Welcome to a new season on CM9798.co.uk!

There’s all sorts happened since we last spoke. Football nearly came home. The pandemic became the pingdemic. The Olympics are half over. Sancho finally signed for Man Utd. Most importantly of all though, my batteries have recharged and we are absolutely raring to go here on CM9798.co.uk with a new season starting next Sunday – and once again we’re going 7 days a week.

The blog squad have reunited once more as we enter our 7th year of high quality content. The game will turn 25 next year so the fact there’s still so many fresh ideas is a testament to the imagination of the writers and I’m grateful they have chosen this site as their home once again. The CM Cup next year will take place in October into November, coinciding with the anniversary on October 31st and the break between domestic action and the World Cup starting, which is currently set for November 21st. I’d like to involve even more of you than this year so keep your eyes peeled on how we’ll be doing that.

That’s much further into our season so let’s focus on the here and now. The daily blogs will begin again on Sunday August 8th and a summary of what’s to come is below.

Sunday – The Retirement Academy

In the usual Sunday slot the Retirement Academy are back to try and break the Ajax stronghold in Dutch football. It’s been a long road so far but with Mick Quinn leading the line we did at least win the Pints Cup, so there’s something to build on. Signings can only be free under 23s or anybody aged 35 and older, with every starting 11 being a mix of 5 young and 5 old outfield players. Is this a challenge too far? You can read the previous episode here.

Monday – AFC United (Matt Wills)

Matt stopped short of invading Old Trafford and instead set up AFC United with a remit of signing anybody who has played for Man Utd. Progress has been serene with young David Brown a particular star. Getting the better of Fergie is a long term issue though. You can read the previous episode here.

Tuesday – Bottom’s Up (Nathan Gent)

Nathan had the brainwave of turning all the leagues upside down. The result is pure carnage, with Nathan in charge of Rangers in Scottish Division 3 whilst Albion Rovers take a beating off Barcelona in the Champions League. I’m excited to see how this develops! You can read the previous episode here.

Wednesday – The Blog Squad (Ross Bell)

Ross returns with a brand new series, where he’s created us bloggers as a team and hopes to take us up the divisions. We talk a good game but do we play one?

Thursday – KingOfTheRooks/Emsonite

Andrew (KOTR) will kick off our Thursday entertainment with one of his mad experiments. This one is particularly good fun but is just a one off. He’ll return later in the year but he’ll be handing the baton over to Deano, fresh from his Wrexham exploits. It’s a new idea and from the preview I’ve seen, you’re going to love it.

Friday – Champions League Manager (Nick Rowe)

Nick created all of the Champions League winning teams of the 90s and put us in charge. It’s the only live CM9798 league that I know of and the second half of the season promises a lot as we all try and chase down Philip’s Barcelona. You can read the previous episode here.

Saturday – Belgium! (Philip Verbist)

Philip’s Beveren save was epic and I’m delighted to say he’s back with more from his home country, this time with Lierse. Can their real life success be replicated?

Across our other sites…

Zak Brockman will return to CM0102Blogs with more from his version of Newton Heath. It’s a beautifully written series and I’m delighted Zak’s bringing it back for a third term. Zak’s also started the FM12 Tuesday Club which is an excellent read, available here.

ChampManFans is the project from Andrew and I where we attempt to play every version of CM we can get our hands on. So far we’ve had 00/01, 96/97, 99/00 and 03/04 put through their paces with many more still to come. We like to organise some giveaways around these games and generally cover one version per month. If you want to get involved we’ll be glad to have you on board!

Charlemaagne has been working hard on what he is calling the CM9798 V2 project. This is a “complete” CM9798 game – corrected positions, stats and histories are just some of the enhancements made so keep an eye on that if you wanted to give that a go. Nikolai comes out with new tactics every single week (maybe an exaggeration) but we’re always welcoming people giving these a test.

Man on the Post will remain the podcast partner of the site, with ad-hoc episodes of Champ Man on the Post coming your way when we track down guests or have something interesting to say. Fans of Fantasy Football can see me as a regular guest on Tony Jameson’s Friday Night Football show on Twitch every Friday at 9pm.

We’re not a closed shop by any means – if you have an idea for any of our sites we’d love to work with you. All of this started with just me and I’m now privileged to speak every day with 15-20 members of the community and many more of you adhoc throughout the week. One day, we’ll get CM Fest on the calendar but we need to get to a point where amber and red lists don’t exist which is hopefully not too far away.

So that’s the year ahead. I’m excited to bring you more content than ever before starting next Sunday with the Retirement Academy and then every day from then on. See you there!

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