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on 9 April 2001
"Staying Up" offers an interesting look at the goings on inside a football club, and satisfies the most fanatical supporter's morbid obsession with everything that takes place behind the scenes: transfer rumours, contract negotiations, unhappy reserves etc.
While it took the author a long time to succeed in gaining the trust of those inside the club (in some cases he never did this) he did at least manage to give us an insight into what separates a professional sportsman from those in the general workforce. Furthermore, he exposed the distinct lack of trust that those working within the club have for what they would call "outsiders."
It's rather hasty to compare this book with Fever Pitch, which was more of an account of the author's life while being a football supporter- relating major events in his life with the football matches he went to see at the time.
An intriguing read and I highly recommend it to anybody with an interest in the sport.
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on 1 March 1999
You don't get many books on the inside workings of a football club, and hardly any books on Coventry City. But this book is not just for Coventry, it's for anyone with die hard interest in a football club - similar to Nick Hornby's excellent 'Fever Pitch.' Gekoski resists the temptation of turning the book into a scandalous reporting excercise and instead gives us an entertaining, witty and passionate insight into one of the Premiership's least fashionable teams. More than a fly-on-the-wall documentary, he gets involved with the players and management on a presonal level and gives us an honest view of what actually goes on. The writing is quickfire, intelligent and humourous, the quotes are sometimes disturbing but always hilarious. A great book.
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on 15 November 2000
Finally, a book has been written that describes the workings of an 'average' football club. For some reason the media ignore us as although we may have huge crowds, we don't fail spectacularly or annihilate opposition on a regular basis. However, this book is not just good because it exists, it also delightfully demonstrates the cringeworthy awkwardness of the writing conditions involved as well as retaining a good balance between real journalistic integrity while not being a 'sky is blue, hills are green' re-writing of history, this is warts-n-all with respect.
And fancy tricking Bryan Richardson into telling the real story behind the sacking of Big Ron, Rick Gekoski you should be ashamed of yourself!!!!
BUY ME NOW
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on 31 October 2011
This is supposed to be the inside story of the workings of a Premiership football club, but little is revealed (other than the size of Dion Dublin's manhood). Gekoski becomes frustrated that he isn't given more privileged access to the team, and the reader becomes equally frustrated that there is so little to read about. Gekoski must also have rued his fate because instead of Coventry being involved in a relegation dogfight that would have given his book a big climax, in the season he followed them the team quickly settled into mid-table mediocrity. Still, Gekoski writes in an easily-readable style and the book is not a chore to read, but this seems like a lost opportunity. Nothing that The Glory Game didn't show us fifteen years earlier.
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on 23 May 2016
A fans view of a season of near relegation for Coventry City. Back in the days when they were in the Premiership. Given full access to players and managers, this is a great read.
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on 25 March 1999
I brought this book the very first day it came out on sale and it took me 3 days to read. I thought the way the book was written and no holds barred with some of the stories which mentioning no names got offended by if it was about me I would have been honoured. I have been lucky in which I have met the author a few times at Blackburn and West Ham and he is a great bloke and loves the like I and many others do so I know he meant no malice at all in any of his stories.
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on 13 March 2006
As a young teenager in Oxford visiting for a couple of years from the US, I became a firm lover of the game. My father and I would often go on Saturday afternoons to watch Ron Atkinson and company play for Oxford. Rick was a friend of the family, and 25 years later I was of course delighted to see his book. I was even more delighted to read it; it really gives a feeling of being privy to the inner workings of a football team. Very entertaining and well written.
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on 4 January 2000
Interesting enough as description of a year (season?) in the life of Coventry City Football Club. However the writing smacked of self-indulgency and too often it came across as being a book about writing a book about a football club. Thus overly long and an opportunity missed, and for me Gary Nelson's brace of books about lower division football were much better.
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on 7 June 2010
Can't comment on the details but this was a well received present at a good price. Might have to read it myself!
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on 1 May 2009
I was really looking forward to this book and was completely let down. As someone who has worked at two football clubs of a similar size to Coventry, this book didn't even come close to what goes on behind closed doors. This is due to the simple fact that outsiders CAN'T get inside a club - as Rick Gekowski readily admits at the end of the book. I wish he'd said so sooner as I wasted a good few hours waiting for a breakthrough that never happened. Another reviewer summed it up well: "a book about writing a book about a football club."

I felt frsutrated that he had all of that access and all of that time and didn't use it to a better use. He swans off on holiday and misses three games in a row, decides to take to the stands for other games. He also has a really annoying way of talking about his friends by using their full names, such as "The author Jonathan Strange" Are we meant to have heard of him?

Where was the promise of access to the admin side of things? Just seemed like a way of getting free tickets and an excuse to write poor hotel reviews. Who cares if the Cov players' hotel sold cigars???

Not a patch on Fever Pitch. Never really got going, no real secrets told, just a way for him to self indulge himself in a world where he didn't belong so he could show off to his mates. His son Bertie knews this all too well and spoke the most sense in the whole book!
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