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Richer Than God: Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up [Paperback]

David Conn
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 April 2013

Richer Than God is an authoritative, emotional, provocative account of Manchester City's takeover by Sheikh Mansour, culminating in their remarkable last minute Premier League title victory in May 2012.

By placing the club's extraordinary current rise in the wider context of its patchy modern history, this is also the story of English football's transformation - from the battlegrounds of the 1980s to today's moneyed, seated, global entertainment. Conn is led to question the very nature of football clubs and being a supporter, the underlying values and running of what used to be called 'the people's game'.

A labour of love, this powerfully told account of Manchester City's fall and rise, based on meticulous research over many years, and exclusive access and interviews with key figures, is written in the gripping, revelatory style Conn has made his trademark.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857384880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857384881
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'A must read' Tony Evans, The Times.

'Superb. Nick Hornby meets Michael Crick' Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday.

'The best football book I have read for a long time' Sam Wallace, Independent.

From the Inside Flap

Richer Than God is an authoritative, emotional, provocative account of Manchester City's takeover by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, culminating in Roberto Mancini's team's remarkable last minute Premier League title victory in May 2012. David Conn chronicles the Manchester City story, from glories in the late 1960s and excellence in the 1970s, through decades of mishaps, to its new status as the richest club in the world. The book details from the inside how Sheikh Mansour's prodigious wealth has rebuilt the formerly rundown club, propelling it to that dramatic Premier League triumph, and into the European elite. By placing the club's extraordinary current rise in the wider context of its patchy modern history, this is also the story of English football's transformation - from the battlegrounds of the 1980s to today's moneyed, seated, global entertainment. Conn grew up in Manchester, always a City fan, and in part this is a tale of innocence: a six-year-old boy transfixed by his football heroes who, as an adult and writer, comes of age with the mature understanding that both his club and the game are businesses. Conn is led to question the very nature of football clubs and being a supporter, as well as the underlying values and running of what use to be called 'the people's game'. A labour of love, this is the powerfully told tale of Manchester City's fall and rise, based on years of meticulous research, and exclusive access and interviews with key figures. Richer Than God is written in the gripping, revelatory style Conn has made his trademark, with a depth and emotion borne of experience.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Conn's book 26 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover
Over the last decade, David Conn has established himself as the pre-eminent journanlist and commentator on football in England. He's exposed countless acts of skuldugery and championed the cause of the silent majority. Raised on football and now forced to consume an expensive diet of hype and badly made replica shirts, his articles and this book are the antidote to all that overhyped, overpriced nonsense. This book touchingly, adds in his personal memories of growing up a football fan, plain and simple. How can I put this? The best book you will ever read on football. He speaks with common sense, passion and a crtical eye that the media do their best to cover up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was hoping for 28 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Being one of the many suffering and miserable City fans over the years, the sudden success with the F.A Cup victory then the unbelievable climax to last seasons Premier League was a massive lift to us all.
The story of that success; Thaskin Shinawatra buying the club, injecting millions that maybe were not his to inject, then the take over by one of the worlds richest men and the subsequent huge financial outlay - well we all know the story don't we? Whether you are a City fan trying to justify it or an angry fan of another club accusing City of buying success and killing football, its still a fascinating story.
And so I approached this book hoping for some insight into whats gone on at City to get to this point and yes you do get that. But it all becomes rather swamped under the 'money and business' side of it all.
I loved the Authors reminisces about growing up with City, the ruining of a very promising club by Peter Swales the Chairman and Malcolm Allison the returning hero and the eventual drop from top flight to obscurity, but so much more could and should have been written about it all. Where are the interviews with former managers? God knows there was enough of them!
I'm sorry but I found as the Author got deeper and deeper into the ins and outs of club takeovers etc I got more and more bored and found myself skipping pages just to find bits I could understand.
One thing I did learn from it all is yes City (and some other clubs too) ARE killing football and its really hard to face up to that. Like the Author I have fallen a bit out of love with the club now and if I'm honest - top flight football in general.
If you are looking for nostalgia and ultimate triumph as I was then you may be disappointed with this book, but if you want a big bite of a reality sandwich and want to know whats REALLY going on in the Premier League then give it a go. But you may end up cancelling your Sky sports and going to support a local team instead....
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
When Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany lifted the Premier League trophy in May, he celebrated the end of a 44-year barren spell since City won their last league title. But not just that - it marked the fulfilment of a billionaire Arab's quest to take over a football club and make them the best in the land.

