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An Epic Swindle: 44 Months With a Pair of Cowboys Paperback – 28 Apr 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

An Epic Swindle: 44 Months With a Pair of Cowboys + 44 Years With The Same Bird: A Liverpudlian Love Affair + Red Men: Liverpool Football Club - The Biography
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (28 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857385992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857385994
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'The riveting inside story of how Liverpool FC was dragged to its knees' Daily Mirror.

From the Back Cover

An Epic Swindle is the inside story of how Liverpool FC came within hours of being repossessed by the banks after the shambolic 44-month reign of American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. It is the tale of a civil war that dragged Britain's most successful football club to its knees, through the High Court and almost into administration. Players Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher tell of their anger at the broken promises, as well as their pain at watching loyal fans in open revolt. Manager, chief executive, board members, leading fans and journalists reveal the turmoil at a revered sporting institution run by two men at war with each other, who trampled Liverpool's cherished traditions into the gutter. No story sums up the naked greed at the heart of modern football quite like Hicks' and Gillett's attempt to turn a buck at Liverpool. No-one has had as much access to the truth, or tells it with as much passion, wit and insight as Brian Reade. An Epic Swindle is the riveting story of how close one of the great football clubs came to financial implosion.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Wickham on 4 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of what you will read is absolutely unbelievable - more like some American gung ho John Wayne movie. I have supported Liverpool for 45 years - and got so much out of it, along with my family, some whom are no longer with us, like most Liverpool fans it's a family thing - I still cannot explain how I felt during the last 18 months of the H&G reign - but I know that I rarely looked forward to Liverpool playing - and in fact tuned out of football all together during the Hodgson reign, even though I felt very sorry for him - as he was out of his depth. This book explains to me why I felt like that, very therapuetic. When Benitez was struggling - I would defy anyone to be able to put up with what he had to and do thier job properly - during the time I never wanted to accuse or believe some of the rumours - and was glad I didn't because this explains it all. When you are reading it you think yes I remember that - or I didn't know that happened. It is well written and could only have been written by a Liverpool fan - if it hadn't we would be suspicious of anyone saying anything negative about our club. It came across that the club had problems well before H&G. Although I hated Torres for leaving, reading this - you can understand it - (although his best form for 18 months had been the three games playing for Dalglish) too many broken promises. As for Benitez he hasn't finished with us yet - he also made mistakes - but was placed between a rock and a hard place - Thank you Brian Reade - I am looking forward to next season already - and reading Brian's 1st book which I have just download on my Kindle. 44 Years With The Same Bird: A Liverpudlian Love Affair
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Collingwood on 3 July 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm a Liverpool fan so like all others I knew how close this story took us to permanent ruin.From being European champions in 2005 to the days of the court actions in 2010 that removed these "cowboys" it's a story of bad decisions,downright greed and missed opportunities. It's well told by a fan who cared but was also a tabloid journalist and had unique access to the story. From Gerrard and Carra's professional attitude that turned into dismay at what was happening to their club, to Rafa Benitez at the end of his tether battling with owners and chairmen the interviews give us a more intimate idea of what really went on. The court proceedings that mule kicked H & G back to where they came from left them out of pocket and, if things go well in the future, hopefully soon out of mind. But whoever you support read this as a cautionary football tale.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rogers on 11 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
PHEW!! How close was that? This is car crash reading for Liverpool Football Club fans. No matter how much you don't want to look, you can't help but stare in amazement. Its obvious that as football is becoming a billionaires playground, David Moores feels he can no longer keep up. For LFC to progress he has to sell his beloved Football Club- OUR beloved Football Club. What I didn't realise was how far behind we already were in terms of bringing the club into the 21st century...

As the book points out, David Moores and ALL the other shareholders backed G&H to buy the club, and so off down the slippery slope of leveraged buyouts we plummeted; taking all our dignity and so called 'Liverpool way' with us...

Brian Reade's book charts the lows, the more lows and even more lows of these 2 profit driven, greedy american liars who had no respect for our tradition at all. The atmosphere behind the scenes must have been depressing! Slowly but surely Rafa is dragged into the fight and takes on his employers, but eventually he was spending more time doing that than 'focusing on managing and training his team.'

No one comes out of this with reputation intact; except for the fans who became organised and made sure the 'noise' was heard wherever G&H crawled with their begging bowl. They didn't understand what the club meant to us, the power the fans ACTUALLY had and how DETERMINED we were to be rid of them before they permanently damaged an iconic footballing instituition...oh, and Martin Broughton who would not be bullied by a Texan who thought he could ride roughshod over RBS and call the shots when all he had were blanks.

At the end of the book (and the storm...) there is a bright light at the end of a very dark and miserable tunnel.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bromfield on 3 April 2012
Format: Paperback
Unashamedly written by a fan - who happens to be a journalist - but written in a populist style to appeal to the fan base.

Nothing wrong with a journalist being a fan but the book is full of generalisations - about businesses, Americans , Bankers etc. Does the author seriously think the RBS should have suspended the interest payments that were crippling the club when they have a duty to their shareholders (the British working people!) Does every fan believe it is the owner's duty to inject funds into a club if the Managerial/Executive team cannot manage expenditure properly.

David Moore's letter comes across as a considered and compassionate piece of writing but the author derides him throughout the book and having sold a major company myself to American buyers I know there is only so much you can ever find out when doing checks into the buyers credibility. We did the checks and had no problems because the buyers kept their word but if they had been lieing we could have done nothing once they were the owners.

Too many of the observations in the book would carry more weight and not be devalued if they were based on researched fact rather than banal generalisations designed to apeal to the masses on subjects about which the author clearly knows very little - how many corporate tranactions has he been involved in? Big clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool feel they have an automatic right to success and lord it over small clubs and are happy to do this with Corporate money but then start bleating when it all goes wrong. if you sup with the devil or choose to live by the sword then you have to be prepared to take the consequences.

The writer is no fool.
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