PBeMFF was established in February 2002, and is a play by email fantasy football league game using the ESMS+ software.
The league was initially founded with 30 teams from England and Scotland in 3 divisions of 10 teams. The league has been under constant refinement in order to find the perfect balance, both for the enjoyment of the game, and for the workload for managers and administrators alike. Added in season 2 was the reserve league, a highly popular feature that allows the younger players or the reserves to be blooded into the game, that would normally not feature regularly for the main squad.
It was decided by Matt Birch, the creator of PBeMFF, to create a European Wing to run alongside the British league. The Wing consists of 32 European teams arranged into four divisions. By having this Wing running alongside the British Wing of PBeMFF, we were able to have a cup competition involving all 64 teams from both wings, as well as transfers running between the two wings. Later, a third wing, Rest of the World, was added at the height of the game's popularity.
Many seasons later, with manager numbers dwindling a little, this 3 wing setup was reduced and the strongest teams were kept for a number of seasons. Currently, the remaining 30 squads are named after the finest UK and European clubs, a European League if you will – maybe we’re predicting the distant future? It has been mooted for some time in the real world!
As well as the leagues there are two cup competitions, the two-legged KGW Cup (named in honour of former players and administrators of the game) and the League/Knockout Cup, which is played in the style of the British cup competitions. It is a one-legged round format with extra time and penalties (no replays).
Once appointed to a club, PBeMFF managers are expected to act much like real managers – they are required to submit team sheets each week, conduct transfers, talk to the media etc. However, the beauty of the game is that it is not overly complex, some considerations such as fitness and balancing wages, stadium capacities and match revenues are taken out of the game to make it more manageable for real people to play around their regular jobs!
PBeMFF is not purely about the matches though, there is a thriving community spirit within the game. There is also the news page on our Forum where one can find news articles, both serious and amusing, all submitted by the managers themselves. The forum is open to anyone who registers, but anyone abusing it to advertise anything or anyone caught posting offensive material will have their messages deleted, their IP address and email address blocked. This also goes for sending unsolicited emails to managers in the game. Common sense obviously applies, and if you want to advertise other ESMS games, there is a section for you to do just that.
With a core of 30 squads as it was originally, the game remains as strong as ever. After 30+ seasons the game continues to be incredibly tight, tough and unpredictable… Can you be the next League Champ?