On its launch in 1979, the magazine initially failed to catch the dominant circulation of its main weekly football rival, Shoot. In the mid 1990s, under editor Chris Hunt, it overtook Shoot to become the biggest selling football title in Britain, with its weekly sales peaking at 242,000 during this period. This not only marked the highest point in the magazine's sales history, but the high watermark of the British football magazine market in the 1990s. During this period, many of its rival titles either closed or, in the case of Shoot, changed frequency to monthly, leaving Match to enjoy its position as the only remaining weekly football magazine in the marketplace. It remains the biggest selling football magazine in the UK and, in the second half of 2007, the average weekly circulation stood at 113,049. In February 2008 it became apparent that Match would face fresh circulation challenges when it was announced that the BBC would once again be launching Match Of The Day magazine into the weekly football marketplace and Shoot declared their intention to return to weekly publication.
For the beginning of the 2007/08 season Match changed the logo and look of the magazine.