Passionate Football Manager fans, who are also equally passionate about lower leagues football, are coming into their own today. The add-on for the Croatian lower leagues, popularly known for years as the cro-update, is finally out. This is a continuation of the first version of the cro-update, which, upon the release of Football Manager 2023, brought a slightly smaller scope of activated leagues.
What does the cro-update bring?
The new version of cro-update makes ALL Croatian lower leagues activated. A considerable amount of work was required to make this possible. A total of 674 new clubs, 609 cities/villages, 506 stadiums, and 123 competitions have been added. All of this was done to transfer the Croatian football league system into Football Manager as realistically as possible.
During the creation of this add-on, we made sure to replicate the rules that will change in the future. For example, from the 2024/25 season, there will be relegation/promotion playoff matches between the 9th placed team in the HNL (Croatian Football League) and the 2nd-placed team in the First Football League (2nd tier). Additionally, from the same season, second tier will be reduced from 12 to 10 clubs, while the Second Football League (3rd tier) will be increased from 16 to 18 clubs. The system of promotion to higher leagues and relegation to lower leagues will also follow real-life rules.
A new rule has been added to the game regarding the duration of the summer transfer window, and league and cup matches can now be played by all players over the age of 16.
Cro-update includes all nine(!) levels of competition that exist in Croatian football. However, the ninth level only exists at the level of the Koprivnica-Križevci County with their 4th County League. Everything in this add-on corresponds to the real state of things in the 2022/23 season.
You can find a list of all active leagues in the picture below:
We must emphasize that this add-on for the first time ever brings to Football Manager a completely realistic system of the Croatian Football Cup. This includes the national cup coefficient system and all county cups.
Known shortcomings of the Croatian lower leagues add-on
There are also some minor shortcomings within the add-on. For example, due to certain issues, the add-on does not include the relegation/promotion playoff between the second-to-last team in the Elite County League Varaždin and the second-placed team in the First County League Varaždin. Also, there are no playoffs added between the 1st County League and 2nd County League Varaždin, and the 2nd County League NS Osijek and the NS Osijek League. When we add those playoffs, the editor reports an error during verification, and we have not yet been able to identify the cause of that error.
Additionally, there is a problem with certain leagues in the seventh tier of competition. What happens is that the game does not save the competition history in the club profiles, which is another shortcoming.
What is not included in the Croatian Lower Leagues add-on?
Our focus when creating this add-on was to activate the entire pyramid of Croatian football. To achieve this, it was necessary to create new leagues (ones that were missing in the default database) and new clubs to fill all those leagues. What we did not focus on was adding new players and filling the database with new transfers.
The Winter Update has just been released, so most of the transfers made during the winter transfer window have been added to the game through that official update. Some transfers were not made, but FM plans to release another update soon, as they did last year, to cover those changes. That’s why we decided that it was not necessary for us to do these things within the cro-update.
If Football Manager does not cover all transfers through the new update, our recommendation is to look for a transfer update made by FM fans. For example, the Data Update by sortitoutsi.net is an excellent addition where you can suggest new changes on their website.
Not adding new players to clubs is something that many have complained about in recent years.
From your perspective as a consumer of the update, especially if you are a member of a lower league club, I understand that playing with your club, yourself as a player in the game, and your teammates would bring a special dimension to playing Football Manager with the lower leagues add-on. I absolutely understand that, but there is another side to this story.
That side of the story has to do with the time it takes to add all the players to the game. As I mentioned before, 674 new clubs were added to the game. If I added 20 players to each of those clubs, that would mean creating 13,480 new players. We can round that number up to 15,000 if we consider that many clubs that exist in the original database do not have any created players or only have a few. This would simply require too much time to add all the players.
Support our work
If you like our work, consider supporting us financially. cro-update isn’t the only add-on we’ve created, and we have plans for even more in the future. That’s why we’ve opened a Patreon for anyone who wants to support us. The best of Cro-Manager is yet to come.
If, on the other hand, you’re unable to support us financially, we invite you to check out our YouTube channel. Subscribing to the channel, as well as watching and commenting on videos, also helps, and we promise not to disappoint you with our content. However, I want to note that we’re very careful about the “health” of our channel. People who are subscribed to the channel but never watch the content don’t contribute to the channel at all. That’s why I ask that you subscribe only if you plan to consume our content. Our content is in Croatian.
Download the cro-update add-on
Before downloading the cro-update add-on, we want to remind you that this add-on is owned by the Cro-Manager community and the creator of the add-on. Therefore, we ask you not to copy the add-on and upload it to other services. You are free to share the existing download link and/or the link to this article on the Cro-Manager website.
How to install the add-on for Croatian Lower leagues?
After downloading the add-on, copy it to the folder:
Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2023/editor data
Note: The add-on is made for Football Manager 2023 and will only work on that version of the game. Also, it should be noted that the add-on will surely work on the original game. If you have not purchased the game, our recommendation is to do so. If you do not have the original game, we cannot guarantee that the add-on will work.
Share your experiences with us
Finally, we invite you to join us on social media and share your successes with Croatian Lower leagues clubs. Contact us on the forum, Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter and send us your results. We will be happy to share them on our social media.