Our subscription drive: The Summer of SCOUTED, 2024

Dear readers,

Running a small, independent football magazine means always swimming against the tide. Finances are tough all the time, but especially right now. In March, our ad revenue collapsed on our Google site. Right now, subscriptions to Notebook alone are not enough to support our small team of three.

To survive and thrive this summer (and to reach our ten year anniversary in August), we need a plan - and your help.

So: welcome to our first ever subscription drive.

A graphic featuring 'SUMMER OF SCOUTED' in bold white text set against a rich blue background.

We’re here to fund The Summer of SCOUTED so we can take another small step towards becoming the best, independent and sustainable football magazine on the internet - and an invaluable resource for all you budding scouts, FM maniacs and football aficionados.

Our ultimate goal is, one day, to support all the labour that goes into SCOUTED solely through subscriptions. That is not going to happen in one push. Asking people to pay for a football magazine is really hard.

So, we’re asking just 180 more people to pay for Notebook this summer. That will take us to 700 paid subscribers total. If we can smash through and past that, great! But, for now, we’ll be happy to meet just that goal. It’ll be enough to see us squeeze through the summer.

Whether you’re a new subscriber or a veteran reader who wants to know what they can do to help, here’s everything you need to know about The Summer of SCOUTED.

Subscribe to SCOUTED Notebook

A tile board featuring everything that SCOUTED will offer throughout our bumper summer of youth football journalism,

Feelin’ the heat: our plans for the Summer of SCOUTED

Here’s everything we’re planning to do this summer, as supported by your subscriptions:

  • Wonderkid Wishlist: alongside some of the best club-specific analysts on the planet, we’ll be playing real-life Football Manager with your favourite team: identifying weaknesses in the squad and suggesting future superstars to plug them. First up, Arsenal - fire up the grill, Mr Gaspar.

  • The Shortlist: Each week, Editor Tom will chat to a scout or analyst across the globe and ask them to add a player to The Shortlist. This is the bitesize, casual way to scrub up on your talent knowledge as we rocket towards - and through - another transfer window.

  • The Euros - live! Gulp. This summer, the team will be livestreaming reaction podcasts to the European Championships as it develops. We love the communal feel of experiencing a tournament together and we can’t wait to do it with our readers. We’ll have a Players to Watch at the tournament, of course, because that’s what we do. Plus, the team will be throwing up Editor’s Takes whenever they are taken by the urge to speak on the month’s developments.

  • Transfer madness: Once the window is thrown wide open, our free-to-read weekly roundup newsletter SCOUT NOTES will begin recapping everything going on as the next generation zip around to their next clubs. Plus, Steve and Llew will return to the mics to record Talking Transfers.

  • TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY (!!!!): August 2024 will mark ten years since I first sent Llew a Twitter DM and asked him to start a football blog with me. Back then direct messages had the same character limits as old tweets, so I had to send him about seven. Anyway - we’ve made it a decade and we want to celebrate, with you. But we need to get there first.

  • All the normal stuff: our SCOUTED50 profiles will continue; SCOUT NOTES will continue; our analysis column with SkillCorner will continue. We’ll do our best to drop you a great newsletter every single weekday this summer.

We know we’re asking a lot for much less than a subscription to The Athletic might get you. But we’re not funded by American venture capitalists - we’re just some guys, and we’re doing as much work as we possibly can for the money we bring in.

The more subscribers we have, the more we can pay ourselves and our freelancers, and the more energy we can divert to doing more writing.

Thank you so much for helping make that happen.

I love SCOUTED but don’t have the means to support you guys - what can I do to help?

Other than subscribing, the best thing you can do to help is share the subscription drive. Introduce the magazine to a friend, send them a link, show them in person - we need more people to know SCOUTED exists and is worth paying for.

Our biggest bottleneck has always been discoverability. We’ve relied on Twitter to spread our work for too long, and we all know how that’s going. We don’t have the marketing budget of the big boys, but what we do have is you.

So share the drive. Share your favourite stories and newsletters. Champion us as your writer-owned, reader-supported publication of choice.

