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Lower League Management

Have you ever played a Lower League Management Save on Football Manager? No? You have no idea what you are missing! This is by far the most fun way and most challenging way to play the game. The thing is with Lower League Management that it is as unforgiving as hell. But after years of hard work, the satisfaction of reaching that top level, will be the best of all.

Do I have your attention? Good! But let me get you back down to earth by saying; Lower League Management isn’t for everybody. Why? Because you need a lot of patience and determination. The life of a Lower League Manager is hard, very hard! But if you are still hyped to start a game down the ladder, this guide will help you get started.


For those of you who are still wondering what Lower League Management or LLM actually is. Well, its football that is played well down the ladder. Think of amateur or semi-professional clubs that work with limited (or even none) budgets and no quality in the squad. You don’t play in fancy stadiums and you don’t train on state-of-the-art facilities. No, Lower League Management is going back to basic.

LLM is not a game you play in between other games. LLM is a way of life!


Are there rules? Yes! Well, they are not actualy rules, more like guidelines. But if you are a true Lower League Manager, you’ll follow them like the bible.

The Basic Rules of Lower League Management are:

  • Only use tactics you have created on your own.
  • Your don’t use the Player- or Staff search in the game.
  • You only sign players that are recommended by your scouts.
  • Only sign backroom staff through an advert.
  • The usage of FM-Tools (like Genie Scout) is not allowed.
  • No rage quits after you lose a game! In LLM losing means losing!
  • Don’t use exploits in the game
  • Keep your signings realistic, so don’t sign a squad of French free agents with an English non-league side.


Standard leagues that meet the requirements for a Lower League Management save are:

  • Vanarama Conference North & South (England)
  • Serie C (Italy)
  • Segunda Division B (Spain)
  • 3. Bundesliga (Germany)
  • CFA (France)
  • Derde klasse (Belgium)
  • Serie C (Brazil)

You can also start a LLM save in countries like Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, Northern-Ireland and Malaysia.

It is also possible to download extra leagues that can bring you even lower than the standard available leagues. Some of these Extra Leagues are available in our download area.


If you are a LLM-rookie, we advise you to start a save in England. The finances are better and the amount of players you can is sign larger than in smaller countries. If you are more experienced you can travel the world and land in countries like Indonesia or Sweden.



In LLM your main goal is to promote to a higher division. If you reach a new stage, you will need better players. And you don’t want to be stuck with a full squad of players that can’t perform on a higher level. When signing a player; offer him a contract for a maximum of 2 seasons. If you need to get rid of him, it will be much easier and more importantly; cheaper!


Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo are players that are difficult to replace. The players you have when managing in the lower leagues are ALL replaceable. Don’t be sad if a player doesn’t want to sign a new deal, there probably is a better player available for less money.


What is the easiest way to improve your squad without spending money? Signing players on Loan! Big Clubs have large youth squads and are be delighted to send you one or even two players for a season long loan. And more important; clubs will not demand any compensation for it!


It would be even better if are able to convince your board to get you a senior affiliate. And if you are lucky, it will be one of the best clubs in the country! These clubs will loan you players without any compensation.


You won’t be finding players with an impressive set of technical skills. So, always look for players with a unique physique. Fast strikers, strong centre-backs or a midfielder with a great stamina could be the difference between winning or losing.

For example: A striker that has 1 for finishing, could score 30 goals a season if he has a high overall speed, only because he will be much faster than most of his opponents.


You barely have money to keep your head above the water, so don’t go spending your money on transfer fees. Make sure to assign your scouts to roam the free transfer market. There are always players who can’t seem to find a club and are willing to play for your team.


As a Lower League Manager you don’t have 40 scouts and you don’t have the money to roam the nation. So, you have to be smart. Offer a player a trial for 4 weeks and have him play friendly matches with your reserves (plan these). That way you will be able to judge his ability a lot quicker than through scouting.


You don’t have much money and in some saves you won’t be able to sign a full squad of 23 players. Signing versatile players is a smart way to cope with that. Players that can play in more than one position are an amazing asset for a club on that level. With them in your squad you can easily cope with a suspended or an injured player.


If you scout for players, don’t look at a players potential. A 16 year old with a 5 star potential in your league, could be having a 1 star potential when you promote to a higher division. So look for quality. Look for players that can perform immediately.


You won’t be seeing potentially world class players coming through your youth set up in the lower levels, so why spend money on it? Youth intakes in the lower leagues rarely give you players that you can use. That is why I would always advise you to cut your youth set up. This will save you money.

When the time is right, you can always request your board to reinstall the youth set up.


Results like 6-6, 7-5 en 10-3 are very normal in LLM, so don’t expect a lot of clean sheets. Important in LLM is that you outscore your opponents by any means necessary.


Your players lack the intelligence to play in difficult formations and extensive instructions. So keep your tactics simple and basic. Only use team instructions, play in a 4-4-2 and leave the specific player instructions.


  1. I proudly scum nearly every game I lose. Screw losing is losing. Losing is getting ripped off by scripted events.

    In ALL cases where people hang on forums and claim to have taken NoName FC to the prem and winning the champions league they are ALL scumming AND using engine busters. If you leave your fate to this heavily scripted piece of shit game then you are playing Frustration Manager and good luck to you and your nervous system! Nobody plays this game straight, because its near unplayable. You will lose dressing rooms and you will get sacked. The broken dynamics stystem on its own is a reason to scum and thats before we talk about pre-determined results.

    Cheat the game. Scum it with pride. It is a badge of honor and it really pisses off Miles, and pissing off nasty pieces of shit like him are what its all about. Buy the game cheap also using those cd key websites. That pisses him off even more. He hates the thought of his already dwindling sales figures not making him rich(er) Then tell him you did it because he sits on twitter all day being nasty to people who gave him money and that he deserves to be robbed blind all day and all night.

    Thats my advice for a long and happy career in the lower leagues. 😉

  2. Great little article. LLM is some of the best fun you can have on FM.

    I’d like to think the rule “No rage quits after you lose a game! In LLM losing means losing” applies to all FM saves, not just LLM!


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