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Championship Manager 3
Championship Manager 3.png
Developer Sports Interactive
Publisher Eidos
Date released 26 March 1999
Genre Sports
Modes Single player
network multiplayer
Platforms Microsoft Windows

Championship Manager 3 is a game in the Championship Manager series or football management computer games, the first in the third generation of the series. It was developed by Sports Interactive and released exclusively for the PC in the spring of 1999.

New features

Many new features were added for this generation of CM games, mainly consisting of graphical/visual changes, gameplay changes, and technical changes to the way the game ran and processed information.


The most immediately striking feature of Championship Manager 3 was its new user interface and menu system. It primarily used a vertical menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen, as well as the traditional horizontal menu bars across the top and bottom of the screen. As well as the new menu system, many more high-resolution background images were added - these were mostly relevant to whatever screen the player was viewing.


There were many small changes and improvements to the gameplay, including an improved match-engine, customisable training schedules, more cup competitions from around the world, a more in-depth tactics system, realistic reserve and youth squads, and improved player scouting. One major new addition was the ability to play multiplayer games via a local area network (LAN), allowing up to 16 people to compete against each other in the same game 'world'. This option could also be used to play over the internet. The hotseat multiplayer mode was also expanded to allow up to 16 people to play on the same machine.


The database of players and staff swelled to over 25,000 for this version, again increasing the depth and realism of the game. Due to the hugely increased player database and the massive amount of processing that the game needed to do, a 'multi-tasking' design was used. This allowed the computer to process data in the background while still allowing the player to do things like browse around the game, search for players, change tactics, etc.

Playable leagues

As was becoming customary, the number of playable leagues grew again in this instalment. This time, the league systems of fifteen nations were selectable and, more importantly, all fifteen could be run simultaneously (if the user had a computer powerful enough to allow this). Another major milestone was the inclusion for the first time of playable leagues outside of Europe. All of this created a level of depth never seen before in a management game. Below is a full list of the playable leagues included.

For the first time, the Football Conference in England was included, and the player now had the opportunity to manage a club at this level.


  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Holland
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Scotland
  • Spain
  • Sweden

South America

  • Argentina
  • Brazil


  • Japan

This version marked the debuts of playable leagues from Argentina, Brazil and Japan.

The game is incompatible with Windows XP. However, in some cases it can be made to work with the use of "Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit" or the Windows Compatibility Mode. Microsoft Virtual PC is also a useful program which will allow the user to install an earlier version of Windows to enable the game to run.


Championship Manager 3 received generally favourable reviews, and was consistently rated above 85%. PC Zone gave the game its highest rating (93%), praising the depth of its database and its ease of use, although it was marked down for its slow running speed on older hardware.

Championship Manager video game series

Championship Manager (1992) · 93/94 · 2 · 96/97 · Season 97/98 · 3 · Season 00/01 · Season 01/02 · Season 02/03 · Quiz · 4 · Season 03/04 · 5 · Championship Manager (2005) · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2010

Football Manager video game series

2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · Live · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016 · 2017 · 2018 · 2019 · 2020 · 2021 · 2022 ·

Football video games