The Athletic “gutting” British newspapers

Pronewbie

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Currently leaning towards a cancellation. Lack of United-related pre and post-match content made me visit other football sites with some providing even more insightful content (possibly due to the competition). Not every article needs to be deeply insightful; timeliness is also important.
 

The Boy

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Currently leaning towards a cancellation. Lack of United-related pre and post-match content made me visit other football sites with some providing even more insightful content (possibly due to the competition). Not every article needs to be deeply insightful; timeliness is also important.
I agree, I enjoy the articles and think they’re well written and insightful, but lack of post match coverage is an issue and maybe even a bit of pre match speculation about line ups etc. When Brighton win 3-0 I need as much coverage as I can get to make the most of these rare happy moments in football.
 

Tiber

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I was never tempted by the US version which has many quality journalists. Despite this supposed 'gutting' the UK offering looks pretty weak to me, atleast on the surface.

Would be different if it was 2 quid per month rather than 9.99. Dont think i even pay that much for Netflix
 

Classical Mechanic

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I was never tempted by the US version which has many quality journalists. Despite this supposed 'gutting' the UK offering looks pretty weak to me, atleast on the surface.

Would be different if it was 2 quid per month rather than 9.99. Dont think i even pay that much for Netflix
I'd never heard of the United journalist they bagged.
 

esmufc07

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It's OK, I've enjoyed some or the articles, but there's a lack of United content and I don't think it's worth the price.
 

cyberman

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The UK press have long been laughed at for bias, twisting facts etc.
Having them all in one publication simply means they're easier to ignore.
 

Thisistheone

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I think the no match report is a misstep. It was weird to go on there after such a fun win on Sunday and see nothing except for a chat section for fans and then one article on Dan James appear the day after. I was kind of hoping there would be in-depth statistical analysis after each game.
Agree with this. Wanted to read about Sundays big win but nothing.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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As far as I can see Daniel Taylor, Ornstein and some of the better known writers haven't actually started yet, probably have long enough notice periods on their jobs. When they get started I imagine it will kick off. But I agree that there's not enough coverage around the actual matches. Enjoy long-form stuff but you still need a bit of the bread and butter football reporting.
 

Nico87

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Is anyone on here a member and if so would you recommend it?. After seeing how salty that Neil Custis is when ever a journalist mentions joining, I’m intrigued that it might actually be decent.
 

MikeUpNorth

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Is anyone on here a member and if so would you recommend it?. After seeing how salty that Neil Custis is when ever a journalist mentions joining, I’m intrigued that it might actually be decent.
The writing is broadly good, and they have some interesting in-depth articles. But it's not so unique that it justifies the subscription price, for me, and there's probably not quite enough content either.

Decent product, but it will need to grow significantly to make me give it another try.
 

Jonno

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I paid £30 for the year, just because I'm sick of reading clickbate headlines and spam-ads all over pages.

I must say, the articles are great. Lengthy, in-depth and worth reading. It's not really match reports and updates, they have anecdotes from 10-20 years ago which are quite gripping to read.

They also have weekly Q&A sessions with each clubs reporters, so Laurie Whitwell just hosted one and he replies to pretty much all the questions including mine about potential outgoing transfers.

There's also podcasts and they're about to launch a forum.

I must say for the measly £2.50 per month it comes to, i'm on it for 30-60 mins per day whilst at work.

EDIT - Also, forgot to mention I read quite a candid piece written entirely by Rafa Benitez on his time at Newcastle, not just journo's writing about "a source", they literally have the source writing for them.
 
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Joe297

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I agree, I enjoy the articles and think they’re well written and insightful, but lack of post match coverage is an issue and maybe even a bit of pre match speculation about line ups etc. When Brighton win 3-0 I need as much coverage as I can get to make the most of these rare happy moments in football.
Perhaps they are trying to get away from speculation and most likely that is what the subscribers are trying to get away from as well. They want well informed articles rather than speculative articles based on hear say. I mean it doesn't hurt to provide some pre match info providing details on who is available who is a doubt, previous meetings, current forms, player milestones etc.
 

crossy1686

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Just signed up, they've got a weekly AMA on United, seems they know they're the biggest pull for keeping people on the platform. One journo talked about Fernandes and United's transfer list in the window just gone, interesting stuff.

Some good articles and good reads, just finished reading one on Eric Steele during his United stint. Talks about De Gea and what it was like under Fergie, goes on to say Fergie would call Tony Blair or Gordon Brown if he got stuck doing the Times crossword puzzle on the train down to London for away games, while giving the staff shit for not knowing the answers.

Anyway, if anyone fancies it, here's a free 30 day trial and 40% off the overall subscription. Just so you know, if you do use this code it will also net me £25 worth of Amazon vouchers.

https://theathletic.com/checkout?pc=raf40&plan_id=45&shared_by_name=Daniel&shared_by=2655440
 

roseguy64

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Not been able to read anything since the first two days I signed up but see some Patriots and Braves articles that are interesting. Looks like I'll be keeping it if I like those. Helps having US sports teams to root for while the football coverage launches.
 

