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  • SPL Match Day Programme Review 2012/2013

    This is a personal review of the match day publications of the 12 member clubs of the Scottish Premier League from season 2012/13.



    My review includes; cover image, format, price, amount of adverts, amount of information on Hibs (in away programmes), features such as the manager's page and centre 'spread', the look and feel of the issue and other non-Hibs historical content.
    I'll be rating all programmes on value for money, Hibernian content, historical content, and quality of look/feel.

    First up is Hibernian's effort, 'The Hibernian', issue 11.
    Priced at 2.50, which is about the average, it contains 32 pages of which 6.5 are taken up by non-club adverts. Format is 17x24cm. The cover shows a portrait of Alan Maybury. There is a double page centre 'poster' action photo of Peter Marinello. The manager's contribution consists of one page of chat and another contains three photos of Pat Fenlon.
    Hibs' historical content is only one page about our Summer Cup win in 1941.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - n/a
    Historical content - 5/10
    Look and feel - 7/10

    Dundee United 'Matchday'
    Price 3, contains 64 pages (24 of which are taken up by adverts) and is 17x24 cm. The cover is an action photo of John Rankin and the same player is the centre pages 'poster' star, a match shot. The manager's pages contains one of chat and a half page photo of Peter Houston.
    There are four pages of Hibs content. 14 small photos with fair amount of info on 20 players plus manager. 3 pages of past encounters and other facts connecting the two clubs including several photos.
    Other historical club content is taken up by one page.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8/10
    Historical content - 5/10
    Look and feel - 7/10

    St Mirren
    Price 2.50 and contains 32 pages. 11 pages of adverts. 16.5x24 cm in size. The cover is an action shot of a St Mirren player. centre pages are taken up with and action shot of St Mirren v ICT featuring Kenny MacLean. The manager's view is two-thirds of a page of chat including a small photo of Danny Lennon.
    There are two pages of Hibs content with one large and one smaller photo of McPake and O'Connor. The
    There is no discernable historical content.

    Value for money - 7/10
    Hibernian FC content - 7/10
    Historical content - 0/10
    Look and feel - 6/10

    Celtic 'hoops'
    Contains 68 pages and is priced at 3 yielding 15.5 pages of adverts which is about average for this batch of programmes. Dimensions 16.5x23.5 cm
    The cover features an action photo of Thomas Rogne and the centre spread is a Celtic team photo v Helsingborgs. The manager's notes is a page of some chat, a small photo of Neil Lennon and a match shot of players.
    Hibernian content takes up 6 pages and includes several good-sized player photos with their info. Plus four pages of previous history and connections between the clubs.
    Other historical content is good, consisting of 10 pages including a feature on Bertie Auld.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8/10
    Historical content - 8.5/10
    Look and feel - 8/10

    Aberdeen 'RedMatchday'
    Priced at 3, the issue contains 68 pages of which 15.5 are given to adverts. Format is 16.5x23.5 cm. On the cover is a stylized print of an old Aberdeen player.
    There are also four pages of previous history and connections between our two clubs.
    The centre spread is a double page photo of Aberdeen fans v Hibs in 1967. The manager's content is some chat plus two photos of Craig Brown.
    Hibs content is 2 pages consisting of a few photos and about half a page of info.
    The other historical content of this publication is excellent. 16 pages of it including the first 100 years of Aberdeen, On This Day, Golden Years and the Story of the World Cup. This issue had part 5, 1954.

    Value for money - 9/10 (nothing is perfect)
    Hibernian FC content - 7/10
    Historical content - 9/10
    Look and feel 8/10

    Motherwell 'Steelmen'
    Priced at 3 and containing 68 pages, this issue has 13.5 pages of adverts. Size = 17x24 cm.
    The cover is a boot room photo of Fraser Kerr and the centre pages hold Motherwell fixtures, results and other stats. Their 'The Gaffer' page is two-thirds full of chat and a banner photo of Stuart McCall.
    Hibernian content is excellent! 8 pages with lots of info and photographs plus a full page question and answer with a Hibs fan. There is also a 3 page Q&A with Hibs player Tom Taiwo including a full page and a half-page photo. In addition there is a 3-page feature on Craig Paterson, who played for both clubs, including 3 photos of the man.
    Strangely, perhaps, there is no discernable historical features. However there is a 'The Referee' feature about the man in the middle for that match.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 9/10
    Historical content - 0/10
    Look and feel - 8.5/10


