Football Manager (FM) 2024 was released at the start of November and was described by the video game developers Sports Interactive (SI) as 'the last of its kind'.

Football Manager

Football Manager

While its release was not accompanied by the eagerly awaited introduction of women's football, SI's branding of FM24 tickled the imagination of fans of the popular video game series, who are now looking further to the next instalment, FM25.

In September, SI studio director Miles Jacobsen released an exciting update on the FM series, touting the 2025 edition as the ‘biggest change’ in the franchise’s history.

According to SI, FM24 is the most complete iteration of the game to date, but the real transformation has been reserved for FM25, which is reportedly poised to redefine the future of the football simulation game.

There are several invigorating updates promised by the franchise developers for FM25, including new animation technology and a revamped match engine.

SI are determined to push the boundaries even further with FM25, offering a more immersive, realistic and captivating experience that mirrors the dynamic world of real football.

However, one update that will undoubtedly catch the eye of lovers of the engaging game is the long-anticipated integration of women’s football, which is poised to attract even more players from across the globe.

An iconic simulation game with a cult following, FM has long mirrored the beautiful game, but 2025 is poised to usher in a new era, forever altering the landscape of the franchise.

As women's football continues to broaden its horizons, FM25 has the potential to become a driving force in the continued growth and global recognition of the critically acclaimed video game.

Read on as we analyse some of the key ways FM25 will help women's football grow.

Increased Visibility and Accessibility

FM25 is set to be a game-changer by putting a spotlight on women's football.

With the inclusion of women's leagues and competitions, the game will offer a platform for virtual managers to delve into the challenges and triumphs of leading a women's team to success.

The exposure will be instrumental in bridging the gap between men's and women's football, creating a more balanced representation of both elements in the gaming world.

As gamers engage and familiarise themselves with women's football through FM25, the real-world impact on viewership, support and fandom becomes more tangible.

Fostering Deeper Connections and Support

FM25 is anticipated to recognise the symbiotic relationship between virtual gaming and real-world initiatives.

SI has actively collaborated with women's football organisations, players and fans to ensure an accurate representation of the sport.

This collaboration serves to strengthen the bridge between the gaming world and the actual playing field, creating a harmonious relationship that benefits both realms.

For dedicated fans, supporting their team goes beyond matchday experience, and FM25 is set to offer a unique opportunity to engage with women's football on a deeper level.

Managing team finances, developing youth systems and navigating transfer negotiations should bring fans closer to the inner workings of the women's footballing universe.

Eliminating Stereotypes

The inclusion of women's football in FM will challenge long-standing biases and stereotypes.

By portraying women's teams and players with the same level of detail, depth and competitiveness as their male counterparts, the game is poised to challenge preconceptions and foster a more inclusive perspective.

Gamers who may not have been exposed to women's football previously will get the opportunity to appreciate the skill, dedication and passion of female athletes in a realistic and engaging manner.

Republic of Ireland international Katie McCabe is a player who has caught the eye in the Women's Super League. The Arsenal star has played a big part in promoting women's football with her performances, particularly in her homeland.

This has had a knock-on effect in other sectors, most notably in the online gambling sector, which had traditionally been a male-dominated arena where football is concerned.

Sports betting sites in Ireland previously overlooked women's football, but now offer a range of markets due to growing interest in the sport. Inclusion on FM25 would further raise the profile of the sport, making it even more appealing to betting firms and further eliminating stereotypes.

Scouting and Player Development

A key aspect of the franchise is its commitment to the authenticity of the gaming experience and FM25 will be no different.

The inclusion of women's scouting and player development features allows virtual managers to unearth hidden talents, nurture promising young players and build formidable teams.

By mirroring the intricacies of player development in women's football, the game will educate players about the unique challenges faced by female athletes.

It will also inspire a sense of investment and excitement about the future of women's football that could then have a knock-on effect in the number of people who follow the sport.

Fan Engagement

The influence of FM25 is set to extend beyond the confines of individual gameplay.

FM's robust online community and fan engagement features will provide a space for gamers to share their experiences, insights, and strategies regarding women's football.

This communal aspect creates a ripple effect, sparking discussions, awareness and support for women's teams and players among a global audience.

The virtual world created by FM could become a catalyst for real-world conversations, generating interest and advocacy for women's football at grassroots level.

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