Now that England appears to be leading the pack with some of the best club teams in Europe, it’s time the country gets with the times and does something that the Spanish, French and Italians have mastered for some time. That’s publishing a daily sports newspaper with an emphasis on football.
Incredibly, despite the popularity of the game in England reaching or surpassing the heights of organized religion, there’s no national newspaper focused just on sports. Spanish residents can choose from daily sports newspapers such as Marca and Diario AS. Italians can pick up the pink pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport, while the French can leaf through L’E’quipe.
In Britain, the broadsheet and tabloid newspapers do an admirable job of keeping up with the news both in print and online. Some of the papers feature expanded football sections such as “The Game” supplement from The Times. Published on Mondays, it provides in-depth coverage and interviews from the past weekend’s matches and offers an excellent glimpse of what a daily sports newspaper could be.
Some may argue that the daily British newspapers do a sufficient job of detailing the football news. I disagree. There’s definitely room for improvement especially in the area of more in-depth analysis of games with a need for more of a focus on tactical analysis. There’s also an opportunity to do more investigative journalism to uncover the stories that aren’t being told.
It could be argued that there’s no place for a daily sports newspaper in England when you have Sky Sports News covering the stories. Again, I disagree. While Sky Sports does an excellent job at reporting news, they only scratch the surface and provide small clips of news. There are so many heartfelt stories that never get the attention they deserve. Plus, the format of Sky Sports News has become entirely too predictable. Think back over the past few weeks and count how many stories Sky Sports News showed that (a) either surprised you or (b) made you learn something new about the game of football that you never knew before.
While the Internet has forever changed football journalism in England (as well as the interaction between readers and reporters), the web is not the most suitable medium to read in-depth articles that are very lengthy. For example, when surfing the web, how often do you print out lengthy articles to read on paper instead?
With more than 10 national daily newspapers in England, there’s plenty of demand for news. It’s my belief that there’s also plenty of room for a daily sports paper. Let’s see if it happens.