Football First puts on pages to boost sales

Weekly newspaper Football First has increased from 48 pages to 64 and been re-designed in bid to halt falling sales.The paper, which was called Sport First until March, has seen circulation decline from a peak of 97,000 in 2001 to 21,896.

Editorial director Chris Mann said the redesign was intended to “bring a more upmarket, glossier feel”.

He added: “It means we’ve been able to double the size of coverage we give to the leagues below the Premiership with more stats and pics as well as reaction quotes.

“We feel that to secure our niche, as the only dedicated national football paper, we have to provide more than the mainstream papers in every area of coverage, hence our banner: every goal, every game, every league.”

Mann pointed out that in France, Italy, Germany and Spain footballonly newspapers have considerable shares of the total market and doing so in the UK and Ireland for Football First was now his aim.

He said: “The national Sundays have nicked idea after idea from us, but the one thing they can’t do is sustain good coverage right down through the leagues because they don’t have the pagination for it.”

By Dominic Ponsford

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