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A dissenting voice!
on 23 July 2012
I'm afraid I don't share the general enthusiasm of other reviews for this book! The basic premise of the book is that football has been spoilt by money and this has led to greed on the part of key people involved. Each chapter in the book reworks this hardly new theme again and again. The two authors (it is not made clear who wrote each part of the book, or even who the authors are) concentrate very heavily on the Premier and Champions League. They seem to make the assumption that this is the only football that really matters, almost ignoring lower and non league football, where many of the values they seem to hold dear can still be found...think for example of clubs owned and run by fans. As far as I could find, the authors did not talk to any people actually involved in football..the entire work seemed to be a rehash of secondary sources. A rather ridiculous detailed footnoting of these sources at the end of the book seems to have been included to give the book a sort of academic and scientific base. The authors view of football prior to the formation of the Premier League as being a kind of generally agreed golden age is very dubious...the examples chosen are often very selective in what they recall...much of the game was as unappealing then as the authors claim the modern game is.
The style of writing,to me,is irritatingly repetitive, especially the use, often two or three times a page, of similes and conflation of ideas that are often inappropriate, looking for a cheap laugh or just plain wrong. Just as the content reworks one basic idea again and again, so does the way the chapters are written.
To me then, I felt the book was nothing new, revisiting a basic idea that many others have written better about. Why is there such a lack of primary research by the authors? Sorry, not a memorable football book for me...not a patch on 'Family' which really gets into the heart of a club, and the game today.