January issue available in shops and online

wsc335 The new WSC is out now, available in all good newsagents or dispatched on the day of order from the WSC shop.

- The problems of policing
- Abolish the drinking ban
- New era of football comics
- Outrage at Wigan's Dave Whelan
- Wolves: European pioneers
- Supporting both Bristol clubs

Drinking problems Alcohol ban
"The average matchday experience has changed significantly since the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol, etc) Act 1985 came into force in England and Wales, banning football supporters from consuming alcohol ‘in view of the pitch’. And yet, nearly 30 years later, it remains the case that drinking in your seat while cheering on your team is a crime potentially punishable by a prison sentence. This perpetuation of the status quo fails to take into account the sanitisation of stadiums right across League football. Grounds now bear little resemblance to the pre-Premier League environment of the 1970s and 1980s." Buy here to read the full article

335 MOTMCarlisle Utd 1 Accrington Stanley 0

A statue and a stuffed fox at Brunton Park
"I’ve been disturbed by dead mammals at public events before. Years ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet Sharon Olds performed at Manchester Museum’s Animal Life Gallery. She read confessional poetry about her strict Calvinist upbringing while standing beneath the skeleton of a sperm whale. By comparison, the stuffed and mounted fox placed on the centre spot before kick-off at Brunton Park is nowhere near as outlandish a sight, although it’s still arguably English football’s most striking pre-match ritual. Olga the Fox is a Carlisle United institution, a tribute to the skills of renowned 19th-century Cumbrian huntsman John Peel." Buy here to read the full article

Absent minded Players' excuses
"‘I would like to apologise to all connected with St Albans City FC,’ said striker John Frendo in October, after a Herts Advertiser article had alleged (correctly – as it turned out) that, rather than face Concord Rangers in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, he’d flown to Spain to attend El Clásico at the Bernabéu. As he watched Pepe, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema steer Real to victory, his Hertfordshire team-mates lost 1-0, missing out on £12,000 in prize money and a first round tie against Mansfield. Adopting the air of a naughty schoolboy caught bunking off a lesson, the prolific striker insisted: ‘I won’t do it again.’" Buy here to read the full article

335 HarryOfficial response Harry Pearson column
"World Cup referee Pat Partridge, who died on October 31, was born in Billingham. Like his Teesside contemporary Brian Clough he had a nasal twang, lots of opinions (Gordon Banks was ‘a player who believes his own publicity’, Bobby Charlton ‘the biggest moaner in the game’) and a clear sense of his place in the scheme of things. ‘Every referee is an egotist,’ he noted in his  autobiography Oh, Ref!." Buy here to read the full article

Criticism of Man City's crowds is unfair
Who is the football ombudsman?
Bradford Park Avenue past & present
The Berlin clubs scrapping behind Hertha
Why did Vincent Tan buy Sarajevo?
England Women's road to Wembley
Massimo Cellino's chaos at Leeds
Mike Ashley tightens Rangers grip
Welsh league gambling concerns
Scotland v Republic of Ireland photo feature
Focus on Newcastle's 1974 FA Cup finalists
Valencia owners get themselves a deal
Surprise Asian Champions League winners
Keeper death sparks anger in South Africa
How Inverness became SPL's first Highlanders
Book reviews ~ Roy Keane, David Goldblatt, Latin tales, Jimmy Adamson

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 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 Colin McPherson, illustration by Tim Bradford

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