The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop. Including:
How big names boost football brands
Fan solidarity is born at the Goldstone Ground
What the 2018 World Cup will really mean for Russia
West Ham hold a League Cup lead but still fear a historic jinx
Zesh Rehman – defender or marketing tool?
A gambling instinct in Serie B
Returning to a 1970s childhood, plus Brian Glanville's football stories

Also in this issue:

Fact versus fiction How football in literature succeeds as an escape from the realities of life
"Part of growing up is realising that Steeple Sinderby Wanderers can't win the FA Cup. It's why football fiction tends to be in the kids' section of a bookshop. JL Carr's 1974 novella How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup is a slightly dark and melancholic satire of the old ways of the English countryside, and a fairly prescient critique of media intrusion. As the village team reach Wembley, the Sinderby chairman tells a nation of rapt TV viewers: 'The English are just what they always were – quiet, decent folk, saddled with parasites.' Steeple Sinderby just about stands up today because it feels like a distant and charming relic, something forged in the England of JB Priestley, or even that of David Storey." Buy here to read the full article

Plymouth Argyle 2, Exeter City 0 The home fans are reassured by a win
"Derby day in Devon, and the Exeter fans are high on schadenfreude. The home supporters, meanwhile, are discovering that hubris is a cold mistress. Eight years ago, when Argyle cruised to a 3-0 victory on their way to a League Two title and year-on-year improvement all the way to the Championship, the Green Army had honestly believed that 'We'll never play you again'." Buy here to read the full article

Reach for the stars A left-wing football movement gathers pace in Germany
"Roter Stern Leipzig (RSL) were founded in 1999 by a group of friends who wanted to play football in an atmosphere free of racism, sexism and homophobia. Based in the city's alternative Connewitz district, the 'Red Star' team has a policy of only appointing female presidents. All decisions are taken collectively at a weekly plenary meeting and can be vetoed by any of the club's 400 members. 'We believe that sport is part of society and thus inseparable from politics,' Roter Stern explained in a statement to WSC. 'We often get criticised for making anti-discriminatory statements which should form the basis of our society. Anyone who feels provoked by that, should be provoked!'" Buy here to read the full article

News watch England's press aims at FIFA and the BBC
"During the hung parliament of the 2010 general election the 24-hour news coverage made frequent and portentous reference to how the financial markets were reacting to events, instead of concentrating on political horse-trading and an unproportional voting system. In the run-up to the announcement of the 2018 World Cup hosts on December 2, Britain's bookmakers were held in similar regard, despite having no actual bearing on the outcome of the decision. Although there was plenty of evidence to the contrary, England's bid was installed as the favourite. So when Russia won, many in the press were shocked and extremely angry." Buy here to read the full article

Sorry scenes at FA HQ – the new chairman has plenty to do
Qatar plans it perfectly – How the emirate's academies helped to secure hosting rights
When third place was a possibility thanks to FA Cup play-offs
Barça and Real dominate; Norway's Roar of approval 
Brazil's champions Fluminense fret for the future
The strange case of Kazuyoshi Miura, still going strong at 43
Tranmere start 2011 at Rochdale
Ian Wright goes to prison; Leyton Orient feel the squeeze; Milan Mandaric on the move; several clubs in crisis
Tommy Lawton's rebellion; Henry v Ireland; football's "minging life"; redemption for Cyrille Regis
Scottish Premier League 1985-86

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
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4. Buy the latest issue direct from WSC
5. Sign up for our digital edition

Photo by Simon Gill, image from Daily Mirror, December 4

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