Football Manager 2020 Club Recommendations of Great Challenges & Saves
Looking for recommendations on the ultimate Football Manager challenges? We give you our recommendations of Football Manager 2020 clubs to manage providing you with ten options of clubs to look at for your next FM20 save.
Football Manager 2020 gives you the option to select from 2500 clubs at every level from 50 of the biggest footballing nations around the globe, which might make it difficult to pick a club. There might be clubs you’ve founded a great relationship with due to past achievements in FM, and there might be clubs you might even have heard of, or no relations with.
Today we provide you with our list of Football Manager 2020 clubs to manage providing you with our recommendations of challenges to try out in Football Manager. Our suggestions are all perfect challenges once your first beta save and ‘getting familiar with Football Manager save’ has been abandoned and you’re looking to start a long term save in FM20.
Our suggestions of FM20 saves to try expands from the lower leagues in Germany to the top divisions of one of the biggest footballing nations in the world!
Continue to discover our recommendations of teams to manage in FM20.
Part 1: 5 Football Manager 2020 Clubs to Manage
To kick off our recommendations of Football Manager 2020 clubs to manage, we have decided to split up the article in two. At first we’ll recommend five clubs for FM20 which all have something to do with the number 100 or 20.
Bristol City FC – English Championship
Established: 1894 (125 years ago)
Stadium: Ashton Gate Stadium (Capacity: 27000)
Nickname: the Robins
If you ever want to try the challenge of getting promoted to English Premier League then the Championship would be the natural source. Here there are a number of interesting clubs for Football Manager 2020, which I have a personal interest of managing. One is Birmingham, because of Jude Bellingham, the other is Leeds by emulating the Bielsa tactics in Football Manager. But I want to put focus on an outsider to a future promotion spot for the next three years, the Bristol City.
The rise of Bristol City Football Club has surely been noticeable since their promotion from League One back in 2014-2015 season to their sixth consecutive season in the Championship. Under the wings of current manager Lee Johnson the club has moved from finishing in 18th position in their first Championship season to a memorable 8th position, just four points behind a play-off qualification spot, last year.
Since 2004, when they were given a FA ‘Centre of Excellence’ license, the club has taken much pride and effort to develop their own players within the Academy. Since then, youth have been given a chance in their first team squad and players like Leroy Lita, Rolando Aarons, Joe Bryan, Lloyd Kelly and Bobby Reid has come through.
For Football Manager 2020, Bristol City has made a host of interesting signings. The French promising midfielder Han-Noah Massengo arrived from AS Monaco this summer for €8 million. The former Chelsea academy players Kasey Palmer, Tomas Kalas and Jay DaSilva arrived as well this summer, in addition to Benfik Afobe and Pedro Pereira on loan. Managing Bristol City in Football Manager means that you’ll be able to work with a highly balanced squad of both experienced players in Andreas Weimann, last years top scorer Famara Diédhiou and loanee Benik Afobe together with producing and signing talents.
Bristol City will be a highly ambitious club who will have the objective to develop their own talents and compete for a play-off spot and promotion for the next three years. With the sales of Adam Webster and Lloyd Kelly, I’m sure Bristol City will have a decent transfer budget in FM20 to let you work with.
Challenge: First ever FA Cup trophy in 100 years (Runners-up 1908-09)
1. FC Kaiserslautern – German 3.Liga
As with so many clubs in modern football these days, the financial situation and the fall of a football club has its roots in Stadium upgrades and transfers sprees going wrong. One club who have surely been hit by financial troubles due to being forced to upgrade their stadium and not being able to pay for it, is 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Formed in 1900, Die roten Teufel is one of the founding members of the German Bundesliga. They kept their place in the top division for over 33 years before they were relegated in the same season as they won their second DFB-Pokal. With 33 consecutive seasons in the German top flight, Kaiserslautern were one of only four teams who had never been relegated from the 16 clubs who formed the Bundesliga.
Once a Bundesliga giant, the club playing at the 2006 World Cup venue Fritz-Walter-Stadion, has spend most of the last decade in 2.Bundesliga before taking the hard way down to 3.Liga before last season.
