A number of years ago now, I was put onto a book that was written by David Conn. The title was “The Beautiful Game: Searching For The Soul Of Football” and it was first published back in 2005. I kept it firmly at the front of my mind for many years and, on my recent trip to England in March this year, I finally picked up a copy on Nottingham. Being one for having a constant back log of books to read (I am always buying the damn things), I’ve managed to get cracking on this one in recent days.
Where has this book been all my life?
It’s an enthralling read that looks into how money has, over the decades, gradually run the game into the ground. A famous quote is included within the second chapter from Martin Edwards (Manchester United chairman from 1980 to 2002) where he states in 1982 that: “The smaller clubs are bleeding the game dry. For the sake of the game, they should be put to sleep!”. The same man went on to make over £100 MILLION from his shares in United. Who’s bleeding the game dry again?
The book also looks into the early history of Arsenal and how Sir Samuel Hill Wood took them through testing waters by using influence and money. Before him, Football Club Director, Henry Norris, a property developer himself who owned Fulham, bought Arsenal for a cheap price and began using the club to pay his way. This all happened nigh on 100 years ago signifying that greed, money and football have gone hand in hand for longer than what we care to think.
I’ve been incredibly lucky with my literature this year. Almost every book I have picked up has become an extraordinarily good read from the get go. Here’s hoping that the second half of 2018 can provide me with further reading material that I won’t want to put down.