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LETTER: Broadsheet litism adds up to an own-goal

MAREK Kohn is right to complain that football is no longer confined to the sports pages of papers ("The men who hate football", 16 April). In the last two years I have read at least two dozen articles on features pages complaining that football is no longer confined to the sports pages, that the New Lad is back, the chattering classes have come out, blah blah blah. Perhaps if people like Mr Kohn stopped moaning, it would free up papers for something more interesting.

In fact, his central point, that football is enjoyed by only half the male population (Kohn fails to mention the millions of women who watch, play, and read about football - a disappointing omission, given his anti- Lad tone), makes a case for more football coverage, not less - that is the danger of bandying figures about in what is essentially an anti- populist argument. I doubt that a quarter of the country reads hardback books, but the books pages occupy a substantial part of any broadsheet; much less than a quarter buys art, or eats in expensive restaurants, or does any of the things that newspapers lavish millions of words on each week. If 11 million men and 2 million women enjoy football, then at least the broadsheets are covering something that interests more than a tiny middle-class constituency.

Nick Hornby

London N5