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October issue available now online and in stores

The new WSC is out now, available from all good newsagents or to order from the WSC shop.

Matchday anger at Blackpool | The man who invented football cards | Collectors' album for women's teams | The business of player autographs | Arsenal buyout controversy | A salute to long-range goals | Fan groups merger plan | Changing kick-off times | The enduring appeal of Rochdale | Reaction to racism in China | Non-League in Nottinghamshire

Players on the move | Nations League wide open | Pitchforks out in Scotland | The maker of AC Milan | Innovative tactics on rec grounds | Focus on Bill Perry | Uruguay's youngsters taken over by agents | Managerial legends learn their trade | Germany's relaxed attitude

379 MOTM

Blackpool 1 Portsmouth 2  Protests at Bloomfield Road
It must be difficult to faze Michael Eisner, a man once caricatured in Family Guy being pushed off a cliff by Peter Griffin and eaten by crocodiles. Still, a visit to Blackpool might cause him some surprise. The former Disney chief executive, Portsmouth’s owner of the past year, is over from California. “On the way to Blackpool with anticipation and confidence,” he tweets before today’s League One fixture. He may not have anticipated the scene on the West Stand forecourt in the hour before kick-off. Buy now to read the full article

379 KickOffs

Times a changin'  Kick-off schedules
Of all the changes brought about by tele­vision’s greater involvement in football, its impact on kick-off times has been among the most controversial. But the 3pm start on a Saturday is not as rooted in tradition as you might think. Until the introduction of floodlights in the late 1950s, the time set for Saturday afternoon matches sat uncertainly between the end of the working week – early afternoon – and the ever-deepening twilight. The referee brought Stoke’s match against Everton in December 1888 to a premature end when darkness made it impossible for the players to see the ball properly. Buy now to read the full article

Embed from Getty Images

Going the distance  Long-range goals
It took exactly 2.8 seconds for David Beckham to become a household name. The time between the ball leaving his right boot, arcing 55 yards over a furiously back-pedalling Neil Sullivan, and nestling comfortably in the back of the Wimbledon net. Scoring from the halfway line had seemed possible up until that moment but still tantalisingly out of reach. Pelé famously came close in 1970, Chris Waddle nearly managed it at Italia 90 (but the offside flag was up anyway) and when Manchester City’s John Bailey did it in 1982 he quickly admitted the whole thing had been a fluke. Buy now to read the full article

379 QuietFan

Anything for a quiet life  Book extract
When I went to Germany for a year at Bielefeld University in late 1985, Arminia Bielefeld had just been relegated to the second division. When I’d applied earlier that year, a friend had promised me “a Coventry City-style team”, but Bielefeld weren’t even that good. Coventry were immune to relegation. Bielefeld were now condemned to Sunday afternoon kick-offs that were a topic for epic disgruntlement in the sparse match programme. Buy now to read the full article

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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Blackpool photo by Colin McPherson, Kick-off times illustration by Gary Neill, A Quiet Fan illustration by Tim Bradford

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