The Story Behind: Green Final, Evening Express

ABERDEEN’S sports newspaper, the Green Final, has been re-launched more than a decade after it last hit the shelves. The paper, which was previously published on a Saturday night, comprises match reports, pictures and results from the weekend’s sporting action from across the North-east of Scotland. It is distributed free with the Evening Express.

Here, Charlie Allan, sports editor at the Evening Express, answers the questions…

What exactly was the brief?

The Green Final was Aberdeen’s Saturday evening sports paper from 1928 until it was published for the last time in June 2002.

The brand has lived on as a section in the sports pages over the years but we felt the time was right to bring it back as a product in its own right – focussing on local sport, with the kind of in-depth coverage readers can’t get from any other publication.

What first struck you about the job?

In Aberdeen, the Green Final is an iconic brand.

There’s a lot of affection for it among readers, especially those of a certain vintage, so we had to treat it with respect while making it relevant in an age when people are being bombarded with sports news across multiple platforms.

We’ve always believed that if we were going to bring it back, it had to be in a form that would add value for readers and give them something they can’t get elsewhere; hence the reason for the focus on grassroots sport across the North-east of Scotland.

We wanted to give Junior and amateur players the kind of space and coverage, on a Monday, SPFL players enjoy in national newspapers.

Describe the process from conception to completion

Once the decision to relaunch the Green had been made, we quickly drew up a plan for the content.

We have employed two, new part-time reporters to provide up-to-date coverage of Junior, amateur and juvenile football.

Contact was also made with the local five-a-side leagues, offering them a platform for results, league tables and pictures; coverage they never had before.

A full weekend results service is also included so that every sport in our area is covered and there is a page of local golf.

The back page is a fitness feature for readers who may want more than just coverage of minor sports.

In all, it took about six weeks from the day editor, Alan McCabe, kicked off the concept to having the Green Final the way we want it to be.

Pantone numbers, fonts, use of space, kit, etc?

The look and feel of the new Green Final blends elements of the original product with the modern-day Evening Express, with clear sign-posting and multiple images.

What most excited you about the project and what pleases you the most about the finished article?

When we mentioned plans to bring the Green to people involved in minor sports in the North-east, there was a positive response.

It pleases me that we have enhanced coverage of leagues.

Any particular inspirations from your past that have shaped you and your work?

I was involved in the running of an amateur football team in Aberdeen for more than 34 years.

I know how much having match reports and pictures in the local newspapers means to players at that level.

I’m delighted the Green Final gives them that platform.

Been impressed recently by someone else’s work?

Our sister newspaper, The Press and Journal, really stands out with its excellent coverage of the Highland League.

It’s great our group is now providing such comprehensive coverage of Highland and grassroots football.