Biggest Fakes on CM9798

Stephen is back, this time identifying players you should avoid signing…

Just like in life, and still in football now, there are some shadowy characters purporting themselves to be the next big thing – when they’re actually filled with hot air. And if art imitates life, then it’s no surprise then there are some big fakes on CM9798.

By fake I mean, players with great stats, but as soon as you sign them they turn to sh*t. Think of George Weah, then getting his cousin, Ali Dia – poor Graeme Souness.

This isn’t a direct list of players to avoid but more of a general warning as patterns occur, in my experience, to try to bait you into these fakes. In all screengrabs, I’m playing as Chester so you can understand my points…

The simple rule is, if it looks too good to be true – it is. Original players, or regens, with stats better than Ronaldo for example are generally fakes. Would you believe there is Gambian striker in an unnamed team with better skills than the great one himself? Unlikely, so swerve them despite the attractive proposition.

Fakes tend to crop up at Minor Teams, sometimes in Africa or South America. If you do an end of season search, in goal order, they’ll come somewhere on the top page. It’ll be like 40 games and 35 goals, but it’ll be their only season on record. Don’t be lured into the trap of high AvR either, like I have.

They’ll be cheap too, like really cheap 250K or less, sometimes free, but it’s like getting a free punch in the face from Tyson – you reckon you can handle it, but in the end you’ll totally regret it and they’ll be hard to shift.

If you don’t heed my advice and you sign a faker, whatever you do get them off your books as soon as any goals dry up. As they’ll be overseas players they’ll need to play at least 50% of games to be eligible for their visa, otherwise they’ll sit in your squad completely ineligible next season.

Don’t give them big contracts either, just agree to their basic terms, or knock a season off at least.

Though there are some hidden gems in the game they generally aren’t found in a general stat search by chance. Instead, they will be players with a trackable history, in a good team with high adaptability rating (13+). I understand these fakes are sometimes too attractive to miss if you’re playing in the lower leagues, just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this guide. Find me on Twitter @sjwalt2006 for more CM9798 chat. Use #CM9798 & follow @CM9798

Everything’s Coming up Mulhouse – Part 2

Bonjour! Welcome back to France where I’m trying to transform the fortunes of Mulhouse. As you’d expect, I’ve brought in a lot of players with mixed results so far. After 6 games, we sit 8th, a respectable start but there’s a lot of work still to be done. Let’s get back to it.

Table september

Continue reading

The Stockport Diaries Part VII

Matt’s reached October and Stockport are performing well above expectations. Can they keep it going as the dark nights draw in? Catch up with Part 6 here

It’s the 15th of October and game day today, the first of an eye watering 5 games remaining this month which climaxes with the cup clash against Plymouth. That is a long way off yet though as we look to continue our unlikely push for promotion to the Premier League away at Tranmere who are just one place behind me in third.

Although there are a few players around 90% fitness I can’t rotate too much as I am missing a fair few players with injury and also Martin McIntosh is suspended, so Jim Gannon comes in for the crocked Tommy Smith with Tony Dinning returning to the midfield in the only change. Neil Edwards isn’t quite fit enough to be considered for this one, but I will have an interesting selection dilemma next match in goal.

Our previous meeting was an interesting one, neutrals will be hoping for a repeat…


Today’s team however:


Another cracking first half! We are the better side and Tom Bennett deservedly puts us ahead, but then we go to sleep for a while and Lee Jones once again hits a brace against us and if it wasn’t for a superb Nash save would have had a hat trick. Going behind galvanises us however and Alun Armstrong equalises on the stroke of half time, I am amazed there is no interest in him from bigger teams really, and Danny Coyne does brilliantly to thwart us on 3 other occasions.

The second half is another thriller, and we come through it to win 3-2. Graeme Tomlinson puts us ahead early in the second half and we could have had a fourth but then Tranmere find another gear and put us under the cosh. There are a fair few heart in mouth moments and I finish the game with a flat back 5 protested by two defensive midfielders, but thanks to some stout defending and another great save from Nash we hold on.


We are top of the league, say we are top of the league! Sheffield United could only draw at home to Reading, so we are in poll position, no one predicted this. Over a third of the way through the season and it’s probably around now that Robbie Savage will say ‘I always fancied Stockport’ even though he was predicting we’d finish dead last just a couple of months ago.


