Champ Man & Me:

What’s better than one CM9798 website? TWO CM9798 websites of course! Here at we’re always looking to speak to other fanatics about the game, and the good people of agreed to indulge me in conversation about why CM9798 is the greatest of all. The questions below were fielded by Norbert, who you may recall provided us the 4-2-3-1 which made Bernard Diomede a superstar and Ian Wright a goalscoring machine. What’s more, Norbert and his colleagues still maintain the database to this day, with an update for the 2017/18 season due very shortly. Let’s find out more…

Thanks for joining me to discuss CM9798! For those who aren’t aware of your website, can you tell us about please? 

The website was founded in August 2009. Before that, I made the CM97-98 updates only for myself, and I did not release the updates online. I used the CM97-98 updates from Kev Shackleton, for many CM97-98 players his updates where legendary, as my basis. After Kev stopped releasing updates, I started the website, to continue his work and release new updates for the CM97-98 players. After some years I teamed up with Andrea from Italy. We are not only working on the CM97-98 update but we visited Italy multiple times and this year Andrea will visit the Netherlands to spend some holidays together. After Andrea, there were some other team members but they stopped working after some updates. Then we had the pleasure that the CM97-98 update legend Kev Shackleton joined our team. At the moment Kev is enjoying life as a daddy so he is on “short leave”. Our latest member of the team is Gary. He is living in Australia, but is from England. 

What makes CM9798 so special to you that you devote so much time and effort into keeping it updated?  

The main reason for me to keep on updating is that I try to create the perfect update, but in an everyday changing sport, that is very hard to accomplish. If I update a league, I want every piece of information to be correct. That means the right nation, age, contract information and so on.

What I like is that CM97-98 is simple to understand and you could play many seasons in a short time. That is why I still play the game. The things you could change are enough for me. I do not like the new Football Manager Series because it is too complex for me. Too many settings and before you have finished one day in the game, your evening is over.

When did you first play the CM series? 

Almost right from the beginning of the game. Together with a school friend we played the game on one computer together. We launched a new game with England for example and then we used Man Utd and Arsenal to compete against each other. And of course I play the game alone. 

Do you ever have time to play your updated databases or is it all work and no play?

I think it will be 95% updating and 5% playing the game. And If I play the game, it will be short game, just a couple of seasons. What I like the most is to create a team with players with high Potential and to spend as little money as possible.

Everybody has at least one favourite CM story, has there been a particular saved game you can recall that made you fall in love with the series? 

My favourite CM story is the one I made my own custom tactic, see the website for the tactic. I won the World Cup with Germany and the Netherlands, won the Champions League, Euro League and SuperCup with Ajax, won the Champions League with Anderlecht.

What do you think about the way the series has gone since 97/98? Do you ever play the FM games? 

I have never really played the FM games. The games are too complex for me. After CM97-98 I have tried many later CM or FM games but to complex.

How is the database looking for the 2017/18 season? 

The databases for the new 2017/18 season are looking good. We have started the work earlier than ever before. The Dutch First and Second League, the German First League, the Belgium First League, the Turkish First league, the Italian First league and the Spanish First league are already up-to-date for the new 2017/18 season. At the moment we are working on the English Premium league for the next season. We try the release a new Pre-Season update as soon as we have finished a league.

Have you been able to alter the database to expand the Champions League, for example? Or is that side of things unchangeable? 

Changing things to the game is nearly impossible. If you change settings, most of the time the game will crash. So we only change minor things, sadly. There are many things we would love to change but we failed all the time.

It’s 20 years since CM97/98 released, do you have any plans to mark the anniversary? 

It is a good point, it is 20 years since the release of the game. It will be a good reason to celebrate this. We have no plans at the moment, but we have a short time to think about something special.

Thanks again to Norbert for taking the time to speak to me. I’ll be giving the updated database a whirl when it is complete and I’ll be posting about it here and over on the Twitter account. I’ll be back on Sunday with a special announcement. See you then.

EDIT: The update for September 2017 is now available here:

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