ABC FIGURES: Club magazines hit hardest by decline in football readers

In direct contrast to the figures registered in the ABC report 12 months ago, club-specific football titles are showing large declines in sales, contributing to an overall drop of more than 25 per cent for the sector, both year on year and period on period.

In direct contrast to the figures registered in the ABC report 12

months ago, club-specific football titles are showing large declines in

sales, contributing to an overall drop of more than 25 per cent for the

sector, both year on year and period on period.



Haymarket’s FourFour-Two was one of only two titles not to register a

percentage decline year on year. The only other title not to register a

decline was IPC’s World Soccer, which continued its steady growth

pattern with a 10.4 per cent year on year increase.



The BBC title, Match of the Day, which converted to a monthly in March

1997, managed a 12 per cent increase on its sales for the second half of

last year, driven by a cover price cut from pounds 2.50 to pounds 1.



The leading generalist title, Emap Pursuit’s Match, fell nearly 20 per

cent period on period and 15 per cent year on year, ceding the overall

market lead that it regained only six months ago to Manchester United

Magazine - despite the latter’s 26 per cent year on year sales drop.



Other club specific titles also took big hits: The Official Liverpool FC

lost 25.4 per cent and Glory Glory Man United showed the biggest decline

of the three, down 30.4 per cent for the year.



Steve Keeney, publishing director at Zone, which publishes Manchester

United Magazine, said he was happy with the figures. ’There’s been a lot

more competition in the run-up to the World Cup but, at the end of the

day, we are still the market leader.’



But Gary Martin, associate publisher of Match of the Day, said the

decline may be more fundamental: ’The typical fan profile tends to show

they are young and quite fickle and don’t follow hard and fast rules

when making a purchase.’





FOOTBALL MAGAZINES

Title               Publisher         Total ABC     Period on    Year on

                                                     period %     year %

Man Utd Magazine    Zone                117,858         -14.6      -25.9

Match               Emap Pursuit        117,542         -19.4      -14.9

FourFourTwo         Haymarket            85,389          -3.0       21.2

Shoot               IPC                  80,727         -14.8      -18.7

Match of the Day    BBC                  73,244          12.0          -

World Soccer        IPC                  62,908          15.3       10.4

Glory Glory Man

Utd                 Zone                 52,757         -16.3      -30.4

Official Liverpool

FC                  N&S                  44,022         -21.9      -25.4

Soccer Stars        IPC                  40,208         -12.6      -30.7

Total Football      Future               32,741          -5.9       -3.7

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.



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