The Sky Blue View's book review
By Aaron Leggott
When Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took over Manchester City in the summer of 2008, nobody knew what to expect.
Following decades of hurt, misery and gradual decline, a Sheikh with bottomless pockets decided to make the historic club from east Manchester his new business venture, and in turn raise the hopes of those who had been repeatedly let down for generations.
David Conn, an award winning writer from the Guardian, has studied the "Manchester City story", from the ultimate highs to the downright spectacular lows, resulting in lifting the Premier League trophy in May.
And to be honest, Conn delivers this study perfectly. Upon reading the book, I was not sure what to expect, but I liked what I found. This was very much a serious critique of what football has become in the last couple of decades; a business so to speak. Conn also creates an emotional bond with the reader, a tale of love for the club he grew up supporting as a young boy.
Conn's book seeks to include all of the football family, with it's main emphasis being on the business side of football, where particular focus has been drawn on the running of Manchester City, from Peter Swales all the way to Khaldoon Al Mubarak in the present day.
Richer than God delves deep into the shock witnessed by Conn as the team he supported all his life were slowly torn apart bit by bit due to financial mismanagement, as well as the personal realisation that football was more than just a game when money became involved.
People have been critical of Conn's views regarding football finances, but this book quashes any of the myths that were set in stone previously. Conn, as expected, shows a great deal of love for Manchester City, and all his references to the current regime at the club are positive. The image portrayed by Conn is that Sheikh Mansour is doing more good for the game in general (and Manchester City in particular) than any local owner has done previously.
If you see this book in a shop, you would be mistaken for thinking it was just aimed at Manchester City. Conn uses his journalist expertise to deliver an account of how it was to be a Manchester City fan through the good and bad times, and gives the neutral reader a chance to look at the new City in a realistic manner, more than any other publication has achieved before.
(Below is a link if you wish to purchase the book online, or you can also buy the book at your usual respected bookshops).