Eidos are to delay the release of Championship Manager 5, and could possibly miss the vital Christmas sales period with an early 2005 launch looking likely.

The announcement came in a statement to shareholders on the London Stock Market this morning, where the share price has steadily been dropping since May, and is likely to be further hammered by the news which had been rumoured for several weeks now.

Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions are still promised, with a release said to be planned for Spring 2005, and an online version of the PC title is set to be available "shortly after the PC game's release" - when ever that may be.

Meanwhile Sega's rival title Football Manager 2005 looks set to sweep the pitch clear and is on schedule for release on November 5th, and a fully featured "gold demo" with 6 months worth of action was released by former Championship Manager developer Sports Interactive on their website last week.