Top critical review
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Starts well, but doesn't last the full 90 minutes
on 23 November 2012
The first couple of chapters of this book are absolutely fascinating, analysing in depth and detail how money affects football. For someone like me who's heavily into statistics and also football, it seems like the dream book - the numbers stack up very well and provide a revealing insight into exactly how linear the relationship is between Premier League budgets and eventual performance. There are some remarkable insights; although the lack of focus on salaries (as opposed to transfer fee investment) invariably skews the data a bit, the textbook example being Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allardyce who look good in the book but in reality blew a fortune in paying far higher salaries than the club could sustain. Quibbles apart, though, the analysis part of the book is superb. Sadly, the latter part of the book came as a bit of a disappointment - it was blatantly padding and waffle, designed to fill the blank pages. There's really nothing of interest in, say, the last three quarters of the book, but it's still worth looking at, if only for the revelations at the front. It would have made a superb research paper or magazine article, but there's really not enough material in it for an entire book, which is a great shame. I'd recommend any intelligent football fan to read this book, but probably try and get hold of a second-hand copy, rather than splash out the full price.