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Recent Reads #5 & 6 – STAND: Against Modern Football Issue 1 & 2

I started this blog just before I turned 25 in October 11, last month I turned 26 marking another notch on my bat and the first anniversary of my blog. A whole year I’ve managed to keep this blog going, you wouldn’t think it though from the sheer lack of updates on it, however despite the lack of updating I still have managed to get over 4,000 hits on it, which isn’t bad considering. SO I suppose this means I best not let it all go to waste and actually get down to some writing and who knows, now that life is finally looking up for a change, I might actually be able to start updating more frequently with actually interesting things to write about, wouldn’t that be ace eh?

With that in mind what better way to mark my 1 year blogging anniversary than with a write up of one of my favourite things, a fantastic articulate paper fanzine. Make that TWO fanzines.

STAND: Against Modern Football is a new zine put together by some of the chaps behind such other well written publications such as Halcyon and PROPER and has contributions from some of the folk behind blogs that I have in my ‘blogroll’ (over there on the right hand side of your screen) who’s sites I can be regularly found mooching through such as THE HOVIAN & THE BIG TAKE OVER as well as a variety of like minded ‘Tweeters.’

The magazine does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a magazine dedicated to taking a stand against the world of Modern football by simply dissecting, discussing and pointing out everything that has made the so called ‘Beautiful game’ into a stale, dull and pricey state that it currently is. The best thing about this publication is that it’s written by a group of average blokes who all have one thing in common. Like me, they LOVE football, they have done all their lives, they’re the folk that have watched their clubs through thick and thin, paid thousands of pounds on season tickets, away trips both domestic and European, they’re the ones who live and breath football, who’s dads did the same and their dads and so on and so forth, but now they’ve had enough and their making their voices heard, and I’ll tell you one thing, them voices make for good reading.

So what is wrong with Modern Football exactly? Well, A LOT if I must be honest and if you haven’t cottoned on yet then you’re probably living under a rock, a fan of the egg chasing, one of the stupid sods featured on “Full Kit Wankers” or generally an encourager of one of the other thousands of problems with the modern game. What problems you say? Oh I thought you would never ask. Well there’s…Soccer A.M, ‘Unbelievable Tekkers’, Soccer Sunday, The England band, Stevenage and Palace ‘Ultras’, Goal celebration music, “Who are ya?”, Jim White and Sky Souce Claims, Sky Sports in general, Man Utd on Wall Street, Sheikhs, Oil barons, What will Mario do next?, Fancy dress costumes in the stands, half and half scarves, Forest Green Rovers falafel wraps, the Poznan, MK Dons, The Sports Direct/American Express/Durex Condom stadium, Did they or did they not shake hands?, John Terry, Joey Barton Nietzsche quotes, Talksport, Ejection and banning order for standing in the STANDS, £62 admission fee’s, administration/liquidation and parachute payments, second string teams in the FA Cup, Cardiff in red, ‘Stat-bantz’ …to name but a few.

I know some people may think that by me saying that encouraging and supporting any of the above list your part of the problem as somewhat patronising or condescending if you will, but sorry it’s true and you only have to read through this zine to realise I’m certainly far from alone with this opinion and I’m certainly not the only person in my current age bracket to think this way as well. I may well only be 26 years, and yes the majority of the years I’ve been watching football has been covered by Sky Sports and no I didn’t get to experience life on the terraces before the Premier League but that doesn’t mean to say I can’t get sick to death of watching the sport I’ve loved since I was old enough to walk become stagnant and stale for all of the above reasons mentioned. Despite my young age alot of like minded, similar aged lads have been brought up watching the football with ours Dad’s, Granddad’s (in my case my Grandma as well) and in some cases our great Granddad’s. They have indulged us with stories and tales of glory and woe supporting the football club that we have gone on to support, stories that involve such legendary players of the game such as Dixie Dean, Pele, Kenny Dalgleish, Eusabio, George Best, Maradona  etc etc. Call it ‘Golden-age syndrome’ call it what you will but this was when football was truly the ‘beautiful game.’  I mean, honestly, what stories will the modern day football fan tell their kids in the future “well son, this one time Mario Ballotelli was caught playing with his iPad on the bench it was totes funny, it was all over Twitter” FUCK THAT!!!

Anyway, on to the actual zines themselves. STAND #1 was released around the start of the new football season and SOLD OUT in it’s entirety within two weeks and it’s not hard to see why. I mean this is quite literally the ONLY zine out there giving a platform to the football fan who hates the current state of the game, so as you can imagine there is a lot of heart and soul put into all of the articles but needless to say a small aspect of comedy chucked in there, I mean after all this magazine is basically tearing into Modern Football, it may as well take the piss out of it as well, for fuck’s sake though DO NOT CALL IT BANTER!

Some of the articles in the excellently presented Issue 1 include a look at the current Chicken farmer regime at Blackburn Rovers, a look at “Positive terrace culture” in Sweeden, the rise from the ashes of AFC Wimbledon and an obligatory “Are you a modern football fan” Quiz. However for me the two articles that stood out as particularly excellent where that of the current state of Cardiff and their Malaysian Red makeover written by Alex Brokenshaw who I actually met a few years ago during my unfortunate tenure in the UK Hardcore punk scene and a piece written by a chap who I’ve followed on Twitter for a while ‘Macca’ a.k.a @The_paris_angel  a City fan talking about the pros and cons of City’s big takeover and the affect it’s had on the true ‘thick and thin’ fans image. As dubious as I was about the City article at first, as you can only imagine, it is actually an eye opener and genuinely a fantastic and funny read. If you missed out on Issue #1, what can I say? Gutted for you, however you can slightly redeem yourself with ISSUE 2.

Issue #2 was released a few weeks ago and again is another excellently presented publication. Throughout this issue there does seem to be a lingering theme with alot of the articles tackling one of the biggest issues faced in Modern Football and that is the cost of ticketing, which as some people may or may not be aware has risen, on average, by 716% since 1989, quite simply shocking. However, needless to say, the most important issue tackled in this Issue is that of the recent exposing of the Lies surrounding Hillsborough which is delivered in four very heartfelt articles written by four individuals who support Liverpool, Everton, Forrest and United alike.

Like I mentioned earlier Issue 1 is now SOLD OUT but as far as I’m aware there are still copies of Issue #2 left but pickings are slim from what I’m told and I guarantee that, like issue 1, this will sell out. You can pick up a copy directly from their ONLINE STORE for a measly £2  and you can keep up with the goings on of the publication via their TWITTER and FACEBOOK . Some issues can also be found at a few stockists like Weavers Door in Liverpool or Oi Polloi in Manchester to name a few. I seriously recommend you pick this up as soon as you can because this is unique magazine with a unique insight and is definitely going to get better with time if the current state of football continues down the road it’s going.

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