When it comes to managing in Football Manager 2020, you have roughly three options. You could manage in one of the ‘top five’ major leagues, one of the smaller national top-flight leagues around the world, or a lower league. For many people, though, the second option can appeal the most: taking a club with potential in a smaller market and building something authentic and impressive from there.
Who, though, should you look to manage? Who could be a good club to take on from a smaller national league?
Hibernian/Heart of Midlothian
Easily the third and fourth largest clubs in Scotland in terms of support size, Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) are big clubs in Scotland with vast potential. In real life, constant mismanagement and budgets nowhere near the size of Celtic or Rangers means challenging for the title is a dream.
In the more budget-friendly world of Football Manager 2020, though, building a title-challenging outfit in Edinburgh is possible. Why not help the boys from Leith or Gorgie challenge Celtic and Rangers?
The Danish giants are one of the biggest clubs in Scandinavian football but have utterly fallen on austere times in the last decades. Title wins which used to arrive regularly have become few and far between, leaving the club nowhere near the size it once was.
However, they have vast potential and could be restored to national glory. The facilities and the budget make it possible to compete with modern-day giants FC Copenhagen in the long-term.
As one of the most well-supported clubs in Sweden, Hammarby are a giant without any trophies. Title wins are few and far between, but they have the backing and the support to challenge Malmo with the right management.
While it would likely take ample patience to build a side who could overtake the Swedish giants, it’s certainly possible. Backed by the most vocal support in the country, too, you could really build something in Sweden here.
The Turkish Super Lig is one of the most exciting leagues in Europe, and Trabzonspor are the ‘other’ giant in Turkish football. They have the infrastructure, squad, and budget to challenge the ‘Big Three’ if you are willing to be patient and probably sacrifice a few of your star players for a higher long-term budget.
Without doubt, though, Trabzonspor is one of the most exciting games that you could take up in FM2020; a club with absolutely massive potential.
The ‘Liverpool of Russia’ are one of the most popular clubs in Eastern Europe, and could genuinely be a major force if you were willing to put in the time to build them slowly. Spartak are a club with a fair amount of cash to spend and no shortage of exciting talents. We definitely recommend an attempt at rebuilding what is arguably the biggest club in Russian football. The opportunity to build a dynasty at Spartak exists – if you can get through a tough opening period, it’s possible to build something here for sure.