Hello! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Who To be on FM21 list which has 40 clubs to choose from! It has everything from fallen giants to rebuilds to ‘smaller’ clubs and lower league saves. I have tried to stay away from the normal ‘big’ teams or ‘popular’ teams but there are still a couple in this list.

A few of the teams in the list won’t be playable until custom databases are available. There are two main ones you will need and I will drop the links of the creators so you can follow and keep up to date for when they release them. First up is Steve/TheFMEditor and his new team who releases his yearly English Level 10 Pyramid database which as it says on the tin allows you to manage teams below the Vanarama North/South level to the 10th tier of Non League. Second is Derek/Mozza who releases his Scottish Pyramid database which allows you to manage teams below League 2. He is also your go to guy for all things Scottish Non League. Mozza also streams on Twitch which you can find here. Both are top guys and amazing work from both of them to put in the hours to create the databases with amazing detail and accuracy.


Chelsea

Probably a favourite in FM21 after the summer they have had. Roman Abramovich brought the club in 2003 and he hasn’t been shy in spending money trying to bring success to Stamford Bridge. After a transfer embargo Chelsea have splashed the cash over the summer with the likes of Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech and Edouoard Mendy joining for big money along with Malang Sarr joining on a free as they look to continue to build a young and talented side.

They will be hoping the new signings can help push them on to win the league which they haven’t been able to do since 16/17. They join the likes of Billy Gilmour, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Christin Pulisic as they build a squad which can stay together and dominate for years. Money will still be available and there are also players who can be moved on for money.

Leicester City

Since Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and King Power took over Leicester they have had an enjoyable 10 years with them getting promoted back to the Premier League and after Leicester’s surprise Premier League title win at 5000/1 they had a couple of years finishing mid table but now they are back and looking to fight the big boys at the top. They are also back in Europe and got to the Quarter Finals of the Champions League and narrowly losing out to Atletico Madrid. Leicester have a successful recruitment system which has seen them bring in the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Danny Drinkwater, Harry Maguire and N’golo Kante for near nothing and sell on for millions a couple of years later.

They have a young side and are known to bring through their youth players with Ben Chilwell, Harvey Barnes and Hamza Choudhury coming through and now seeing the likes of Luke Thomas and Kiernan Deswbury-Hall coming through in recent months. They have a good core of players such as Kasper Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans, Caglar Soyuncu, James Maddison, James Justin Wilfred Ndidi and Harvey Barnes and with new signings Timothy Castagne and Cengiz Under and Wesley Fofana they still lack depth in some areas such as up front to replace Jamie Vardy. They are also moving in to a new state of the art training ground in the coming months.

Bournemouth

Recently relegated back to the Championship after 5 years in the Premiership and will be one of the favourites for promotion. You can choose from any of three that got relegated (Watford, Bournemouth or Norwich) but Bournemouth are arguably the smaller of them and a bigger challenge to get them back up and build the club up and they had the smallest stadium which only holds 11,364.

Players will want to leave allowing you to have money to spend on top of the money already from the sales of Nathan Ake, Aaron Ramsdale and Callum Wilson. They have a strong side ready for a promotion push which includes Asmir Begovic who returns from a loan at A.C Milan, David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly, Chris Mepham, and Lewis Cook.

Coventry City

Coventry to some are famous for their FA Cup win in 1987 or the likes of Cyril Regis or Steve Ogrizovic or when Sutton United beat them in the 1989 FA Cup. Now after years of issues with their owners they now don’t currently have their own stadium so have to share St. Andrews with Birmingham City after previously sharing with Northampton Town at Sixfields Stadium. They return to the Championship after winning League 1 after being away nearly 10 years and in that time also found themselves in League 2 for a season. On field they have had a decent couple of years winning the EFL trophy before their play-off win in League 2 and then the League 1 title.

Coventry have brought in a number of players to help avoid relegation as the see Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker, Gustavo Hamer join as well as Ryan Giles, Leo Ostigard, Ben Sheaf and Sam McCallum join on loan. They also have a history of bringing players through their academy with the likes of Chris Kirkland, Cyrus Christie, James Maddison, Daniel Sturridge, Callum Wilson all coming through in recent years.

Nottingham Forest

Forest enjoyed their most successful period under Brian Clough and his assistant Peter Taylor as they won the Champions League back to back in 1979 and 1980 and became only the second English side to achieve that. After being somewhat of a yo yo club between the Premier League and Championship they eventually became a mid table side and haven’t played in the top tier since 1999 and they even dropped down to League 1 briefly between 2005-08.

