Champ Man & Me: Paul from Retro Football TV

Welcome to a new episode of Champ Man & Me, where I pester people from the internet into telling me about their history in this game we love. As it happens, they are people who are creating content that I think is excellent, and this is my way of doffing my proverbial cap to them. I’m joined this time by Paul Machin from Retro Football TV and I heartily reccommend going to watch some of their videos…after you read this of course.

Thanks for joining me, Paul. Tell us about Retro Football TV! How did it all begin?

First off, the core of the Retro channel comes from my passion for hoarding cool stuff from my childhood, haha! From a technical perspective, we’ve been running a Liverpool FC channel “The Redmen TV” since 2010, and whilst that is always my primary focus, it is nice to be able to make some content that isn’t reliant on whether 11 fellas are good at footy on any given week. One thing that has helped make Redmen a success is putting people together in the same room, something that is less and less a thing these days. For me playing football games was always about being in the same room as your mates, and all the banter, celebrations and arm punches that go with it. People these days play FIFA online, sat at home in their bedrooms. We’re trying not just to bring back some of the old games, but the fun of playing them too.

Retro Football TV is part of the BallStreetNetwork. What’s that then?

The Ball Street Network is essentially a collective of creators, who much like myself, have a passion for footy, and a desire to make cool content around that passion. Despite our differing backgrounds (and clashes of teams supported), we share the bond of long hours, hard work, little money, and dealing with internet trolls. In a nutshell, we’re a number of small independent teams who come together to support each other and make bigger things happen, whether it’s dealing with brands and sponsors, or just a little bit of technical advice or experience.

The CM01/02 Challenge is brilliantly innovative and I don’t think anywhere else has gone to as much time and effort in producing a series like it. Would you say 01/02 is your favourite version of the game?

Yeah, I reckon so, I think it balances a good level of detail, with the key element that each match doesn’t consume an entire night of your life, which is my main problem with the more modern iterations. That said, Champ Man Italia on the Amiga 600 is right up there too, and of course 97/98 which was first one that EVERYONE in my class played at school.

Obviously I’m a big fan of CM97/98, do you have any memories of that particular version?

Yeah that was the version that didn’t require the disc to run, and also came out at the time when CD disc copying became a thing. There was probably one disc between about 30 of us in school, haha! I remember that Robbie Fowler was always injured at the start of the season, so you had to move fast to tie him down to a new contract, when he was fit, his wage demands were too high and he would leave on a free. I fondly remember a Real Betis save with Chilavert in goal (on pens, naturally), and then a rotation of Bosman centre forwards (Weah-Batistuta-Fowler) over the following seasons.

Do you ever have the chance to play the more modern games or do you prefer the retro nostalgia?

I actually run a PES 2017 Master League series on my personal youtube channel called “The 3 Year Plan”, trying to get Liverpool out of the Championship using the original Master League squad as a base. In terms of Football Manager, I’ve got the new one, and manged to smash Burnley on the opening day with Liverpool, but it just takes too much time and thought to play so I’ve not booted it up in months. I currently have CM 01/02, FM2006, and FM 2017 installed on my laptop.

There’s a series you do called Wheel of Wank – what’s the absolute worst game you’ve played!?

Christ, there’s been a few! It’s amazing how badly so many of them failed to stand the test of time! Chris Kamara’s Street Soccer is horrendous, as is WLS 99, although Michael Owen’s intro is incredible- literally the most wooden delivery of a line of dialogue ever!

You’re a Liverpool fan, did you typically choose them when playing CM or did you prefer to build up a different team?

I’ve always tended to stay away from managing Liverpool as I take it too personally if things aren’t going to plan! It’s easier to go back to an old game and do it now, but with current seasons I hate not being able to play exactly like the real team. Case in point this season is Firmino up front and Milner at left back, clearly Origi/Sturridge and Moreno are better fits in the game, but I’m too stubborn, and end up cocking up my season as a result. Haha! In the past I’ve had great times in charge of Juve (CM Italia), Betis (CM 97/98), Real Madrid (FM 2005) and especially Valencia (FM 2007)- Chris (who runs the CM Series with me) and I had an epic network game running over a few seasons on that one!

Thanks again to Paul for taking the time out to join me. You can follow Retro Football TV on Twitter or view their videos on Youtube – you won’t regret it!

1 thought on “Champ Man & Me: Paul from Retro Football TV

  1. Pingback: Change Places | CM 97/98

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