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Managerial Life is a fantasy football game on Facebook which ran from 2011 to 2014, before being rebooted as In The Dugout during a portion of 2015 and then reverting back to its original name from June 2016, through to the present day. Managerial Life was formed in 2011 after a former game involving Nick Weston and Harry Mickleburgh was disbanded due to the owner not feeling capable of taking up the responsibilities of running the game. The members from the game wanted to continue the idea though, and Nick and Harry decided to start up their own version of the game as a result. In its lifetime, Managerial Life has hosted 29 league seasons, as well as multiple cup campaigns.

Concept

Managerial Life's premise involves people joining the Facebook group, selecting a club and then being given a starting budget and a 23 man squad. After this, new members start to incorporate themselves into the game by making transfers with other members, before competing against each other in various leagues and cups across hosted by the MLFA. The MLFA consists of the admins and moderators of the group, who decide when tournaments are hosted and when matches between teams will be played. The matches themselves are carried out by one of the admins sorting out the two teams' lineups on FIFA and then giving control of the game to the computer on FIFA. During a session where games are played, a Facebook Live stream is hosted in the group itself, where the managers involved in the match can make changes at any point during the match, including formation changes, substitutions, set piece takers and changing players' positions.

Tournaments and Structure

Leagues

Managerial Life's domestic season involves leagues which every team qualifies for due to the finishing place of that manager in the previous season. The amount of leagues Managerial Life has often varies, depending on how many active managers there are at the time of the league season starting. At most, three leagues will be run at any one time, with the leagues in question being Premiership, Championship and League 1. Managerial Life has also hosted an ML Super League in the past. This was mostly due for special ocassions, such as the 25 Season Special, although this format was also used for two of the most recent leagues, with every single manager participating in the setup.

Cups

During the course of Managerial Life, there has been two main cup competitions: the Managerial Life Cup (ML Cup) and the Champions Cup. The ML Cup is a knockout tournament, which has also made use of group stages where necessary. The ML Cup has been around since Season 2, and also took place in Season 3, although it was disbanded between Season 4 to Season 10. The ML Cup has become a mainstay of the group since its return, and has taken place in every single season bar Season 25, when games were officially stopped.

The Champions Cup was another tournament that ran from Season 10 to Season 25, which traditionally contained the top three teams from all three leagues as well as the winner of the competition from the previous season. The Champions Cup begins with a group stage format before developing into a straight knockout system afterwards.

Managerial Life has also featured side tournaments and special one-off games in the past, such as:

  • Best of the Rest Cup
  • ML Shield
  • Super Cup

Champions

Below are the winners of Managerial Life's tournaments up until Season 25. Note that the Championship and League 1 are not included.

ML Premiership

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Arsenal, Nick Weston 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 18, 21
Marseille, Jordan Neville 12, 19, 20, 26 (Super League)
Manchester United, Dan Collins 7, 9
Manchester United, Moneeb Ilyas 16, 17
Hamburger SV, Steven Williams 24, 25
Arsenal, Jordan Crompton 28 (FIFA 09 Kings Cup*), 29 (FIFA 09)
Liverpool, Cam Lopez 1 (Kings Cup), 15
Barcelona, Victor Apata 27 (Super League)
Chelsea, Harry Mickleburgh 14
Fulham, Camilla Weston 3
Paris Saint Germain, Sean Lyons 13
Leeds United, Samuel Gallagher 22
Borussia Dortmund, Nick Weston 23


  • The Kings Cup was a tournament that took place in Season 1. In order to decide which teams qualified for the leagues in Season 2, two qualification leagues - named League A and League B were put in place during Season 1. The top two teams from both League A and League B then went into a four team knockout cup at the end of the season to decide the overall 'Champion' of the Season.

ML Cup

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Arsenal, Nick Weston 15, 17, 18, 20, 28
Chelsea, Harry Mickleburgh 2, 3, 4, 10
Marseille, Jordan Neville 14, 16, 19, 30 (FIFA 09)
Hamburger SV, Steven Williams 22, 24
VfL Wolfsburg, Andy Stevens 29 (FIFA 09)
Newcastle United, Joe Moore 27
Barcelona, Victor Apata 26
Leeds United, Samuel Gallagher 23
Manchester United, Mohsin Al-Bahrani 21
Juventus, Musti Cham 13
Norwich City, Chris Parker 12
Paris Saint Germain, Sean Lyons 11

Champions Cup

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Marseille, Jordan Neville 12, 13, 21
Chelsea, Harry Mickleburgh 14, 15
Borussia Dortmund, Nick Weston 24
Arsenal, Nick Weston 18
Fulham, Stuart McGrath 25
Fulham, Conor McGee 19
Barcelona, Victor Apata 23
Barcelona, Harry Lewis 16
Manchester United, Moneeb Ilyas 17
Manchester United, Dan Collins 11
Leeds United, Samuel Gallagher 22
Norwich City, Chris Parker 20

Minor Trophies

Best of the Rest Cup

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Liverpool, Owen McLoughlin 25
Malaga, Charlie Bell-Ritchings 24
Malaga, Tolu Ogunjobi 20
Werder Bremen, Qusai Ambusaidi 23
Barcelona, Victor Apata 22
Manchester United, Mohsin Al-Bahrani 21

Super Cup

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Barcelona, Victor Apata 22, 23
Fulham, Stuart McGrath 25
Borussia Dortmund, Nick Weston 24
Manchester United, Mohsin Al-Bahrani 21
Norwich City, Chris Parker 20

ML Shield

Team and Manager Seasons Won
Borussia Dortmund, Nick Weston 24
Arsenal, Nick Weston 21
Leeds United, Samuel Gallagher 23
Tottenham Hotspur, Samuel Gallagher 20
Arsenal, Jordan Crompton 29 (FIFA 09)
Marseille, Jordan Neville 26
Arsenal, Steven Williams 25
Manchester United, Mohsin Al-Bahrani 22