The football titles turned in a disappointing performance on the
whole, possibly because there were no major football tournaments in the
second half of last year.
But given the explosive performance of Haymarket’s Four Four Two, which
scored its highest ABC - up 23.4 per cent period on period - that excuse
will not wash with everyone.
Four Four Two’s reflective style - which puts it up against the likes of
GQ - has shown that a quality magazine can still grow in a market that
is consistently being chipped away by the increasing coverage of the
sport in the national newspapers.
Its nearest competitor, BBC’s Match of the Day, fared less well. It rose
by less than 1 per cent period on period and dropped 19.5 per cent year
Four Four Two’s publisher, Kevin Whitchurch, says: ’The figures show
that a more thoughtful and reflective magazine can do really well.’
With the advent of cable and satellite channels devoted to covering club
matches, the future does not look bright for the club titles, which
turned in a lacklustre performance.
But it was the titles aimed at a younger market - such as Shoot! and
Match - that really disappointed. Although Match performed well in the
period, its year-on-year sales fell by nearly 18 per cent.
Shoot!, meanwhile, suffered an 11 per cent and 29 per cent drop in the
period and year respectively.
Verdict Given that there are major football tournaments and that England
has qualified for Euro 2000 in June, this should be a better year for
football titles. However, they will face tough competition from the
nationals and broadcasters.
Title Publisher Total ABC Period on Year on
period % year
Match Emap 105,385 8.5 -17.7
Manchester Utd Zone 90,339 2.1 -1.8
Four Four Two Haymarket 88,329 23.4 9.8
Match of the Day BBC 72,777 0.2 -19.5
World Soccer IPC 56,032 5.7 -11.4
Shoot! IPC 50,303 -11.2 29.5
Glory Glory Man
Utd Future 30,600 -11.4 -18.3
Total Football Future 25,177 n/a -25.9
The Evertonian Liverpool Post 14,526 -5.1 n/a
The Kop Liverpool Post 12,491 16.1 n/a
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)