Since the first version launched two years ago, Football Chairman has established itself as the number one app for anyone wanting to step into the expensive shoes of Roman Abramovich.
The concept is simple: you take over a tiny non-league English club, seven divisions below the Premier League.
Starting with only a couple of hundred fans, a basic stadium and £50k in the bank, your aim is to try to steer the club up through the divisions.
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If you succeed, you might eventually find yourself in charge of the world’s biggest club, with a bulging trophy-cabinet and record books filled with legendary managers and superstar players.
To get there you’ll need to rebuild the stadium, hire and fire managers, negotiate transfers and player contracts, set ticket prices and face the many other challenges that need to be tackled by club owners.
It’s not easy - the game aims to replicate the income and expenditure of real life football, so keeping your bank balance in profit while being successful on the field can be a tough task.
The business element of the game adds an extra dimension to the traditional football management sim.
Do you cash in on your star striker when he’s right at his peak, and invest the money into a youth system to bring through more stars in the future?
Do you build a big new stadium and risk losing money if you can’t attract enough fans to fill it?
Do you succumb to the pressure of the fans and sack an unpopular manager, even if the potential replacements are actually no better?
These are the kind of dilemmas that are faced throughout the game, and even the shrewdest chairman won’t get it right every time.
But carefully steering your club through hard times is what makes the eventual trophies and nights of European glory feel even more satisfying.
The free “Lite” version of the game was initially built as a demo but quickly went viral and has been played by over a million gamers worldwide.
The “pick up and play” nature of the app is one of the secrets to its popularity. Unlike many football management games, a season in Football Chairman can last as little as 15 minutes.
With matches and seasons flying by so quickly, users can easily become hooked on playing “just one more season” as they try to put their strategies into place.
The massive success of the original app led to two follow-up editions of the game, with the latest, “Football Chairman Pro”, launching just a couple of months ago.
All three versions are available for iOS, Android and Kindle devices, and with each new release the game has added more depth and realism – but without sacrificing the addictive simplicity of the gameplay.
The big twist in the latest version is that you can now leave your humble, user-created club and take over real-life teams.
So if you’ve always thought you could do a better job of running your favourite club, Football Chairman Pro gives you the chance to prove it!
For more information visit www.football-chairman.com or search the app stores for “Football Chairman”.