Funding falls well short of target

Sports paper fails to score with investors

Sports paperA proposed standalone sports newspaper for Scotland has fallen short of its fund-raising target and the pilot issue will not be produced.

Those behind the project hoped to gather between 8,000 to 10,000 small investors, but it raised only 20% of the hoped-for £50,000 needed to cover start-up costs.

Writers and top sporting figures including tennis coach Judy Murray and BBC pundit and former Chelsea player Pat Nevin had offered to contribute.

The editorial ethos was to dispense with match reports, and even news, and concentrate on what looking ahead on the sporting calendar.

If the pilot had proved successful the team planned a weekly publication – backed by access to a digital version for about £2 per copy.

The project was spearheaded by Mike Wilson, managing director of the media website,

He said: “People who pledged knew their backing did not give them any control over the editorial policy. But we received some great ‘founding patron’ pledges from sports governing bodies – well, at least a good handful of them – as well as others. And I think they will have been inspired by our commitment to giving everyone a ‘fair crack of the whip’.

“We are immensely grateful to our backers, who collectively pitched up for a hundred or so pounds short of £10,000. They are all heroes and heroines, in our eyes.

“However, only a tiny minority of organisations that charge admission were willing to financially back us even though a stated aim of the project was to inspire people to attend events. And the thousands of folk we hoped would be up for pledging a fiver – just to give the project a try – simply did not materialise.

“Lots was learned by the exercise and it was enjoyable in many ways. I still believe that print brings a degree of gravitas to content, although there would have been also a digital version of the paper. Some new friends have been made, and there’s been some interesting conversations.”

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