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Due to popular demand, we have now put the whole rules book on-line for you to read or print off at your leisure. These are all the latest rules and any future modifications/improvements to the game will be updated here immediately.

The Apex Soccer League gives you the opportunity to manage and control your own football club through the trials and tribulations of a long and arduous season, competing in the quest for League points and Cup glory.

The decisions you make are processed by our highly sophisticated computer programme, which reproduces football action and results as good as the real thing!

By using the postal system, it is possible for you to pit your footballing know-how against other 'managers', instead of simply playing against yourself or a computer. So your eventual team results and success/failure will also depend on the decisions made by your opponents, who could be from any walk of life!

1/ Pick a team name - but make sure it is fictional, e.g. you can call your team Newcastle City, but NOT Newcastle Utd. However, to avoid confusion, we recommend that you simply invent a new team name.

2/ Pick a squad of 15 players & name each one of them. Again, they muse be purely fictional names. Also, the name of a player cannot exceed 13 characters - e.g JIMMY ALEXANDER is too long, as it has 15 characters, but JIM ALEXANDER is okay as it has 13 characters. The space between the first name & the surname counts as 1 character.

3/ Every TWO weeks you will receive match reports with league tables and transfer news, etc. Once you receive this, you must fill in the team sheet with your instructions for the next two games.

4/ When sending us your instructions, you must include match fees of 5.00, which entitles you to FOUR matches. The fee per game rate is, therefore, 1.25p. This fee helps to cover our printing, stationery, postage and labour costs.
The 5.00 fee should be paid either by cheque or uncrossed postal order and made payable to 'APEX SERVICES'. You can also pay in larger instalments, if you wish. However, if you are playing online, the fee per game rate comes down to 1 per game. Go to the payments section for full details.

5/ All matches are usually played between TUESDAY and FRIDAY of the same week. During the next week, the results are processed and you should receive your letter by THURSDAY of this week. You should then try and send off your instructions for the next two games immediately, together with your payment.

6/ All correspondence should be sent to:

P.O BOX 186

1/ Three divisions:
All divisions contain 24 teams to make a total of 72 teams in each league.

2/ You can play each team in your division twice, both home and away - a total of 46 games.

3/ 3 points for a win - 1 point for a draw - 0 points for a defeat.

4/ Top 4 sides in Divisions 2 & 3 get promoted automatically at the end of the season.
Play-offs: Clubs that finish 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th will play against each other after game 46 to see which one will get promoted. So, in effect, 5 teams are promoted. Bottom 5 sides in Division 1 & 2 get relegated. There is no relegation in Division 3.

5/ League Cup matches will start to get played in the first half of the season. Each cup tie will be over two-legs, home and away. The draw will be completely random.
If a cup tie results in a draw on aggregate, away goals will count double. If the result is still level after the away goals rule as well, the tie will be decided on a penalty shoot-out. The computer will select the players most likely to score to take the penalties.

6/ Knockout Cup matches will be played in the second half of the season. The draw will be completely random.
If a cup match results in a draw, it will be replayed immediately. If the replay ends in a draw as well, the tie will be decided on a penalty shoot-out. The computer will select the players most likely to score to take the penalties.

7/ Trophies/shields etc, will be awarded to the top 4 sides in each division and for the Cup finalists.

1/ Players have a skill rating between 1 and 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. This rating indicates how good a player is in his position, as well as measuring a players' ability to score goals.
However, just because a certain player has a high rating, it does not mean that he will definitely score more goals than a lower-rated player.
Some players may have a star (*) by their ratings. Players with this star are superb passers and shooters of the ball, and your team should be able to score more frequently if you have such players. Yet another advantage these players have is that they can play in ANY position equally well, except in goal. So, in effect, they are utility players.

2/ Goalkeepers are also rated from 1 to 10, but they do not have a (*) by their ratings, for obvious reasons. Goalkeepers can only play in goal and cannot be selected as substitutes. 
NOTE: Outfield players cannot play in goal.

