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.
This issue includes the first of a series of retrospective features celebrating 25 years of WSC – how the public image of supporters has changed over the period, from the emergence of the football fanzine and growth of politicised fan movements in the late 1980s, through to mainstream TV programmes such as Fantasy Football League a decade later.
Plus: the Olympic stadium decision aftermath; fan favourites moving clubs is nothing new; Gary Lineker runs out of superlatives and Ireland recruit in America


In this issue:

The publishing boom Producing a fanzine in 1986 was engaging in solidarity with a subculture
"Hey, has anyone noticed that some footballers have funny haircuts? Aren't there are a lot of ugly players in Liverpool's team? And have you tasted the pies in some away ends? Anyone heard anyone behind them at the match say something particularly stupid or funny lately? This sounds like the most trite and dated 'observational' humour now, but in the mid-to-late-1980s talking about this sort of stuff in print seemed ground-breaking, cutting edge even. Mainstream football writing was stultifyingly one-paced and unquestioning, the game itself widely perceived to be dying as attendances dwindled and the disasters of Heysel and Bradford thwacked the game's public standing hard, leaving those that followed it feeling pilloried and isolated, another Enemy Within in a divisive decade." Buy here to read the full article

Oxford Utd 2, Rotherham Utd 1 It's "Bring The Noise Day" at the Kassam Stadium
"A few days before the game a familiar name which I couldn't quite place for the moment popped up in my email inbox; an old friend who hadn't been in touch for a while I assumed. Ah yes, old Harry Worley, what's he up to these days I wondered for a second or two before the penny dropped. What Harry is up to is attempting to shore up Oxford United's central defence and he was asking me to support him in his efforts on Saturday." Buy here to read the full article


Where do Spurs belong?
How the Olympic bid forced reassessment for one supporter
"When the Spurs board first floated the notion that, rather than expand and upgrade White Hart Lane, the club would move to the Olympic Stadium seven miles away in Stratford, I didn't take it seriously. Nor did many other Spurs fans I know. We all figured that the board were proposing this Plan B to bluff the local council and other official bodies which were, so we heard, attaching ever more strings and dangling hefty price tags from the necessary permissions to redevelop as the board wanted. But very quickly Plan B turned into a real bid and, right then and there, every single Spurs fan was put on the spot. Right then and there, our spiritual identity as a club and as fans was at stake. But is spiritual identity non-negotiable?" Buy here to read the full article




Culture wars
How laddism came to represent all football fans
"Through the wonders of modern technology, I've been watching 15-year-old episodes of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner's Fantasy Football League (why I've been doing this, when hairshirts are so cheap, is a matter I've placed in the hands of my therapist). These days, as you might expect, this once-hip horror looks dreadfully dated and often painfully unfunny, a very obvious ancestor of Lovejoy and Corden's boorish bollocks. Yet there's something surprising here, for those accustomed to what came after: for all its faults, this is a programme for people who like and understand football. The audience chortles knowingly at jokes about 1970s centre-halves; there's an unstated assumption that the men running the game are preposterous buffoons at best, at worst craven and dangerous. There's a certain indignation and irreverence floating in all that mid-1990s smugness, all that pernicious laziness." Buy here to read the full article

Plus
Is FIFA ready for people power?
Chelsea's season in crisis; Niall Quinn and the media miss the point
Man Utd enrage French radio; academy rule changes hit smaller clubs; the streaming effect
Glossop welcome Barnoldswick to Surrey St
Charlton return to The Valley thanks to a prolonged campaign by supporters
Odd days at Old Trafford; Steve Hodge stories; punchy McDougall; Villa scores
Australia National Soccer League 1977

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:

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Photo by Simon Gill, illustration by Tim Bradford

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