IPC Media has announced the closure of Shoot! after 40 years, a victim of stiff competition from rivals.
The Guardian reports the cancellation of the IPC Media title, which once rubbed shoulders with sports-dominated comics such as Roy of the Rovers and Tiger, has been unable to compete with rivals such as market leader Match, BBC Magazines’ Match of the Day (which launched in March and features a popular comic strip drawn by Martin Baines) and new challenger Kick!.
The closure comes four months after Shoot! relaunched it as a weekly, a status it had enjoyed from its launch in 1969 and was a weekly until 2000.
In addition to stiff competition in the sector, Shoot!‘s higher cover price (£1.80 compared to 95p for top rival Match) also appear not to have done the title any favours.
“It is with great regret that we have had to make this decision,” said Paul Williams, the managing director of IPC Inspire, the Guardian reports. IPC are now in exclusive negotiations to sell the Shoot! trademark to Pedigree Books, which publishes the Shoot! Christmas annual and other books.
Shoot! sales figures were around 35,000 an issue, still much higher than those of the last football comic, Striker, which sold some 29,000 copies on launch but whose sales declined slowly over 87 issues — still an impressive run for an independent title (as Striker owner Pete Nash recounts here on the official site).
Ironically given the cancellation of Shoot!, potential investors advised Pete to make his title more of a magazine to raise its profile and opportunities for investment. (Striker now runs in The Sun where it began back in 1985).