Kaiserslautern could be the perfect ‘Restore the glory of a fallen giant’ challenge in Football Manager 2020. With their two German Cup trophies, a regular Europa League contestant between 1992 and 2000, you’ll have the history to back you up as you take on the challenge to get 1.FC Kaiserslautern back to where they belong.
It won’t be an easy challenge for sure, as the squad you got to work with is the third youngest within the league (except from Bayern Munich II), and don’t expect a wealthy transfer budget either. Managing Kaiserslautern in FM20 will require all your tactical and squad management skills to create a positive atmosphere for hunting glory, in additional to a small portion of patience, improving the club bit by bit.
NB! you might need to unlock the third division and make it playable to manage this team.
Jagiellonia Bialystok – Polish Ekstraklasa
Established: 1900 (99 years ago)
Stadium: Białystok City Stadium (Capacity: 22372)
Last Position: 5th
Eastern Europe is the home to a number of legendary footballers throughout its history, and while Serbia and Croatia might be one of the first nations you think of, Poland has produced one of the most lethal strikers in recent years – Robert Lewandowski. Now I could have picked the club where his youth career kicked off Legia Warzaw or the club he was at before he went to Borussia Dortmund and got world famous, Lech Poznan, but instead I’d like to focus on Jagiellonia Bialystok – a club who focus as much on youth development as any other club within the league (check out also Pogon Szczecin and Kacper Kozlowski for FM20).
Jagiellonia Bialystok was originally formed by solders in a Reserve Battalion May 30th 1920, which means the club will celebrate its 100 anniversary next year. Along the way they have won the Polish cup once and been runners-up twice (last time 2018-2019 season, but their youth sides have even better records, as the Under-19 squad have been champions four times, while the Under-17 team once.
The Polish club has produced a number of national stars. Former Football Manager wonderkid Bartłomiej Drągowski is one I’m sure you’ll heard of, others are Radoslaw Sobolewski, Tomasz Frankowski, current Dinamo Zagreb player Damian Kadzior and club legend Rafał Grzyb.
The challenge for Football Manager 2020 is to get your young squad to qualify for the Europa League or Champions League within one to three years, and develop the next Robert Lewandowski or Krzysztof Piatek.
Empoli F.C. – Italian Serie B
If you found Bristol City intriguing, but it’s not quite your nation we got another recommendation to you coming from Italy.
Empoli Football Club is another club who will celebrate their 100th anniversary next year. Included within this list because of the number of notable managers who have had a tenure in the club in additional to the amount of legendary Italian players making appearances for the club. Former Roma assistant manager and caretaker Aurelio Andreazzoli and the charismatic Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri have all had their tenures there, whilst Luciano Spalletti started his coaching career at Empoli.
Now the moment has come to you to kick off your manager tenure in Football Manager 2020 by taking on Empoli and lead them back to Serie A and battle against your fierce rival Pisa for the best position.
It will be your matter to develop the next Antonio Di Natale, Vincenzo Montella or Elseid Hysaj as you give faith to bright talents and Italian Under-21 and Under-19 national team players Davide Frattesi, Davide Merola and Samuele Ricci, or Swiss Under-21 national team player Nedim Bajrami.
Empoli’s honours is not much to talk about. Never won the Coppa Italia, only once taken part in the Europa League (lost in the first round), the challenge for you will be to become one of the top 5 clubs in Italy within ten to fifteen years using a typical Italian formation (4-3-1-2) utilizing the trequartista in AMC spot.
Gimnástic de Tarragona S.A.D – Spanish Segunda División B – Grupo 3
Established: 1886 (1914 football)
Stadium: Nou Estadi (Capacity: 17000)
Last Position: 20th (relegated)
From the same district as FC Barcelona, we find Gimnástic de Tarragona, one of the oldest football clubs in Spain. Based in the beautiful city of Tarragona with its ruins from the old Roman Empire, the club is not really familiar with playing top division football and you have to go back 70 years when they last enjoyed at least 2 consecutive seasons in the top flight having only enjoyed four spells in the top division, the last time in 2006/07.
Despite their long and pride history, the club is a regular Segunda Division B team who have no real Copa del Rey history to speak of, except from making it to the semi-finals in 1946/47.
For FM20, you’ll have to combat Barcelona B, FC Andorra and their rivals CD Castellón in the Segunda Divisón B – grupo 3 to get promoted.
