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Football Manager cited as the reason behind 35 divorce cases

Jack Kenmare

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Football Manager cited as the reason behind 35 divorce cases

The popular game Football Manager was once cited as a factor in 35 divorce cases – and that figure could get even bigger in the not so distant future.

With the FM23 beta dropping on Thursday night after weeks of hype, millions of gamers will dedicate the coming days, weeks and months to guiding their virtual team to glory.

Whether that be non-league Dorking Wanderers [yes, that's who I've chosen to manage] or reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, this wonderful series continues to provide us with great stories.

In years gone by, we've witnessed a wedding DJ load up Football Manager whilst in the middle of dropping bangers at the Parkville Hotel in Glasgow, and a groom who risked it all by playing FM on his wedding day.

Image: alakota/Reddit
Image: alakota/Reddit

On the subject of getting married, Tony Jameson, a former college lecturer turned comedian, once took his laptop to a wedding so he could "finish off" transfer deadline day.

It's fair to say the game can make or break a relationship. In fact, as mentioned earlier, the video game was cited as a factor in 35 divorce cases back in 2012, according to Iain Macintosh's book: Football Manager Stole My Life.

Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson spoke about the situation back in 2008.

"According to Men's Health magazine a couple of years ago we were cited in 35 divorce cases in one year," he said.

"Which is slightly worrying, but if people want to escape into this other world then there's maybe something wrong with the world they're living in already?"

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We've covered an array of Football Manager stories through the years but in terms of paying the ultimate sacrifice to play out your Football Manager dreams, Tim Pyke might just take the biscuit.

Back in 2007, he persuaded his wife to honeymoon in Bulgaria so he could visit Nesebar, the second division team he was managing in the virtual world.

In an extract from the book Football Manager Stole My Life, FM-obsessed Tim tells the incredible tale of his honeymoon to Sunny Beach.

"It was 2007 and my future wife and I had set a date for our wedding - 08-08-08. a month later, we would go on our honeymoon," he writes.

"She had been looking at holidays in Spain, Greece or Portugal and I was all for it. But then came the fateful day I started beta-testing the Bulgarian league for Football Manager. I picked a random team. That team changed the whole concept of holidaying. That team was Nesebar, in the Bulgarian Second Division West."

Image: Europlan Online
Image: Europlan Online

He added: "I grew fond of them and followed their real-life progress. Then I got curious and looked at costs for holidays in Bulgaria. I found out about the holiday resort of Sunny Beach, right next to Nesebar's football stadium and the prices were excellent. Could I convince the wife-to-be?

"Yes I could. Two weeks all-inclusive was cheaper than one week half-board at any of the other locations, so it was set. September 5, 2008 I was flying out to Bulgaria. Now I needed to figure out a way to go and see Nesebar in action.

"A week into the honeymoon the opportunity arrived.

"We made some new friends out there and the girls wanted to split off to have some girlie time. I convinced the lads to go see the football. Although the wife knew I went to the football match, to this day she doesn't know I chose Bulgaria because of the team I saw play out there."

If you want a full lowdown of what to expect from Football Manager 2023, we've put together a detailed piece on new features and improvements.

Featured Image Credit: Football Manager

Topics: Football Manager, Gaming

Jack Kenmare
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