"FM definitely isn't suitable for everyone. People looking for a fast paced football game need to get as far away as they can. It also doesn't do well at welcoming the inexperienced players. There's a help window there whenever you need it, but it does little more than dampen the overwhelming feeling newbies will get. There is literally so much to do that its enough to discourage first time players permanently. Unfortunately, that's a choice that has to be made to deliver a game to please the fans, a noble choice on SI's part. No dumbing down here. As far as longevity goes, FM could keep the audience going for years, particularly as you can get online squad updates.
Football Manager 09 is the most complete football experience you're likely to find for a good while, at least until 2010 comes out. People who are wary of sims would do well to avoid it and go for something more mainstream like FIFA 09 for their footballing fix. Not quite sure there's enough new content to warrant owners of FM08 investing in the new version, but this is definitely the edition worth getting for the occasional buyers."