During our five years of existence we’ve been lucky enough to interview some fascinating people from players to boxers to musicians. It was quite strange then to be on the receiving end of some questions when BettingRunner requested a chat recently.
Thank you to them and hopefully the below sheds some light on what makes the Daisy Cutter the Daisy Cutter….
How did The Daisy Cutter start?
The two constants in my life has always been football and writing and I’ve had a lifelong obsession with magazines so it fits perfectly that I now run an online football mag. Yet it took my life to fall apart spectacularly before I took the plunge and started up the site.
I recall standing very drunk indeed one New Years Eve looking out over my local city and telling a friend that I was at my lowest ebb.
“So now is the time to really go for it because what have you got to lose?” he replied.
That’s how the Cutter started. Those words.
The Daisy Cutter is a unique name. What’s the story behind it?
I wanted something traditional – ideally a football phrase no longer used and associated with a comic such as Roy of the Rovers. Once I’d drawn up a shortlist Daisy Cutter jumped out because I realised it could be a name; an identity.
There are several strengths and advantages of having a site that takes on the role of a persona, not least it being different and standing out from the rest.
You have a section called “Fake News” on your website. Can you explain a little more about this?
The original concept of the Cutter was to have a football version of the Daily Mash, a news parody site. So for the first few months that’s all I did – wrote one ‘fake’ story per day based on topical events. Some could be considered decent satire. The rest were embarrassingly unfunny.
What changed things was a reaction I had to something The Sun newspaper did that annoyed me greatly. I wrote an open letter to them which got stupid numbers and really seemed to connect with people. From thereon in the fake news became only a section of the Cutter.
Do you think this is what makes your website different from others?
No, it’s only a small part of the site now. The mentality behind that approach remains however and I think consequently the Cutter will always have a cult standing and be something of an outsider. Which I heartily approve of.
Who are the other main contributors to The Daisy Cutter?
The thing that I am most proud of from this whole trip is the amount of writers who now work for national newspapers or who are firmly established in media who got their first gig in the Cutter. That pleases me immensely. Considering our size that is some achievement.
And that was our main ethos right from the beginning – to provide a platform for budding writers to move on to a bigger stage. We made no bones about not being able to pay our contributors but – unlike many other places – we were always 100% genuine in our aim to properly promote our writers.
Some of the talent we’ve been lucky to house – briefly or otherwise – is extraordinary but I don’t want to single anyone out because that would be unfair on the others. All have played a part and they’re forever family.
What is your main goal with The Daisy Cutter?
To poke fun when it suits but also to address serious matters properly and through the voice of a fan.
Over time we’ve find a nice balance of irreverence and being a thorn in the side when it matters. Continuing that is our main objective.
What are some challenges you face with The Daisy Cutter?
On a personal level it’s finding the time as I write elsewhere to pay the bills!
For the site it’s without question the proliferation of football websites that have flooded the market in recent times. We welcome competition but when they’re financed by major backers and have ‘Bible’ or ‘Lad’ in the title you find yourself hopelessly drowned out on social media which is a hugely important place to promote your content.
How did you build up your success so far with your website?
Having integrity first and foremost. That’s a slow-build but an invaluable one. It elicits a relationship with the reader that is worth far more than a hundred thousand hits from a meme.
In practical terms getting on Newsnow was critical too.
Read the full interview here.