Can you emulate their previous success and get them back in the top tier and on to back to back Champions League titles? They have brought in key players this summer like experienced midfielder Harry Arter and Scottish international defender Scott McKenna and Lyle Taylor after an enjoyable period at Charlton.

Burton Albion

Burton Albion were largely a Non-League side until Nigel Clough became manager and guided them up the leagues to the cusp of the Football League until he left for Derby County. He returned a few years later taking over from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink mid season and helped guide them to promotion from League 1 and they survived in the Championship for two years before dropping back down to League 1.

Despite the Pirelli Stadium being a newer stadium having opened in 2005 it has one of the smallest capacities for the league only holding 6,912 and 2,034 of them being seated and you compare that to their training facilities which is state of the art facilities as they train at St George’s Park which they share with England.

Hull City

Hull find themselves back in League 1 after 16 years after the finished bottom of the Championship and in that time they had 3 spells in the Premier League. They found themselves in the Europa League as recent as in 2014/15 after getting beat by Arsenal in the final of the FA Cup the previous year they got knocked out in the Play-Off Round by Belgian side Lokeren .

They have somewhat of a new look side for the 2020/21 season as they look to bounce back. Hull City despite being nicknamed the tigers due to their kit were very nearly called Hull Tigers after owner Assem Allam tried to change it between 2013-15 but it was rejected every time.

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton are a long way away from the the days of the Premier League and their two appearances in the Europa League in 2005-06 and 2007-08. Many will remember watching them in the Europa League (on Channel 5 in the UK) and Sam Allardyce guiding them and seeing the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha, Nicolas Anelka, Ivan Campo, Kevin Davies, Kevin Nolan, Jussi Jaaskelainen, El Hadji Diouf and Tel Ben Haim.

After financial problems which includes being in administration as recently as 2019 along with back to back relegations they now find themselves in League 2 for the first time since 1988. They have signed over 17 players over the summer to try and stop the rot and help them start moving forward as they looked to add Football League experience to help with their young side.

Harrogate Town

Harrogate are based in the town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. They will play in League 2 for the first time in their history after getting promotion through the Vanarama National play-offs in their second season at that level. In 2016 they had a synthetic pitch installed but upon promotion to League 2 they had to groundshare with Doncaster Rovers for a couple of months while they replaced the pitch at Wetherby Road back to grass to comply with the league regulations.

Notts County

Notts County who currently play in the Vanarama National League are the oldest professional association football club in the world after being founded in 1862 and are one of the 12 founding members of the Football League in 1888. Their black and white kit inspired Italian giants Juventus to use the same style from 1903. Notts County play at Meadow Lane which is just stones throw across the river Trent from city rivals Nottingham Forest.

In 2009 they were briefly owned by a consortium but they never lived up to promises and they brought in the likes of Sven-Goran Eriksson as director of football as well as Sol Campbell who played one game before walking out and Kasper Schmeichel who stayed till the end of the season before joining Leeds United. Last season they just missed out on bouncing back from relegation from League 2 after getting beating at Wembley in the final of the Vanarama National League play-off by Harrogate.

Yeovil Town

Yeovil are based in the town of Yeovil in Somerset in the south of England. They currently play in the Vanarama National League. After breaking in to the Football League in 2003 they worked their way up to the heady heights of the Championship in 2013 where they lasted one season and finished bottom and suffered back to ack relegations back down to League 2. Along the way they were able to win the FA Trophy in 2002, Conference National League in 2002-03, won League 2 in 2004-05 and getting to the Championship by winning the League 1 play-offs in 2012-13. A number of players have gone on loan to Yeovil to get game time including Asmir Begovic, Steven Caulker, Alex McCarthy, Andros Townsend.

Boston United

Boston United currently play in the Vanarama National League North after achieving the highest league to play in was League 2 in 2002 till 2007. In 2007 Boston got demoted down two leagues to the National North for financial reasons after previously being in administration. They then got demoted again in 2008 to the Northern Premier League. They have played in the Vanarama North since 2010 and in 2020 they moved in to their new home the Boston Community Stadium which can hold around 5,000 to 6,000.

Darlington

Darlington despite being founded in 1883 is not the same Darlington after they fell in to administration and folded. In 2012 they became Darlington 1883 and become a fan owned team a year later. after dropping down the leagues to the ninth tier of football and they won 3 promotions in 4 seasons with the last two being back to back to get back in to the National North in 2016-17.

Darlington had a new 25,000 seater stadium built in 2003 which eventually played a factor in them falling in to administration and is now used by Darlington Mowden Park R.F.C. Darlington since the reform are ground sharing with Darlington RFC at Blackwell Meadows.

