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Pebble888 "Pebble" (London)

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Pay As You Play: The True Price of Success in the Premier League Era
Pay As You Play: The True Price of Success in the Premier League Era
by Paul Tomkins
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dissects the modern English game perfectly, 8 Nov 2010
An outstanding piece of analysis which confirms what we've always suspected that, other things being equal, the more a team spends on players the greater it's chance of achieving success. The authors have used a methodology called Transfer Price Index (akin to the retail price index but using a "basket" of each player bought and sold each season since 1992) as the cornerstone of their analysis.

The book takes the last two decades of transfer data in the premiership and piece by piece, argument by argument, tries to answer two fundamental questions:
(a) has the way been structured in the last 20 years both in the English league and Europe caused too much disparity?; and
(b) is there now a lack of competitive balance in the Premier League and is the problem growing worse?

Along the way it shows the under and over achieving managers; the Newcastle effect (i bet you can guess what thats about) and makes other fascinating pitstops.

Whilst it will fascinate the inner Statos in all of us Paul Tomkins and his co-authors have done a remarkable job in explaining potentially difficult concepts in a straightforward and entertaining way. Anyone who has read previous Tomkins' books will recognise his witty, relaxed writing style which makes what could have been a very dry book un-put-downable.

It should be required reading for the powers that be at the FA. Perhaps it may help to introduce a system which returns some sense of equality and fair play amongst the 20 clubs competing in the premier league. Journalists and the lazy TV pundits could do as well to read through this outstanding, dare I say, seminal piece of work


Restless
Restless
by William Boyd
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing - Pedestrian, 30 May 2007
This review is from: Restless (Paperback)
This is the first William Boyd I've read. I was inspired to do so after much cajoling from a friend who is a big fan of Boyd. Perhaps I chose the wrong book but this was a deeply disappointing and a very pedestrian effort.

There are two stories in this novel told in alternating chapters. The first is about Eva, a Russian migrant living in France just before the 2nd world war who, as a result of her spy brother's death finds herself also working for the British Government as a spy. Her story is told to her daughter Ruth, a single mum in the mid-70s, teaching english as a foreign language in between finalising her research thesis at Oxford. I won't go into the detail but suffice to say that Eva is forced to do things in the line of duty that she would not normally do. And Ruth's story? Well er....er..well there is very little to the Ruth story other than merely being the vehicle through which Eva's story is narrated. It all feels very cliched and something copied off 'allo 'allo or those wonderful black and white movies of the 50s extolling the virtues of our boys and girls during the war. Theres just something about the novel that feels as if its been very lazily put together using a "war-story template".

Its an easy enough book to read and one can get through it in a handful of sittings. The language is fluid and its easy on the eye. But you come away thinking what was the point? What is the message and indeed hasn't this sort of thing been done so much better in say the work of Sebastian Faulks and countless others?

Would I read another Boyd after this - at this precise moment in time the answer would have to be a big No.


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