Out of the Box Barnsley – Part 7: Legends Bonanza

HELLO! Welcome back to Barnsley, where season 2 is disappearing in the wing mirrors of our ever fancier car. Season 3 has a lot to offer, including Champions League football coming to Oakwell – if we can negotiate the sometimes tricky Champions League qualifier. Here’s a reminder of how we got within touching distance of that delicious Gazprom.

To recap the end of the previous episode, we’ve only brought bloody Beppe Signori to Barnsley. Just saying his name transports me back to the 90s and listening to James Richardson saying his name whilst nursing an enormous frothy coffee and reading a frankly massive pink newspaper. We’re bringing the good times back.

We need centre backs, I’ve identified it as our weakest position. Sometimes with this game you have to forget what you know about a player in real life. For example, I can barely think of a player less likely to be a centre half than Nobby Solano. Also, set pieces 3? Anyway, he was a reasonable right back but too small to be a centre back. That isn’t taken into consideration here, so welcome aboard.

WHAT? I only signed him from you on deadline day in March. What a stupid idea.

Yeah yeah, thanks for coming.

I’ve also sold John Ritchie. I have bigger plans now.

Bratislava stand between us and the lucrative group stages. That’s not so bad.

Oh, hello! Montpellier can’t agree a new contract with Bakayoko and their loss is my gain. Belter.

Well, that was easy. One and a half feet in the group stages. A beautiful result.

Kevin Street has a big club release clause and scoring in the Champions League qualifiers has tickled Leeds’ pickle. Off he goes for £4.5m, which is good money.

The first day of the season starts with Casper the friendly idiot being sent off straight from kick off. Obviously, Fowler converts the penalty but surprisingly we fight back and steal a point.

I’ve decided…we’re going to 2-3-1-2-2. The 4231 has done well for us but it’s all on a knife edge, one goal victories a lot of the time. So let’s play two defenders and attacking midfielders at wing back and it’ll all be fine.

Newly promoted Wolves take a beating. Good early signs, I’d say. Bakayoko gets a red card for a bad foul in the last minute for absolutely no reason.

Coventry give us a bit of a beating. Maybe this was a mistake. Job gets sent off with 7 minutes to go for a bad foul for absolutely no reason.

A routine night in Bratislava is rounded off by Devine & Dublin putting the icing on the cake. The stairs to the Champions League group stages await.

REAL MADRID. That’s not going to be easy. We’ll need 12 points from FC Turan and Brondby and hopefully anything else to get us through in the best runners up spots.

This feels like a bad idea. But also, captaincy material. 123 caps. £100k.

Gillingham…what are they doing in the Prem? They do lead for quite a while but Signori takes over like the legend that he is and young Lauchlan wraps it up.

The entertainers need Julian Dicks to be sent off before getting into gear against West Ham. Hristov gets 4, the boy has carried us for years.

A no-nonsense win at Villa is a mark of our intent. Bullock will be out for a month.

This is an important result. Signori already proving his worth with the decisive goal in Denmark.

I need another attacking midfielder since Street left and I’m playing four of them for some reason. Laurent Charvet was actually more of a fullback/wingback type when he played for Chelsea & Newcastle so I’ve got high hopes for him as we raid Montpellier for his services.

Spurs are a bit of a bogey team for us. Stephen Clemence scores for crying out loud.

Nobby sticks it up the Red Devils though, an impressive result for any team.

We have to dig deep but a 0-0 at Stamford Bridge is a good result.

We trail twice against Real Madrid but twice we come back and it’s another great day for this Barnsley squad.

Casper is at it again, getting sent off as we struggle to a draw against Everton. 250 more turned up to watch this than Real Madrid.

Another glorious away day, this time at Sunderland. Svindal Larsen is starting to come into his own.

Turan of Azerbaijan are brushed aside. Goal difference might yet be important if we can somehow get a point in Madrid.

The culimination of the group will have to wait until next week but it’s delicately poised with only one guaranteed to go through.

We’re 3-0 up inside 14 minutes against Portsmouth. Judy Garland pulls one back but it’s matterless to me.

It’s a North London monopoly in the top two but us and Leeds are representing YOrkshire in 3rd and 4th. Arsenal have a 7 point lead, that’s going to take some sorting out.

This is the squad. It’s pretty strong, I’m enjoying what we’re building here. TSL wants a move to a bigger club, Bullock is still interesting the top Premier League clubs but he has no clause. Sucks to be him.

So far so good then, I do hope you’ll join me next week for the next instalment. Goodbye for now!

Was he always this good?

Nerd corner is going to be a little bit different this season as I’ve found a list of things that were changed in the patch, which I’ll run down below with some comments. Here’s the prelude:

This patch irons out most of the bugs found in Championship Manager 97/98 and also contains some minor refinements. Many transfers and manager changes which have happened since October 97 are included

Please note that this patch will not be compatible with any of your saved games due to many fundamental changes to the source code, therefore you have to start a new game to make use of the changes.


The limit of £50000 has been removed. However, this does not mean you can offer what you like. The board will limit it depending on the state of your finances. Basically if you have over £20 Million in the bank you will be able to offer what you like – any less than this then the board will step in with a limit.

Fairly simple one to start with, it was infuriating particularly if I was Newcastle and Shearer wanted £65k a week and I was stuck on £50k despite having £30m in the bank. They released a program called Wagefix.exe which was out before the patch so you could change your current games too.

International Duty

If a player is playing in an international friendly (or U21 match) his club match will take precedence.

So a player in your squad can be picked for the international squad but will not be able to play if you have a match.

The national teams now have 25 players to make up for this and to reflect the usual national squad sizes seen today.

A few things to note here. Firstly, they made a royal balls up of this because if you take somebody like Wales, they have a lot of players outside of the Premier League so they still play matches on international days. They added this new rule in without making the AI Managers think about potentially losing 15+ players, so you quite often see Wales playing an outfielder in goal in an early friendly whilst fielding about 7 players. Secondly, and far less importantly, the International squad selection screen still says a max size of 22 but you can go above that.

Player’s Value

The value of a player now remains more stable and will no longer increase and decrease dramatically.

I can’t say I remember this particularly, I haven’t noticed it in this save but the values of players are generally higher in the original version.


B-Teams will no longer sell off their players without your approval.

I played a lot as Barca and basically used the B team as a second squad but I do remember getting annoyed at players being snapped up without me even knowing. You now get the usual accept/consider/reject screen in the patch.


We have now allowed players to be re-called from loan after the transfer deadline.

Good? I can’t say I’ve noticed but you can’t in the original I’m playing here, so there we are.


The attendance figures for matches has been made more realistic. So for minor competitions such as the “Auto Windscreen Shield” the attendance figures will reflect real life.

I guess this is why the World Club Cup and the European Super Cup attract such tiny crowds. It’s a bit silly, if anything these are meant to be the pinnacle.


The databases have been updated as much as possible since the release of CM97/98 – thanks to all of you who sent us updated player, team and manager data. If you have made your own database updates and want to keep using them then please make back-ups of them in a separate directory before installing the patch. The team database (TMDATA.DB1) is no longer compatible with the original CM 97/98 and the one we supply must be used.

Interesting that the original team database doesn’t transfer over, I did try once moving the patch databases to the original and it failed to load a new game saying Brazil wasn’t a real country – and now I know why.

That’s only half of the items, I’ll do the other half next week. It’s interesting to me and hopefully at least one of you!

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