Football League scores record audience figures on 2014/15 fixture release day

More than one million football fans visited Football League Interactive (FLi) websites on Wednesday, making fixture release day 2014 a record day for the network.

At 9am the fixtures for the forthcoming Premier League and Football League seasons were published and 1,002,228 unique visitors came to FLi sites during the day, a 30 per cent increase on the 736,993 visitors who came to the network on fixture release day in 2013. Total page views were also up 75 per cent to 2,411,426 compared with 1,377,467 last year.

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We’re off to Wembley for the Sky Bet Football League Play-Off Finals

Wembley StadiumTomorrow evening I will be heading to Wembley for what is surely the biggest weekend in the Football League calendar – the Sky Bet Play-Off Finals.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday the national stadium will be the scene of intense drama as two clubs from each of the League’s three divisions do battle for promotion. The biggest game of the weekend takes place on Saturday when Queens Park Rangers and Derby County meet in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final, a fixture dubbed the ‘richest game in football’ thanks to the huge sums guaranteed by promotion to the Premier League.

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The faces of the Sky Bet Play-Offs 2014

At the start of the year I joined the Football League and took on a job all about content and social media – working with colleagues in the digital team to improve and evolve the League’s online content.

In the last week or so I’ve been busy using ScribbleLive to tell the story of the play-offs, where teams in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 fight for a place at Wembley and the chance to win promotion.

One of the best bits of this live storytelling effort has been engaging with fans on social media – primarily on Twitter and Instagram – in real time to ensure that our coverage of the play-offs puts the fans front and centre throughout. This has led to me discovering lots of fantastic fan pictures shared on social and has proved to be one of the best parts of the whole experience.

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Africa’s dream is over

Sometimes it is the unlikeliest of games which conjure up memories which will stay with you for a very long time.

Writing this with two quarter finals yet to be played, it is still far too early to say for certain what will be the defining memory of this tournament, the moment of genius or self-destruction which will come to encapsulate Africa’s first World Cup.

Already we have the unique sound of thousands of vuvuzelas blown in ecstatic unison, the vision of Robert Green’s fumble which seemed to slow the passage of time itself as a disbelieving nation watched the ball creep with horrendous inevitability over England’s line, and of course the Lampard ‘goal’ that never was, a memory England fans will cling to in a bid to blot out the truth of how completely a young, energetic German side outclassed what once, and foolishly with hindsight, was christened the Golden Generation.

But whatever happens between now and the conclusion of the tournament in Johannesburg next Sunday, I am certain it will take a moment of spectacular drama and intense emotion to surpass what the world witnessed last night as the South American dark horses of Uruguay faced Africa’s last hope, the Black Stars of Ghana, for the right to meet Holland, the conquerors of Brazil, in the semi finals.

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