* New book from experienced Guardian sports journalist Rob Smyth, author of The Spirit of Cricket.; * Fascinating reflection on the history of football, and whether the golden days are over.; * Includes interviews from both key players, past and present, and other sporting insiders.
Jumpers For Goalposts is a fascinating reflection on the history of football, which examines why the charm, innocence and good humour has disappeared from today's game, compared to the golden days of yesteryear.On August 15th 1992, the Premier League kicked off for the very first time to the sound of money. That same season, a new kind of branded commercialism descended across the continent as the European Cup was re-launched as the Champions League. In 1994, the game's oldest trophy, the FA Cup, would become the last of English football's major competitions to fall to commercial sponsors. The early 1990s mark the moment at which the beautiful game, the sport of the common man, wound up on a market stall, complete with price tag. Of course the game needed to change - terraces had become ugly, dangerous places, blighted with racism and afflicted with the tragedies of Hillsborough and Heysel; on the mud-patches that passed for pitches, tackles were brutal, bone-crunching, and very much from behind. But rather than righting wrongs, pockets were lined as the legacy of football was cashed in. Rob Smyth and Georgina Turner explore the fan's-eye view of 21st-century football, a game that can be about breathtaking style, but very little substance; a grossly inflated memory of its former self where Football's Soul (TM) is an idea to be traded, not treasured.' Jumpers for Goalposts' gives the facts, figures, wit and insight that proves that in the game of the people, for the people, the fans do know best and that to recover its soul, the beautiful game has to rediscover its roots.
"As a catalogue of all that is wrong with the game, the book is accurate and thorough. As rhetoric, it is stylish and irresistible ... It is not a new idea to index the simultaneous depravity and mundanity of modern football. But it has never been done as well as this. Richard Scudamore will despise every word, and there can be no higher praise than that." -- When Saturday Comes; "Smyth and Turner have done an absolutely excellent job summing up the travails of the modern game in 'Jumpers for goalposts' - there are numerous anecdotes that needed re-telling and the depth of knowledge and research contained in the book is staggering ... Kudos also to Smyth and Turner for finishing off the book with a humdinger of a conclusion. After flagging up all the problems with the game today, they set out to remedy them and come up with some fine suggestions. However unlikely, hopefully some of the game's administrators are reading this tome." -- 101greatgoals.com; "'Jumpers for Goalposts' is a fascinating and funny reflection on why football has changed so much since the inception of the English Premier League in 1992, and why the old descriptions of 'the beautiful game' and 'the people's game' no longer fit." -- soccerlens.com
Dimensions: 229mm x 152mm x 23mm