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Today heralds a new era for football management as Everton Football Club becomes the first club to officially recruit the services of a computer game and its developers as part of their back room team.
In a football and gaming first Everton FC has signed an exclusive deal with Sports Interactive, developers of the football management videogame Football Manager, to give manager David Moyes and his coaches unrivalled access to its database of over 370,000 players and staff. Everton will be able to instantly scan 20,000 active teams in more than 50 countries worldwide with immediate access to the largest scouting network in football with over 1,000 scouts from around the globe.
The unique database has made Football Manager the most popular football management simulation in gaming and will help Everton FC spot the best young talent from around the world. In the past, Football Manager has accurately identified Wayne Rooney’s potential talent when he was just fifteen and has been the first to predict other future stars including Lionel Messi, Ashley Young and Jose Baxter.
The game’s original creators Paul and Oliver Collyer have been approached by clubs wanting to sign the game in the past, but this is the first time they have put pen to paper to hand over the game’s database and bring virtual football management into the real world.
Paul Collyer comments:
“The game’s database is a valuable resource with the most extensive scouting network in football so Everton FC is making a top signing. I am personally delighted with today’s announcement as I’m a Toffees fan. Standing on the pitch with my signing on shirt is as close to my boyhood dream of playing at Goodison Park as I will ever get.”
Studio Director Miles Jacobson adds:
“We’ve known for a while that teams use the game to research certain players, whether to buy or to check out the opposition, but this formal recognition by a premiership team is fantastic and we are sure it will prove a fruitful one for the Everton FC.”
Football Manager has been fully updated for the new 2008/09 football season with all the latest league, club and player data giving armchair managers everywhere the most up to date stats to manage their teams with the most realistic management experience available.
Football Manager 2009 for PC and Apple Macintosh, and Football Manager Handheld 2009 for Sony PSP are both released today (November 14th).
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About SEGA Europe Ltd.:
SEGA® Europe Ltd. is the European Distribution arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA Corporation, and a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA Europe’s web site is located at www.sega-europe.com.
About Sports Interactive Ltd.:
Sports Interactive (SI), is the world’s leading developer of football management simulations through its Football Manager series of games Founded in 1994 and based in the Old Street area of London, SI has a full-time staff of 44 and employs services of more than 1,500 part-time researchers across the globe. The company’s games have enjoyed an unparalleled history of commercial and critical success, with nine of its creations among the UK's Top 20 fastest-selling PC games of all time, and 4 in the UK’s top 20 best selling PC games of all time. Sports Interactive became a wholly owned subsidiary of SEGA in 2006. Further information on the company and its games is available from the SI website, www.sigames.com.