Although the data in this batch is based on 1989, I’m working with a game that simulates the 2001/02 season, so there’s a lot of things – nations and competition structures in particular – that can’t be changed. Hopefully, though, despite this the patch still gives a feel of 1989, as well as answering some “what if?”s, e.g. “How would Dalglish’s Liverpool team have done in Europe?” “How would a unified German team have looked before the wall came down?”

The following things cannot be changed to match 1989:

  • All dates are 12 years in advance
  • The Champions League is as it was in 2001 (with 2nd-4th placed teams, and two group stages)
  • There is no Cup Winners’ Cup
  • The UEFA Cup winners enter the Super Cup
  • There is no Heysel ban
  • Many more teams enter European competition (see European qualification)
  • The World Club Cup exists in its 1989 form
  • Germany is reunited (see German football) for more details
  • The Soviet Union is broken up
  • Yugoslavia is mostly broken up
  • Czechoslovakia is broken up
  • South Africa’s ban does not apply
  • The English leagues have their 1992-2004 names
  • The World Cup at the end of the first season includes the 2002 teams (32 of them), and is hosted Japan & South Korea
  • The European Championships include 16 teams, and the first one is hosted by Greece
  • Most competitions include 18 subs
  • Foreigner rules are much less limited
  • There are no limits on players leaving the Eastern Bloc
  • The MLS exists. See the page on this subject for how this was worked out.
  • Serie C2 has three regions instead of four
  • French Ligue 1 has 18 teams as opposed to 20
  • The French second division has only one region, with the third tier National division existing, which it didn’t in 1989
  • Many club names cannot be changed
  • The League of Wales is separate