No time to rest on our laurels as we face Reading next who frustrated Sheffield United midweek. I once again have a few players who are quite tired but I cannot afford to rest them as I just don’t have the depth, however Connelly and Lauchlan are knackered so in come Woodthorpe and McIntosh. I also have the big call to make in goal and just about on balance go with Neil Edwards who hasn’t done much wrong this season, harsh on Nash who has saved us 2 points in each of the last 2 games, but he’ll bounce back I’m sure. Ian Gray meantime has been loaned to the chippy across the road, his loan fee being a chippy tea for me and the opposing manager after the match. Great money saver and let’s face it he’s doing bugger all football wise.

Edgeley is bouncing with the chant of ‘we are top of the league’ echoing around as the players warm up, no sign of nerves though, just confidence throughout the side.


That was a really frustrating first half. We had a superb start with Tomlinson putting us 2-0 up inside 12 minutes and we were cruising, the fans were in great voice and Reading were doing nothing. The first set back came with Tom Bennett stretchered off after 18 minutes, a real blow for him as it’s only his third game back after serious injury and he’s been superb in all of them. Despite this though Reading do absolutely nothing and we are comfortable until a few minutes before half time Kevin James under no pressure plays an atrocious back pass and Reading home grown player (or at least I assume home grown from his name) Dimitriadis runs on and accepts the gift. This game should e over but instead Reading have the momentum, I remind the team they have been far better and to keep it up. I am slightly concerned at our inability to keep a clean sheet, 6 games without one now and Micky Flynn is still 6 weeks away from fitness.


Argh so frustrating! That was inevitable after Kevin James’ lapse…. We were poor in the second half but we did limit them chance wise, but having been denied by the bar Dimitriadis made no mistake and equalised. Our first chance came in the 89th minute thanks to a beautiful through ball from Matt Bound and sub Charana did everything right only to be denied by Mautone in the Reading goal with what was probably his first touch of the half. Frustrating but not the end of the world, however the leaky defence and the fact we are always exhausted in the second half of matches is starting to really bite. I may have to move into the transfer market. The man of the match also catches my eye as a Bolton fan, I reckon he’ll make a decent manager himself one day…


Tom Bennett is thankfully only out for a couple of weeks, and Cavaco and Heidenstrom are almost fit again. Sunderland rolls around quickly and most players are fit enough, Heidenstrom comes back maybe a little too quickly but I want to regain some momentum and Connelly comes in for Kevin James after his horror show.


Carlo Nash stands and applauds his rival for the number 1 shirt after that first half display, and well deserved it is for 2 outstanding saves which preserve a 2 goal lead we gain early on. I was glad to see Kevin Phillips only on the bench as he would surely have buried the chances. At the beginning of the season Sunderland would have been clear favourites for this game but not anymore, not at the Edgeley fortress. I realise saying this at half time may be a little bit premature, but I’m never one for planning half time team talks in advance and I couldn’t think what else to say, and it seems like a good motivational tool, although want away Jim Gannon seems to be deep in thought, maybe off to chat with their gaffer afterwards to get a move. Not on my watch Gannon, get out there for the second half.


For a while in the second half we are absolutely battered, they hit the bar, miss a couple of sitters, but somehow we hold on. I pull my wing backs to full backs and put a defensive midfielder on for a striker and then hold my breath. Sunderland can’t find a way through and FINALLY we have a clean sheet, and a very welcome 3 points.



That was the game in hand sorted so everyone on the same games played now, and the table looks very healthy, especially our goals for. I had temporarily forgotten, but goals scored and not goal difference split teams level on points, and we are 10 goals better off than everyone else, but more to the point we are on top of the pile. Take that Megson.

QPR away is the next match and bizarrely only my 3 centre halves are tired, which is annoying as I only have Kevin James in reserve. Sean Connelly is the most tired so he drops to the bench, and I’m all of a sudden in the market for an extra centre back. Better news though is my Portuguese maestro Luis Cavaco returning from injury and replaces the unfortunate Nick Wright.

QPR bizarrely line up with Kevin Gallen in midfield, but they have some serious firepower, I hope my tired back line can cope later on.


The first half finishes goalless but we are once more indebted to our diminutive goalkeeper after being under the cosh for the first half an hour, but we come back into the game towards half time so I’ll keep things the same.