Dan_F

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The stuff I’ve read has been pretty good, but it’s not a huge amount of content yet for football. I’ll probably keep it on for the year while it’s £30 just to see how it develops, I’m assuming there will be more frequent content (as someone else said) once the rest of the journo’s start. Hopefully they add some football podcasts too.
 

MsNuno

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The mobile apps good. Signed up for the trial will probably pay as mostly the articles are interesting and no ads is a plus.
 

jem

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When “some personal news” turns out to actually be some personal news. Replies restore a bit of faith in the cesspool that is football twitter.
A lovely story and yes, the replies in the comments thread go some way towards restoring my faith in humanity. Keep up the great work Nicky!
 

MaxiPaxi

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I’ll subscribe to it next summer when there is much more content.
 

Dave_MUFC

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Not sure about the lack of content comments, as the articles are so in-depth and lengthy that I struggle to get through more than a couple of articles in a day (Granted, I use it for a bit of work lunchtime reading).

Seems to be around 10-15 articles put up per day, which is far more than I can get through anyway. The length and depth is much more than any general sports sites, so I'm very happy with it.

Although, as others have said, don't think it would be worth the full whack £60 a year.
 

Classical Mechanic

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Not sure about the lack of content comments, as the articles are so in-depth and lengthy that I struggle to get through more than a couple of articles in a day (Granted, I use it for a bit of work lunchtime reading).

Seems to be around 10-15 articles put up per day, which is far more than I can get through anyway. The length and depth is much more than any general sports sites, so I'm very happy with it.

Although, as others have said, don't think it would be worth the full whack £60 a year.
Depends if you want to read in depth about other clubs I guess. In most cases I don't.
 

Varun1

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r/reddevils sometimes posts full extracts taken from The Athletic.
 

ArmandTamzarian

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They should keep it at the £30 per year price point. That seems pretty decent from what I've gotten out of it so far.
 

Dave_MUFC

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Depends if you want to read in depth about other clubs I guess. In most cases I don't.
Makes sense in that case. I love reading up about any football regardless, hence I've got loads of editions of The Blizzard books and various other football books, that I read while at home. Hoping they'll add Italian and Spanish articles in the future.

They should keep it at the £30 per year price point. That seems pretty decent from what I've gotten out of it so far.
Agreed, although I think they'll lose loads of subs after the year if they try and stick to £60, so they'll probably have a continuous 'offer'.
 

Wolf there last night

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I think your opinion on sports journalism as a profession tends to depend on the sort of content you like to consume.

If your only experience to it is via transfer speculation, news and attack pieces on manager/player futures then you're likely to have a fairly low opinion of the profession. If you like to read op-eds, historical accounts, tactical analysis or in-depth public interest pieces then you'll develop more respect for the journalists that painstakingly research, prepare and produce it.

It's a broad church so I find some of what I can best describe as hatred / utter dismissal of the profession as a little reductive to say the least.

In terms of this development, it's indicative of a wider trend and whilst it's something I expected and understand, it isn't something I'm personally very happy with.

The idea that tech VF (who will throw money at any white elephant that has a decent pitch and strokes their ego) is the only way that good sports journalism is sustainable is a sad indictment.

As newspapers see their audience dwindle and become more and more reliant on ad revenue than actual sales, clicks are the name of the game. Why pay a writer who meticulously conducts research, interviews and fact checking to produce one article every couple of weeks when it gets less clicks than the intern paid a fraction of that who can churn out ten listicles and empty transfer nonsense every day?

We've seen the effect of this on journalism as a whole in the gutting of some of the most talented and respected journalists and the scaling down of most 'old' news outlets.

If a subscription model is the future for well researched and written content on sport, then so be it. It's just a shame as to me this basically ends the idea that they could coexist peacefully - i.e. we're not far from seeing a total divide between outlets that do lowest common denominator stuff for clicks and those that charge a subscription for higher brow content.

Like another poster already said, the net effect of this is that fewer and fewer people get to read the latter, particularly people without the resources and inkling to pay (poor people, young people, communities where the idea to subscribing to a high-brow journal isn't considered). That then results in the next generation of journalists coming from an even smaller pool of society and the content they write being from an even smaller grounding.

It's not the end of the world, but it's a worrying (if perhaps inevitable) move in sports journalism.
This. I heard about it, signed up for the trial, and yes they can probably have my £30 for the year.

If you like consuming your wider football information via ‘fans react’ videos, match reports in the Sun with a reading age of low primary school, or the various, horrendous click bait ad-laden sites and online versions of newspapers, then it’s probably not for you.

If you enjoy the Times’ game on a Monday, or broadsheet Sunday supplement rambling editorial rants, then you might like it.
 

trafford1980

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I've been subscribed for about two weeks now.

My opinion is that it's definitely worth it if you're a fan of long-form journalism and other sports besides football. If you intend to lurk in their "community" Q&A forums and wait for transfer scoops from Mitten & co. then it's a waste of money.

I'm an MMA obsessive too, the journalists they have in this field are great! And the NFL content is aplenty now the season approaches.

I live in New York and travel on the subway a lot so the fact that the Athletic app is available offline with articles is a big plus as mobile phone reception is non-existent when commuting.

I'm going to pay the heavily discounted upfront annual fee when my trial ends.