3/ SENDINGS OFF: Players sent off are automatically suspended for the next game and receives FIVE penalty points.

4/ BOOKINGS: If a player is booked twice in the same match he will be sent off and will also miss the next match. A player who gets booked in a game receives ONE penalty point. Once a player reaches FIVE penalty points, he automatically misses the next game and each further penalty point received incurs a further match suspension.

5/ FITNESS LEVELS: Every player has a fitness level between 0 and 100. This will vary from match to match and depend on whether a player suffers any injuries. It will also vary if a player misses games.
Note that if a player's fitness falls below 50, he will not be allowed to play until his fitness improves above 50. Always consider fitness when selecting the team.

6/ PLAYERS' WAGES: Wages are determined by ratings and the club's division.

DIVISION THREE Rating of player x 100
e.g 1 rated = 100 per game, 2 rated = 200
But for (*) players, add extra 100, e.g: 2* = 300

DIVISION TWO: Rating of player x 200
e.g 1 rated = 200 per game, 2 rated = 400
But for (*) players, add extra 100, e.g: 2* = 500

DIVISION ONE: Rating of player x 300
e.g 1 rated = 300 per game, 2 rated = 600
But for (*) players, add extra 100.00, e.g: 2* = 700

Each manager can decide how offensive he wishes his team to play each game, thereby creating his own style. There are 3 offensive variations to choose from:
OFFENCE A - A conservative offence, based on taking no risks and concentrating on a staunch defence and a slow careful build-up. Our programmes used the infamous Inter Milan team of the late 1960's as the role model for inventing this offence.

OFFENCE B - A standard style of play concentrating more on midfield ability. Various teams were used for inventing this offence, such as the elegant Holland team, which included Johan Cruyff, of the 1974 World Cup Final. Teams such as the Liverpool of the 1980's and the 1988 Holland Euro-Championship winning team are the latest additions that comprise the latest, updated version of this offence. This is the most frequently used style, ideally suited for teams with 'balanced' squads.

OFFENCE C - A fast moving offence that involves taking chances both offensively and defensively. Risky tactics to use against top-class teams, although they can sometimes work wonders. This style was mainly based on the battering-ram attacking play of the superb Cup and Championship winning Wolves team of the 1950's.

Using OFFENCE A, your team will find it hard to score goals but it will be difficult for opposing teams to score.
OFFENCE B is based on having adequate defensive cover and the ability to attack effectively.
OFFENCE C is used primarily for all-out attack, leaving the defence vulnerable to swift counter attacks. All outfield players will be aiming to attack and score goals, rather than defend.

FORMATIONS ALLOWED FOR OFFENCE A: 4-4-2, 5-4-1, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, 6-3-1, 7-2-1, 6-2-2, 5-2-3

FORMATIONS ALLOWED FOR OFFENCE B: 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-2-4, 5-2-3

FORMATIONS ALLOWED FOR OFFENCE C: 3-3-4, 2-5-3, 2-4-4, 2-3-5, 3-4-3, 4-2-4, 3-2-5

NOTE: Only the above formations are allowed..

You will no doubt derive great pleasure in working out which offence is best suited to your team, so we will not divulge any further clues.

All teams may choose how aggressive they wish to play in each game. There are six aggression levels to choose from, between 0 and 5, with 0 being the lowest and 5 the highest. A team playing aggression level 0 is a totally clean side and plays everything by the book ... the chances of any of its players being booked or sent off are extremely remote.
A team playing aggression level 5, on the other hand, is a totally dirty team and will not hesitate to bring a player down if the need arises, and is more likely to have players booked and sent off.

EXTRA REALISM: We have made our game so realistic that even the weakest team in the league is capable of defeating the best team in the league if it employs the right combination of tactics and gets the right amount of luck. Against wave after wave of attack, a weaker team may break away and score a goal against the run of play.

