Book Review: The Country of Football

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The Country of Football edited by Paulo Fontes and Bernardo Buarque de Hollanda Published by by Hurst Publishing 2014, £16.99 Having reviewed David Goldblatt’s Futebol Nation in June, here we are pleased to provide an appraisal of another book timed to coincide with the World Cup. Assisting us with this process by applying his thoughts to paper has been Stephen Brandt. Stephen is host of the Yellow Carded Podcast and can be followed on twitter at @yellowcardSCB. … In this World Cup year, a number of authors have jostled to offer their views on the beautiful game in Brazil. The…

Dilemmas of Football Ownership: Property is Theft

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Once upon a time, earlier on in my real career in book publishing, I was present at some tense negotiations in which a nicotine moustachioed representative of the National Union of Journalists lost the room a bit with the old adage that ‘property is theft’. At the time, our smooth operator of a company MD plunged his head into his hands, the look on his face something akin to that of a Newcastle United supporter on being told that Joe Kinnear would be returning to Tyneside. This week, however, while pondering how Royston Drenthe has continued to prolong his career…

Dilemmas of Football Ownership: Marching on, Direction Unknown

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As we move into Day Three of our Football Ownership series, Gary Hartley tries in vain to make some sense of what, exactly, Massimo Cellino is up to at his beloved Leeds United. … It’s not particularly new, this football clubs subsumed by rich men’s egos thing. It’s just that in the presumed halcyon days, the egos were more the Rotary Club, cigar on Sunday type of affair – vaguely but not entirely unapproachable, with no offspring on Twitter. Things are different now; we’ve supported or allowed the cult of moneyed personality, accepting that since it’s all ultimately a game,…

Dilemmas of Football Ownership: History and the Need for Change

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For the second of our posts exploring the theme of football ownership, we are pleased to welcome Jon Keen, a long-standing supporter of Reading Football Club and founding member of STAR (the Supporters’ Trust at Reading). Jon is also a regular contributor to Reading blog, The Tilehurst End. Here, Jon unpacks the issue while asking the inevitable question of how it came to all this? Jon can be followed on twitter at @urzz1871. … Remember the days when hardly anyone knew who owned their football club? Or if they did, they cared even less? When the only time you heard about a club’s…

Dilemmas of Football Ownership: Are Foreign Owners or Dodgy Owners the Problem?

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When Vincent Tan, the Malaysian owner of Cardiff City, made the – apparently unilateral – decision to change the club’s colours from blue to red, I posted a few remarks on Twitter intended to express some solidarity with those Cardiff supporters who felt that this change was the last straw. Some fans had even made the painful decision to stop going to watch their own club as a result. I’ve long had an interest in football history and its emblems and wrote a blog about the subject in 2012. I can’t remember the exact words of my tweet but it…