The new WSC is available now, including a "PREM STARS" WALLCHART AND THE 2010-11 SEASON GUIDE

In this issue:

Worst case scenario Does promotion to the Premier League actually benefit your club?
"Psychotic, uncontrollable, infinite envy. That is how Swansea City fans are supposed to feel about Blackpool at the moment. They usurped the final play-off place last season, then seized the prize of promotion to the Premier League. They will play Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. We've got Millwall, Cardiff and Bristol City. Some Swans fans, as postings on the soon sadly to be lost website make clear, do feel that way. But for others, disappointment was almost outweighed by relief that it is them, not us." Buy here to read the full article

Minding the gap News addicts still need a summer fix
"Pre-season is a tough time. After the white-hot glare of the World Cup we're left with four barren weeks to search fruitlessly for meaning in a life devoid of competitive football. So spare a thought for the media in this difficult period, which has football space to fill but very little actual news to work with. Their normal world of match reports, gaffers' reactions and injury bulletins goes out the window, and the paucity of genuine news is especially noticeable in an internet-enabled world. Starved of anything substantial to talk about, messageboards go into overdrive over innocuous announcements such as the season's new squad numbers, speculating wildly about the significance of the third-choice right-back's move from 27 to 31." Buy here to read the full article

Match of the month
Manchester City's expensive squad travels to Borussia Dortmund
"Somehow I knew they were English the moment I spotted them. They were selling so-called friendship scarves – half yellow for hosts Borussia Dortmund, half sky-blue for visitors Manchester City – like so many other people have done along this paved passageway that leads from the station to the stadium. And they looked like any of the other guys here who hope to make a few euros when Dortmund have a home game, even if it's a meaningless pre-season friendly, by selling canned beer or fan gear. One was holding a scarf aloft, the other stood with a huge nondescript sports bag slung over his shoulder. Still, I would have bet a fiver they were English." Buy here to read the full article

Gray days A cautionary tale of foiled ambition, financial crisis and battles with several authorities
"Plenty of non-League clubs have gone from play-off contenders to penniless relegation fodder in recent years, but Grays Athletic are one of the most extreme cases. Four years ago they came close to promotion to the Football League with one of the best Conference teams of the past decade. But what followed was a mix of managerial instability, stadium issues and, ultimately, near-extinction." Buy here to read the full article

What we don't want to hear in 2010-11
Northern Irish worries; the problems with goal-line technology; Everton take on their Chilean namesakes; kits on the web
The early rounds of the Champions League sees Irish visitors to a Welsh club, in England
Scottish Premier League – Glasgow's 25 years of exclusive success
Getting round the rules – new regulations mean clubs will have to invest younger; why the Champions League distorts domestic football
Forty years of not much for Coventry
Players' changing trips – Stanley Matthews to Skegness, George Best to Majorca and Ashley Cole to Los Angeles
Match-fixing scandal German investigators shed light on the huge scale of betting manipulation
Gordon Banks at Leicester in 1966
The Premier League's financial aid to the Conference
Playground tactics – What's allowed and what certainly isn't
Football's fashions – Old-style strips for the new season;plus developments in touchline trends
Strange case of Néstor Lorenzo, Swindon's World Cup star
Rule-bending in Russia; Belgium's German-speaking Italian job; Zambians in Lapland
Australia's post-World Cup confidence crisis; famous faces arrive in the UAE
Kamara's confusion; following Cup finals; north-east nostalgia; Mercer at Maine Road
Season in brief La Liga 1934-35

WSC is the only nationally available independent football magazine in the UK, and you can get this bumper issue 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:

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

Illustration by Matt Littler, photo by Simon Gill

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