The best custom leagues for Football Manager 2011

Chris Evans at

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Do you find yourself getting bored with the usual league systems present in Football Manager? Have you always wanted to see a British Superleague or have the chance to play in a league based on the USSR circa 1991? If you can say yes to any of those questions then this list is what you need. Inside you can find five of the best, or most bizarre, custom leagues ready for you to play right now.

To install a custom league just download the file, extract it and place it in your Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2011/editor data folder (you may have to create this). When you start a new game you'll see a section called 'Editor data files', tick the box marked 'change' and you'll be able to select which custom leagues you want. After that you can choose them from the database as normal.

1. Celtic League

My Celtic roots demand that I mention the Celtic League by El Generico. This league groups together clubs from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany, a little like the Rugby Union Celtic League. There's a strong financial system in place, with the top division getting twice the money that the Scottish Premier League does. It also features an evenly distributed financial system in the lower leagues, something that the FA could do with taking a look at.

2. Expanded English League System

Are you a fan of the Metropolitan Police Football Club? If you are, you must despair that you aren't able to play as your beloved team in FM2011. Fortunately TheShots has come to your rescue with a greatly expanded English league system. It goes down to level 10 of the pyramid, so if you thought taking a team from Conference South to the Premier League was a challenge you haven't seen anything yet. Imagine trying to take Norton United from the Vodkat League Division One to the Champions League, now that would be an achievement.

3.San Marino League

I'm constantly amazed by the world of international football, where some of the league structures are truly mind boggling. I feel safe and comfortable when I look at the standard English pyramid in FM2011, but then I come across something like Reiver's San Marino league. There are fifteen teams split across two groups. Each team plays two matches with teams from their own group and one match with a team from the other group to give a total of 20 or 21 matches. Then the top three of each group take part in a double elimination tournament to crown a champion. It's bizarre, but that's football.

4.Back In The USSR

This is an unusual but historically interesting league. The Soviet League Structure attempts to recreate the football league of the USSR as it was back in 1991. It isn't perfect, neither was the USSR, but it gives you a taste of what the football structure was like behind the Iron Curtain before countries like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan established their own leagues.

5. Welsh Super League

More national pride coming through here with a Welsh Super League by El Generico again. This is for fans who feel betrayed by clubs like Cardiff and Swansea who ply their trade in the English pyramid, or who just want to see them actually achieve some success (we all know Swansea aren't going to last in the Premiership this season). Just don't bother activating the English leagues at the same time; they haven't been fixed up since the traitor clubs were taken home.

If you're tackling some of these leagues, you might need to sign some of our bargain recommendations and see if you can conquer Europe. You can also improve the look of your game with our Top Ten Skins.