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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ups and downs of my home town team...,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Weymouth to Wembley,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unique perspective?,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)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.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)This book is well worth it. Ridley lifts the lid on the self serving nature of many of the so-called money men in non league football.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great account of life in non-league football,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)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.
5.0 out of 5 stars PUT YOUR HANDS IN YOUR POCKETS,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)Every fan who has ever screamed for the directors to put there hands in their pockets should read this insight into running a football club. Weymouth may not be a power in English football but their fans and directors love their club just as much if not more than the plastic fans and billionaire owners of the Manchester united's of this world,
This book is a great read showing the tribulations of running a club and gives an insight of the football business that all lovers of the game should appreciate
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite football book,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)One of the other reviews of this book suggests "good but not great". I thought it was great. Well written and - importantly - easy to read. It was both informative and heart wrenching at times
I would recommend it to anyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars straight from the heart,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Slow Lane!,
This review is from: Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club (Paperback)I have long enjoyed the writings of Ian Ridley and always enjoy his contribution to Sky,s Sunday Supplement so I was looking forward to reading this book about the trials and tribulations of non-league football.
I was not disappointed as Ian with both passion and humour tells of his time as Chairman of Weymouth FC. This really is life in the slow lane where theMan Utds and Chelseas of this world might as well exist on another planet.
This really is football at the grass roots with the Chairman becoming involved in disputes aboutsuch things as halftime chips and bulbs for the floodlights!
Another great read is the same authors book on Kevin Keegan.
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Floodlit Dreams: How to Save a Football Club by Ian Ridley (Paperback - 6 Aug 2007)
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