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Customer Review

on 23 August 2004
Bower's book reveals football to be full of overweening egos, prissy little men who think themselves big because they can bluster better than others, bullies and cheats. It does this not through the cogency of the writing - which is patchy and fitful, it has to be admitted -- but simply because he had the courage to put down in simple prose accessible by non-followers of football as well as by devotees of the game, what goes on. His publisher's legal bills must have been huge to ensure that the book escaped libel actions and that his research was well-founded. The careers of the managers, chairmen and administrators he discusses seem to be founded entirely upon lying, cheating and dissembling
As a viewer only of football matches when there is nothing else on the television and who never reads match reports, I must confess to being totally bemused as to how any business marshalling this much cash,energy and devotion (together with being responsible for the death of so many trees for conversion into newsprint) can be so badly run. But that is the whole point of Bower's book: you don't have to be a fan to appreciate the skulduggery. It is simply an astonishing story of corporate greed, incompetence and ego. The writing could have been better, with a cleaner tying up of occasional loose ends, but to complain about the size of the cast of characters misses the point -- apparently everyone involved in the higher reaches of the game is at it!
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