On a side note, I have caught myself calling Neil Edwards short quite often, so I thought I’d get the tape measure out at half time, and I’m not wrong:


A very even second half and an entertaining nil nil until the 83rd minute when Tomlinson goes clean through and is wiped out by the American goalkeeper Sommer who is duly sent off. The substitute goalkeeper Roberts can’t keep out the penalty, and then Nick Wright nicks a second right at the end. Another win, who cares how we get it, and the Stockport fans will go home happy, except for having to pay for a pee on Euston station on the way back, chargeable toilets haven’t made it up north yet…


Spare a thought for Bury at the bottom…


A break from the league to finish off the month, Plymouth in the League Cup. I am going to play a fairly strong team but I do need to rest some players, Gannon, Bound, Armstrong and Tomlinson drop out and in come Da Costa (yes really), Connelly (the eternal rotation), Mutch (because I’m the king of second chances) and Wright (because I’m the boss). I’m also going to give Carlo Nash a runout, in goal unsurprisingly (although I believe he was on the books of Man United as a child as a striker, worth knowing).

Well I forgot to screenshot the beginning of the game, and the first half was poor, and we are up against it, 2-0 down in an open game, but they are down to ten men so we have an outside chance of getting back into it.


Better second half but not good enough as we lose 2-1. The boos ring out for the first time in my reign, I’m not gonna lie I don’t like it, but I can’t disagree. That’ll be the last time I make so many changes, as Brian who spends his days changing tyres shouts at me on the way to the dressing room, ‘what the fuck was that Matt?’ At least there was more questioning than vilification at this stage, when they’re using my surname and using the ‘P’ as an excuse to spit then I’ll worry, but I have plenty of credit in the bank.


Well the end of the month comes and the board are still delighted with my performance, and reckon our financial position ‘could be better’, well it’s a damn sight better than it was when I arrived!


If you’d like to be a guest blogger like Matt please get in touch!

The World According to Championship Manager 01/02 is available now!





CM9798 Cup Final

This has been a month in the making and several months in the planning, but we’ve finally reached the CM9798 Cup final. This is how we celebrate 20 years of CM9798

Here’s a reminder of the path to the final:

Cup Graphic Final

Dortmund won the toss and will be at home. Remember the rules of the competition are that if it’s a draw, the away side will win. We are a bit limited by the rules of a friendly. I recorded the final for you entertainment below, or I’ve summarised it beneath the video.

Here’s how the two sides lineup:

Dortmund lineupAjax Lineup

Two very strong lineups I’m sure you’ll agree, as both stick with their successful formations from the previous two rounds.

The match itself was a very one sided affair, with Dortmund taking a 3rd minute lead thanks to Jovan Kirovski, who bundled in following some pinball in the Ajax box following a set piece. It was soon 2-0 when Stephane Chapuisat notched, leaving Ajax with a mountain to climb. Ajax did pull one back, only for it to be disallowed, which probably deflated them further. A final nail was hammered in by Chapuisat, adding his 2nd and Dortmund’s 3rd just before the break.

Mark had little choice but to go for it, and he adjusted his side to a 4-2-3-1

Ajax half time tactics

Sadly for Mark, it didn’t help a great deal. Kirovski added his second on 70 minutes before Chapuisat had the final word, securing the match ball with Dortmund’s fifth. Incredible!

Final score

One of the more one sided matches you’ll see, a day where Dortmund were magnificent and Ajax sadly had an off day

final ratings

A landslide in the end! Van der Sar kept it down to 5, but Dortmund were excellent.

final match stats

You can hear Dan’s comments in the video, but Mark was mic-less so his comments are below:

I think I have done well to get there, beating Barca and Real but this was a step too far. Bit embarrassing in the final and nobody, except VDS performed. Well done Dan!

Dan wins the coveted CM9798 Trophy for his efforts, which he’ll no doubt put on Twitter when it arrives.

Once again, thank you to all 8 competitors and to all of you for interacting with the various competitions. Speaking of which…

The Prize Bundle

So, somebody has to win this


I asked you to predict the score, first goalscorer and time of first goal. We had over 100 entries, and it’s no surprise that nobody predicted 5-0.

That meant we were looking for Jovan Kirovski as first goalscorer which narrows it down to 8 entrants:


So next we look at who is closest to the first goal time of 3 minutes…


Congratulations @s4ooter! I’ll be in touch to get the delivery sorted. You win all the prizes pictured plus £25 of vouchers from Classic11. Please treat Footix Tamagotchi like a son.