The more people we reach, the more likely we are to survive - and, hopefully, thrive.

Oh, and subscribing for free is huge for us, too.

For current readers, this page ends here. Thank you so much for reading, for being here, for supporting our project for so long. We love you.

If you’re new to reading SCOUTED, or are not yet convinced, please keep scrolling. I’ve written a bunch of introductory information for you to pull you into the world of the next generation.

Read on for more detail on:

  • What is SCOUTED?

  • Why should you pay for our newsletter, Notebook?

  • You’ve convinced me - how do I get started with the magazine?

The next generation awaits. Are you in?

What is SCOUTED?

Founded in 2014, SCOUTED is an independent football magazine covering the next generation of superstars. It’s the best way to discover new players, go into detail on your favourites and read industry standard analysis.

When SCOUTED speaks, football listens. With readers across the professional sphere - from scouts, to analysts, to directors of football at the world’s biggest clubs - SCOUTED is a trusted voice for fans and clubs alike.

We don’t do mindless hype or thoughtless clickbait. Over ten years, we’ve developed a reputation for clarity, quality and a commitment to great writing. That’s why we launched Notebook, this premium newsletter, as the heart of our business - so we could write free from advertising and the toxic incentives of search engines.

Notebook is a home for football readers who want to slow down. Our smart, thoughtful analysis is on the cutting edge of football’s future, but it’s delivered in great prose and engaging narratives. We believe in the power of storytelling and the joy of reading. Notebook is journalism as it used to be, and a haven for those frustrated with what football discourse has become.

SCOUTED is run by three friends - Tom Curren, Stephen Ganavas and Llew Davies - and supported by three more, who work full-time elsewhere in the industry - Joe Donnohue, Phil Costa and Jake Entwistle. Our dream is to support the full team of six with liveable wages.

Plus, we want to offer the network of freelancers who contribute to the magazine a rate that beats other, much larger publications - with whom we’re already competitive (we currently offer writers £200 for long-form stories, which we know for a fact beats other, much more established and well-capitalised sites and newspapers).

Why should I pay for Notebook?

First and foremost, because you’ll get a ton of great reading. Here’s a list of all the stuff you’ll get access to when you subscribe to SCOUTED:

Premium newsletters:

  • SCOUTED50 is our annual collection of the young talents we think are best primed to have a breakout year. As a paid subscriber you get the list and the detailed profiles we’ve written on individual players. You won’t find player-centric writing like this anywhere else.

  • The Shortlist, a collection of interviews with scouts from across the world who are each asked a simple question: who would they add to The Shortlist? Your easy, digestible way to stay on top of the world’s hottest talents.

  • The Workshop is a loosely connected series of in-depth stories from a host of guest writers - including favourites like Billy Carpenter and Rahul Iyer, plus new voices like Jake W. Fox. Here we tell the tales of the tinkerers, maestros and artists crafting football’s future. These are proper, in-depth stories that take months to write.


  • You’ll get a link to download digital versions of every Scouted Football Handbook, our old print magazine. Download, read, keep forever - all free with your Notebook subscription.

  • You can sleep easy knowing your money goes directly into the pockets of writers, editors and artists, not some American banking bozo called Greg LeGizmo, who is extremely passionate about journalism and not just in this industry for the stock price, he promises.

  • Also, your money directly funds competitive freelance rates for young football writers in an industry that routinely rips off and takes advantage of such people. We currently pay £200 to our Workshop writers and will continue to bump our rates as we grow. Pretty cool.

Alright, you’ve convinced me. Where should I start?

Thanks so much for joining the team.

We’ve put together a handy reader’s guide to help walk you through our best work. So give it a gander and start bookmarking articles for your next coffee break. Click below:

That’s it! We’ll be pushing our subscription drive throughout the summer as we (hopefully) head towards our goal.

We hope you love everything we make this summer in return for your amazing support. At the very least we hope you find something great to read, watch or listen to.

See you for our anniversary in August.


The Summer of SCOUTED is upon us. Lock in.