Hello Cygnus and Engelbert,
I am happy that more discussion is going on and I apologize Cygnus for not providing any further input thus far.
However, I'll just pop-in now to say that I agree with Engelbert, quite a lot actually.
I play only two other Browser Games at this time - and I have tried many, with few being good enough in my estimate - and I think I have the perfect example for you.
Both are by the same developer, as their simple yet deep formula is basically perfect for me. They are Rocking Rackets and Rocking Soccer (Tennis and Football Management games, respectively).
Both utilize AI Players (Managers?), however, Rocking Soccer is the better example to use and contrast the Quidditch Manager game system to - for the obvious reasons of it being a Team Sport, as opposed to Tennis' individual/dual nature.
So, let me present you with the "Bot teams" page from Rocking Soccer.
Before that, important note
: I'd say that Rocking Soccer's overall game system is more complex/has more features/moving parts than Quidditch Manager. So, in theory, recreating the AI systems from RS in QM shouldn't be too difficult (with all due respect to your time!).
You can view it here: Link to the article
I think that this method could definitely work and, along with a mini-Tutorial mentioned as well, would be a great help to get more players (to play for longer).
Like Engelbert said, the Teams should be persistent and, as my linked article implies, they should simply be very basic, functional teams that just kinda endlessly drift along the lower leagues (until a Human player gets appointed).
You can give them some simple Line-up, Strategy, Friendlies and Tradelist behaviors (a few different variations if possible) while, for example, giving them static Academy, Stadium and Sponsor settings to ensure that they remain functional yet weak, competitive only for new Players.
Of course, it would be important to also make them in such a way that they interact efficiently with not only Human Managers, but also with other AI Managers (especially when it comes to selling).
I'll only disagree with Engelbert in that I don't think they should purposely play Players in poor positions.
Of course, you'd give them randomly generated names (we have a City list, so, just add a bunch of generic words a la "Warriors").Interesting thought in all of this:
Human-run Teams that get deleted due to Contract issues would in this proposed new system instead become AI Teams again.
If you have trouble viewing the link, please tell me and I will copy+paste the text here.