10 Bridesmaid Teams to Manage in Football Manager

Football Manager
“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”, is an idiom which describes someone who never quite fulfils their potential, a person who makes it to the finals but never wins the contest.

In Football Manager terms, at least for the purposes of this blog, this means: a team who have reached a domestic cup final, or finished second in their countries top league, but who have never gone all the way and won the title.

There are lots of blogs out there detailing teams that are fallen giants, teams that have a great youth setup behind them or teams that have a bankroll to be jealous of – but nobody ever talks about the ones who don’t quite make it.


I started researching these teams when I was looking for a potential save for Football Manager 2022 and, what started as a single tweet with an idea, soon turned into a spreadsheet with over 400 clubs from 28 countries around Europe.

Ain’t nobody who really wants a list of 400 clubs though so I narrowed it down even further to 10 who have had the most ‘could have beens’ in their histories.

Will you be taking on the challenge of finally bringing success to any of the clubs?
Tag me on Twitter (@theffm_) and let me know!


10. K Sint-Truidense V.V.

Country: Belgium
League: Pro League A
Transfer Budget: £1m
Wage Budget: £132k

  • Belgian First Division:
    • Runners-up (1): 1965-66
  • Belgian Cup:
    • Runners-up (2): 1970–71, 2002–03

9. FC Rotor Volgograd

Country: Russia
League: First Division
Transfer Budget: £0
Wage Budget: £79k

  • Premier League:
    • Runners-up (2): 1993, 1997
  • Russian Cup:
    • Runners-up (1): 1995

8. Sporting de Gijón

Country: Spain
League: Second Division
Transfer Budget: £1m
Wage Budget: £164k

  • La Liga:
    • Runners-up (1): 1978-79
  • Copa del Rey:
    • Runners-up (2): 1981, 1982

7. Eskişehirspor

Country: Turkey
League: 2. League
Transfer Budget: £161k
Wage Budget: £4k

  • Süper Lig:
    • Runners-up (3): 1968-69, 1969-70, 1971-72

6. RB Leipzig

Country: Germany
League: Bundesliga
Transfer Budget: £17m
Wage Budget: £1m

  • Bundesliga:
    • Runners-up (2): 2016-17, 2020-21
  • DFB-Pokal:
    • Runners-up (2): 2018-19, 2020-21

5. FK Senica

Country: Slovakia
League: First Division
Transfer Budget: £128k
Wage Budget: £7k

  • Super Liga:
    • Runners-up (2): 2010-11, 2012-13
  • Slovak Cup:
    • Runners-up (2): 2012, 2015

4. Örebro SK

Country: Sweden
League: Premier Division
Transfer Budget: £84k
Wage Budget: £36k

  • Allsvenskan:
    • Runners-up (2): 1991, 1994
  • Svenska Cupen:
    • Runners-up (2): 1987-88, 2014-15

3. Pogoń Szczecin

Country: Poland
League: PKO BP Ekstraklasa
Transfer Budget: £37k
Wage Budget: £63k

  • Ekstraklasa:
    • Runners-up (2): 1986-87, 2000-01
  • Polish Cup:
    • Runners-up (3): 1980-81, 1981-82, 2009-10

2. NK Lokomotiva Zagreb

Country: Croatia
League: First League
Transfer Budget: £214k
Wage Budget: £21k

  • Belgian First Division:
    • Runners-up (2): 2012-13, 2019-20
  • Croatian Cup:
    • Runners-up (2): 2012-13, 2019-20

1. Nîmes Olympique

Country: France
League: Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Transfer Budget: £2m
Wage Budget: £143k

  • Ligue 1
    • Runners-up (4): 1958, 1959, 1960, 1972
  • Coupe de France:
    • Runners-up (3): 1958, 1961, 1996