THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

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March issue available online and in stores

The new WSC is out now, available to order from the WSC shop. Featuring non-League clubs Lincoln City and Sutton United on the cover, inside we have a tribute to Graham Taylor as well as a look at his treatment by the tabloid press and how it affected him. Elsewhere there’s discussion of Gianni Infantino’s Sepp Blatteresque move to expand the World Cup to 48 teams. Cardiff and Hull fans’ battles against their owners’ attempted rebrand can be a lesson to us all, while elsewhere we examine at the obsessive nature of Fantasy Football.

Plus
Players who waste their talents | Report on Europe’s super clubs | Darlington return home | Meltdown at Valencia | Rise of walking football | Newport’s pitch battle | Scotland’s language barrier | Boots innovation | Focus on Derek Hales | There’s only two Steaua Bucharests | Colombia’s new women’s league | Season in brief: Manchester United battle relegation to Division Three | Saint Petersburg’s other clubs chase Zenit | Gateshead’s complex history

361 MOTM 

Notts County 0 Mansfield 0 New era at Meadow Lane

If you want a barometer on the state of football in Nottingham – the official City of Football, you may recall – you only have to look at the statues. Brian Clough is smack in the middle of the city centre. His hands are raised above his head in victory, looking for all the world as if he’s just defeated every coffee bar and burger outlet in the immediate vicinity. The statue of Jimmy Sirrel and Jack Wheeler, Notts County’s most successful manager and his faithful right-hand man? That’s a more private pleasure. Buy here to read the full article

361 Fantasy 

Living in a dream world Fantasy Football

I’ve always loved statistics. By the time I was five years old, I knew the length and termination points of Britain’s major motorways and would earnestly regale this information to indifferent classmates. A few years later I discovered football. Living in the West Midlands, the Sports Argus was our local sports paper, containing fixtures, results, goalscorers, line-ups, attendances and league tables from Division One to the Banks’s Brewery League. I spent hours poring over the information in those pink pages. In my teens, I graduated from consuming data to creating my own. Dice leagues, for example, offered unlimited possibilities to complete entire divisions and cup competitions on the roll of a die. Buy here to read the full article

Taylor made Tribute to the Watford legend

I had feared that widespread public opinion of Graham Taylor may have been defined by his portrayal in the tabloid press. Happily though there was huge, if previously suppressed, affection for GT manifested in stirring periods of prolonged applause, from all around the league and beyond. At the four clubs Graham managed, there was never the slightest doubt his painfully premature passing would be greatly and sincerely mourned. I was at Vicarage Road for Watford’s game with Middlesbrough, two days after his death, when the sense of loss, with Graham’s family looking on, was tangible. I’ve never heard a comparable period of applause. Just as the sound seemed about to subside, it soared again. It felt like a death in the family, because effectively it was. Buy here to read the full article

361 WorldCup

Expansion gap 48-team World Cup

When FIFA’s relatively youthful new president Gianni Infantino took the election by storm in February 2016, there was talk of reform and a corrupt-free FIFA in the post-Sepp Blatter era. A black African woman as general secretary; a UN-modelled human rights template from Harvard rights guru John Ruggie; places on the new FIFA Council for a least six women, one from each continental confederation; fixed terms for officers and committee members; a shift in power-making pragmatics from the president to the executive. Buy here to read the full article

Availability
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

Notts County photo by Paul Thompson, Fantasy Football illustration by Matt Littler, World Cup illustration by Gary Neill

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