on here a few times too...
England: top 4/5 always the 'traditional' clubs, Colwyn Bay & Newport making strides lower down the league. Oldham in BSN
Spain: Real/Barca both worth 3x the next highest valued club (Arsenal), although At. Madrid champs for last three seasons
Italy: Inter, Juve perennial champs. Lazio relegated, straight back up
France: either PSG or Marseille champs, no resurgence from Lyon. Monaco not yet back from Ligue 2
In short, clubs very rarely stray from where they are at the beginning of the game
Yeah that's surely something that needs to be changed in future versions. However, I see a lot of shuffling in Brazil. Teams like Vasco, Flamengo and Santos got relegated, although they came back pretty soon and Santos finished 2nd in their first season after promotion.