Sitting in the directors’ box at Crystal Palace last Saturday, I
came across the new Nationwide Review, stitched neatly into my
programme. It’s hard to tell the difference between the two from a
design point of view. Like most British football programmes, it’s
multi-coloured, immediate and chaotic in parts - but I’m sure that, to
suit its environment, this is more by design than by default.
Nationwide Review is a great read, moving beyond narrow club lines to
tackle broader issues such as how the lottery is affecting football
And, thanks to authoritative regular editorial from football experts
such as Ross Williams, who covers the Nationwide League on Sky Sports,
Radio 5 Live’s Adrian Goldberg and contributions from national
journalists, it wins instant credibility with fans and clubs alike.
If my young son is anything to go by, it’s also got a great future on
bedroom walls. For me, the value of Nationwide Review lies with its
primary readers - passionate league football fans. A magazine devoted
totally to their league and their stars is worth a premium price.
But, although it already goes some way to feeding that passion,
involving the readers with competitions and ’feedback’ via the telephone
and e-mail, it could do more. What about a ’referee of the month’
competition - especially as most fans spend most of their time moaning
about the officials? Who knows, future chants may include, ’The referee
is a Nationwide banker’ (sponsored by, of course).