MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : IRISH SOCCER MAGAZINE – FEBRUARY 1996

The Jack Charlton era has just ended, but it is Paul Campbell of St Patrick’s Athletic and Jason Sherlock of UCD who are the cover stars of this edition of Irish Soccer Magazine.

The editorial focuses on Cork City, who are facing financial problems, and are following in the footsteps of previous clubs in the city in this regard.

Charlton’s time in charged is reviewed, with his legacy being described as winning the Irish footballing public over to their national team. They also look at contenders to replace him, withKenny Dalglish, Joe Kinnear, Mick McCarthy, Ronnie Whelan and Dave Bassett all in the frame.

Whoever the new manager is, their first competitive game will be a World Cup Qualifier in Leichtenstein, after the draw for France 98, with the focus being on Macedonia as a potential dark horse in the group.

Charlton’s departure came at the end of a year when Republic of Ireland slipped from 6th to 19th in the UEFA Rankings, not as dramatic as Sweden, who fell from joint 1st to 24th.

Despite the fact that Republic of Ireland didn’t qualify, there is a fixture list for Euro 96 in their foreign news section, which claims that Manchester United are interesting in signing South African defender Mark Fish.

One team who might not be at France 98 is Nigeria, who have been threatened with expulsion after withdrawing from the recent African Nations Cup in South Africa.

There is a feature on new Finn Harps manager Charlie McGeever, who has just replaced Patsy McGowan, while Buckley Park, home of Kilkenny City is the subject of the monthly ground profile.

Jimmy Conway, a former Republic Of Ireland international, is now living in the USA. He talks to Irish Soccer Magazine about life in the States, revealing that they expect to win the 2002 World Cup.

The coverage of Charlton isn’t all fawning, with one writer stating that his reign did not boost the domestic game at all during his decade in charge.

There is an interview with the head of General Motors, Arnold O’Byrne, who reveals that their sponsorship of the Republic of Ireland team is as much to do with his love of football, as it is a business decision.

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : FOOTBALL ITALIA – JUNE 1996

It’s the summer of 1996 and Fabrizio Ravanelli is the cover star of Football Italia, as he gets ready to head to England for Euro 96. Little did we know, that a few months later, he would be making England his permanent residence.

The editorial focuses on Channel 4 clarifying that they’re not ditching their live coverage of Serie A, as they were unable to show recent games due to a combination of players taking strike action, and games being moved to Saturday.

In news, Fabio Capello is leaving AC Milan for Real Madrid, while Carlo Ancelotti is replacing Nevio Scala at Parma. In transfer news, Aron Winter is signing for Inter, while Gianluca Vialli has held talks with Parma, Rangers and several Premier League clubs.

There was a double page spread dedicated to the recent player strike in protest at the governing body negotiating a TV deal without consulting players and the increase of violence in stadiums. Gianluca Vialli’s involvement in organising the strike saw him be nicknamed “Robin Hood”

In more news, Mark Fish has signed for Lazio, becoming the first South African to play in Series A, while Michael Jackson was staying in the same hotel as the Parma team before their European Cup Winners Cup tie. Fulham supporter Jackson turned down the opportunity of a Parma scarf.

John Helm does a double page spread where he visits Chimney House Hotel in Sandbach, Cheshire, which will be Italy’s base during Euro 96. The hotel had to order in a bed specifically for Italy’s tall goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi.

Italy weren’t the first team to stay there according to the manager of the hotel, they usually get away teams facing Crewe Alexandra staying there.

There is a four page spread focusing on the rise of players in Italy’s top two divisions who are well into their 30s, such as Pietro Vierchowod, looking forward to a European Cup final at the age of 37.

Football Italia previews Euro 96, with a guide to what games are live on what channel in the UK, and a team by team preview, expecting Italy to beat England in the semi-final before beating Holland in the final. Italy went out in the group stage.

It is predicted that Russia will get a lot of local support at their group matches at Old Trafford and Anfield, due to them having Everton’s former Manchester United player Andrei Kanchelskis in their line-up.

Both finalists, Germany and Czech Republic were predicted to go out in the group stages.

All three European competitions are reviewed ahead of their finals, and it’s a relatively bleak year for Italian football, with Parma (European Cup Winners Cup), Roma and AC Milan (UEFA Cup) all exiting at the quarter-finals.

Juventus are in the European Cup Final to face Ajax, in what is expected to be Gianluca Vialli’s last game for the club.

After Genoa beat Port Vale 5-2 at Wembley, Football Italia does a double page spread asking if the tournament should be scrapped.

James Richardson’s column previews Italy’s chances in England, noting that, for many Italians, the jury is still out on manager Arrigo Sacchi.

Ken Wolstenholme debuts his column, where he went to a Serie A game for the first time, Fiorentina v Juventus, where met the chairman of a London based Fiorentina Supporters Club, who are now on the internet, the link is posted by Wolstenholme.

As the magazine ends, the editor’s column focuses on the vacant England manager position, suggesting that the best contender is working in Serie A – Roy Hodgson of Inter Milan. It only took the FA 16 years to take his advice.

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