Each team is allowed to use and select one sub per game. The manager can choose which minute he wants his sub to appear, as long as it is in the second half. The computer will decide which player is to be replaced, since it will be in the best position to judge which player's performance is adversely affecting the team. It does not matter what the sub's original position was, as he will be able to play in any position the computer chooses equally well. So, just like a star (*) player, the sub will be treated like a utility player. REMEMBER, A GK CANNOT BE CHOSEN AS A SUB.

Every 2 games, the computer will review each player's performances and adjust the ratings accordingly. Sometimes the ratings may not change at all but if your team is having a successful run, the ratings will increase. The computer takes many different factors into account to decide if ratings should change.

Crowds of over 10,000 make a profit. Crowds under 10,000 will result in a loss. Crowds of 10,000 will break even. EXAMPLE - a crowd of, say, 15,000 will make a profit of 20,000 (4 x 5,000) but a crowd of, say, 8,000 will make a loss of 2,000 (1 x 2,000).
Home teams receive 75% of crowd profits & away teams receive 25%. But in cup games, both teams share crowd profits equally, that's 50% each. Teams which keep winning will obviously improve their attendances, but teams which lose consistently will find their crowds fall.

Each club is given a crowd capacity beginning at 30,000. This capacity can be increased up to a maximum of 100,000, or be decreased to a minimum of 1,000.
Capacity can be bought at any time throughout the season for 
10 per seat.
E.G - to improve your capacity by 10,000 seats from 30,000 to 40,000 will cost your club 100,000. If you decrease your stadium's capacity by 5,000 to 25,000, your club will receive 15,000. This is because you only receive 3 for each seat sold.
NOTE: At the end of each season, clubs with capacities of 50,000 and over will lose 20% of their seats due to crowd safety reasons.

Each team begins with a bank account of 1,500,000. This money will be used for dealing in the transfer market, paying the team's wages, ground improvements, etc.

Teams are allowed to go into debt by 500,000. Clubs that get into debt beyond this figure will be punished by having the ratings of all its players reduced by one skill level.

After match 4, each club in the League will be eligible for extra cash injection through sponsorship, which will vary in amount depending on the position of your club in the League Table.

Positions  1 -  6 in each division = 400,000 for the season.
Positions  7 -12 in each division = 350,000 for the season.
Positions 13-18 in each division = 275,000 for the season.
Positions 19-24 in each division = 200,000 for the season.

Clubs have the option to accept sponsorship at any time AFTER match 4, but please remember to inform us when you decide to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Each club's bank account will be totally controlled by the computer, so there will be no need for each manager to deduct wages or add on gate receipts, transfer fees, etc.

All clubs are allowed to buy and sell players on the transfer market. The maximum amount of players allowed in your squad is 24. There must also be a minimum amount of 13 outfield players in your squad at all times, or your club will be heavily fined.

To Sell Players you must name the price you require, the name, position and squad number of the playing that you are selling.

To Buy Players you must name the player you wish to buy and the price you are willing to pay. The highest bid for a player will be successful so remember that you must bid over the asking price to stand any chance of signing a player.

Each fortnight, you will be issued a transfer sheet to complete with your buying or selling instructions. Please use block capital letters when filling in this sheet, so that we can read your instructions clearly.

You cannot ring our offices for bids for players, as transfer transactions can only be accepted in writing.

Please note that because ratings of players can go up quite regularly, you're advised to keep your transfer activity to a minimum, in case you end up transferring a player whose rating has increased, which will leave you with less money than you would have received if the player had been advertised with the higher rating.

In order to make our game as realistic as possible, a club will only be able to place TWO players on the transfer list per fortnight. For the same reason, each club is only allowed to purchase TWO players per fortnight.

Once a player appears on the transfer list, any club in the league can bid for him. Remember, the club who bids the HIGHEST will end up with the player. Alternatively, if you do not wish to get involved in such a public auction, you're allowed to contact the player's club and agree on a price privately that suits both of you. In this way, you could end up purchasing the player for far less money than if you simply bidded for him like the rest of the clubs.

