Sports Interactive and SEGA have unveiled the headline features for Football Manager 2020, with the latest edition of the management sim to place more emphasis on long-term planning and player development in order make saves that span multiple seasons even more compelling.


Player development and club identity has become an important part of real-world football and now Football Manager gamers will be able to have more input into both. FM2020 will also see improved in-match graphics, as well as new backroom advice and staff roles.


The ‘Development Centre’ promises to be an excellent new feature, serving as an all-encompassing hub for users to take full control of their club’s youth operation.


You will more easily be able to maximise young player potential, with an overview, advice, ‘ones to watch’ and those ‘in need of attention’ all available to see. Individual tabs will also show players out on loan, youth squad, youth intake and entire youth staff and their responsibilities.


‘Club Vision’ will allow users to work with the board’s objectives to develop a culture at their club that impacts everything from transfers, to playing style and competitions expectations, working towards strengthening a club identity and hitting multi-year milestones.


The board will set the vision to be achieved over several seasons in the new Welcome Meeting that happens before you even get to your inbox on day one and will give each save a more unique feel. As a manager, you no longer be judged on year-to-year league positions alone, but on whether you are adhering to the culture or reaching milestones in the five-year plan.


The ‘Playing Time Pathway’ is a new way to define a player’s status in your squad, with options to build in current and future playing time over the length of a contract. The offer of playing time in future seasons can be used to create a clear pathway from the youth ranks to the first-team.


Any discrepancies between proposed and actual playing time can be discussed with the players, while backroom staff can provide advice on playing time and summarise player progression that may impact it from season to season.


New roles, advice and interaction mean that ‘Backroom Staff’ in FM2020 are now the most important they have ever been, with more collaboration ensuring that the game is brought closer to the structure of a real-life backroom team.


But not only is there greater backroom advice available, this year’s game also introduces two new staff roles - Head of Player Development and the Technical Director – to more accurately reflect the changing nature of modern football clubs.


‘Graphics Improvements’ mean that the match experience in FM2020 is the best looking the series has ever produced. New player models are more lifelike, while manager avatars have also been remodelled. Then there are improved pitches, which are visibly affected by weather.


Earlier this month, it was announced that Football Manager 2020 will come in ground breaking environmentally friendly packaging that could save as much as 20 tonnes of plastic waste by using eco-friendly and recyclable materials.


Fans who pre-purchase Football Manager 2020 (for PC and Mac), from a SEGA approved digital retailer (or pre-order from a participating physical retailer) up until launch will receive a 10% discount. Additionally, those who pre-purchase through a SEGA approved digital retailer will be able to get their managerial careers underway early through a fully-playable Beta version, which will be available roughly two weeks prior to the official street date (single player careers started in the Beta can be carried across to the full game). The pre-release Beta will not be available on Stadia.