Football manager made just before premiere of Championship Manager, a ground breaking game, that Premier Division could have hardly compete, but at the same time Premier Division was surprisingly enjoyable title.
Premier Division was a simple football manager game published in 1992 / 1993 by Zeppelin Games for Commodore Amiga, who made few games of the genre, but this particular one was not very advanced project that had more in common with early football manager games rather than those of 1990s. Why? It is hard to explain, it was very simple game, but in a way interesting through that simplicity.
It is not surprising that Premier Division was simulating only English league (from 3rd Division to Premier), but also as extension there was division called Europe, in which English teams were mixed between foreign ones to form sort-of super-division, where you could compete as English champion.
Only clubs from English divisions and Europe division were simulated.
Player parameters were very simple, like in old games of the genre: age, skill level (between 1 and 10, where 10 is marked as I for international level) and fitness (between 1 and 100).
Transfers and assigning player to take part in trainings were the only options available in player management.
Each player can be assigned to take part in the training sessions, which will cost him some fitness, but apart from hiring a coach you have no clear influence on the training, nor you can see any training report.
After each league game transfer session takes place - either other teams put forward offers for your players (you can either accept or decline them) or you are given chance to take part in the player auctions. The auction means that other teams will also bid against you and not always the player is within your price range. No other transfer options were available, only those direct transfers.
Team formation can be chosen from 15 different options available, 4 tactics settings also can affect your team performance: overall play (player discipline), ball play (long, combination), defence (sweeper, offside trap), game style (offensive, defensive). Also automatic team selection was a nice touch - you can choose lineup of players with best skills or currently best fitness.
Since game was based on very simple match engine the sums of skills in the formations were used to decide the team strength, so during the team selection the sums for defence, midfield and attack were available together with preview of your next opponent (strength and formation).
Just like older games of the genre Premier Division did not offer any kind of match report, nor match preview - all we get is simple result and goal scorers names. By extension of course you get no player ratings or personal statistics.
Apart from transfers and stadium options there was no other option to influence the team development.
Basic stadium management options were available: capacity increase and ticket price setting. Also two additional options were available, cameras and policing - both used to simulate the reality of hooligans destroying your stadium, those two parameters would stop the devastation of the seats, but of course would also create costs.
Two staff members can be hired: coach and physio. For both positions you can hire people with one of the three skill levels: poor, average and excellent. Their skill level will generate better results, but also will require higher wages for them.
Premier Division had multiplayer option similar to that available in other games of the era: up to 4 players could run their own clubs making the decisions in turns.
Premier Division was very simple game, but through few unusual options it was easy to get hooked - team selection was easy, the transfers were easy, random events built some depth, but also the graphic presentation of the team was important factor. Apart from the main game option (manager game) there was also option to play the board game that was a very simple game of chance, in which most of the club events are decided via movement of your piece on the board. Another nice addition was an editor that allowed you to edit the team colours and player names at any time of the game.
Overall Premier Division was almost obsolete during premiere - with lack of match report, lack of player details, lack of player statistics most decisions did not seem to have clear influence on the game - but at the same time it was very enjoyable game that was easy to play and with time easy to enjoy.