The intervening years between the halcyon days of Maine Road heroes Bell, Lee and Summerbee, and the epic drama of Sergio Aguero's late winner at the Etihad Stadium were fraught with moments referred to by long-suffering fans as `Typical City'. From the disastrous return of Malcolm Allison as manager to the second coming of Francis Lee in a director's seat and the open-armed welcome to Thai human rights abuser Thaksin Shinawatra and his (ultimately fictitious) riches, Manchester City's history has been littered with false dawns.

And City's continued association with the tragicomic and their long-standing blight of living in the shadow of their illustrious and successful neighbours Manchester United made them an intriguing enough story even before the riches of Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour made them the world's wealthiest club.

Guardian sports writer David Conn, a Manchester City fan since the early seventies and a specialist on the topic of football finance, is expertly placed to write about their new fiscal luxury. He does so by alternating between his insights of the present-day City and his own emotional experiences as an embattled Manchester City supporter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i am a united fan and i loved this book - i didnt become a united fan because they won everything - if you are over forty you can remember the docherty / sexton / atkinson and early ferguson years when we were 'fourth in a two horse race'. This book is about why you fell in love with football as a FAN in the first place and why you dont feel it fulfills the same place in your heart, no matter which club you support. if your club is now owned by someone who puts money ahead of glory (nearly every club) then you will recognise a lot of your own life in this.
Even worse - if you are an ex=player from prior to the premier league era, you will probably cry. great reading.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Ged Brannan (much) 21 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover
Mixes elements of the investigative work the author does so well, club history, social history, real-time account of the recent league win and personal memoir (comparable in part with Colin Schindler's inferior book about city which couldn't help mentioning united in the title).

It's beautifully written. The writer puts himself at the centre of the narrative without making it about him. The material tracking the history of Abu dhabi and its royal family is informative and the stuff about the francis lee takeover is eye-opening. Sometimes not so well edited: same information given and points made repeatedly. And, ach, Bryan Robson didn't play in the 5-1.

The best point he makes is a little lost in the wrap-up at the end. City are likely to struggle with the financial fair play nonsense uefa is bringing in, of course. But is a club losing money because a benefactor wishes to indulge it (and himself) really the problem when elsewhere there are clubs remorsely screwing money out of their fans and pouring money into the pockets of directors in corporate structures which flout the FA's rule 34? Including one North London club whose pious manager constantly complains about City.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading this book
I enjoyed reading this book, it's about an ordinary club with a rich sugar daddy and a set of supporters who sold their soul to get success on the pitch..... that's modern football
Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Interesting book
Published 27 days ago by Elizabeth Marsh
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story and great story telling
Man City have undergone a remarkable transformation from an under achieving club that despite itself enjoyed brilliant loyalty from fans to a club richer than any other in the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Knowles
2.0 out of 5 stars A struggle to get through
Interesting in parts. Allowing your marxist leanings constantly to permeate a football book can be a little wearing after a while. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mark vickery
4.0 out of 5 stars Most fans will only care about winning trophies and will be glad the...
A very interesting look at the changes at Manchester City, although David did complain too much about the direction the club has taken. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Richer than God
A great read. Not just for City fans. A very good account of all our childhood memories where top flight games could be enjoyed on pocket money. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. M. N. Powis
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
I enjoyed reading this book as a counterpoint to the World Cup. It is a bit repetitive in places though which broke up the flow a bit. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Sarah Killingback
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you really know who you support?
Why did I decide to read a book about Manchester City? Probably because I knew that David Conn's excellent writing would bring to life the journey that many of us take during a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by rfawcett1973
4.0 out of 5 stars a must read for any fan of not just City, but any club
A very insightful and at times poignant story of the rather turbulent experience of supporting the oft laughed at but now behemoth that is Manchester City..... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Honest man
4.0 out of 5 stars Hubby loves it
Hubby, long time Manchester City fan (over 50 years!) has enjoyed this book bought for him for Christmas. Kept him quiet.
Published 7 months ago by Julia Ramsbottom
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