No, it's not April 1st.
The notion that Football Manager has been used by professional staffers at major clubs to get the lowdown on wonderkids and burgeoning superstars has been something of a legendary, if rather fanciful, idea for some time. Except it's not a myth, it's coming true.
According to the BBC, Sports Interactive will be delivering database information to Prozone Recruiter, "an online analysis tool used by many clubs to scout talent." Apparently, the exhaustive Football Manager database will be used to help supply biographical, contractual and positional details to Prozone.
"The database is a highly accurate and valuable resource," said Prozone chief executive Thomas Schmider. "It will further enhance the recruitment services we provide."
"For years we've heard stories of real-life managers and scouts using our data to help with the recruitment process," added SI's head honcho, Miles Jacobson. "From now on, it's official. Real managers around the world will be finding and comparing players using data and a search system that will be very familiar to players of Football Manager."
That's great news for Prozone and Sports Interactive, but I'm personally more interested in the effect that this will have on the backroom staff job market. As someone deeply au fait with Football Manager's systems, and who just won the Champions League with Yeovil for the 3rd time, I reckon it won't be long before Louis Van Gaal himself hits me up for some serious knowledge.