According to the press release, this is ’a football title aimed at
the serious football supporter and will target 3.5 million supporters
who regularly watch professional football matches’. Well, that’s me, so
I decided to see what it had to offer.
First, I liked the coverage outside the Premier League. Unlike Harry
Redknapp and the West Ham administrative staff, I like to keep up with
how our players out on loan are doing. So I enjoyed reading how West
Ham’s young striker, Gary Alexander, was getting on at Exeter and
wondered whether a swap with Paulo Wanchope was possible.
Like most supporters, I have an interest in other teams which I normally
satisfy by scouring the Sunday results section. Leyton Orient (another
local team) and Whitby Town (my birthplace) all recieve better coverage
in Football Gazette than most sports sections.
Premier League coverage is at saturation point elsewhere, so I think the
focus on previewing and betting is the only way this title has a chance
The features on Leicester City, Aston Villa, Hull City, Burnley, Stoke
City, Wigan Athletic and Clydebank were functional, but they didn’t
provide me with a reason to buy the paper. Similarly, the comment and
analysis section failed to challenge or excite.
The previews were well-written and the information layout about top
scores and recent form is OK. However, I’m interested to know how the
team line-ups can be printed as definitive statements, when they don’t
get announced until just before the game.
In the betting section, the forthcoming TV games are highlighted and
additional features look at the Italian Serie A and spread betting. I’m
not sure about this area. The serious punter will have access to this
information through existing print sources or the internet.
In a nutshell, this is Football Gazette’s problem. Does it have enough
’must buy’ appeal in a crowded market? I tend to shy away from the
’sample of one’ judgment, but I’m afraid it is unlikely to make the
grade when I edit my already overloaded consumption of football
Graham Duff is the chief executive of Zenith Media
Publisher Storehouse Publishing
Editor Saul Brookfield
Ad rates full-page colour pounds 2,500
Print run 60,000
Cover price pounds 1
Advertisers include UK betting.com, The Football Trust