ABC FIGURES: Football magazines drop as World Cup ends and two close

The declines in the adult football magazines sector appear to have been stemmed, with the only two titles to release ABCs enjoying significant year-on-year gains.

FourFourTwo, from Haymarket Publishing, remained the clear market leader, with an ABC of 100,177. It grew a massive 49 per cent on last year, but increased just 0.1 per cent period on period.

In contrast, IPC's World Soccer managed to increase its circulation by 25.3 per cent year on year and 11.7 per cent period on period, and now has a circulation of 58,700.

Shoot and Match failed to release six-monthly ABCs.

"The closure of Match of the Day and Total Football, and England's participation in the World Cup, contributed to a strong performance for FourFourTwo, said its publisher Martin Jones.

Elsewhere in the sport sector, the golf magazines had a fairly rough ride with Emap Active's market-leading Today's Golfer being the only title to increase its circulation either year on year or period on period. These increases were not significant, however, reflecting a general malaise in the golf market.

Its competitors Golf Monthly and Golf World both suffered double-digit declines year on year.

VERDICT: Without the World Cup, the football sector faces significant challenges. Undoubtedly, the closure of two competitor titles has helped hold up the figures over the year. However, with the imminent launch of Eleven, the market is still volatile.

TITLE              PUBLISHER        TOTAL ABC     PERIOD ON      YEAR ON
                                                   PERIOD %         YEAR
Today's Golfer     Emap               101,218           7.0          1.1
FourFourTwo        Haymarket          100,177           0.1         49.0
Golf Monthly       IPC                 74,413          -8.5        -11.8
World Soccer       IPC                 58,700          11.7         25.3
Golf World         Emap                52,190          -9.4        -10.6
Anglers Mail       IPC                 45,120          -2.9         10.0
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (Jan-June 2002).