Lower League Management has been gaining popularity in recent years. Most experienced Football Manager players have all played the big teams and all the big leagues. It is not a big surprise that all the big content creators have done their fair share of ‘Non-League to Hero’ series.
If you are not that experienced in Lower League Management, our Ultimate LLM Guide is a good place to start. And to aid in that article we have created a list with five leagues you should really have a go in if you love Lower League Management (or LLM).
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England – Vanarama North/South
The most popular nation to play LLM in is England. This is the base nation of Football Manager and has the most accurate and biggest football ladder in the game. The Vanarama North & South are the sixth level in England, meaning you will need at least 5 promotions to get into the Premier League (your ultimate goal).
Both Vanarama leagues have 22 teams and are split into region (north and south). Most teams inside these leagues are semi-professional and don’t have big budgets or state-of-the-art facilities. Popular teams to play with are Blyth Spartans, FC United, Goucester and Dulwich Hamlet.
Sweden – Division 2
Sweden has been a popular LLM country and this is mostly because this is a good starting area for a Journey Man save. The Swedish league system has 4 different levels, with the Division 2 being the lowest playable league in Football Manager. The Division 2 has a total of 94 different clubs in six different regional leagues.
Each league has 14 teams and from these leagues the champions will be promote to one of the Division 1 Leagues (also based on region), while the second placed teams will play a promotion play-offs. The bottom two teams will be relegated from the league to the Swedish Lower Leagues.
It has always been fun to play a save in Sweden. The only thing you have to keep in mind is the odd seasonal calendar. Most leagues in Europe will play during the winter, but Scandinavian leagues are played during the summer (which makes sense). This means you will play from April to September in the lower leagues, while the big leagues will play from April to October. At first it will feel odd, but if you have advanced some years you won’t even notice.
Northern Ireland – Intermediate League
Did you know the Intermediate League from Northern Ireland has the lowest reputation from all playable leagues in Football Manager? This is the third tier in Northern Ireland and is ranked as the 305th league in the game, below many unplayable amateur leagues. This will not only make the LLM side of the game fun, but you can also try a Club & Country challenge to help Northern Ireland become a real super power in the world.
The Intermediate League is the third and lowest playable tier in Northern Ireland. The league has twelve teams and is played from mid-August to April. You play a total of 22 games, which is not a lot. But you will still play a lot of games during a season, since Northern Ireland has many Cups and League Cups.
In the Intermediate League the champion will be promoted to the Championship, while the bottom team is relegated to the Northern Irish Lower Leagues (which should become available once the custom league files are created). Popular teams to play with are: Lurgan Celtic, Queens University and Annagh United.
Norway – Tipping-Ligaen
A second Scandinavian country on this list: Norway. Just like Sweden, Norway has a detailed football ladder in Football Manager, which goes doen four levels. The Tippe-Ligaen is the fourth tier in the system and the lowest available in the country. This league has been split into six leagues based on region.
The leagues in the Tippe-Ligaen all have fourteen teams, who play each other twice (26 games). The league is played from April to October. The champions are then promoted to the PostNord-Ligaen Avdeling 1 or 2 (also based on region). The interesting part is that four clubs are relegated to the Norwegian Lower Leagues. This makes the leagues very diverse and you will see loads of new clubs every year.
Popular teams to play with are: Lokomotiv Oslo, Valdres, Pors, Stord & Frigg.
Brazil – Serie C
The last league on this list is the Brazilian Serie C. For most Football Manager fanatics the Brazilian league system is one bridge too far. There a loads of different leagues, cups and state championships that will make the football system a little difficult to follow. But, once you have been playing some seasons you will see that it’s not that difficult and is actually quite fun to play in.
The Brazilian Serie C is divided into two groups A & B and is played into two stages. In the first stage you will have a normal league system. The groups both have ten teams and the teams will play each other twice. At the end of the first stage the top 4 teams will qualify for the Second Stage, which is a knock-out system.
You will play three rounds (2 legs for each round) and the winner will be crowned champions (and will be promoted to the Serie B). Three other teams that have reached the semi-final will also be promoted along with the champions to the Serie B. At the bottom of the table two teams per group are relegated from the division.