You’ll get to work with Ignacio Abeledo (a pacy winger and former Real Betis wonderkid), former Espanyol midfielder Javi Márquez and former Villarreal striker Jonathan Pereira, in additional to a number of local players from the region and foreign players, such as Romain Habran (former Paris SG and France Under-20 national team player). With a current average age in the squad of 25.8, you’ll have the perfect mix of Under-23 players which you can build on for the future in additional to more experienced players who have enjoyed football at a higher level.
Key to success would be to gel the squad together and set a formation as almost the entire squad is made up by new arrivals for the 2019-2020 season and returnees. Selecting Gimnástic in football Manager 2020 will be a definitive long term save where a total rebuild of the club is needed, from improving the training facilities to define a club philosophy for all matters within the club (transfer policy and etc).
Your challenges for Football Manager 2020 is to get Gimnástic back to La Liga and become the best club within the region of Tarragona.
Coventry City F.C. – English Sky Bet League One
While most of you might look at Bolton Wanderers as the ultimate save for FM20, I’d like to pinpoint another club with a long and proud history. Founded in 1883, Coventry City, has been part of the Football League for 100 years this August.
Nicknamed ‘The Sky Blues’, Coventry enjoyed their proudest era between 1967, when they got promoted to the Premier Division for the first time, to 2001, when they were relegated from the Premier Division after a 34 year consecutive spell in the top flight. Within this period they won the FA Cup and FA youth Cup (1986/87), reached the semifinals to the Football League Cup (now Carabao Cup) twice plus qualifying for what’s now known as the UEFA Europa League and reaching the second round in the 1970-71 season, but has in recent years found themselves in the Championship or the Sky Bet League One, but won the Football League Trophy as late as 2016-17 season.
With a vision to develop local players from Coventry or the Midlands, the club has seen a number of great footballers coming through their ranks. From James Maddison, Callum Wilson and Gaël Bigirimana to the most recent ‘wonderkid’ Sam McCallum, which you’ll be able to develop in FM20. With great training facilities and good youth facilities in FM20, you’ll be able to focus your attention to player development and create a future full of local Coventry players making an impact on the clubs hunt for trophies.
Become the new Jimmy Hill and revolutionize the club for the next decade by transforming the club into a Premier League candidate.
FC Rapid București – Romanian Liga II
Another challenge for Football Manager 2020 is to restore the glory of FC Rapid București who was declared bankruptcy in 2016 and were moved down to Liga V, but have battled their way up to Liga II for 2019-2020 season. As one of the most successful clubs in Romania, FC Rapid București, have won the Liga I on three occasions, 13 Cupa României and 4 Supercupa României titles. They featured in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, which they came to the quarter-finals in the 2005-06 season losing to their fierce rivals, former Steaua București (now FCSB), on away goals.
With an average age of 23.3 according to Transfermarkt, you will meet a rather young squad with a number of under-21 talents featuring in the first team, such as Antonio Sefer (19), Rares Lazar (20) and former Argentine wonderkid Matías Roskopf (21), in Football Manager 2020.
Your task is to develop these talents into national stars such as former academy player Ion Ionescu (all-time club goalscorer – 107 goals), Daniel Niculae, Nicolae Stanciu (most appearances – 323 matches), as well as the current manager and legendary player Daniel Pancu, who’s also the second most goalscorer in the history of FC Rapid.
Do you got the managerial abilities to lead the FC Rapid Bucuresti back into European competitions? Will you have what’s required to establish a club identity and a club philosophy which runs through the club?
Associação Atlética Ponte Preta – Brazilian Serie B
Established: 1900 (119 years ago)
Stadium: Estádio Moisés Lucarelli (Capacity: 19,722)
Training Facilities: Good
Youth Facilities: Average
Do you feel you’ve conquered everything that’s possible in Football Manager, perhaps winning both the Champions League, the Europa League, national cups and finishing top of the table in one of the top leagues of Europe, why not head overseas and try a new experience in South America. Here we got a range of interesting clubs that we could recommend to you. From Club Universidad de Chile to Envigado of Colombia or Defensor Sporting Club in Uruguay to Club Atlético Rosario Central in Argentina. Instead I’d like to head to the place where ‘o Jogo Bonito’ was born!
