Drop everything and download: Football Manager 2020

Play the full version for free until 25 March

The stadiums are empty, the players are doing keepy-uppies with bog roll, and there’s only old episodes of Premier League Years to watch on Sky Sports. How is anyone supposed to get their football fix under conditions like that?

Fortunately, Sports Interactive is here to help. Football Manager 2020 has just been made free to play until 25 March, so you can use some of this self-isolation time to guide Macclesfield Town to Champions League glory. Actually, that might take more than a week...

What’s it all about, then?

If you have to ask that you’ve obviously never missed deadlines, ruined relationships or just stayed up all night in a quest for virtual football glory. Football Manager is the king of Ronseal-named Jose Mourinho simulators, although you don’t have to park any buses if you don’t want to.

With 116 leagues from 51 different nations, it’s got you covered whether you support Burnley, Brøndby or Bayern Munich. For a topical challenge, though, why not take charge of Korona Kielce in Poland’s Ekstraklasa?

It’s your job to get the team winning, but you’ll also have to deal with training, scouting, signings, and the academy, while also juggling any egos in the dressing room. Well it’s not like you’ve got much else to do right now, is it?

Any downsides?

The obvious one is that it’s only free until 3pm on 25 March, after which you’ll have to pay £40 to carry on your game.

It’s not exactly a game you can ‘complete’ in a few days, so don’t get too attached if you’re not prepared to shell out. Past experience suggests you’re likely to get hooked, which is bad news for your bank balance but good news for the Sports Interactive coffers.

You’ll need a Steam account to download it as well, which isn’t a massive hassle, but isn’t as easy as just hitting download and settling in.

Oh, and don’t forget to make sure your best suit is clean in case you reach the FA Cup Final.

Where can I get it?

Football Manager 2020 is available on PC, Mac and Nintendo Switch, but it’s only free to play if you download it from Steam, which means Switch owners will still have to fork out.