What next?

Although the celebrations are drawing to a close, there’s still plenty coming up.

I’ll be back next weekend with a new blog save. It’s not going to last forever by any means but just a new project which I’m excited to bring you.

The first post is pretty long by my standards and will be with you next Sunday, but here’s the great unveiling…

aberdeen abdge

Before all that though we have a special Champ Man & Me with Marc Duffy from SI Games. That’ll be with you tomorrow (Monday).

Thanks for reading!

The CM9798 Cup was proudly sponsored by Classic11

Classic11 Advert 2 747 x 400


The Stockport Diaries: Part I

Matt Porter is our guest blogger this week, bringing you a blow by blow account of Stockport County’s 1997/98 season. Can they get to grips with Division 1?

Part 1: July 1997

1997. I am still 2 years away from my GCSEs and the majority of my focus is on football, be it playing or watching, or latterly managing through the superb Championship Manager series. Who to manage though? I am a Bolton fan, however it seems wrong to take the job of a man who has just got them promoted back to the Premier League, so I look to another area of Greater Manchester.

Stockport County are flying high, they have just had arguably their most successful season under Dave Jones, promoted to the second tier for the first time in 60 years and also making it to the semi final of the Coca Cola Cup, narrowly losing out to Premier League Middlesborough. Jones however ditched the club in the summer and went off to replace Graeme Souness at Southampton, presumably with the explicit instructions to not sign anyone’s cousin without seeing them play first, so the hotseat is vacant. (for those too young to remember, google Ali Dia, it isn’t fake news, he really was that gullible)

16th July 1997 rolls around and the relative unknown that is Matt Porter takes over at Stockport. Thankfully this is before the introduction of fan opinion, as I’m not sure I’m quite a big enough name in the footballing world to take over a second tier club, but I’ll keep that to myself, off to meet the squad. I am dismayed to learn that the traitor Dave Jones has taken two of our best players from last year in the form of our future international goalkeeper Paul Jones and our definitely not future international right back Lee Todd. As I look through the market value of my players 3 stand out as being potential targets for bigger clubs (Flynn, Cavaco, Armstrong), and with less than a quarter of a million in the bank and a tiny stadium I wonder whether we can hold our own in a division full of big names, and keep hold of our stars.


I want to get a bit of match practice in before the big kick off, so I book a couple of friendlies in, Cork City and Huddersfield, first one for confidence (I hope), second one for realism. I seem to have a decent set of defenders here and a couple of stars going forward but precious little in midfield, so I opt for a 5-3-2 attacking formation. It may be a bit gung-ho for a relegation favourite, but nothing ventured nothing gained, and County fans should be happy, they almost ended up with Gary Megson before I swooped in, I have to be more entertaining than him.


A team, hurrah! I have some doubts about this, especially my rather weak central midfield, but overall I’m pretty pleased, I think we will compete. We will play pretty directly, can’t really play a passing game with no discernible midfielders, but I have 3 excellent centre backs plus Martin McIntosh in reserve, so I’ll play to my strengths. Luis Cavaco is more of a winger, but I’m confident he can wreak havoc playing just behind the front two, with the ageing Andy Mutch to call upon from the bench later in the day.

Before we play any games though, it is time to go shopping. Midfielders are top of my list, and ideally a backup striker too. I bid 50k for Bjorn Heidenstrom, the scouts think he’s pretty good and Leyton Orient have inexplicably transfer listed him. The other 4 bids (only 5 allowed at once for some reason) are freebies: Mike Cheetham (no, me neither, journeyman midfielder), and Trevor Steven of ‘how did he get so many England caps’ fame. He’s 33, but nothing wrong with a bit of experience in the ranks. My final 2 bids are for young strikers, Graeme Tomlinson and Nick Wright, just released by Man United and Derby respectively.


Well that’s Tomlinson out of the picture then. He’s never played a first team game and yet he wants that much? Jog on pal, our financial position is ‘precarious’ I’ll have you know.


Time for the first game at Edgeley Park against Cork City, and my potential signings seems to still be on their summer break as they are all still to get back to me, so it is an original 16. There is a definite buzz around the town and the queue from the chippy stretches for miles, they have nowhere near enough staff. They’ve been caught out, as have I, by the size of the crowd. Almost eight thousand people for a Friday night friendly against Cork City, I am overwhelmed by the support in my first game in charge, we must give the people what they want, entertaining football!



