Red Issue

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Red Issue
Editor 'Veg'
Categories Football fanzine
Frequency Monthly during football season
First issue February 1989
Final issue
— Number
January 2015
Country United Kingdom
Based in Manchester
Language English

Red Issue is a fanzine aimed at Manchester United supporters. The fanzine has been published monthly during the domestic football season since February 1989.[1] The content of the fanzine is satirical - featuring jokes at the expense of Manchester United's own players in addition to their rival clubs.


The fanzine was launched at the end of the 1980s. At the time of the launch, Alex Ferguson had failed to deliver any silverware as team manager and the club were still in a run that would eventually last 26 years without winning England's top division league title. Other United fanzines, Red News (the first United fanzine) and United We Stand, both launched during the same era, and all three remain in circulation.

Issue regulars[edit]

The fanzine contains several regular contributions, starting with the editorial comments inside the front cover reflecting on recent United performances and news.

Other regular features are:

  • The Word on the Street (known as Backbeat from 1995–2005): Snippets of gossip regarding United, the club's players, transfer rumours and the like. Collected by 'Woodward and Bernstein' via e-mails from private sources amongst both mag readers and football insiders, and also from the Red Issue forum's Sanctuary section, it's not unusual for a story to appear here before any tabloid newspapers pick up on it.
  • Life of Smiley: A play on the Lightning Seeds' track "The Life of Riley", a columnist's views on United, accompanied by happy or sad smiley faces depending on the subjects in question.
  • Mr. Spleen: Another regular column, usually far more critical of Manchester United and the teams' players than the editorial or Smiley.
  • Boylie: the views of Peter Boyle on all things related to Manchester United.
  • View from the Smoke: A regular column written by British journalist Mick Hume.

The rest of the fanzine contains articles about past team exploits, contributions from readers and often comic strips which poke fun at United's rivals such as Manchester City ("Bertie Magoo - The Bitter Blue") and Liverpool ("Sticky Fingers")


Proclaiming to be the "Voice of the fans", Red Issue has tried to influence fan campaigns throughout its history - with notable contributions in the defeat of an attempted takeover of the club by Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB and attempts to block the Glazer takeover.

Red Issue is also closely associated with the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST), and regularly carries featured articles about the trust, encouraging fans to sign up with them.

Green & Gold - Till They Die Or Fold/Till the club is sold is the current campaign by the Red Issue faithful led by forum leader Chatmaster.[2][3][4][5][6]

After Manchester United claimed an historic 19th League title, the Red Issue fanzine was behind the unveiling of a banner at arch-rivals Liverpool's home stadium Anfield, taunting opposition fans with their league titles record having been toppled.[7]


The magazine can be purchased from sellers at both Manchester United home and away matches, and from branches of Aleef's Newsagents in Manchester City Centre, from sellers at breakaway club F.C. United of Manchester's home games at Gigg Lane, Bury. In addition, it is available on subscription from the fanzine's website.


The Red Issue website ran in conjunction with the fanzine, containing links to the online forum. The website carried the same satirical tone to the fanzine itself, and advertised it on many pages. Rather than acting as a replacement for it, it acted as a more regular port of call for minor Manchester United related stories, usually with a short comment by the editor preceding them. Furthermore, it carried similar viewpoints to the magazine (such as a sarcastic love for the clichéd word "massive" when used in aftermatch interviews.

The online news bulletins from the Red Issue management stopped on 1 December 2007.


  • Nominated for the 2007-08 Football fanzine awards.[8]


External links[edit]