Any game that is not a competitive match is a friendly. The main point of friendlies is to maximise training, or keeping your substitutes in a hopefuly better form. There is also some gate income will help your economy, but the income is quite low compared to an official league match (it is rare to spot friendlies with over 5.000 spectators, even among teams from the top divisions). A popular thing to do in friendly matches is flag chasing, where you visit a new country every week.
The outcome of the match has no effect on sponsors supporters, team spirit, confidence or player bookings. However, players might get injured while playing that match, and they can also gain a tiny amount of experience, much lower than the amount of experience from a league match. See the experience article for the formula.
The amount of spectators who attend a friendly match is significantly lower than the amount of spectators who attend a regular league match. The income is split evenly among the two teams. The attendance will be slightly higher if the match is an international friendly.
The friendlies can be played using two different kind of rules:
- If the match ends in a draw, no extra time or penalties will be played.
- The amount of attendance is lower than a cup rules friendly.
- If the match ends in a draw, extra time and penalties (if needed) will be played.
- The attendance of the match is higher than a normal friendly.
For clubs of the lowest division in large leagues (e.g. Netherlands, Spain, Sweden or Germany) international friendlies (away) are not recommendable. The travelling costs will be higher then the spectator income of the match. That teams should make friendly matches against higher division teams of the own country or international friendlies in their own stadiums. The economic effect is here also important.
example (german XI. division team):
spectators in series games:
Spectators in a friendly against a IV. division team: