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INSIDE World Football Relaunched

The leading web-based magazine for the business and politics of football, INSIDE World Football, IWF, was relaunched February 15, 2013, after a change of ownership.

The magazine, which was founded by respected British sports journalist Duncan Mackay in 2009, has rapidly developed to become a "must read" for football administrators, sports journalists, sponsors and football aficionados around the world who want to know more about what's going on behind the scenes in world football.

The new owners

The new owners who acquired the magazine from Dunsar Media in the UK, are INSIDE World Football AG of Basel, Switzerland. The company was founded, and is chaired by, majority shareholder Martin Wagner, a Swiss media lawyer and publishing entrepreneur. He is senior legal counsel of Basel's daily paper, "Basler Zeitung", and acts in the same role for Switzerland's top weekly magazine, "Die Weltwoche". Wagner is a Member of the Board of Directors of Axel Springer Media Group, Switzerland, the Swiss arm of Germany's leading publishing group. He is the Managing Director ("Delegate of the Board of Directors") of TEAM Group, UEFA's exclusive commercial partner for the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Martin Wagner is vice-chairman of Highlight Communications AG, a listed media company founded in 1983, whose shares are quoted on the Deutsche Börse (German Stock Exchange) in Frankfurt, Germany, since May 11, 1999.  Highlight shares are part of the SDAX (ticker: HLG). As a strategic and financial holding company, Highlight Communications AG combines the operating segments of film, sports- and event-marketing and other related business activities. Wagner is also the Delegate of the Board of Directors of Highlight Event & Entertainment AG, a public company listed on the Swiss stock exchange in Zürich.

INSIDE World Football's operations are headed by Paul Nicholson, Editor and CEO.  Nicholson is a Board Member of Basel, Switzerland-based Inside World Football AG and heads Inside World Football Ltd., the operating arm of the Swiss publishers in the UK. Over his 28-year career in publishing and journalism, Paul launched such titles as "Football Insider", "Sport Vision" and "Sports Investor" – all of which were eventually acquired by Sport Services Group and Press Association (PA), the British news wire organization owned by major UK publishers. Nicholson also launched "Take Sport" magazine with the support of the PA – the first free distribution sports magazine in the UK. He has extensive background in football and media, from events to television programme production, grassroots football development in the UK and abroad, and currently also advises an international sports social media network.

Expanded coverage, additional writers

In a first step, the new owners have expanded the magazine's reach and secured the services of international writers from several countries, complementing the team that successfully produced the quality magazine in the past. Sports writers from Russia (RT, Russia Today television network) and the Middle East (Al Jazeera television) have joined the ranks of columnists, as has John Yan who heads the sports section of one of China's top three internet portals and is a contributor to Financial Times China and the New York Times China. Authors David Owen (formerly sports editor of the Financial Times) and Mihir Bose (formerly Sports Editor at the BBC) will continue to contribute to INSIDE World Football, as will Andrew Warshaw (formerly sports editor of the European newspaper), now the magazine's Chief Correspondent. African football will be regularly covered by Osasu Obayiuwana, a senior sports journalist and lawyer based in Nigeria (formerly with BBC Radio Worldwide heading its Africa Desk), while columnists in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo will be covering the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup as of March this year. The realm of correspondents will be gradually expanded in the course of 2013 and foreign language contributors will be added.

"When the opportunity arose to acquire INSIDE World Football, we didn't hesitate. The magazine is a perfect fit to our existing publications and activities. As an entrepreneur and publisher who has been active in sport – above all football – for decades, I felt that INSIDE has managed to carve out a niche for itself in a highly competitive market where the majority focuses on plain football stories, while our aim is to report about matters that are less obvious, often unknown to the public at large and which offer privileged insight into the world game", says Martin Wagner, Chairman of INSIDE World Football AG, Switzerland.

In addition to its daily e-newletters, the publishers plan to introduce a weekly magazine and a unique statistics sub-site within the next six months. Presently, INSIDE is available free of charge and it will increasingly offer foreign language articles as well to reach readers in South America, Russia, Asia and the Middle East. "Football is the world's game, and the idea that 'everything is English' is dated," says INSIDE's Editor Paul Nicholson. "At a time when there is a massive shift in every area of life, be that in the economy, finance or culture, to Asia and the Middle East, when German and Spanish football are increasingly dominating the game, it is obvious that we should be communicating our news and information to our global readers more frequently in their own language – which is something we shall do in the future," he said. "This does not mean that we are abandoning English as the main language of INSIDE but rather that we will have a multilingual appearance and run stories that are regionally relevant both in their original language as well as English when and where warranted," Nicholson concluded.

For further information contact:
Paul Nicholson