A note to Futbol Papa subscribers

Soccer and the Pandemic
Soccer and the Pandemic

Updated 5/24/21–1:00 p.m.

Following the inspirationally surprising results of our very first subscriber survey, for this one summer, Futbol Papa will provide, free of charge, coverage of the Euro 2020, Copa America 2021, and Gold Cup 2021.  Subscribers thought that readers should have an opportunity to sample why they too might be willing to pay for Papa’s coverage, and in line with our post-pandemic approach, outlined below, this once-in-a-lifetime football summer extravaganza should be made free to all. Furthermore, the survey results also determined that should this offering of free content result in an overall 15% increase in Futbol Papa subscriptions by the end of July, coverage of World Cup 2022 will also be provided free. So be it!

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Papa wants to thank all of his current subscribers both for their loyalty as exemplified by the 98% subscription renewal rate during the pandemic, but also for their directness in communicating with me about issues outside soccer proper. It is good to know we all agree football is our communal pleasure, but that life encompasses bigger issues, and yes, we should all be aware and willing to engage.

To get to the point directly myself, I wholeheartedly agree with those of you who believe that post-Covid-19 society and economics must be understood and addressed by all. For those who can afford to tighten their belts to help another who may have lost a belt to tighten, as it were, it should be a duty to help.

Too many of our global friends and neighbors’ lives and incomes have been adversely affected by the pandemic and it behooves those of us who (admittedly) have weathered the effects with less of a negative impact to do our part to ease their pain. We can’t say we are all in this together and then not try to act accordingly.

My website work is my livelihood, so I cannot afford to provide my service for free. But I can help out. So, in that spirit, Futbol Papa will decrease subscription costs across the board beginning with our next fiscal year, August 1, 2021. Furthermore, for all of you who already renewed your subscriptions this year, you will receive a credit to your next renewal of the difference between what you previously paid and our new rates.

Futbol Papa will reduce our Official Memberships from $36/year to $30/year (a 16.67% reduction) and our Club Memberships from $52/year to $45/year (a 13.50% reduction). Please note that this will push back the date at which our grants and special additional content will launch—planned for 2022 but now probably 2024. But in 2021 that delay is a fair price to pay.

On another note

During the pandemic, Papa realized that he has often written about our sport from the perspective of a player who asked 110% of himself, a coach who always asked his players to give the best they had to give, and a club administrator who always thought there was more to be done, no matter how well our club did. As a soccer historian, Papa has often been overly cognizant of what others have previously achieved when looking at what passes for or is acknowledged as greatness in our day.

This critical perspective has led Papa the writer to make some harsh assessments of players, coaches, referees, and sports officials. Some of that tough love, or outright criticism, has been warranted, some not as much. But as a mentor, Papa has been gentler, kinder, more forgiving, and less of a taskmaster, more of a guide, listener, and persuader, than a critic. There is a time and place for a bit of each approach. But…

Henceforth, Papa will attempt to add some more of that mentor’s touch to his writing.

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