Shortlisted for The Telegraph Sports Book Awards 2019
How did English football - once known for its stale pies, bad book-keeping and hooligans - become a commercial powerhouse and the world's premium popular entertainment?
This was a business empire built in only twenty-five years on ambition, experimentation and gambler's luck. Lead by a motley cast of executives, Russian oligarchs, Arab Sheikhs, Asian Titans, American Tycoons, battle-hardened managers, ruthless agents and the Murdoch media - the Premier League has been carved up, rebranded and exported to phenomenal 185 countries. The United Nations only recognizes 193.
But the extraordinary profit of bringing England's ageing industrial towns to a compulsive global attention has come at a cost. Today, as players are sold for hundreds of millions and clubs are valued in the billions, local fans are being priced out - and the clubs' local identities are fading. The Premier League has become the classic business fable for our globalised world.
Drawing on dozens of exclusive and revelatory interviews from the Boardrooms - including Liverpool's John W. Henry, Tottenham's Daniel Levy, Martin Edwards and David Gill at Manchester United, Arsene Wenger and Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, Manchester City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain, and executives at Chelsea, West Ham, Leicester City and Aston Villa - this is the definitive bust and boom account of how the Premier League product took over the world.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 562 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 29 mm
'A remarkable and astonishing transformation ... detailed with panache' - The Sunday Times
'Magnificent ... Witty, pacy, thorough, this is a book hard to put down' - The Daily Mail
'The most fascinating book ever written about the Premier League' - Mundial
'Astute ... forensic and impeccably sourced' - The Economist
'A fascinating and necessary investigation into the forces that led to the creation of the Premier League. Meticulous in its research' - Jonathan Wilson
'Clegg and Robinson are expert storytellers in unspooling the narrative of one of Britain's most successful exports, illustrating the creative tensions between owners that made it possible. The work is at once thorough but also readable and entertaining, with protagonists presented as real live characters, rather than faceless suits: a testament to their reporting and writing skills' - Gabriele Marcotti
'A fascinating book, by two witty and meticulous sports writers' - The Sunday Times
'A jaunty journey through the past quarter of a century in English football' - The Times
'Brilliant' - Miguel Delaney, Independent
'A tale told with much verve and some wit by two experienced sports journalists ... Revelatory' - Spectator