We intend to launch a publication devoted to Scottish football. Our aim is to create something completely new in Scotland - a football publication that is all about the writers, the writing, and great stories told at length.
We want to give writers the scope to cover stories and issues in a way that newspapers or magazines just don’t do. We want writers to have the freedom to write expansively and on topics that are not determined by the all-too familiar news agenda.
We have taken inspiration from other quality football publications such as Offside and The Blizzard and plan a similar format, somewhere between a book and a magazine. Like The Blizzard it will be all about the writing.
The plan is to produce a physical product as well as a digital version – we believe print still has value and that people are still willing to pay for such a publication.
We are a small editorial consultancy based in Edinburgh, but with a large international reputation - and a wide range of expertise.
Palmer Watson consists of Ally Palmer and Terry Watson. Between us we have accrued many national and international design and editorial awards, both from our time as senior figures on The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday and as Palmer Watson.
We have already spoken to a wide range of football journalists and writers who are keen to be part of a pool of contributors. We also want to find new voices and new approaches to writing about the beautiful game.
Some established names that have already said they will support what we're doing include:
Stuart Cosgrove, writer and broadcaster
Neil Forsyth, author and screenwriter
Paul Forsyth, The Times
Craig Fowler, Digital sports journalist with Scotsman publications
Michael Grant, Scottish football correspondent for The Times
Bill Leckie, author and award-winning columnist
Archie MacGregor, When Saturday Comes, co-founder The Absolute Game
Graeme MacPherson, The Herald and Sunday Herald.
John Maxwell, Co-editor of Tell Him He's Pele
Hugh McDonald, The Herald and The National
Alastair McKay, Evening Standard, Uncut
Kevin McKenna, The Observer
Alan Pattullo, The Scotsman
Graham Ruthven, The Guardian, Eurosport, STV, VICE, The Scotsman and the New York Times.
Rob Smyth, The Guardian and author of Danish Dynamite
Graham Spiers, The Times / BBC Scotland.
Michael Tierney, multi-award winning journalist and writer, author of 'The First Game With My Father'
Thom Watt, STV, T Scotsman, The Guardian
Jonathan Wilson, author and editor of The Blizzard
Richard Winton, BBC Sport online
Plus many more.
We will be offering the opportunity for writers to cover subjects that they’re not often able to within the restrictions of a deadline and news-driven agenda. They will be given the chance to write to length when the subject dictates it.
We have an idea of the kind of subjects we’d like to read about, so here is a small sample of articles that could appear in Nutmeg if it was being published today.
- The day that a World Cup star arrived on Tayside.
- Gretna. From boom to bust. The story of one man’s obsession.
- Richard Winton on the Dundee derby that resulted in United winning their first league title.
- A postscript to his book 'The First Game With My Father' by Michael Tierney.
- “I would close the whole Largs institution down and expel all the coaches who have been there for years and years and have tried to coach Scottish football, because it has not worked, ever.” Steve Archibald is not a fan of the SFA’s coaching school. Why?
- Andy Roxburgh: his legacy.
- Interview with Gemma Fay, Scotland’s most-capped female footballer.
- How a young football analyst went from the SFA to Stenhousemuir and then to the progressive Championship side Brentford.
- Ian Cathro: from Dundee United’s youth academy to Newcastle via Valencia.
- A postscript to his book ‘In Search of Duncan Ferguson' by Alan Pattullo.
We will also look at tactics, systems and formations. We will cover some of the non-active football pursuits like Fantasy Football and Championship Manager. Basically we will cover anything that has an influence on Scottish football, from the past and the present as well as the future of the game.
Why should you get involved?
Scottish football is known for many things. Some good, some bad and some just downright rotten. But we still have a proud history and we still have people who care deeply about the game.
And there is no shortage of great characters, fascinating stories and passionate groups of players and supporters as well as important issues, all of which deserve to be written about at length and by the best, most informed, most entertaining and most illuminating writers.
We hope that you will have faith in our ambition to create a platform for writing about a subject we still all care about and by pledging to subscribe to Nutmeg you will be supporting this project.
We have looked at other ways of financing this but by speaking directly to potential readers and asking for their support in advance, we hope to create a sense of belonging where readers and writers almost become ‘shareholders’ in this venture.
We aren’t expecting this publication will be a lucrative business for us. The writers have agreed in principle to work in lieu of payment. If at the end of the year we have made any profit then it will be shared between all the contributors.
Our main upfront costs will be for printing and distribution. We (Palmer Watson) will also put our time and effort into making it a success without taking money from the pot.
But we hope it would be more than just a labour of love. And we hope that it will develop into something to be proud of – a quality publication about the thing we all have a love for: Scottish football.
If we manage to reach our target of £10,000
We will start commissioning articles for the launch issue right away. And we will also use our own contacts within the business to start publicising Nutmeg in a more conventional way.
The money we raise will allow us to commission, print and distribute the first issue.
If we manage to reach £20,000.
If we can raise more than our target that would allow us to plan further in advance as well as create a fully digital version of Nutmeg.
We believe in print. We love the smell of printer’s ink. We enjoy the tactile experience of receiving a publication through the letterbox and reading it at our leisure. And we believe many other like-minded Scottish football fans do too. But some of you might still want to read us on your phone, kindle or tablet so raising more than our target will allow us to do this.
How can you help?
Many crowd funding projects can offer a whole range of rewards. If we were a band we could play a gig in your home. If we were trying to fund a film then we could offer the chance to attend the premiere.
But we’re a humble football publication so at this stage the best way you can help is by taking out a subscription to allow us get things off the ground. If you're able to take out a subscription for more than one issue then that would be greatly appreciated.
We're also offering the opportunity to attend the launch of Nutmeg as well as the chance to become a Patron of Nutmeg which would mean your name would be permanently listed with all our contributors.
You can also help spread the work and promote what we’re doing by encouraging friends and family to get involved. And you can tell your Twitter followers and Facebook friends about Nutmeg.
Risks and challenges
Before we even considered funding Nutmeg through Kickstarter we had already spoken to a number of writers and publishers to test the water.
We also met with Jonathan Wilson the editor of The Blizzard to get advice and we’ll continue to speak to him and the rest of the Blizzard team to learn from their experiences.
The Blizzard is already a successful model that attracts wonderful writers and we’ve subscribed to it from the start. Indeed we’d looked at something similar even before it launched but the pressures of our own business meant we were never able to pursue it.
As mentioned earlier we have a proven track record in publishing having worked for many years in magazines and newspapers and then as editorial consultants around the world. We feel we have the experience and the contacts to make this work.
We will not need to wait for approval from any other company or individual. We will be making all the decisions about content, design, launch date etc ourselves. So we’d hope to launch the first issue by late summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)