This is not a column on football. This is about you, and your support of The 4th Official over the past year. Exactly one year previously, the Patreon page of The 4th Official was launched and the rest as they say is history.
We were in the midst of one of the biggest injustices in world football, not only in Scotland but also in France and Belgium. Also, at the same time, in the midst of massive gaslighting by MSM & governing bodies of the game we love (yes SPFL I am looking at you), I had a talk with the ownership of The 4th Official about taking a different approach to covering Scottish football.
While the day to day content of what they did on the website remained unchanged (mostly on the Premier League and the La Liga), I opened up an account of the website on Patreon to cover Scottish football properly.
The goal was ambitious and we are nowhere close to reaching my goals (but we hope to get there). The plan was (and still is) to cover Scottish football in a way which does not rely on sensational headline to generate clicks. Also, along the way we got people on podcasts which gives you a unique insight (I purposefully made sure not to book former players on; while important, that is already being done in a lot of places). Some of our guests in this past year included Steven Bradley of Hibernian (talented kid, no doubt next season we will see a lot more out of him), Daniel Stendel (first feature length interview since leaving Hearts), Clive Tyldesley (after he joined Rangers TV), Greg Docherty, Callum Hendry, financial expert Kieran Maguire (about finances of the top clubs here), Matt Polster, Liam Gordon, David Martindale, Josh Reid, Bill (abuse survivor of Scottish football), journalist Chris Jack (one of the good guys) and David Tanner. Thomas was phenomenal as the podcast host (if you may allow me to say so) in every single one of these interviews.
Also, there was a special 2000 word featured interview column on Rangers Women star Bala Devi (thank you Nikhil for that).
The plan now is to ramp up on the podcasts. I have great news on that front. We now have John Walker of Scots Abroad Pod on board with us. The hope is that John will host 2-4 podcasts a month from personalities across Scottish and world football. This is on top of the podcasts Thomas will do with us as usual.
Also, when it comes to columns from Ninja, and all our other guest writers who have written on The 4th Official, I can genuinely say you would be hard-pressed to find better from anywhere across the MSM. The MSM model relies on outrage and clicks, so a 2000 word column won’t work for them.
While I look back at the past 365 days fondly, I know the next 365 days will be better and bigger from us. So thank you everyone for staying on with us whether on Twitter or on Patreon. This could not have been done without your support. Raskul said it best on his debut column on The 4th Official, ”You and I are the new sports journalism in Scotland; we all are… and we can all play a part in making redtop sports bias a thing of the past. And good riddance to it.”
In case you are not a subscriber on Patreon yet and want to have a look, you can find it here: Become a proud Patron of The 4th Official!