wsc374 big

April issue available in store and online

The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or to order from the WSC shop.

Transfer window ~ Hoping to profit from Troy Deeney | Jack Rodwell refuses to leave Sunderland
Football online ~ Who uses message boards? | The decline fo webzines

Oxford's non-League nadir | Player trafficking scandal | Aston Villa flounder at Fulham | Other teams in Athens | @NevilleSouthall | West Ham's confused protests | Ossett management | broadcasting's new deal | Paul Stewart tells of his abuse | Aberdeen's stadium plans lack ambition | Rushall Olympic v Workington photo feature | Harry Pearson: Football is not about scoring goals | Focus on Use Seeler | Atlético Torque – a Manchester City outpost | North America's grand plan | When Hibernian won a wide-open Scottish top flight | Stockport start battling back

374 MOTM

Fulham 2 Aston Villa 0 A clash of styles in the Championship
It’s a beautiful afternoon in February, because the planet is dying, and Bishops Park on the banks of the Thames is teeming with life: day-trippers, skateboarders, mounted police, and the rest of us, passing by the plane trees and the ornamental lake towards the weekend’s biggest fixture in the Football League. With Wolves having practically sealed promotion before Pancake Day (let’s just raise an eyebrow, take a deep breath and move on), these are now the form teams in the Championship – Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham are unbeaten in nine, while Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa have won seven on the trot. Two clubs who’ve contended major European finals in living memory! This one has “slight disappointment” written all over it. Buy here to read the full article

374 Trafficking

Global conspiracy  Player trafficking
The stories follow a familiar pattern. A group of talented young footballers are invited to join a team with a promise of travel from Africa to Europe. There, they will play in trial matches that will lead to professional contracts. For this life-changing opportunity the player must pay the coach, agent or scout (the recruiter is often the only variable in this equation) around $5,000 (£3,500), sometimes more. It’s a significant sum – but with a professional deal in Europe at the other end, who wouldn’t get on board? Buy here to read the full article

Embed from Getty Images

Clause célèbre Sell-on fees
Like the Queen’s birthday, Troy Deeney Day takes place twice a year. There aren’t fixed dates but it usually happens in the first week of January and then again in late June. The day almost always begins with a retweet: “Foxes Plot £25m Deeney Move”; “Allardyce Keen on Hornets Skipper”. We should know better by now but there’s still a frisson of excitement. Troy Deeney Day is the starting gun for a month of eager speculation, wide-eyed dreaming and, ultimately, abject disappointment. Buy here to read the full article

374 Online

Open forum  Fan message boards
A few weeks after Christmas, a Brighton fan who uses the pseudonym Last Summer posted to the web forum North Stand Chat (NSC). One of the 50 new discussions started on there by supporters every day, and one of hundreds of posts he’d contributed himself over the last decade, he felt the need to preface it: “Apologies for the Mumsnet type thread.” He calmly explained he was “hurting like hell” and wanted help from fellow users having split up with his wife after 14 years. He added: “There’s loads of advice and stuff online that I could Google – but they ain’t Brighton.” Buy here to read the full article

WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £3.50. You should be able to find a copy in your local newsagent, otherwise outlets that stock WSC include WH Smith, mainline train stations plus selected Tescos. If you're having trouble finding the magazine, you could do one of the following:

1. Subscribe now and also get access to the complete digital archive
2. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC
3. Sign up for our digital edition and apps for iPhone, iPad and Android
4. Email us
5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Fulham photo by Simon Gill, trafficking illustration by Adam Doughty, message board illustration by Gary Neill

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