Almost 600 articles. Nearly 2 million words. 25 issues. As The Blizzard reaches its quarter-century, that evening at Fitzy’s before Darren Bent’s hat-trick against Bolton when the idea for the magazine first crystallised, seems simultaneously a very long time ago and just like yesterday. There’s a sense of pride, of course, that we have been able to put out quite so much high-quality football writing, and surprise too that we are still here.

Although the economic challenges for journalism in a digital age remain, the landscape has changed over the past seven years. Back then, the prevailing belief was that everything had to be bitesize. Now, long-form is back, in a variety of forms. Fake news and the manipulation of readers through social media is an enormous problem, but publications as diverse as the New York Times and the New Statesman are thriving in an increasingly politicised age. In the book word, sales of hardbacks are up and ebooks down. New magazines seem to be springing up every week. It may be that nobody has quite worked out how to monetise it, but the yearning for reliable and informed analysis, for the traditional values of journalism, is as strong as ever. Journalism remains a precarious world, but it is also an exciting one, dynamic and innovative.

We’re very grateful that The Blizzard is a (small) part of that. Grateful to the writers who took a risk on us when we first came out, grateful to the unseen figures behind the scenes who keep everything running smoothly and to the readers who continue to support us and who treated the Pay What You Like system with respect. Thank you for that and can I remind you that we have no advertising budget, that the only way we can keep going is through word-of-mouth recommendation. So if you like what we do, please do tell friends, family, colleagues, anybody you think may be interested.

Making that perhaps a little easier is our new website. Every article we’ve ever published is now online. Subscribers can view the complete archive, everybody else can read three pieces per month for free or pay for full access. If there’s a particular piece you like, whether from this issue or one of the previous ones, please share it via social media – or just by telling people about it. If we’re to keep going, if we’re to thrive, we need to make sure the message gets out to as many people as possible. 

Thank you for all your support so far, but the battle for viability goes on. The more readers we have, the better we’ll be. Let’s hope in December 2023 we’ll be celebrating Issue Fifty.