Following a long association with Eidos who published Sports Interactive's Championship Manager games, the two companies parted. Eidos retained the rights to the Championship Manager name and Sports Interactive retained the game code and database which they developed into Football Manager 2005. This is therefore the first game in what became the long-running Football Manager series.

This game is primarily a management game. The player accesses all aspects of the game from team selection, transfers, media interaction tactics and the like via a menu system. Actual games are viewed in a top down 2-D mode. As is customary with games in this series a data editor is supplied so that the player can update the game as transfers take place and regulations change. Some of the game's featured statistics are:

  • over one hundred attributes for each player,
  • over five thousand teams in fifty countries,
  • over one hundred attributes for each player
  • statistics for over a quarter of a million players and staff,
  • a database with over two and a half thousand contributors.

New game elements include:

  • A Media section which allows managers to influence the managers of other teams and players by making statements to the press and TV
  • A completely revised interface
  • The Physio Room which provides accurate injury data
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