Striker, the former Sun football cartoon strip turned magazine, is urging its readers to buy shares to secure its future and prevent it from closure.
Striker launched as a weekly 3D computer-generated football magazine last year and its financial difficulties are highlighted in a double-page spread in the current issue. Under the headline “Striker’s Greatest Cliffhanger”, the title warns that if the money is not raised, issue 40 in six weeks’ time will be the last.
Striker 3D, the company behind the strip, is hoping to raise £450,000 by becoming a public limited company and selling 24.9 per cent of its stock.
Pete Nash, Striker’s owner and creator, used the £250,000 equity from his house to launch the £1 magazine last August after its 18-year association with The Sun came to an end. The title follows the fortunes of the fictitious football club Warbury Warriors.
Sales reached 29,000, but fell to below 20,000 over Christmas and the New Year.
Nash said: “We’ve got a unique publication that’s created a new market of comic readers – mostly adult males with an average age of 29. But we’re chronically underfunded. Given our shoestring budget, it’s nothing short of a miracle that we’re still in business.
But reality has caught up with us.
Launching the comic as we did was brave, but continuing without investment would be folly.”
Nash claimed the magazine only needed to sell two pages of advertising a week to make a profit and if the move is successful, he plans to put the fresh investment towards a relaunch at the beginning of the next football season. Striker would feature extra pages and a higher cover price.
“We are, in effect, asking people to invest in a fictitious football club,” he added. “But the people who buy our comic are more than just readers – they’re loyal supporters of Warbury Warriors.”
By Ruth Addicott