I Am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game

I Am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game


Language: English

Pages: 152


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Who is the Secret Footballer? His identity, jealously guarded by just one person at The Guardian, is the subject of many feverish blog posts and forums. Whoever he is -- and whoever he plays for -- he is always honest, always fearless and always opinionated.

The Secret Footballer reveals everything you need to know about the beautiful (and not so beautiful) game, from racism to relegation and from team talks to the slow decline of the goalkeeper.

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disastrous experiences with tabloid journalists. Something appears to go terribly wrong between the last question being asked and the copy appearing in the newspaper the following day, so that what feels like a friendly and innocuous interview is twisted into something totally different. In fairness, they are not all like this. Most interviews that fall outside of press conferences are conducted with a club official in the room, who vets the questions and strikes any answers from the record that

return for a fee. Naturally, greed got the better of the IFAs and before long they had removed the agent from the equation altogether and were not only handling the players’ investments but also trying to do their contracts. As I mentioned, though, in the early days these IFAs had no clue how football deals were done, and many of them still don’t. Their clients lost fortunes through poor deals, and most of them are now facing huge tax bills as the revenue catches up with the tax-saving schemes

in the courts.” CHAPTER 8 MONEY Talking about what you earn might be considered a little vulgar, especially if nine times out of ten the people you are speaking to can only dream of making what you do. Yet when I was kicking a flat ball around a council estate with holes in my Nike hand-me-downs, I was curious about players’ wages, and as the seasons slip by, it seems fans are increasingly interested in little else. So let’s talk money. Be honest. How many of you, when berating a

different. Often what has happened is that the number one target has played the field before deciding to sign for a different club. Still in desperate need of a new striker, the manager works his way down the list until he finds a player who is available and fits the criteria. Think how many press conferences you have seen where the player says, “I was just about to go on holiday and suddenly out of the blue my agent rings me…” Now you know why – he was your club’s 10th-choice striker. As a

of happy times and familiarity. As the noise outside grew louder and the familiar opening notes of You’ll Never Walk Alone made their way through the tunnel, I told myself to keep that moment at the front of my mind for as long as possible. It is often said that 95% of what happens in football takes place behind closed doors and, believe me, the truth is far stranger than fiction. You might see us for 90 minutes on a Saturday and form many of your opinions about football purely on that fleeting

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