The Athletic swoops on the UK

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Producing news magazines has always been difficult in Britain because of the strength of the daily and Sunday papers. The same is true of sports magazines.

So it will be interesting to watch the progress of The Athletic, a US-based online magazine and app that has recently launched football coverage for the Premiership, with Glasgow and Celtic added. Obviously intent on global domination, it’s strategy is: if you can’t beat newspapers’ football writers, poach them. So far, it’s lured 50-odd from national and local papers.

That’s a very expensive staff list, though someone who turned the ambitious online offering down told me the money wasn’t brilliant and it would have meant leaving London. Other reports say it is offering ‘old journalism money’ and equity in the company. With subscriptions costing £10 a month after a first year of £2.49 a month (cut from £4.99), the pressure will be on for The Athletic to be very good.

So, James Pearce, who reported on the 2012 London Olympic Games for the BBC and has now quit his Blood Red column on Liverpool at the Echo after eight years, is one of those taking the dollars. Phil Hay, chief football writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post was first to go in June   

The Press Gazette has an Athletic staff list of who’s covering what.

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