As you may know, issue 78 of DUCK magazine will be our last, and so as another football season ends (although ours seem to end a lot earlier than other club’s) I just want to give you some further details of what will be our farewell issue.
We were going to bring it out pre-season and then for our first home game, but many go away at that time, and we wanted to make sure that ‘regulars’ didn’t miss out. That’s why it will be ‘launched’ in early September for a home game. That way, we ensure that those who have supported us for a decade - and who don’t subscribe - don’t miss out.
Why DUCK is finishing
Many have asked why we are packing in. It’s very simple - we simply don’t have the time, energy, or money to do it justice. I turn 55 in a month’s time and Orfy looks even older than me, and with 5 kids between the two of us (not together!), we simply have too many other things going on. Most tellingly and the biggest reason - recent years have shown us that DUCK simply doesn’t sell enough copies and so it’s simply not financially viable. It’s made a loss for a number of recent issues, and that’s tough to take or justify at a time when money is scarce. Some ill health has also put the cherry on a pretty crappy cake in recent times.
We fully understand the times we live in, and we know that £4 for a magazine is bloody expensive. But we don’t want to compromise on quality and there’s no alternative but to pack in - we are making a loss or breaking even at our current price and so the gamble of vastly reducing the cover price to increase revenue isn’t even a gamble - we were priced at £2.50 for a long time and didn’t sell any more apart from certain issues.
Our desire to produce what we think is a decent magazine, one that tries to show that this city can produce quality and aim high has taken so many body blows and covid was the biggest of all. Whilst we got by on digital issues, we actually didn’t get by. And it’s pretty hard to justify the above to your family at any time, never mind the world we now live in.
It's a huge shame, as the downward spiral we have seen at our club for several years now probably needs a fanzine more than it has in the last two decades or so. But that’s a fight for someone else if they want to take it on.
There has been talk of a one-off special issue every Christmas, and that’s something that’s something that isn’t undoable - but highly doubtful.
We are looking to make our last issue our biggest and best. For that, we need you. A magazine is only as good as those who write for it, and on that score we have been blessed over 77 issues. But we are greedy and want more.
We are looking to make issue 78 as big as possible, and we’d love you in it. Write on any topic you want (minimum 600 words, maximum 2500) - if you’ve read DUCK you’ll know that we are a broad church. We always love a bit of nostalgia and football culture, and whilst we look at the present and the future, feel free to talk about the past and your supporting past.
Why write? Looking at modern football and football culture, this may be your last chance to ever write for a Stoke City fanzine.
Price and size
Don’t know yet, sorry. It all depends on how many pages it is and when we get an idea of that we’ll do our level best to set a price that tries not to break the bank. I’m hoping we get an 80 page plus mag, to be honest. We have the second half of our TP interview, plus some other ex-players bits and bobs that we know you’ll enjoy, and have already had articles sent in.
Subscribers get it for the usual price - they’ve been the bedrock of the magazine and we’ll take a hit on the extra pages and added postage.
Keep your eye on social media and here for more details.