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Seeing Red Hardcover – 13 Aug 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport; 1st edition (13 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007262825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007262823
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Undoubtedly Graham Poll has been this country's top referee over the past ten years' Sir Alex Ferguson

‘England’s No 1 match official has lifted the lid on the disillusionment shared by many colleagues’ Daily Mail

'Poll's story is an interesting one. His behind-the-scenes material is frequently insightful and often funny.' Birmingham Post

‘Poll's fascinating response to years of criticism as one of England's top officials is far more interesting than the standard fare trotted out by most players these days - it also evokes the rarest of things in a football fan: sympathy for the refeee.' 442 Magazine

About the Author

Graham Poll was born in 1963. A one-time employee of Nike – where he turned down a Sales Directorship to pursue a refereeing career – he has over 27 years of experience as an FA Premier League and international referee. As well as refereeing the 2006/07 UEFA Cup final, he has been the English representative at two World Cups and Euro 2000, and has handled games from the Bernebeu to the San Siro, and from Old Trafford to Stamford Bridge. He retired from refereeing in the summer of 2007.

Mick Dennis has worked as sports editor of the Evening Standard and football correspondent for the Daily Express. In his spare time, he is also a football referee.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Barron on 20 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Well let me tell you, you don't! This is a terrific book, from both footballing and non-footballing point of views. This is not one of your typical footballing biography's. It has pace, pathos and literal integrity. A real page turner, full of mixed emotions that will have you welling up, laughing out loud and outraged within a single page.

Seeing Red reveals not only the true face of football, from grass roots level to Fifa; but the complete chaoses, greed, incompetence and utter nonsense that surrounds the 'professional' game today.

A man obviously driven by passion, personal achievement, and a complete love of football (to almost obsessive proportions); Poll takes us through his 26 year career and towards the ultimate outcome of his 2006 World Cup. The dispear he suffered both personally and professionally in front of the worlds press, is here for all to witness, as well as the motivation he needed to get back on the pitch only a few weeks later. A real, real human story. Loved it, and so did my mum!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bantam Dave TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 July 2008
Format: Paperback
On his retirement as a referee it would appear that Graham Poll as chosen to write a book not about his life but as an opportunity to put his side of the story about many of the controversial episodes in his refereeing career. Fair enough. Unfortunately though, this gets a bit wearing after a while and, as a result, I found this book it to be a little dull.

It gets off to a slow start when far too much time is spent going over the events of a now largely forgotten Chelsea v Spurs game from a few years ago and, to me, really picks up after that.

Amongst football watchers, Graham Poll was never the most popular referee in the game, and this book makes it clear that he wasn't held in very high regard by many of his fellow referees neither. Whilst he says that much of the dislike was unfair, on reading this book I can understand why as he comes across as being very opinionated and, at times, self important.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jose Mourinho (Not!) on 20 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Every football fan has an opinion about Graham Poll, and none of them favourable! But this book introduces a very different man from the one we thought we knew when he was the country's top referee.
He is funny, self-deprecating and very human. Well, he is in this book.
Of course it tells the story of his infamous three-card trick at the World Cup, but builds up to it in such a way that, when it happens, the reader can understand what a devastating blow it was for Poll.
So this is not only a football book. It is a story about striving to achieve something and then having to deal with humiliating failure.
But of course it is a football book as well, and gives revealing glimpses behind the scenes fo the game.
Chelsea supporters should definitely read it. They might think very differently about their captain and manager.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Coen on 6 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As parks refs, we all like to imagine what it would be like to control one of the big games. Mr Poll brings it to life - laying bare the emotions as well as revealing simple methods he used in different circumstances.

I expected to be informed: I hoped to be entertained: I didn't expect to be moved. I got all three in spades.

To lose out on a genuine shot at refereeing the World Cup Final due to one massive technical error, after having displayed the quality of English refereeing to the watching world. 'Pollie' doesn't try to hide away, exposing the anguish of that incident and displaying it alongside everything else he achieved in the beautiful game.

Lots of insights and plenty of opinions - well what else would you expect from GP. A cracking read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Neutral VINE VOICE on 24 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Graham Poll has written an excellent book about the role of the referee in modern football. It's a lonely one. Only the brave, foolhardy, or possibly, demented individual with a love of the game would wish to referee at the highest level. The more so since they are subject to unwarranted levels of abuse which are frequently unpunished by the ruling authorities.

By his own admission Poll failed at tournament level and that failure was highlighted by television. So what's new? I saw a Chilean player (Sanchez) punch an Italian opponent, breaking his nose, right in front of referee Ken Aston in the 1962 World Cup and he wasn't even booked!! It gave me the idea of becoming a referee. The verbal abuse from ignorant spectators soon kicked that idea into touch.

That ignorance has passed from generation to generation, as Poll recalls a torrent of abuse from a West Ham "fan" following a match in which the Hammers lost. That Poll's wife was present did not a produce a modicum of manners or moderation of language from the disgruntled fan. On other occasions Poll was forced to leave a hotel because of the hostility of "fans". Managers, most notably Jose Mourhino, were allowed to get away with intolerable levels of abuse. Mourhino's false claims about Anders Frisk forced the Swiss official out of the game following death threats from Chelsea "fans".

Similar attempts by the same generation of Chelsea players led to the ridiculous incident when some fabricated the tale that Poll had said he had wanted to teach Chelsea a lesson. The dilatory way in which the FA dealt with the incident disillusioned Poll and probably most other referees. Perhaps UEFA will be stronger.

The rules of football are clear the referee is the sole arbiter of fact on the field.
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