Footy manager devs on Italian league patches

Will they? Won't they?

As you'll know if you follow Italian football, last week was a good one for Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina - and we're not talking about what happened on the pitch.

Because last week the Italian Olympic Committee decided to reduce the penalties meted out to each club in the wake of this summer's match-fixing scandal. Juventus remain in Serie B, but see their points penalty reduced from 17 to 9, while Fiorentina got four points back and Lazio got eight.

There was one group of people for whom the news came too late though - the developers of football management titles, with Sports Interactive, Beautiful Game Studios and Codemasters having already delivered their 2007 efforts to market in the preceding months.

With this in mind, we had a nose round to find out if patches will be forthcoming. After all, in a genre that craves realism, it wouldn't be much fun tasting defeat on account of redundant points-deductions.

First to respond was publisher Eidos, whose Beautiful Game Studios-authored Championship Manager 2007 is out now on PC. "This issue will indeed be addressed," we were told. "We have a data update planned for early in the New Year which will reflect all the major changes which have happened since release. Should we need to patch the game in the interim period, we will also look in to pushing any major world changes through in that update," a spokesperson told us.

The situation might be a bit different for Codemasters' LMA Manager 2007 though, with the publisher telling us this lunchtime that while "there's a PC patch due quite soon", which "might" see the change made, a lack of requests from fans means that "it's not in the plan for Xbox 360 and PS2". So if you want it, make sure to let Codemasters know - they're a friendly bunch, and will probably listen.

Finally, this evening, we spoke to Sports Interactive MD Miles Jacobson about the possibility of a patch for Football Manager 2007, which swept into the UK charts at number one last week. "No firm decision has been made yet," he told us, "but we've got a pretty good record of supporting our games in the past, so it's not likely to be any different for Football Manager 2007."

Unfortunately, like AC Milan, whose penalty stayed the same, we were left hanging by the telephone when it came to Electronic Arts, which releases FIFA Manager 07 this Friday, with representatives yet to get back to us.

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