10 Long-Term FM23 Challenges

With Football Manager 2023 out now, it’s time to start sinking the hours into a long-term career. Although instant success is nice, nothing quite matches the rewarding feeling of rising through the divisions and breaking new ground with your club of choice. 

We’ve put together 10 of our favourite FM23 projects from around the world to give you some inspiration. 
 

10 Long-Term FM23 Challenges

Oldham Athletic
Challenge: Get them back to the big time

Last season marked a low point in the proud history of Oldham Athletic as they became the first club to have competed in the modern era of the top-flight to be relegated to the fifth tier of English football. 

With the club bought by a local businessman in the summer, Latics fans are now hoping for brighter times ahead at Boundary Park. 

With only two promotion places available in the Vanarama National League, sealing an immediate return to the EFL will be tough, particularly with Wrexham and Notts County looking a cut above. Instead, your task will be to get Oldham back on an even keel in your first season before building a squad that’s capable of moving up the divisions and eventually getting back to the bright lights of where they were 30 years ago. 

Oldham

VfB Stuttgart
Challenge: Build a squad capable of challenging for Bundesliga glory

In 2007, VfB Stuttgart became German champions for the fifth time in their history. 

It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride since then, with Die Schwaben enduring a couple of spells in Bundesliga 2. They’re back in the Bundesliga now though and look to have a young squad capable of pushing on.

Stuttgart added several quality players in the summer: Dan-Axel Zagadou being the pick of the bunch. The French centre-back has all the requisite attributes to form part of a dynamic back four with fellow new signing Josha Vagnoman and Croatian international Borna Sosa. Can you build on those solid foundations to begin a move back to the summit of German football?

Toulouse FC
Challenge: Continue their upward trajectory towards the top of Ligue 1 Uber Eats

Toulouse FC’s recruitment has evidently been Football Manager-influenced in the last couple of seasons, and it’s resulted in Les Violets returning to Ligue 1 Uber Eats. 

There are a number of quality operators within the Toulouse FC squad but their biggest asset is creative ace Zakaria Aboukhlal. Capable of playing on either flank or up front, the Moroccan international is quick, agile and full of tricks. 

With four clubs due to be relegated from Ligue 1 Uber Eats in the 2022/23 season, you’ll have to have your wits about you to ensure you avoid the drop in your first campaign. After that, lean on the new recruitment tools to develop a team ready to take on the might of PSG. 

Ligue 1

D.C. United
Challenge: Dominate domestically and further afield

D.C. United have attracted a fair bit more attention in the UK in recent months following a certain English manager taking the top job at Audi Field. 

2022 was a difficult season for the capital club but with the likes of Ravel Morrison, Christian Benteke and Designated Player Taxi Fountas leading their attack, fans have every reason to be hopeful.

Have you got what it takes to make D.C. United a dominant force, picking up a fifth MLS title before taking on the best that North America has to offer?

Hamburger SV
Challenge: Get promoted back to the Bundesliga and stay there

Hamburger SV are one of Germany’s most successful teams – their trophy cabinet is packed with six German titles, three DFB Pokals and multiple European honours. 

For a club with such a rich history, it’s somewhat surprising that this is their fifth consecutive season in Bundesliga 2. They’ve been close to going back up before, notably losing last season’s play-off final, but they remain in the second tier and are once again title favourites. 

Delivering promotion for a squad packed with exciting young talent like Xavier Amaechi, Ludovit Reis, William Mikelbrencis and Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer will be your immediate priority. After that, it’s about getting the biggest club from Germany’s second city back in the title hunt. 

Hamburg

Genoa
Challenge: Deliver a tenth league title for Italy’s oldest club

This season, Genoa find themselves playing football in Italy’s second tier for the first time since 2007. 

Led by former Italy international Stefano Sturaro, Il Grifone have got an exciting squad more than capable of booking an immediate return to the top-flight. 

Once there, you’ll want to establish dominance over groundshare partners and fierce rivals Sampdoria before working your way up the table towards the bright lights of European competition. The next Italian title Genoa win will be their tenth – that’ll feel pretty sweet, won’t it?

Buxton
Challenge: Take Buxton from the sixth tier to the top

Prior to this season, the thing Buxton FC were most known for was that their ground, The Silverlands, is the highest in England, approximately 1,000 feet above sea level. 

Now, though, they can boast that they’re playing in the Vanarama National League North, English football’s sixth tier, for the first time in their history. 

Although they’ll be one of the favourites for relegation in your first season, players like Shaun Brisley, Harry Bunn and Diego Di Girolamo, all of whom have extensive EFL experience, should help you turn your impressive home ground into a fortress. From there, you can start dreaming of bringing top-level football to Derbyshire once again.

Jeju United
Challenge: Win a first K-League title in more than 30 years

The only professional sports club in South Korea’s southern Jeju Province, Jeju United were one of the K-League’s founding members in 1982. 

They dropped out of the Hana 1Q K League in 2019 but since securing an immediate return to the top-flight, they’ve finished fourth and fifth in successive seasons. 

Can you craft an elite squad, combining good domestic talent and maximising the international slots at your disposal, capable of securing Jeju’s fans a first national title since 1989?

Jeju

Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic
Challenge: Continue Bonnyrigg Rose’s meteoric rise up the divisions

Bonnyrigg Rose were one of the stories of Scottish football last season, earning a maiden promotion to Scottish cinch League Two through the play-offs. 

Their story was so remarkable because they’d only been members of the Scottish FA for three years at that point after decades of success in junior football. 

Now, the Midlothian outfit want to follow in the path of clubs like Cove Rangers and Kelty Hearts who’ve bagged back-to-back promotions and continued their progress up through the Scottish pyramid. Have you got what it takes to bring more success to New Dundas Park?

Atlético Ottawa
Challenge: Turn Atlético Ottawa into CPL title winners

Formed in 2020 as an expansion club of the Spanish giants Atlético, Atlético Ottawa enjoyed their best season to-date in 2022. 

Having finished seventh and eighth in their first two Canadian Premier League campaigns, it proved third time lucky this year as the capital club’s exciting brand of football saw them finish as regular season champions.

With the creative talents of Ollie Bassett and Ballou Tabla at your disposal, as well as a strong backline, can you repeat Atlético’s journey from bottom-of-the-table-strugglers to impressive table-toppers? Backed by a raucous home support, once you’ve achieved greatness in the CPL it’ll be time to compete with Canada’s MLS franchises and North America’s best in cup action.  

Hopefully the 10 teams touched on here can give you some inspiration for your first long-term save in FM23. Let us know where you take the managerial hotseat and how you get on via social media. 

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