Author(s): James Montague
Once upon a time football was run by modest local businessmen. Today it is the plaything of billionaire oligarchs, staggeringly wealthy from oil and gas, from royalty, or from murkier sources. But who are these new masters of the universe? Where did all their money come from? And what do they want with our beautiful game? In The Billionaires Club James Montague delves deeper than anyone else has dared, to tell this story for the first time. It is part history of club ownership, part in-depth investigation into the money and influence that connects the super-rich around the globe, and part travel book as he crosses national boundaries in an attempt to reveal the real force behind modern-day football. Whilst almost always cloaked in secrecy, the billionaire owner has to raise his head above the bunker when it comes to football ownership - a rare Achilles heel that allows access to worlds normally off limits for journalists and outsiders. And so Montague criss-crosses the world - from Dhaka to Doha, from China to Crewe, from St Louis to London, from Bangkok to Belgium - to profile this new elite, their network of money and their influence that defies geographic boundaries.
At its heart The Billionaires Club is a football book, about some of the biggest clubs in the world. But it is also about something bigger: the world around us, the global economy, where the world is headed and how football has become an essential cog in this machine.
A compelling examination of football club ownership in the era of the super-rich
James Montague is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes primarily about money, politics and corruption in football. His work has appeared in the likes of the New York Times, CNN, World Soccer and the Guardian. He also features regularly on the BBC World Service's World Football podcast. His previous books are When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone and Thirty-One Nil: On the Road with Football's Outsiders. Sports Illustrated described him as 'the Indiana Jones of soccer writing'. @JamesPiotr