A daily newspaper is to relaunch its Saturday sports edition due to demand from readers – just nine months after scrapping it as bosses claimed it was making a loss.
The Sports Mail in Portsmouth was closed down in October after 109 years when publisher Johnston Press revamped its daily sister title The News.
But now, after what the News called an “outpouring of emotion” from readers, the edition will hit the streets once more on 3 August.
It comes after another JP title, The Star in Sheffield, stopped print publication of its Green ‘Un sports edition last Saturday, although it is set for an online relaunch.
The News editor Mark Waldron said it had been a “sad day” for the paper and Pompey fans alike when publication ceased.
“However, with the club now owned by the fans and a renewed enthusiasm and optimism around Fratton Park we thought the start of the season would be a great time to bring it back,” he said.
“But we have warned supporters – they wanted it back, we brought it back, now they have to go out and buy it every week.”
The Sports Mail will be 28 pages and priced at 60p, and will cover the latest news from Portsmouth FC as well as coverage of Portsmouth ladies and youth and coverage of non-league, youth and parks football.
A piece published on The News website heralds the return of the title – and warns it could disappear forever if readers do not support it.
“After a proud 109-year history, we were forced to bid a sad farewell to the Sports Mail in October last year because of dwindling sales,” it states.
“But the outpouring of emotion from readers ever since forced us to look into ways of bringing it back.
“Now the much-missed Sports Mail will return – and we are asking all fans of the paper to go out and purchase copies on a weekly basis to ensure it can remain an important part of our area’s sporting scene.
“Without your support the future of the Sports Mail will be put back at risk.”
The News will also donate 10p to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust for every Sports Mail sold.