The never-before-told inside story of how the Premier League became the wildest, richest, most popular entertainment business on the planet.
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 bustand boom account of how the Premier League product took over the world.
About the Authors
Jonathan Clegg is an editor for The Wall Street Journal, his work has also appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, and FourFourTwo magazine.
Joshua Robinson is the European sports correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.
A fascinating and necessary investigation into the forces that led to the creation of the Premier League. Meticulous in its research - Jonathan Wilson, author of Inverting the PyramidClegg 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 MarcottiRichly detailed, remarkably told
. . . Clegg and Robinson provide unparalleled access
to the people who make the league go' - Billy Beane