Whistle blows for Old Firm mag deal

Glasgow-based First Press Publishing is quitting its contracts to
produce the official glossy fan magazines of Scotland’s soccer Old Firm
– Celtic and Rangers.

First Press, part of Trinity Mirror, has
published the titles for more than 10 years, but falling sales and
tightening margins have made them less attractive to publishers.

First
Press managing director Steve Sampson said: “As we told both Rangers
and Celtic some time ago, the contracts do not fit in with our
strategic plans.”

The magazines – Celtic View and Rangers News –
have each notched up weekly sales of more than 30,000 at peak but are
now understood to be selling less than 20,000 copies.

Each
magazine generates about £1m in revenue, according to publishing
sources, and the gross profit has been shared between First Press and
the soccer clubs.

The two contracts together amounted to less than 10 per cent of First Press’s turnover.

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