Margate

Margate have been in the depths of Non League for the past number of seasons since relegation from the Conference South in the 2004-2005 season. These are on the list mainly for their unique kits they are using for the coming season. You will have to wait until TheFMEditor releases his database.

Nuneaton Borough

After Nuneaton reformed in 2008 they spent a number of seasons in the Vanarama National North Division. They now find themselves in the Southern League Premier Division Central Division which is a step below the Vanarama National North/South level. They currently have experienced players like Leroy Lita, William Edjenguélé and Carl Baker helping them make the step back up. Another save which you will need TheFMEditor’s database to be able to play as them.

Hearts

Heart of Midlothian Football Club or more commonly known as Hearts find themselves back in the Scottish Championship after a 5 year stint in the Premiership. Hearts last won the Scottish Premiership in 1959/60 season. The were put in to administration in 2013 which also saw them relegated to the Scottish championship and they came out of administration in 2014. Craig Gordon returns between the sticks after being sold in 2007 to Sunderland for £9 million which was the highest a British club had ever paid for a goalkeeper.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness are entering North Caledonian Football League as a semi-professional team for the first time in their 21 year history. They have become popular on social media in recent weeks due to their unique and stunning kits for their coming season. You will have to wait until Mozza releases his lower league Scotland Database.

Barcelona

Barcelona. What is going on with them in recent times? Can you help get them back on top and become a dominant side once again? They are still going through some uncertain times both on and off the pitch which has been well documented. They were pipped to the La Liga title by rivals Real Madrid so they will be hoping for revenge.

In recent times there has been a lack of La Masia graduates coming through in to the first team unlike a few years ago when most of the side came through the famous La Masia. Most recently is Pedri who is only 17 and a lot is expected of the lad and also Ansu Fati who has broke in to the first team in the past year.

Eibar

Eibar are from the city of Eibar and another team based in the Basque Country. They are one of the smallest sides in La Liga and despite having the smallest stadium which holds 8,050 they have defied expectation and stayed at the top level for the past 6 seasons. Can you get loanee and former Newcastle flop Yoshinori Muto to lead the attack and push you on. Can you get them fighting for league titles with the big boys?

Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad are another team based in the Basque region in Spain and have finished in the lower half of the league in recent seasons. They have some good young players in the team which includes the likes of Alexander Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal, Roberto Lopez and Ander Barrenetxea. They also have a mix of experience with new signing David Silva joining Nacho Monreal and Asier Illarramendi. One time Sunderland and Manchester United player Adnan Januzaj is a regular in the side.

Despite not winning any silverware in recent times with the last being the Segunda Division title in 2009/10. They have previously won La Liga twice and did it back to back in 1981 and 1982. Real Sociedad have also won the Copa del Rey twice winning it in 1909 and 1987. Can you help bring some silverware back to San Sebastian?

Villarreal

Villareal have become somewhat of a mainstay in the top 10 of the La Liga and European football in the past 15 years. Their nickname is El Submarino Amarillo or simply The Yellow Submarine due to their yellow kits and through the fans playing a certain Beatles song. They did spend a season in the second tier but bounced straight back up after finishing second to Elche in 2012/13. Villareal are another La Liga side with an exciting team as they have the likes of Dani Parejo, Paco Alcacer and Geronimo Rulli in goal along with young talent like loanee Takefusa Kubo from Real Madrid and pacey winger Samuel Chukwueze.

Cartagena

FC Cartagena based in the city of Cartagena which is in the south east of Spain in the province of Murcia and is the near the likes of Murcia, Elche with the closest ‘big’ sides being Valencia and Malaga. They find themselves at step 2 and will play in the Segunda Division for the first time since their three year stint at this level from 2009-2012 after winning their the Segunda Division B. They play at the Estadio Cartagonova which has a capacity of 15,105. Thye have seen the likes of goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and the legend Pascal Cygan play for them.

Malaga

Malaga now find themselves in the Second tier for the third season after spending 10 years in La Liga. They have reached the Quarter finals in both Europa League in 2002-03 and Champions League in 2012-13. Over the summer they had to release most of their squad due to the finances and to save the club from oblivion.

Deportivo

Deportivo are La Liga and Copa del Rey winners and have Champions League experience but now find themselves in the third tier of Spanish football. They won the La Liga for the only time in 2000 five years after winning the Copa del Rey in 1995 which they won for a second time the season after they won the league in 2001. They managed to reach the Semi Final of the Champions League in 2004 before losing to Porto. In 2010 it was the clubs first relegation from La Liga before becoming somewhat of a yoyo club. Deportivo managed 4 more years in La Liga before dropping down to the third tier. Can you help rebuild the club and bring back the glory days?

