There are very few Arsenal fanzines in existence nowadays, but The Gooner is now in it’s 30th year, but we all need to club together to save the oldest printed Arsenal magazine by subscribing for just the next six issues which will be delivered to your door, wherever in the world you may live… And you can pay by Cheque, bank transfer or even Paypal!
I was lucky to meet Kevin Whitcher at an Arsenal game and had an interesting meal together. He must be applauded for keeping an excellent magazine alive and we can all help him keep it going by subscribing NOW. I am going straight to Paypal now to help get the ball rolling. Here are all the details written by Kevin himself…
Operation ‘Save The Gooner’ Commences! By Kevin Whitcher
Subscribe now to keep your fanzine going beyond the summer
Ok, so the original plan was for The Gooner to call it a day at the end of the current season. We kept going this season because we wanted to make our 30th anniversary before bowing out. However, I have been struck by the number of regular buyers who have expressed genuine regret at the prospect of no more issues, and have asked if there was any way we might continue.
So we had a look at the overall picture. The fact is that matchday sales have declined year on year since the move to the new stadium and the increasing use of smartphones and the internet to get fan opinion. That is understandable. Most people under the age of 40 will never pay for a newspaper or magazine these days. And gradually, the audience profile at Arsenal’s home matches has changed. Many who might have bought the fanzine in the past either do not attend at all, or do so far less frequently. Additionally, the wide variety of kick off times means the idea of a matchday routine (which might have involved buying The Gooner) is largely a thing of the past. So for example, our previous issue was on sale for six home games… but only one of them kicked off in daylight. We have always sold less when it is dark, a fact of life.
So to survive, we can no longer rely on selling The Gooner outside the stadium. Effectively, we have become a niche publication, and if we are to continue in 2018-19, we will need to follow a different model. So this is how we can survive, and it is down to the appetite out there as to whether or not we will.
What we need is for 1000 readers to subscribe in advance for the complete 2018-19 season. If we get enough, we will publish six issues. These will increase in size to 64 pages, and be printed in perfect bound format (with a spine, not staples, like the matchday programme). However, the price will go up to £5 per issue, so a season subscription will cost £30. That is less than a lower tier ticket to watch Arsenal play, for example, Watford. So for less than the price of that particular 90 minutes, you get six issues of quality Arsenal reading dropping onto your doormat (post free) approximately every six weeks between August and April next season.
So if you currently buy the fanzine on matchdays outside the stadium, keep doing so this season by all means. However, if you do that and wish us to continue, then you need to subscribe for next season. We will give it until issue 271 goes to press in early April to get enough people committed, and if we fall short, then everyone will be refunded by the end of May. If we survive, we will print a few extra copies to sell on weekend matchdays from a couple of spots to casual buyers (what else would the legendary Alex do?). But if you are a regular buyer and choose to rely on others to subscribe, the chances are we will not be around at all.
Here are the ways you can subscribe…
1. Through the shop section of our online store at our www.onlinegooner.com website. UK readers click here, and if you are abroad click here (the cost will be £42 for you). There are other options on the subscriptions page that include receiving the remainder of this season’s issues as well.
2. By post – Send a cheque for £30 (£42 for addresses outside of the UK) for a 2018/19 season subscription made payable to ‘The Gooner’ to this address –
12 Buxton Court
3. Via online bank transfer, making a payment of £30 (or £42 for addresses outside of the UK) to –
Account name: The Gooner
Sort Code: 20-76-90
Account Number: 03004112
Use the reference 1819 followed by your surname. Very important – please follow up the payment with an email to email@example.com stating your name and address, and the reference that you used for payment (e.g. 1819Smith). Otherwise, we will not be able to match the payment to you. (If you require Iban and Bic codes for an international payment, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. You can also simply make a direct PayPal payment to the email address email@example.com for £30 (or £42 if outside UK). If doing this, please make your payment a ‘friends and family’ / personal gift payment – this helps keep our costs down. If you have the time to confirm you have paid this way with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, even better, although we will see the payment on the PayPal account with your address details.
We will keep plugging the campaign to raise enough advance subscribers up to the end of March and keep you updated on how many we have. Before even publicizing this, three of our readers have found the place to commit on our online store, so there are only 997 to go!
Ultimately, it’s up to how badly you wish The Gooner to continue. Over to you good people…