If a player gets transferred, whether in the public or private transfer markets, and the rating of the player increases, your club will not be compensated for the rating hit that it has missed out on. 
Neither can you stipulate that a deal that you arrange must be cancelled due to a player's rating increasing, because it is far too time-consuming manually checking players' status due to the massive amount of transfer activity that goes on.
Due to the fact that the rules apply to all managers, and will be strictly adhered to, it cannot be deemed to be unfair. 
Over the course of a season, if your club engages in a lot of transfer activity, rating hits and misses will even themselves out.
We recommend that when managers negotiate deals they should take this into account and decide among themselves that if any of them miss out on a rating hit in this manner, then future deals between themselves can reflect that. This will also hopefully encourage managers to build up good relationships between themselves, so that transfer deals can benefit all clubs involved.

If you do strike a private deal, all you need to do is inform us of the details on your transfer sheet, under the PRIVATE DEALS section. Addresses of clubs can be obtained from us and phone numbers and e-mail addresses are regularly printed in the various newsletters. Alternatively, you can get in touch with managers on-line through the discussion board.
WARNING: You are advised not to chop and change your team too quickly, as this may result in bad team morale, followed by bad results. As you know, in real life, players can take time to settle in with a new team, and the same is true with our PBM game. So be careful.

Sometimes, we introduce new players, scouts and trainers onto the transfer market, called 'New Finds', which are sold to the 5th highest bidder, so that not all the best players always go to the richest and most powerful clubs, which keeps the league healthy and competitive.

Each player in your squad will be given an age at random by the computer. The ages vary from 18 to 36. Once a player reaches the age of 37, he will retire from the team and disappear from your team sheet.
A player will be far more effective if aged between 27-30, as he will be performing at his peak. It is good to get a good blend of ages when trying to build up a successful side. A player's age will increase by one year on Jan 1st each year.
If you lose a player through retirement, your club will receive cash compensation, worked out as follows: rating x 40,000.
For example: For a 3-rated player, you will receive 120,000.

Each player has been given a form rating for the season which will increase according to how well the player is performing. Form ratings start at '0' and can go up to 999, although a player will do well to reach 100 in one season. Once a form rating of a player does reach 100-120, then the skill rating of the player will increase by 1 rating. When the form rating of player reaches 50-65, then a + will appear next to the player's skill rating. The + rating signifies that the player is rated higher than his current skill rating, but not quite high enough to go up a full rating, e.g a player rated 3+ will be rated halfway between a 3 and a 4.

Each player has a morale factor, which can vary from game to game, depending on various elements, such as individual & team performances. Morale can decrease to a minimum of 75 and increase to a maximum of 125. The higher the morale of a player, the better he will perform, so you need to be very careful when selecting your team and take into account such things as skill ratings, fitness levels, ages, form ratings and morale factors.

It is possible to select 2 subs, if you wish. You still select your 'normal' sub, by placing an 'S' on the teamsheet, and indicate a sub time. But, in addition to that, you can select another sub by placing the letter 'I' on your teamsheet. This means that this player will only appear if another player in the team gets injured during the game and cannot continue. Then this 'injury' sub will come on straight away. But, don't forget, your 'proper' sub, which you select as 'S' will still come on at your selected sub time. You don't have to select two subs, it's entirely up to you. In fact, you don't have to select any subs at all if you wish!

Sometimes, a Team Trainer will appear on the transfer market. Once bought, he will introduce new training methods that will enable all your players to remain above a certain fitness level. This will enhance your team's performances and help improve results.
Each club is only allowed one Trainer, although there are 3 types of Trainers, rated 1 to 3.
FOR EXAMPLE - A trainer rated 1 will keep all your players' fitness levels at 75 and above at ALL times. His wages will be 1,000 per game.
A trainer rated 2 will keep your fitness levels at 85 and above at ALL times and his wages will be 2,000 per game.
A trainer rated 3 will keep fitness levels at 95 and above at ALL times and cost 3,000 per game.
NOTE: Players can still receive long-term injuries and fall below the above-mentioned minimum levels, but they will still recover quicker because of a trainer.