Boavista

Boavista have only won the Primeira Liga once which was back in 2001 under Jaime Pacheco as they beat Porto by 1 point. They are a club with European experience and reached the Semi Finals of the Europa League in 2002/03 as Celtic beat them to reach the Final. In recent times they found themselves in the third tier of Portuguese football and returned back to the top flight in 2014/15 after 6 seasons away. Can you help them challenge the likes of Porto, Benfica and Sporting with the help of loanee Angel Gomes in your first season?

S.C Braga

Braga are the best of the rest in the top tier of Portuguese football and have been a regular in Europe since 2004 with them reaching the final of the Europa League in 2010-11 being beaten by league rivals Porto. Braga have never won the league with the best result being second in 2009/10. They have had more success in domestic cup competitions as they won both the Portuguese Cup in 1966 and 2016 and Portuguese League Cup in 2013 and 2020. They have excellent youth facilities and superb training facilities which allows you to bring through quality players.

AZ Alkmaar

Alkmaar Zaanstreek are better known as AZ Alkmaar or AZ. They have won the Eredivisie twice with the most recent being in 2008/09 after first winning it in 1980/81. AZ haven’t finished outside the top in the past 5 seasons as they try and topple the giants of Netherlands and compete in Europe. Their superb youth and training facilities have paid off in recent seasons as the likes of Myron Boadu, Owen Wijndal, Calvin Stengs and Teun Koopmeiners becoming key players in the team. Can you continue bringing through academy players and have a team of academy players win the league and dominate Netherlands?

PSV

PSV are one of the best teams in Netherlands but have played second best to Ajax in recent seasons with them not winning the league since 2017/18. Although they have regular success in Netherlands they have only ever won the Europa League and Champions League once with the Europa League coming in 1977/78 and Champions League coming in 1987/88. PSV have FM wonderkids Donyell Malen, Mohammed Ihattaren and Noni Madueke along with the likes of Mauro Junior and Maximiliano Romero and adding Ibrahim Sangare, Eran Zahavi and Mario Götze and loanees Yvon Mvogo and Marco Van Ginkel this summer as they look to get back on top of the pile.

AC Milan

Zlatan returns to AC Milan. Milan are one of the giants of Italian and world football but are a fallen giant now compared to their dominant times from the 80’s to early 00’s in which they won 7 league titles and 5 champions league titles, their last Serie A title was in 2010-11. Since then they have finished second once and won the Supercoppa Italiana in 2012 and 2017. Kaka, Ruud Gullit, Ronaldinho, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Edgar Davids and Andriy Shevchenko have all played for Milan. The Maldini name lives on at Milan as his son Daniel Maldini is now a part of the first team. Sandro Tonali who is tipped to be the next Pirlo has recently joined this summer to play alongside the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessio Romagnoli and Hakan Calhanoglu as they look to bring back the glory days.

Catania

Calcio Catania are commonly known as Catania and are in the third tier of Italian football after spending 8 years at the top between 2006 and 2014. Catania are from the city of Catania which is on the island of Sicily. The highest they have achieved is 8th in Serie A in 2012/13 and then went on to suffer back to back relegations in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Can you and Nana Welbeck help guide them back to Serie A?

Strasbourg

Strasbourg are back in Ligue 1 after being demoted to the fifth tier in 2011 due to administration and changed their name to RC Strasbourg Alsace. Strasbourg won promotion to the CFA, the fourth tier of French Football at the first attempt in the 2011/12 season finishing on 100 points. 3 years after becoming a professional team again they won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2019 for the fourth time after beating Guingamp on penalties, the other times being 1963/64, 1996/97, 2004/05. After the cup win they were back in European football for the first time since 2005/06. They have only won Ligue 1 once back in 1978/79.

Toulouse

Toulouse were relegated to Ligue 2 last season after a 17 year stay in the top flight. Toulouse are a young team and have lot of great prospects to hold on to and help gain promotion back to Ligue 1. Toulouse, following its bankruptcy in 2001 were relegated to the Championnat National which is the third tier of French Football. The club has also helped develop players most notably the World Cup winning goalkeeper Fabien Barthez and international striker André-Pierre Gignac. They have won the Coupe de France once which came in 1957 and Ligue 2 on three occasions coming in 1952/53, 1981/82 and 2002/03.

