The Club by Joshua Robinson

The Club

The Club is the previously untold inside story of how English soccer’s Premier League became the wildest, richest, most popular sports product on the planet.   This is a sports and business tale of how money, ambition, and twenty-five years of drama remade an ancient institution into a twenty-first-century entertainment empire. No one knew it when their experiment began, but without any particular genius or acumen, the motley cast of billionai...

Details The Club

TitleThe Club
Release DateDec 4th, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreSports and Games, Sports, Nonfiction, Soccer, Football, Business

Reviews The Club

  • Sumit RK
    Everybody knows anything can happen in the Premier League. #Quote If you are a football (soccer) fan or even if you aren’t, you must be aware of the English Premier League. The Club is the true story of the meteoric rise of the English Premier League from it’s humble beginnings to becoming the richest & the most dominant sporting leagues in the world. The Club begins before the advent of the Premier League in 1980’s when the game of footba...
  • Peter Boyle
    The Premier League is the most-watched football competition in the world, beamed to 185 countries, raking in millions for its wealthy owners. But this wasn't always the case. I'm old enough to remember the late 1980s, when boggy pitches and crumbling stadiums were the norm, and a live game on TV was so rare it was a Big Deal.Everything changed in 1992. The chairmen of the 22 First Division teams, tired of having to share their meagre TV rights mo...
  • Tomi
    Erittäin viihdyttävä ja perusteellinen selitys siitä, miten englantilaisesta jalkapallosta tehtiin maailmanlaajuista viihdettä. Vähän olisin ehkä kaivannut lisää kannattajakulttuurin muutoksesta ja kulttuurillisesta vaikutuksesta muutenkin, mutta ehkä se on jonkin toisen kirjan tehtävä.
  • Lance
    Could have been a bit shorter, otherwise this would have been five stars as there is a lot of great information and history on this league. Starting with the decision to award the TV contract to Sky, this book covers practically everything about the business side of the English Premier League. Some interesting points were how now avoiding relegation means just as much, if not more, to the bottom line as winning the championship. The adventures of...
  • John Tyson
    If you have the slightest interest in soccer or count yourself a sports fan in general, I recommend this book unconditionally. The recent history (~1980-present) of European soccer is fascinating because the market dynamics that shaped the sport’s growth are pretty different when compared to the US, with some notable exceptions (e.g., TV rights!)The reporting is outstanding, and it is chock full of great stories about players, coaches and owner...
  • Claire
    [Rounded up from 3.5 stars]This was a lot of fun! It had a zippy tone that made it easy to get through while not dumbing things down, and it deep-dove enough to help shed some light on references I've heard on soccer podcasts but never fully understood (namely "It was just a bit of banter"). Also, I like that the authors have spent time in the US, because I think the American influence on how the Premier League is presented is important, but I co...
  • Clinton Hutchings
    This was a fabulous book! It had everything I wanted: strong emphasis on economics and the business side of the Premier league with a good discussion around various impactful players, managers and owners. An overall brief but nuanced history of the Premier league. While I'm sure I missed a ton due to not being familiar with the players, etc. from the 1990s and early 2000s, I felt like the author used enough explanation for even a new fan of "foot...
  • Benjamin
    Loved this book! I got tired of being abroad during the World Cup and not being about to engage in intelligent conversation about soccer, so last fall I chose a team (Liverpool was a natural choice because of its connection to two other loves in my life: The Beatles and the Red Sox) and finally joined the global conversation. While the business aspect of the rise of the Premier League was interesting, this book was terrific for newcomers to the s...
  • Thekelburrows
    Some fun nuggets for fans. Spoiler: it's actually about a bunch of different clubs.
  • Spencer Emmerson
    Simply enthralling. The level of access is second to none and the pacing propels you forward.
  • Ian
    Extremely well-researched and reported book that takes you well behind the scenes of the formation of not only the most popular sports league on the planet, but perhaps one of the most well known businesses on earth. Even if you're not too familiar with the names involved, this is a must-read if you're a fan of sports, business books, or want to know how a soccer league from England has taken over the world.
  • Greville Waterman
    A rollocking, racy read by two Wall Street Journal writers about the rise and rise of the Premier League.Predominantly aimed at an American audience the two writers rehash much of what has already been told before elsewhere - mainly it is true to say for the UK market - and manage to repackage it in an interesting and attractive manner.They have certainly done their homework and have managed to interview most of the main protagonists.As a footbal...
  • Elda Mengisto
    "The rise of the English Premier League is a story about the sports world's wildest gold rush. In the span of twenty-five years, the league's twenty clubs have increased their combined value by 10,000%, from around $100 million in 1992 to $15 billion today...How this happened is a tale of how the country that invented the world's game reinvented it and how a handful of secret meetings in 1992 spawned a crazy quarter century in which money, ambiti...
  • Aaron Mcquiston
    There is a continuous argument throughout the all soccer (football) world on which league is the best, the most talented, and the most exciting. The English Premier League is in the top three of everyone's list regardless of where they live globally, and this is because two things: talent and exposure. In the last five years even, the EPL is more of a household league because every Saturday there are games broadcast throughout the world. In the U...
  • Phil
    If your interest in the English Premier League (EPL) extends beyond the action on the pitch and into the clubby world of team owners and league executives, then you will love this book. Both authors are seasoned sports writers with a keen eye for the business side of this game they cover for the Wall Street JournalI've followed the EPL since the late 1990s when the good ol' internet led me to enjoy a raucous broadcast of English soccer action on ...
