I have looked a little more into the mechanics of Game Importance (GI) as I was a little concerned over both the proposed fix from Xeno, but moreso over the values of GI being used in data updates.
This is how the game should be
The below offset indicates yopu are able to tour countries =<2 Game Importance
0471E5E CMP BYTE PTR DS:[EAX+84],2
(Change the 2 to 4 to allow tours to all countries, i.e. GI of 1, 2, 3 and 4)
If Club Reputation =<11 - Able to tour countries in same Actual Region (meeting the criterium outlines above)
If Club Reputation is 12-16 - Able to tour countries in same continent (meeting the criterium outlines above)
If Club Reputation =>17 - Able to tour all countries (meeting the criterium outlines above)
The way the current data is set up
0471E5E CMP BYTE PTR DS:[EAX+84],xx
Setting the end value still applies in the same way, so setting it to 9 will allow you to tour countries with GI => 9.
So, as mentioned in earlier posts, the value has effectively been reversed, (and also expanded from 1-4 to 1-20).
The effect is that tours cannot be arranged in countries with a greater GI than the offset determines. And beyond that, tours can only be arranged iwithin the Continent or Actual Region of your club. As a quick example, with the offset value set to 9, Burnley (Club Rep 12) can tour Andorra, Azerbaijan, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and San Marino. But they can't go to Scotland, Denmark, Belgium or France! Meanwhile, poor Blackburn and Derby can't go anywhere, as their Club Reputation is below 11, and no country with GI =<9 is within the same Actual Region.
Well that's easy! Set all nations to have GI 1-4 (like it is supposed to be).
An additional patching solution (so you can take your high-rep club to small nations) would be to change the value of offset 0471E5E to 3 or 4.
Why has this happened?
It would seem that the Update Team has looked at the explanation within the cm0102ed hlp file and taken it as given that the value range is 0-20 with 0 being random, 1 worst, and 20 best. So they have then painstakingly gone through all the nations, but not actually checked to see the effects of the change.
It is clear that the hlp file (and the tooltip) are both incorect. I haven't installed and therefore not checked CM4 (because that game is truly a piece of shit), nor CM0304, but the descrip[tion of the Game Importance value in the FM2005 Editor Guidelines file has the corrected explanation:
Are their any other effects of Game Importance?
Importance of football in this country (e.g. Brazil = very high, USA = low). Scale is 1 to 4 (1=high and
Not that I have been able to identify. Club friendlies offer the same (all clubs) invitations. I guess that perhaps a large disparity in GI may discourage an invite being accepted, but this would actually be the opposite way around to perceived wisdom with the current setup anyway! Added to this, it is my understanding that Club Rep is a determining factor here anyway. There is no effect on international friendly matches as far as I can see.
Checking a couple of parallel saved games, there is an insignificant difference in the number of players from any nation loaded when creating a new game (a very small percentage more players created in GI=1 countries of non-selected league), and likewise no discernable difference in player values. I have the data for this, but it is so insignificant that it really doesn't warrant further mention. While I have not advanced a game to study transfers, there is once again no difference at all in the number of interested played when filtering through the Player & Staff Search screen, both for high and low reputation clubs. I am thereofre confident that GI has no effect on transfers.
The Game Importance has been misinterpreted (understandaby, given the error in the hlp file description). The effect seems relatively minor on the whole, but the implementation of the Update Team's understanding means that a patch is required to paper over the cracks of this problem. Even the suggested patch doesn'tr actually fix the issue, but rather hides it. I would therefore strongly recommend that the Game Importance value of each nation is realigned to the intended range of 1 (best) to 4 (worst). And that way all of out touring woes will be over!