Schalke

Schalke have a successful history with their last trophy coming in 2011 when they won the German Super Cup in 2011. Founded in 1904, Schalke has won 7 German championships, 5 DFB-Pokal’s, 1 DFL-Supercup and 1 UEFA Cup. Schalke also succeeded as the first German club to win a cup double in 1937. They have won the top league 7 times in 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942 and 1958. Schalke have also won the DFB-Pokal Cup 5 times in 1937, 1971/72, 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2010/11. In recent times Schalke have struggled both on and off the field. Schalke have a well known academy with the likes of Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler, Ralf Fährmann, LeroySane, matip, gundogan, meyer and Benedikt Höwedes have all come through the academy.

Union Berlin

1. Fußballclub Union Berlin e. V. are commonly known as 1. FC Union Berlin or Union Berlin and play in the Bundesliga. They were promoted to the first division for the first time in the club’s history in 2018/19. The club does not have a big budget but they managed to bring in some experienced players for free such as Neven Subotic and Christian Gentner to help keep them up last season. Die Eisernen is the most inexperienced club in the Bundesliga this season and will want to build upon a midtable finish in their first season. Union Berlin’s only league title came in 2008/09 when they won 3. Liga.

Hamburg

Hamburg are somewhat of a sleeping giant. Hamburg have a massive stadium and excellent training facilities. They have had 18 managers within the last 20 years and they have not been able to win a trophy for 17 years and haven’t participated in European competitions since 2009/10. Hamburg are one of only three German clubs to have won the Champions League which came in 1982/83 during their most successful time as they won the Bundesliga 3 times within 6 years as they won it in 1978/79, 1981/82 and 1982/83 and they came second in the three other years. The team’s most successful period was from the mid 1970s until the mid 1980s when in addition to several domestic titles, they won the 1976–77 European Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1982–83 European Cup. Between 1975 and 1987 a total of 18 trophies were added to their trophy cabinet. A double in 1982/83 is last time they became Bundesliga Champions. They are the 5th most successful sides in Germany for league wins as they have won the Bundesliga a total of 6 times in 1922/23, 1927/28, 1959/60, 1978/79, 1981/82 and 1982/83.

Duisburg

There are a number of fun and interesting teams to choose in 3. Liga with the likes of Ingolstadt and Kaiserslautern in the same league. Meidericher Spielverein 02 e. V. Duisburg are commonly known as MSV Duisburg. They are nicknamed Die Zebras for their traditional striped jerseys. The club was one of the original members of the Bundesliga when it was formed in 1963 but is now playing in the third tier of German football. Since relegation from the Bundlesliga in 2007/08 they have yoyoed between the second and third tier. they won 3. Liga in 2016/17 before dropping back down after two seasons.

Alemannia Aachen

Alemannia Aachen play in the Regionalliga West which is the fourth tier of German Football so you will have to wait for a database for this save.  Aachen enjoyed a three year spell in the Bundesliga in the late 1960s and after a successful 2005/06 campaign they returned to the first division for one season. The club has since slipped to third division play and in late 2012 entered into bankruptcy. Alemannia Aachen has the nickname “the potato beetles” or ”Kartoffelkäfer” because of their striped yellow and black jerseys which make them look like the insect. They have had the likes of Kai Havertz and Lewis Holtby come through the youth academy. Aachen has the stadium in place for top flight football which can hold 32,960. You will have to wait for German lower league database to manage Aachen.

Hajduk Split

Hrvatski nogometni klub Hajduk Split or Hajduk split are the second most successful club in Croatia. Despite all their domestic success they haven’t won the league since 2004/05 season which was their 6th league title. Dinamo Zagreb have been the dominant force in Croatia in recent years with them winning the league every year from 2005 with the exception of the 2016/17 season when Rijeka won it so it will be a tough ask to overcome Dinamo Zagreb. Hajduk haven’t been able to do the domestic double since 1994/95 and have not qualified in to the Champions League since 2005/06 with them being a regular in the Europa League but never making it past the group stage.

New York City

New York City are entering their 6th year after being founded in 2013 but not playing a game until 2015. New York currently play their home game at the Yankee Stadium which is home to baseball team New York Yankees. The MLS league splits in to two with eastern and western sides having their own league within the MLS and in 2019 achieved their best finish as New York City finished first in the Eastern Conference and finishing second overall in the MLS.

New York have links with Manchester City through the City Football Group company having stakes in both clubs as well as a number of other clubs including Girona and Melbourne City. In their short history they have seen a number of star players pull on the shirt such as David Villa, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo as well as Patrick Vieira being manager for two years between 2016-18.

Inter Miami

Inter Miami are the latest team to join the MLS and 2020 is their first season after being founded in 2018. They are known by many as David Beckham’s Inter Miami through him being a co-owner as well as the president of the club. They currently play at the Inter Miami CF Stadium which was previously known as Lockhart Stadium. In their first season they have made two big name signings after they have brought in Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain who both join from Juventus.