    Dundee 'The Dee'
    2.50 for 56 pages, 14.1 of which is advertising. Comes in at 16.5x24 cm and features, on the cover, a monochromatic action photo of Dundee FC's Colin Nish, the ex-Hibs striker. The centre of the programme features a double page photo of a Dundee player on the ground celebrating a goal. The manager's page consists of about half a page of chat plus a photo of Barry Smith.
    Hibernian content is two pages of mini profiles and mini photos of 23 players.
    Other historical content is good. 2 pages of 'memorabilia' and another 3 of past player Bert Slater.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 7/10
    Historical content - 8/10
    Look and feel 7.5/10

    St Johnstone 'Matchday Essentials'
    24 pages (including 8.3 of adverts) for 2. Dimensions are 16.5x24 cm. the cover features a match photo of St J player Steven MacLean. The centre of this issue is 2 pages of mini profiles and photos plus current season stats.
    The manager's (two-thirds of a) page is taken up 50-50% by some chat and a photo of Steve Lomas.
    Hibs content is decent with 3 pages of info and half page photo of Pat Fenlon plus 2 smaller action photos. There is an additional page of past stats and a B&W action photo from 1991.
    There is no discernable historical content.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8/10
    Historical content - 0/10
    Look and feel - 8/10

    Inverness Caledonian Thistle 'Matchday News'
    50p for an A4-sized, 4-page issue which is basically a supplement. The club also produce a 'proper' monthly magazine with more info but this feature is all about the matchday productions.
    The front page consists of about a third each of messages from the gaffer (Terry Butcher) and the club captain. The rest is fixtures/results and the banner.
    Hibs content is almost a full A4 page of chat plus an 'In The Spotlight' feature on Leigh Griffiths. Action pic of Leigh plus a small pic of manager Pat Fenlon.
    No historical notes.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8/10
    Historical content - 0/10
    Look and feel - 5.5/10

    Kilmarnock
    Priced at 2.50, this publication has 52 pages. 22 of those are adverts. The cover photo is an action shot from a previous Hibs v Killie game. Dimensions are 17x24 cm. The centre spread is a 'poster' of Killie's Chris Johnston. The manager's page is full-sized with a column of chat printed over a photo of Kenny Sheils.
    Hibernian content is 4 pages long consisting of one half-page and three small action photos. Lots of info including all of Hibs' previous season's results, scorers and attendance. A good paragraph on each of 25 of our players. In addition, there's a page of details of the previous 14 seasons encounters between the clubs.
    There's very little 'other' historical content in this one. A facsimile report from their 1965 AGM.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8.5/10
    Historical content - 6/10
    Look and feel - 8/10

    Hearts
    68 pages for 3. 14 pages of adverts. At 14.75x21 cm it's the equal smallest programme in this group, along with Ross County's effort. The cover is a composite of club legend Tommy Walker and his great great nephew Jamie Walker. The centre pages is a spread of several action photos from previous derbys. The 'word from the manager' is about two-thirds a page of chat plus a banner photo of John McGlynn.
    Hibs content is 5 pages-worth. Five decent-sized photos - 4 action plus one team picture. A bit of club info plus mini profiles on 22 players. There's also a 3 page piece on old match tickets, heavily featuring Hibernian FC.
    Other historical content is very good. 9 pages including Football Focus, Family Ties and Golden Oldies.

    Value for money - 8/10
    Hibernian FC content - 8.5/10
    Historical content - 8.5/10
    Look and feel - 8/10

    Ross County 'The Staggie'
    2 for 48 pages including 17 taken up by adverts. Along with Hearts, this is the smallest of the bunch at 14.75x21 cm. The cover is an action photo from a previous County game v Celtic. The centre pages is a mini poster of player Iain Vigurs. The "manager's notes" consists of almost a full page of chat and a photo of Derek Adams. There's also a "Today's Referee" Q&A article.
    Hibernian content is good. There's 8 pages of it including previous encounters and a match report of our latest game. There are 14 player mini biogs and a squad photo plus a "Six to Watch" feature with photos.
    The only real drawback to this publication is the lack of other historical content.

    Value for money - 9/10
    Hibernian FC content - 9/10
    Historical content - 0/10
    Look and feel - 8/10


    In conclusion, Ross County emerges with the best average score when discounting 'zero' content from the results. The Motherwell entry is just behind but they too had zero for historical content.

    My personal favourite is the Ross County programme. Small, neat, decent price, plenty of Hibs content and just feels friendly. Motherwell comes a close 2nd.
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