Johnston Press has relaunched a Saturday sports edition nine months after ditching it after local football fans called for its return.
Portsmouth’s Sports Mail closed last autumn after 109 years as sales fell and Johnston Press relaunched its daily sister title The News.
The 60p sports weekly will return to coincide with the start of the new football season on Saturday 3 August. The paper will also seek to help financially troubled local club Portsmouth by donating 10p from every sale to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, the fan group that now owns the club.
The News website said the change of heart from the publisher came about following “the outpouring of emotion from readers” at its mid-season closure. But it has urged supporters to continue buying the paper to keep it afloat. It had a circulation of around 3,000 copies a week.
The message on the website said: “Now the much-missed Sports Mail will return – and we are asking all fans of the paper to go out and purchase copies on a weekly basis to ensure it can remain an important part of our area’s sporting scene.
“Without your support the future of the Sports Mail will be put back at risk.”
The news of the reprieve comes after another long-established Johnston Press sports weekly closed its print title.
The Star in Sheffield’s Green ‘Un sports editions ceased publication of a print title earlier this month ahead of a relaunch online.