As the second oldest clubs in Brazilian football, Associação Atlética Ponte Preta, could be both a great challenge and a new experience.
Founded 120 years ago next year (11.08.1900), Ponte Preta is currently a Campeonato Brasileiro Série B side. With a mix of both experienced players and up-and-coming talents, the club is ideal for one who likes to transform the club according to his philosophy by establishing a thorough transfer and scouting policy.
Hopefully you’ll even bring some consistency to the club as they have had four managers in the last 3 years.
Relegated from the Serié A last season, your task is to get them back to the Serié A as quickly as possible and try to qualify for CONMEBOL Libertadores and claim the throne as the most successful club within that tournament, winning it more than Independiente’s 7 times showing to the world that the home of the beautiful game is in Brazil!
Fredrikstad FK – Norwegian PostNord Ligaen Avd.1
Along the river of Norwegians largest river Glomma, we find the stadium of Fredrikstad Fotballklubb which was opened in 2007 and which has a capacity of nearly 12500 spectators. The large stadium stands as a momentum of high ambitions and the UEFA stadium regulations that was introduced in 2006. Once a major club in Norway being the pride of Østfold with their high number of supporters and fans, history stands for itself in the present.
It’s 10 years ago the stadium hosted a five digit number of supporters and it’s even longer since their last title (13 years to be exact). But the truth is that Fredrikstad FK is one of the most successful clubs in the history of Norwegian football. Years before Rosenborg BK had their best era, FFK won the Premier Division of Norway (today known as Eliteserien) 9 times between the 1930s and 1960s. Their golden period were in the 1950s and 60s where they either won the league or ended as runners-up.
In the last 30 years, they have played outside the Eliteserien, mostly due to financial troubles by overspending on players and their wages without reaching the sporting achievements which they had planned for.
For Football Manager 2020, your challenge is to get Fredrikstad FK where they belong by putting your mark on how a football club should be run and take back the throne from Sarpsborg 08 to be the best club in Østfold. Working by your side you’ll have former Norwegian national manager Per Mathias Høgmo as your sporting director. Perhaps you need to spend a few seasons to better their financial situation and put your faith in amateur and part time players, as managing in the Norwegian league is a true lower league experience.
Did you know?
Fredrikstad FK was the first Norwegian club to qualify for a European competition. In 1960, FFK faced AFC Ajax in the first round of what is now called the Champions League, winning 4-3 at home before securing a draw away. Club legends Arne Pedersen, Per Kristoffersen, Willy Olsen and Bjørn Borgen scored the goals. All the first three played their entire career at FFK. While AFC Ajax only had ‘Mister Ajax’ Sjaak Swart in their ranks and was not at the same level as when Johan Cruyff and Vic Buckingham revolutinized the club 4 years later, the achievement is one of the top 10 biggest feats in Norwegian club history, according to Truls Dæhli of VG.
King’s Lynn Town F.C. – English MANarama National League North
If hunting for promotion from the tiers right below the Premier Division isn’t challenging enough, a proper English lower league journeyman save will definitely put your Football Manager knowledge to the test. Even though you’re able to head into the amateur leagues of England by downloading Dan BHTFC’s magnificent English lower league database, I’ll head to the bottom of the default active leagues of England, where we find the newly promoted King’s Lynn Town F.C.
While I have had much fun with Hereford before I started this website, Kings Lynn is one of the newly ‘founded’ clubs in England. Established in 2010, after Kings Lynn Football club failed to complete the 2009-2010 season in the Northern Premier League, Kings Lynn Town was reformed. From Norfolk (north west of England), the newly formed club, promoted to the MANarama National League North before this season after winning the Southern League Premier Division Central play-offs.
Despite being a rather young club, Kings Lynn has reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Vase as their best achievements. By following in the footsteps of former Aston Villa assistant manager and current Kings Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse, you’ll be able to create the club history of Kings Lynn Town and influence on the club with your ambitions and visions for the coming future.
So far, Kings Lynn Town is placed third on the table four points behind York City, being on the track to a remarkable back-to-back promotion. Will you be able to do the same?
Below you’ll find some of the clubs we have had great fun with managing in previous versions of Football Manager
- AJ Auxerre
- Crvena Zvezda
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Sporting CP