  • Hashim Alsughayer
    Let me start my review with this: I really liked this book. I know I took two stars from this book but the entertainment value that I took from reading this book was not a small amount. The book has many positives that would make any fan of the premier league enjoy reading it, or in my case, listening to it. Although I would not categorize this book as a history book or a book that explains the history of the premier league, but at least I can sa...
  • Jeffrey Robinson
    Full disclosure, I have the same last name as one of the authors. That's not by accident. Guilty as charged, your honor. That said, allow me this simple statement of fact - The Club is a terrific book. It is not just a sports book about soccer, it is also the story of the business of the English Premier League. Honestly, it's one of the best narrative non-fiction books I've read in a long time, right up there with Liar's Poker and Barbarians at t...
  • David Neto
    Interesting read and fascinating take on the meanders of football's most famous and entertaining league. It helped me embark on a journey of reminiscing about the first foreign games I more or less remember watching, in the mid 90's. It enlightened me about the origins of the institution responsible for producing and selling the most exciting games in world, and how much it changed since its foundation. Like all things, English football is an eve...
  • Austin Coad
    This book is filled to the brim with interesting and detailed anecdotes about the people and institutions responsible for bringing about the global behemoth that is the Premier League today. Robinson and Clegg take a deep dive into the impact different moments the premier Leagues history (such as landmark television deals orchestrated by Rupert Murdoch, the Bosman trial, Russian/Oil Tycoon billionaires, and Leicester City winning the league) shap...
  • Stephane
    The book was recommended to me on Amazon last Christmas and I reviewed it on my blog. It's a comprehensive account of how the Premier League, England's top sporting division, has grown over the last two decades to become a juggernaut we see before us. If you are a football fan like me, you wouldn't be surprised at the skulduggery involved or vast sums of money swirling around the sport. It forensically takes a look at the Chelsea and Manchester C...
  • Steve Johnson
    I don't rate many books as five star, unless perhaps written by Graham Greene. If you like English football and have followed the EPL the last quarter century then I believe this is a must read. I thought I knew a bit about the various clubs and characters but until I read this book I knew nothing. This is about the founding of the League and the inner workings of it. There are a few good sporting anecdotes but the real story is the backroom and ...
  • Tom
    Outstanding, well researched and written story of the phenomenal growth of the English Premier League from its creation in 1992 from the Football League’s First Division to today. I recommend it for any football (soccer) fan, especially those who rise on Saturday and Sunday to watch the Premier League on NBCSN. The book discusses the many characters instrumental in the league’s growth, both familiar and less so, as well as the forces that thr...
  • CT Ray
    Almost 4 stars but I felt a few chapters could have been dropped and some of the details trimmed to make this a tighter book.But overall as a fairly new Premier League fan I learned a LOT about the history of the league, the teams, the owners and the players. It's amazing to see how much it's grown over the past decade or so.The parts I liked the least about the book were the behind-the-scenes looks at the owners. Sorry, but as dramatic as the au...
  • Saurav Kumar
    It was a good read from my perspective of an MBA student. It described how money was made from an exciting product which was in ruins(comparatively) few years back. This is story of the birth of Premier League in 1992 and the consequent mega TV deals which it signed all over the globe. Also got to know about the mega ownership deals in the league by the sugar daddys. It showed the rise of Chelsea and Manchester City as European powerhouses. Worth...
  • DAER
    Very timely and well delivered. Another kind of gentrification perhaps. The business approach saved the beautiful game back in 1992. The same mind$et may as well destroy the beautiful game sooner or later. I particularly enjoyed the epilogue. Would there be any place left for TRUE sports fans in the future of the game? Can they even afford to love the game? Can the players, aka modern day slaves, themselves keep up with the changes? It seems like...
  • Mike Steinharter
    For someone like me who is a real fan of Premier League soccer, this is a great read. Not only insightful about the formation of the league, but some interesting stories about most of the relevant clubs we all watch, the owners, managers and strategies. It is well written, not a text book, but you really have to be a fan to appreciate it. I would recommend it to my British friends, even though it's written by a couple of Yanks and they say 'socce...
  • Alexander Fitzgerald
    I knew nothing about English Premier League football before this book, which seemed odd to me as a sports fan. So, for the hell of it, I picked it up.Great decision. Such a fun read from start to finish. When you hear about the nut cases who run these clubs and the risks they took...oh my Lord is it ride. I couldn't put it down. I laughed out loud multiple times. It gave me a great appreciation for the league. Highly recommended for any sports fa...
  • Kariuki Njiru
    I picked this book because of two reasons. First reason, I am currently working on the creation of a local league. Second reason, it is about the premier league. As someone who follows football closely, I was expecting regurgitation of information I already new.However the book was filled with information that left me clamoring for more.
  • Filip Olšovský
    Jaw-dropping. The amount of work these two guys did should make 99% of out sports writers feel miserable. Although the topics they deal with have been covered several times they manage to come with new information in every chapter. And even if it might initially feel as if they are dramatising way to much with their cheap cliffhangers you simply have to admit they have all the rights to do so.
  • Gaterp
    Easily readable but well-written history of the Premier League. Focus was on the last 15 years and would have liked more on the formative years. And too much about the ‘Big Six’ for me. There are clubs other than Blackburn and Leicester who’ve made an impact. More about how these teams ultimately struggle would have balanced all the details on the rich clubs