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Post by Scottish » Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:44 pm

Ok, this is the third year it's been called the Sky Sports Football Yearbook but just as any electric carpet sweeper is a Hoover, so too this book will always be Rothmans.

No need to go into great descriptive detail as everyone knows what's in it. The same errors as before but these are really down to the clubs not the editors. You would think the likes of Livvy and ICT would be screaming from the rooftops that they've had internationals playing for them but they don't seem to bother so the wrong info gets carried forward once again. As does incorrect record crowds for the likes of Alloa, Berwick, Celtic & Clyde to name but a few. But that same wrong info is also published in other books.

The main question is whether or not to shell out £20 for a seasonal update (much of the information remains the same year in year out) in an era when this information is available for free on the web.

If, like me, you have a full set, then you'll want to keep it going. Otherwise you might think twice. A good compromise is to get it from Amazon or a book club for £12. Unlike most years there don't seem to be any discounts available in the shops.

Rothmans comes in for a lot of criticism - probably because of the great expectations it carries. Let's face it until it came along there were virtually no statistical publications which covered Scottish football. And unlike the MOTD book, the 2nd and 3rd divisions are covered in full in terms of results, dates, line-ups & crowds. As are the knockout tournaments including full details for the Challenge Cup.

Where Rothmans falls down in its Scottish coverage is the non-league scene. It gives details of English non-league football well down the pyramid - seven or eight levels down in fact plus non-pyramid leagues letting us know that KPMG London won the Financial Services League and that the Old Etonians still dominate the Arthurian League.

But non-league Scottish football is restricted to the Highland League table.

We'll have to wait for Stewart Davidson's annual non-league review for a proper account of the non-league season in Scotland.

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