Searching for the Soul of Football
A powerful, passionate exploration of a game in turmoil.
Once, football proudly claimed to stand for passion, community, honour, even beauty. Today, football is about money. Its richest club, Manchester United, earned -175 million last year; yet since 1992 36 of the Football League's 72 clubs have been insolvent. The game is in danger of losing its lifeblood - and its soul. David Conn, the game's premier investigative journalist, sets out on a journey through the heart of English football, exploring how our national sport has failed - and who is to blame. Travelling from Highbury's art deco stands to provincial non-league outposts, Conn interviews players, managers, chairmen and fans, building up a picture of a game mired in crisis. At its heart, football is a game deeply loved by millions. This is a book for those who keep the faith, who believe that the sport itself, stripped of the greed and self-interest blighting its organisation, still has values, and can still be beautiful.
“For a fascinating insight into the causes, and the creators, of the game's ills this is a superbly told tale”
Peter Corrigan, Independent
“An important book”
“A thoroughly researched, well-crafted dissection of the modern game”
“This is a must-read for all who love football”
“An intelligent and passionate work about the business of football from Highbury to Glossop that is as skilfully written and structured as any thriller; a worthy book without a hint of worthiness about it”
When Saturday Comes
“Hard-hitting- but the added value of The Beautiful Game lies rather in the effort to understand what is happening to the minnows, not the sharks. The stories he tells are scandalous, touching, and encouraging, at the same time”
“This is a quite magnificent book- With a splendid eye for important detail and a determination to ask difficult questions, Conn reminds us of what is important- Conn's greatest feat in a book that is well researched and written with searing honesty is to show the game's magnificent resilience”
David Wash, The Sunday Times