Sometimes, Youth Team Scouts will appear on the transfer market. Each club can only buy one scout. Once bought, he will discover good quality players for your club, currently between 4-7 rated players, including * players. He will discover a player every 8th league game of the season, and will appear on your teamsheet automatically. You then have the option of keeping the player or selling him at a profit. The Scout's wages are 5,000 per game. The maximum of players allowed in your squad is 24. If you already have 24 players in your squad and the time arrives for the scout to discover a new player, you will forfeit the player as he will be unable to be added to your teamsheet, so you need to keep an eye on your squad size.

Each club has the option of hiring a team coach to develop its players. By hiring a coach, each turn a manager can coach any player rated 1-7+, including * players. Coaching a player will improve his form rating and morale factor. You can coach up to 3 players per game, but any individual player cannot be coached more than 5 times during a season. A column on your computerised teamsheet will show you how many times a player has been coached managers should also be aware that if you coach more than 1 player per game, then the benefit of the coaching affect will be spread throughout the players coached, whereas coaching just 1 player per game will ensure that the player receives the maximum benefit.
Please also note that players selected for coaching cannot play in that particular game. To signify that you wish to coach a player, simply place a 'C' in the player selection column of your computerised teamsheet.
There are 3 levels of coaches available with 1 being the lowest and 3 the highest. Once you opt for a coach, you will need to pay compensation if you ever wanted to sack him. Coach wages and sacking fees are as follows:
Level 1 Coach - wages 2,000 per game - 200,000 to sack
Level 2 Coach - wages 4,000 per game - 400,000 to sack
Level 3 Coach - wages 6,000 per game - 600,000 to sack
To hire a coach, simply inform us and we'll add him to your club.

As well as picking the team and tactics for each game and looking after the finances of the club, another part of the manager's job is to keep his Board of Directors happy. If the board at a club feel their manager is not doing a good job or are not happy with his transfers, they may decide to take matters into their own hands and block any transfer deals they do not agree with.

On the page called 'JOIN NOW' you must enter 15 fictional names of players, together with the positions you wish them to play.
e.g. - GK, MID, DEF, ATT. Your squad must include at least one goalkeeper. Please note that the players will play best in the positions you write down on this FIRST TEAM SHEET. If you play them out of position, they will lose a skill level for the match in question. Of course, this does not apply to star (*) players, who can play as well in ANY position. Once you've done that, please return it to us immediately.
Please ensure that we always receive all your sheets, etc, before the deadline (Tuesdays). 

A manager can run more than one club if he wishes, as long as the extra expense can be afforded. Match fees will still be 1.25p per game, per club, unless you manage more than 1 club in the same league, in which case the 2nd club will only be charged at 1 per game. However, if you are playing online, the fee per game rate is still 1 per club regardless of how many clubs you manage. To avoid any controversy, clubs managed by the same manager will not be permitted to transfer players between each other.

Every two weeks, you will receive:
1/ Match reports of your 4 games, detailing the major highlights.
2/ Team sheets for you to complete and return with your selections of line-ups and tactics for your next 4 games and any Cup games.
3/ League tables and results sheets for ALL THREE DIVISIONS. 
4/ News sheet detailing transfer activity and manager's comments.
5/ Transfer/comments sheet for you to complete and return.
6/ A blank label for you to self-address and return, so we can use it to send you your results pack.

After we receive your first teamsheet, you will receive computerised teamsheets, showing you your next 4 fixtures.

If you are not already a member, you can join immediately by filling in your first teamsheet at the link below.

Join Now          Payments          Apex PBM Soccer          









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