Football mag Shoot closes after 40 years on the ball - Press Gazette

Football mag Shoot closes after 40 years on the ball

Shoot football magazine closed this week after 40 years, having been unable to fight off competition from BBC Magazines’ Match of the Day and Bauer Consumer Media’s Match titles.

IPC Inspire said it would cease publishing the youth football magazine from the end of June.

Paul Williams, IPC Inspire managing director, said: ‘It is with great regret that we have had to make this decision. We are, of course, in consultation with the six permanent staff directly affected by the proposal, and every effort

will be made to find alternative jobs if this becomes necessary”.

IPC Inspire added it was in exclusive and confidential negotiations with Pedigree Books Ltd regarding the sale of the Shoot trademark and all intellectual property.

Pedigree Books Ltd currently publishes the Shoot Christmas Annual and a range of other seasonal activity books and annuals that carry the Shoot brand.

In March, Shoot switched from a monthly to a weekly in reaction to the launch of Match of the Day. In response, Bauer Consumer Media slashed the price of its football title Match to 99p in contrast to Shoot’s retail price of £1.80.

Sports journalist Christopher Davies began his career at Shoot in 1969, when it launched. He said: ‘It’s very sad because Shoot, from a personal point of view, has been part of my football career. Shoot was one of the originals.”

He added, however, that he was not surprised by the news because of the intense competition in the sports publishing market. He said: ‘When we started there was nothing like the number of publications there are now. You’re also competing against football clubs’ own programmes and magazines.”

He said Shoot had been a ‘launch pad for the career of a number of sport journalists”.

Davies himself went on to enjoy a 40-year career as a sports writer, first at the Daily Star, and then The Daily Telegraph. ‘I had 13 great years there which gave me a lot of contacts and opened a lot of doors for me. It’s a great shame.”

Shoot saw a circulation turnaround in the ABC report in February – up seven per cent to 35,830 after a decline from nearly 120,000 in 1996, to 33,455 for the first half of 2007 – thanks to a major redesign in October, despite it only covering two issues. Shoot was weekly for almost 20 years, originally battling with Match in the mid-Nineties.

Match dominates the children’s football magazine market, with a circulation of 113,049 in the second half of 2007, according to the most recent ABC figures, a year-on-year fall of 13 per cent.