September issue available online and in stores

wsc307 The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

Olympic football at Old Trafford and in 1948
Champions League money
Survival sagas at Rangers and Portsmouth
New arrivals at Forest and Watford
The only club on White Hart Lane
Women's league draws crowds

Out with tradition Changing kits
"Those of us who support clubs in the lower leagues of Scottish football watched the Rangers saga unfold mostly with some amusement. I assumed that, Rangers being Rangers, a solution would be found and they would be able to continue playing where they were. That changed with the collapse of the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in June. The subsequent statements from other Scottish Premier League (SPL) clubs – under strong pressure from their own supporters – made it clear a Newco Rangers would not be allowed to compete in the SPL next season. The problem was to be dumped onto the Scottish Football League (SFL). Clearly there was more to it than met the eye. The SPL clubs were making grand statements about "sporting integrity" against a backdrop of talks between the various authorities, where they were apparently being assured that, by one means or another, Rangers would only drop down to the second tier, thus protecting the TV deal." Buy here to read the full article

307 MOTMimageSt Johnstone 1 Eskisehirspor 1

Europa League second round qualifier
"No corner of Scottish football has been left untouched by the financial implosion of Rangers. The knock-on effect added a sense of the surreal to the identity of Scotland's representatives in this year's European competitions, with the Ibrox club's exclusion catapulting Motherwell into the Champions League. On a lesser scale the fact that St Johnstone found themselves taking to the field for the second leg of this Europa League second round qualifier against Eskisehirspor of Turkey on a sunny July evening also seemed to defy reality when you consider how the club's form fell off a cliff in the finale to last season's SPL campaign. In their concluding seven fixtures they picked up just one point and in an ironic twist they even managed to bow out with the unwanted distinction of going into the history books as "oldco" Rangers' last-ever victims thanks to a thoroughly demoralising 4-0 thrashing at McDiarmid Park." Buy here to read the full article

A star is born From West Brom to Real Madrid
"For a short but glorious time, West Bromwich Albion could claim to be the most exciting team in England. These were the heady days of the 1978-79 season. Under the management of Ron Atkinson, then a brash 39-year-old, the Baggies mounted a convincing challenge to all-conquering Liverpool for the League title. They did so playing a brand of attacking football at odds with the era's austere norm. Included in their team were such blossoming talents as Derek Statham, a raiding wing-back before there was such a thing, and England's future "Captain Marvel", 21-year-old Bryan Robson. They were complemented by experienced campaigners such as the captain John Wile, the epitome of a rugged centre-half, and veteran striker Tony Brown. Yet the team was defined by three black players: full-back Brendan Batson, who had followed Atkinson from Cambridge United, powerhouse centre-
forward Cyrille Regis, recruited for £10,000 from non-League Hayes, and winger Laurie Cunningham, signed from Leyton Orient having failed to make the grade at Arsenal." Buy here to read the full article

307 Illo Loyalty card What is a "true" fan?
"When Manchester United announced plans for a new listing on the New York Stock Exchange recently, they referred to a survey commissioned last year estimating that the club have 659 million fans spread across the globe. Self-styled diehards seem to have seen this as further evidence of Torquay Reds syndrome. These people could not all be true fans – they had randomly chosen a club in response to clever branding. Even United's definition of what it was to follow a club could be questioned. The club was cynically bumping up numbers, including anyone who had ever heard of them, to make their share prospectus more attractive. All this may have a ring of truth to it, but the definition of a true fan is not simple. By what criteria do people interested in football, and one club in particular, fail to make the grade in the eyes of others?" Buy here to read the full article

wsc307 preview2012-13 Season Guide
Premier League
Football League
Conference round-up
Prediction tables
Bests and worsts; Likes and dislikes
If you could improve one aspect of your club, what would it be?

Cups are undervalued by too many clubs
Locals meet in the Northern League   
John Terry trial
Squads under the hammer  
A Brazilian player's decline in Germany
Croatian gloom
Indian opportunities
River Plate return
Mexican fans go batty
Ron Radford, Hereford United, and John Motson's finest hour
Justin Fashanu; City's riches; United's kids; debrief on Dunphy
Time for stricter laws on goal celebrations

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:

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5. Ask your local newsagent to order it for you

Photo by Paul Thompson, illustration by Matt Littler

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