Football Punk, from the publishers of Golf Punk, has been launched this month with the aim of being regarded as “thinking man’s soccer mag”.
Key to the magazine’s appeal, according to the editor, Ian Cruise, are the football contacts of owner and editor-at-large, former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender Phil Babb.
“It’s an amazing asset to have someone on board with that access,” said Cruise, former deputy editor of Shoot, which was axed by IPC Media in June.
“There’s an awful lot of football in the media, but much of it’s fairly straight stuff from press conferences. What I’ve found is that if you get footballers on to subjects other than who they’re playing next they’re happy to talk about them,” he said.
“Phil went to have tea with Harry Redknapp and caught him very relaxed. It produced a lively, jocular piece. There’s a lot of stuff written about footballers as footballers, but this will be about footballers as people.”
Babb stepped in at Golf Punk as publisher in December 2006, after the magazine hit financial problems around the time of the departure of its then financial director, while its award-winning launch editor, Tim Southwell, resigned. Babb was an early investor in the title along with his former Sunderland team mates Michael Gray, Thomas Sorensen, Stephen Wright and Jason McAteer.
Football Punk is to be given away as a supplement with the next four issues of Golf Punk, but a newsstand launch is planned for January.
Golf Punk is licensed in 11 countries outside the UK, and in October Golf Punk Lite will be distributed free at airports.