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Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club [Paperback]

Ian Ridley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Aug 2007
The Southern League team of Weymouth FC were in dire straits: nearly half a million in the red, dogged by boardroom squabbles, a decrepit ground, falling turnouts and an end of season performance that saw them lose 5-1 to arch enemies, Yeovil Town. Join Ridley on his rollercoaster journey as he shows just what can be done with a dose of obsessive commitment and unstinting optimism. It's a story of political backstabbing and petty rivalry; of euphoric highs and personal pain; of a man that thought that it should be simpler. Who thought that football - that Weymouth - deserved better. Brilliantly observed, infused with Ridley's trademark wit and peppered with fascinating insights into the machinations of boardroom football, FLOODLIT DREAMS is a compelling journey into the hinterland of the beautiful game.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (6 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416511458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416511458
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ups and downs of my home town team... 20 Dec 2012
As someone who was born and brought up in Weymouth, my first abiding memories of the club are of going to Boxing Day derbies against Yeovil Town down at the old Rec as a child. Despite moving away at the age of 19, I've always tried to follow the fortunes of the club and have at times been able to attend home games during visits back to Weymouth along with watching them play at places such as Sutton and Woking. Like many clubs though it has endured numerous ups and downs, especially in recent years when it has entered administration, flirted with extinction and narrowly avoided being relegated three sessions in succession. Whilst this book does not cover that latter period, what it does offer is an enthralling and detailed insight into the various 'personalities' that pervade clubs such as Weymouth and who at times, patently failed to appreciate the enthusiasm that Ian had for the club and how, in his short time there along with the assistance of player manager Steve Claridge, had turned it around and formulated a foundation on which it could potentially florish and realise the dreams of the clubs's fans, Ian included, by promotion to the League via the Conference. This is a marvellous book and as a local lad I can relate to so much in it. Even for those who don't know Weymouth but have an interest in football this is still an excellent read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Weymouth to Wembley 13 Sep 2009
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
This is a wonderful book for anyone who takes in interest in non-league football. The author inherited his passion for the game from his father in the unlikely setting of Weymouth. To transform his local club from the depths of the southern league to the paradise of the football league was his ultimate dream. It is in these areas of the game - the lower leagues - that characters are formed, with clubs being run by genuine fans and boards of Directors more often than not being businessmen from the town. The problems start when developers target their local grounds normally in the town centre with the sweetener of a brand new out of town stadium to entice the sale. Things then move to a different level, the fun aspect vanishes and a different type of director comes on board.

The pride of the author shines through, he is not afraid to point out how finances dictate the fortune of many clubs at this level, with loyalty being a thing of the past. Board meetings, the hiring and firing of managers, the influence of the press, and are seen through his eyes. There is little glamour at this level, raising money to fund such things as overnight stays and the mundane replacement of items such as floodlight pylon bulbs are all included.

I strongly recommend this read to anyone who has an interest in the working of a football club - not at top level where everything is organised but at grass roots where dedication and loyalty are rewarded.
Review by Frank
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great account of life in non-league football 29 Oct 2011
By M. V. Clarke VINE VOICE
Ian Ridley, football journalist and Weymouth FC fan decides to get involved in turning around the fortunes of the debt-ridden club by becoming chairman. He spends just over a season in the job before being effectively pushed out by a new owner. The book charts Ridley's attempts to turn the club around, dealing with the financial short-termism of the previous board, bringing in Steve Claridge as player-manager and forming a five-year plan to take the club from the Southern League through the Conference and into league football. On the pitch, success comes quicker than anticipated, raising expectations, and such high standards prove difficult to maintain. Financially, there is pressure to clear debts, but also to bring in new players to push for promotion, leading to the need for new investment, which ultimately sees Ridley resign from his role following the arrival of a local businessman. In the final chapters, Ridley becomes increasingly disillusioned with the new approach and the direction the club is taking, with new financial problems arising. Overall, this is a passionate book that reveals much about the inner workings of football - the parochialism, the attitudes of fans, players, managers and directors. It's infused with good humour, desire for the club to do well and a deep commitment to it and the game's well being. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars straight from the heart 28 Jan 2010
This is a well written book by someone who has twice in the last 6 years tried to 'save' weymouth FC and no one can doubt that Ian's heart is in the right place. Some other participants in the dramas may recall things dfferently, or object to the way they've been portrayed, but Ian undoubtedly calls it as he sees it.
As a weymouth fan I find it fascinating, but this should be read avidly by all fans of non-league football, far more interesting than the latest ghostwritten premiership biography.
With the club again nearly folding in the winter of 2009/10 before living to stagger on to the next crisis (quite apart from probable - at the time of writing, Jan 2010 - successive relegations on the field) it may be that there will be further rescue attempts, and further books, in the future. Life is never dull with Weymouth FC.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unique perspective? 4 Jan 2009
I agree completely with Bigg Dogg's words- however, I'd give this five stars as the book is unique among the football books I've read in that it gives a lot of frank detail about goings-on at boardroom level and seems not to hold back, even if it is clear that Ridley eventually found himself involved in a dispute between factions. Reading a couple of online opinions from the other faction helps to balance the picture, but even so, one can't doubt Ridley's motivations or his love for Weymouth FC and desire to see them succeed. A fascinating read.
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