Well that wasn’t as comfortable as the score line suggests. The first 20 minutes we were all over them, an Alun Armstrong hat trick will no doubt impress the visiting scouts and hopefully add to his value, but after that we took our foot off the gas. To allow such an inferior opponent 52% possession and 16 shots (albeit only 3 on target) is ominous, but nothing ventured nothing gained, I am determined to play Kevin Keegan style football not George Graham, and maybe if one of my centre backs hadn’t got himself sent off for a professional foul straight from the kick off of the second half it wouldn’t have been so imbalanced. Still, with 8 goals and 34 shots in the game and a thumping win the crowd should go home happy, get buying those season tickets!

No more games in July, but still time to make some moves on the transfer front. Heidenstrom accepts my offer and signs up, as does freebie striker Nick Wright, however I have a plethora of free agents turn me down, despite me offering what they were asking for, and unfathomably Lee Norfolk buggers off to Cardiff of division 3 for less money than I was offering. This recruitment lark could be worse than I thought. On the last day of the month Tommy Smith signs up, another from Man United’s academy not to make the grade, but will do a job in centre midfield for me, which is just as well give Tom Bennett has picked up a knock and will miss the opening matches. I’m ready for the season now, bring it on!

The CM9798 Cup starts Sunday! Read the Preview

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:

Guest Blog: Seagull Shouts – Part 3

MK of Seagull Shouts has the keys to the blog this week. He has set out on the challenge of replicating Brighton’s 20 year journey through the football league but if he continues as he has started, it’ll be a much shorter story…

I’m going to reveal a very useful tip to hang on to your star players today, but you’ll have to read on for that…

I’ll be covering two pages of fixtures today, so hold tight! 2 pages of fixtures where the Seagulls suffer only 2 defeats, both in the cup. It’s a run that I can’t quite believe. I’ve played Brighton before in this game, but not with results like this. Admittedly, these are new tactics for me and some new players. I’d like to say I’m some kind of CM god and this always happens, but I’d be lying.

Fixtures part 3

Tomlinson carries on in the same vein that he started the season with the only goal to finish off Port Vale in the second leg of the cup. He then bags back-to-back hat-tricks against Cardiff and Rochdale. He’s a man possessed!

Really happy to see the men behind him chipping in with the goals too, particularly Lakin and Gregory.



Our League Cup run came to an end (even after coming back from behind twice) when we came up against Premier League surprise package Coventry, who were
sitting in second in the league, albeit behind runaway leaders Man Utd. I still get that sad feeling when checking Man Utd’s squad with this being the first season after Cantona’s premature retirement.

brighton 2 - 3 coventry

Time came to move on Atkinson, who was performing well, but our finances needed a boost and I scouted a replacement available on a free and another I hoped to bring in someone on loan from one of the big boys.


I though £425k was a decent return for a play who I’d inherited with the squad and although performing well, I could replace fairly easily at this stage.

Enter Alan Johnson. Creative, decent with the ball and a strong level of flair. Good off the ball and with it and can play a pass and hit a dead ball. He can play in defence but look at that tackling…

alan johnson

I didn’t get my loan man in until a couple of months later and any regular players of the game will recognise this young lad from Man Utd.


Bids came in for many players and here is where my tip is revealed. If you sign players as a smaller stature club, players will often require a ‘big club release clause’. This means that if they do perform as you want them to, they often get bought from you by bigger clubs against your will.

Now if you sign a player with this clause, you can immediately list them for loan. Do it immediately as if you wait until their value increases then your board will block it. All the time the player is listed for loan, potential suitors will only make offers to loan the player and you can always refuse their advances. This helped me keep my squad together.

I would have lost half of my strongest 11 without this and for far less than the’ll be worth by the end of the season!

Brighton loans

As usual if you play Brighton, Peter Smith wants out. NOPE, SORRY MATE!

smith transfer

Would you look at that league table?

div 3 table

Next time we’ll hopefully see a legend arrive at the club and also we’ll bring the season to a close. Will we be sitting pretty at the top or will we bottle it at the last?

You can follow MK on Twitter @SeagullShouts – catch up with Part 1 & Part 2

Catch up as we met Quickly Kevin producer Michael Marden