richer than god
Richer Than God By David Conn
Sportsbookofthemonth.com price: £11.89, saving 30% on rrp
When Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany finally lifted the Premier League trophy, it signified the end of a 44-year barren spell since City last won the league title.
But the moment also marked the fulfilment of a billionaire Arab’s quest to take over a football club and turn them into the best team in the land.
The intervening years, sandwiched between the halcyon days of Maine Road heroes Bell, Lee and Summerbee and the epic drama of Sergio Aguero’s late winner at the Etihad Stadium, were fraught with moments referred to by long-suffering fans as ‘Typical City’. From the disastrous return of Malcolm Allison as manager to the second coming of Francis Lee as a director and the embarrassingly open-armed welcome to former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Manchester City’s history has been littered with false dawns.
Indeed, City’s continued association with the tragicomic and their long-standing blight of living in the shadow of such illustrious neighbours made them an intriguing story even before the riches of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour made them the world’s wealthiest football club.
Sports writer David Conn, a Manchester City fan since the early seventies, is well placed to write about the club’s new-found fiscal security. He does so by alternating between insights into how City now operate as a business and his own emotional experiences as an embattled supporter.
Ever the intrepid reporter (the author is considered an ‘international enemy of Leeds United’ by their chairman Ken Bates for his foraging into the club’s ownership), Conn gives his audience a rare glimpse of the human side of the Arab takeover through interviews with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Director of Football Brian Marwood.
Even more engaging is the way in which Conn speaks of his early days as a fan on Maine Road’s bleak terraces and his battle to remain passionate in his support for his club during a more money-conscious age.
Conn’s fervour and dedication to football comes over expressively throughout, making ‘Richer Than God’ an honest and moving account of his relationship with the game. The book spans the evolution of a football club and the sport itself over 40 years. Importantly, it showcases Conn’s talents as one of the nation’s leading football writers and, thanks to Manchester City’s last-gasp title win, it even has a happy ending.
We’ve teamed up with Sports Book of the Month & have three copies of Richer Than God to give away.
To win this week’s sports book, go to their website (www.sportsbookofthemonth.com) and answer the following question:
Who was Manchester City’s manager when they were last crowned league champions?