THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

 December issue available online and in stores

wsc310 The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

John Terry's two verdicts
Questionable sponsorships
When wages aren't enough
Football after the Second World War
Barcelona and Catalan independence

Under Pressure The Kick It Out T-shirt protest
"That pesky Jason Roberts. Undermining football's anti-racism campaign by complaining about racism. The Reading striker's refusal to wear a T-shirt to mark the game's Kick It Out fortnight snowballed into another Big Controversial Talking Point when a number of other leading black players, and in some cases entire teams (Swansea and Wigan), also refused to wear the campaign's shirts last month. Rather predictably, a row about racism swiftly became about personalities and feuds, catching the Kick It Out campaign in the crossfire. Soon solemn discussions about handshakes and, after the allegations levelled at Mark Clattenburg following the Chelsea v Manchester United match, referees, took centre stage." Buy here to read the full article


310 MOTMCrawley Town 3 Bury 2

Football League power shift
"This season League One features an eclectic mix of clubs, ranging from the venerable – such as Notts County, who were founded 1862, and Preston North End, Double winners in 1889 – to the ultra-modern MK Dons, created in a quasi-legal laboratory in 2003 and Stevenage, promoted to the League in 2010. The first ever League meeting between Crawley Town and Bury is a fixture that epitomises the clash of the New South against the Old North. Crawley lured Bury's promotion-winning manager Richie Barker at the start of the season, an unthinkable move five years ago. The home side are lying in sixth position and chasing an unprecedented third consecutive promotion. With Bury bottom of the table this feels more like a scrap between a rising young heavyweight and a battered, fading middleweight than a clash of equals." Buy here to read the full article

Election campaign Dick Sloley and the Argonauts
"The list of clubs that applied for election to the Football League is long and surprising. Just among the A's there are Abertillery Town (applied in 1921, now defunct), Annfield Plain (1947, now Wearside League) and Ashton United (also 1947, now Northern Premier League). Most intriguing is Argonauts FC. They applied to the Football League three times, in 1928, 1929 and 1930. The first time, they won 16 votes – just one place and 11 votes behind Merthyr Town, who were re-elected. Yet Argonauts never played a game and only existed on paper. They were, in effect, a figment of one man's imagination." Buy here to read the full article


310 LastWord Avoidance tactics Passive-aggressive managers
"Respect has gained weight as an abstract noun ever since a lack of it was diagnosed as the cause of most of society's problems. The idea, or at least the word, is casually lobbed into mission statements to give an instant moral legitimacy to any organisation. The FA's Respect campaign is aimed at making everyone respect everyone else: the codes of conduct ask that parents respect children, managers respect players, players respect referees and, presumably, referees respect themselves. Clearly football would be a lovelier thing if the act of fining people for not respecting each other resulted in the slow extinction of criticism, dissent and intimidation. A serene new landscape might evolve, whose inhabitants lived by the quaint old maxim: 'If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.'" Buy here to read the full article

Plus
England Under-21s in Serbia
Baffling stars on club shirts
Woe for Wales and Scotland
Examining Jewish influence
Barnet's international star
Liverpool stay at Anfield
St Mirren's failed fan takeover
School's out at Everton
FA Cup action in Hastings
West Ham's record signing on the run
Finland's only supporters' trust
St Pauli rebels get commercial
Reims return to French top flght
Reviews of Thierry Henry: Lonely at the top; There's Only One Stevie Bacon; Agents, Rovers and Cricket Loving Owners and Roberto Mancini: The man behind Man City's greatest ever season

Availability
WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get it monthly for a very reasonable £3.25. You should be able to find a copy in your local newsagent, otherwise outlets that stock WSC include WH Smith, mainline train stations and the odd supermarket if you're lucky. 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 Tony Davis, illustration by Tim Bradford

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