Just as the England team stir up the nation’s passion for football, Future Publishing has closed its monthly title Total Football following a steady decline in circulation.
Future hopes to find posts for the four editorial staff who have lost their jobs. Total Football launched in 1995 as a rival to Haymarket’s FourFourTwo and IPC’s Goal and celebrated an independently audited circulation of 81,490 for its first issue. Its final ABC, for July to December 2000, showed that sales had fallen to 24,954.
In February 1996 the title was said to be settling down to an ABC of around 60,000. In April deputy editor Richard Jones took over from founding editor Gary Whitta.
Jones aimed to introduce more in-depth features in a bid to make up ground on FourFourTwo, which was selling more than 80,000 copies per issue.
IPC’s Goal also suffered falling sales and was suspended in 1998. It was subsequently bought by Haymarket, which folded it into FourFourTwo in an attempt to ease pressure on the market.
Robert Price, publishing director of Future’s entertainment division, said: "With the massive expansion of TV, internet and newspaper coverage of football over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a progressive slowdown in the general football magazine market for titles that are not related to a specific football club. Despite the fact that the new football season has now started we couldn’t see a way to make this title profitable."
Future also publishes Chelsea Magazine, Manchester United Official Magazine and Glory Glory Man Utd, which remain unaffected.
This month’s issue of Total Football will be the last.
lRivals.net is launching a magazine for football supporters that will include editorial content from fans who have visited the site.
The Score will be stocked in newsagents near to football grounds, sold via subscriptions and in outlets such as the Sportspages bookshops.
The initial print run will be 20,000, but the magazine aims to go more mainstream and increase its print run to 100,000 within six months.
Marcus Leaver, chief executive officer of Rivals.net, said: "This is a great example of Rivals.net creating a new product using our unique content. We hope that The Score will become the national football fanzine for everyone who loves football."