Football Manager 2010 Hands-on

Come October the terraces will be alive with Football Manager fever once more, as wannabe gaffers attempt to guide their team to the top of the table. As the latest instalment enters its final pre-season phase we were lucky enough to spend some serious hands-on time with the game. Unlike last year, where an ultimately disappointing 3D match engine was trumpeted by a lavish TV advertising campaign, the build-up to this year's iteration has been relatively low key. Indeed, rival management sim Championship Manager has somewhat stolen FM's thunder with its innovatiative - or desperate, as some might say - pay-what-you-want pricing policy generating reems of publicity. In contrast the fairly quiet pre-release chatter around FM10 has centred on a host of smaller improvements, the most obvious of which is the streamlined user interface that promises to be a "complete navigational overhaul". The usual side navigation bar has been replaced by a tab at the top of the screen, plus there are a handful of fresh-looking skins designed to make the usual smorgasbord of stats and info assaulting your eyes a little easier to digest.

It's all part of Sports Interactive's perpetual - and, if we're honest, so far pretty unsuccessful - mission to open out the mind-bendingly complex management franchise to new, novice users. On first viewing these new changes certainly alter the look of the game, with the pared-down skins lessening the game's unappealing spreadsheet presentation. However, at this stage we cannot really see how the navigational switch-around makes it any easier for new users to plot their way through the game, with some of FM's more confusing elements - such as the match day cycle -
remaining unchanged.
Published by: SEGA
Release Date:
US: November 3, 2009
Europe: October 30, 2009
Australia: October 30, 2009

Art buyers find few investment masterpieces

It was only when Jussi Pylkk√§nen was climbing down from the auctioneer’s rostrum that he realised the scale of what had just happened.

Having presided over the sale of a ravishing nude by Amedeo Modigliani for $170m, it struck him that this surpassed any previous auction figure achieved for the Italian artist’s work — by a staggering $100m.

“I knew the record would be broken, but not by how much. When you get a work that suddenly makes $100m more, that is the greatest single leap,” says the global president of Christie’s.

Since that New York sale in November 2015, auction records for individual artists have continued to tumble, underlining the appetite of super-rich collectors for the most desirable works of art. The global caravan of auctions, gallery shows and art fairs, which this week pauses in London for the annual Frieze fair, rumbles on in anticipation of the next masterwork to be offered for sale.

Many of those buying high-value art argue that the money involved is less important than gaining possession of a unique object of unimpeachable beauty or artistic value (and, perhaps, the chance to stand out from the gilded crowd). The idea of art as an investment is a secondary function, if at all. “You’re supposed to buy art because you like it. It’s a terribly corny phrase, but you get a ‘dividend of pleasure’,” says Bendor Grosvenor, a broadcaster and former art dealer.