Soccer agents 'tried to bribe' Football Manager into giving clients better ratings

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Soccer agents 'tried to bribe' Football Manager into giving clients better ratings
Photo: @FootballManager

Sports Interactive director Miles Jacobson has spoken about how football agents have tried to bribe the developers of the Football Manager series into upgrading their clients' skill ratings.

The game already has a reputation among players for helping unearth new talent after some managers admitted to using it to scout for new stars.

Former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager André Villas-Boas admitted to using the game to check on potential of transfer targets whilst working as a scout for José Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.

Previous highly rated young players on the bestselling video game included two teenagers destined for world fame - Wayne Rooney and Lionel Messi.

Speaking on The Football Manager Show, a podcast by The Athletic, Jacobson talked about how some agents have offered cash bungs in return for an improvement in their clients' stats.

I've had agents that have tried to bribe me to put stuff up. And the ones that have asked me that know to never ask me that again. Because, I'm not one for bribing.

It's the just fact that so many clubs use our data that people do want to be represented positively in the game.

The likely reason for these less-than-honest offers is that higher ratings for their players means a higher chance of attracting a lucrative transfer, which in turn would juice the agent's fees.

However, throughout the years, only one player has managed to get his in-game stats changed through a request.

We have only changed them once and that was when a player, who was at a club that I cannot mention, reached out and said he was unhappy with his pace and acceleration stats.

He compared himself to another player at the same club, who had better stats, and said "I'm faster than him, I'm faster than him", so I just turned around and said okay have a race, film it and send me the video.

They had a race, and he filmed it, and he sent me the video. He proved he was right but to be fair, he also turned around and said "you've also said that my dribbling is better than his and he's a much better dribbler than I am," so we made that tweak.

Sometimes players do reach out but they normally say "LOL" at the end because they know it's cheeky.

There have been times when people have been pushy on it and I've said there's one way to get your rating up - play better when our scouts are watching you.

Over 1,000 scouts compile the FM database, which amounts to around 370,000 accurate descriptions from 20,000 teams in over 50 countries worldwide.

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