THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop. Including:
Patience is required at Liverpool
Sharpened Blades – exporting the Sheffield Utd brand to the world
One French club begins to find success, powered by yoghurt
A Coventry fan deals with the discomfort of signing Marlon King
Not much enthusiasm for the Premier League in the West Midlands
Brazil's big clubs find themselves homeless in preparation for the next World Cup
Living next door to Clapton FC – a Victorian powerhouse in a changing east London


Also in this issue:

Lenin of the Rovers Why Alexei Sayle's pioneering radio show of the 1980s deserves a new audience
"They say football and politics don't mix, but Lenin of the Rovers was a rare exception. Aired on BBC Radio 4 between February 1988 and April 1989, it was a sharp, fabulously inventive comedy series written by Marcus Berkmann and Harry Thompson, with an ensemble cast that included Alexei Sayle, Phil Cornwell, John Sessions, Keith Allen, Jim Broadbent and the legendary Kenneth Wolstenholme. Sayle, who posed for publicity shots in outsized pre-war kit and Rasputin beard, played Ricky Lenin, 'the balding midfield maestro' of Britain's only communist football team, Felchester Rovers. It was both spoof and affectionate satire. There was ample parody of 1980s football culture (pampered players, sponsorship, stockbroker hooligans), offset by farcical plot-lines and a subtext that suggested a genuine nostalgia for a simpler, none-too-distant age." Buy here to read the full article

Bradford City 1, Gillingham 0 League Two's early underachievers meet at Valley Parade
"At the start of this season, Bradford City and Gillingham were among the bookies' favourites to win promotion from League Two. With six weeks of the season gone, both teams still looked to be in with a fair chance of leaving the division, but now the bottom exit into the Blue Square Premier seemed the more likely escape route for both clubs. City had managed just four points and one win from their opening half-dozen League Two games. The team were even booed off the Valley Parade pitch after that solitary victory – a 1-0 success against Stevenage achieved thanks to a penalty and a lot of frantic defending. Bantams manager Peter Taylor complained bitterly about the booing, but readily admitted that the better team on the day had lost." Buy here to read the full article

Avoiding the Intertoto
Why three clubs were relieved to be out of Europe before the season started
"From 1961 to 1995, the Intertoto Cup was a summer tournament for mid-ranking, mainland European clubs. It offered pre-season football, modest prize money and – most importantly – kept the pools companies happy (Australian state league games having the same function here). By the mid-1990s, according to the November 1994 Intertoto newsletter – yes, there was one – the tournament was stagnating. The pools companies wanted better games, and bigger names. The organisers asked UEFA for help and, after some discussion, the Intertoto was made the fourth UEFA club competition." Buy here to read the full article

Rugby's cuckoo in football's nest
The dangers of sharing facilities with a rival sport
"Once upon a time, about 130 years ago, football and rugby sat happily enough alongside each other as almost alternative flavours of the same basic sport. Then came professionalism, division, social change and a century or so of estrangement, with each finding security in its own territory. Times are changing again. There are growing signs of rugby in my football town (Reading) and I'm getting a little uneasy about it." Buy here to read the full article



Plus
Wayne Rooney surrenders his privacy
David Ginola causes a flutter; big clubs need more money; huge changes afoot for the SPL; online guilty pleasures
Brentford add to Merseyside misery
Picturing Tottenham's Double – as seen in France
The mafia change tack; eastern nationality niggles; Bratislavan club revival: Colombia puts its future in coaching
Leeds look forward; Lineker's hard sell; Argentina v England; MLS keeps it steady
Season in brief Conference 2002-03

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £2.95. 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. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you
2. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
3. Subscribe now
4. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC
5. Sign up for our digital edition

Photo by Paul Thompson, illustration by Neil Stevens

Related articles

WSC 379 out now
October issue available now online and in stores The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or to order from the WSC shop....
WSC 378 out now ~ Biggest ever issue! New season guide, World Cup review & extra pages
September issue available now online and in stores The new WSC, which is out biggest ever issue and includes the 2018-19 season guide plus our...
WSC survey - tell us what you think
Russia 2018 was regarded as a great World Cup – but how did you see it? The 2018 WSC survey lets you have your say. Did you enjoy the tournament...

More... WSC