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10 thoughts on “The Billionaires Club

  1. Finbarr Finbarr says:

    There was one term in this book that stuck with me reputation laundering Through the chapter on the Middle East the detail of the human rights abuses in the UAE and atar and how the regimes there are using their football ownership particularly through Man City and PSG to spruce up their image in the west made me feel sick As an Arsenal fan we're currently faced with a choice between a Walmart heir and corporate leach in Stan Kroenke and an Uzbek oligarch and human rights abuser Alisher Uzmanov as our owner As much as it's difficult to not feel envious of clubs throwing petro dollars around and spending billions on footballers in a bid to launder their reputations I would welcome both of these billionaires walking out and a fan based ownership structure to the club This book goes through the Asian Russian Middle Eastern and American owners who have plagued football Montague is well travelled and his books are very well researched He writes persuasively and has convinced me for sure that these sorts of owners bring absolutely no good to the game An eye opening and at times harrowing read

  2. Adrian Fingleton Adrian Fingleton says:

    I'm probably being a bit charitable here with four stars 35 might be realistic but I rounded up It's an interesting book split into sections about the rise of the oligarchs in Russia US capitalist leverage build be a free staium or I re badge the St Louis X into the LA X Chinese new money and other Asian executives with deep pockets And finally the Oil sheikhs and their random investmentsThe author chronicles these mega investors and interviews a cross section of the migrant workers and 'old time' fans whose lives are being diminished by these billionaires The interviews are good and ground the book in the realities In fact some of the migrant worker stories have little to do with football but are about how the Middle East effectively buys slave labour from Bangladesh and other points EastI somehow felt the book was less than the sum of it's parts I'd like to have known what drives these mega financiers Do they actually like sport and invest to 'be a fan' Or do they just perceive that with TV rights going thru the roof that they can get a great return on investment? It's ironic that with soaring ticket prices and TV charges for pay per view that 'real fans' cant see these games that the rich investors are supposedly bankrolling 'for the fans' In fairness its a book that opens up a lot of dark corners and is to be applauded for that I just felt it lacked a summary at the end to tie it all togetherAnd an unusual gripe Despite the plethora of 'people who proofed the book helped me write it contributed critical opinions' etc etc as hailed by the author there are way too many typos in there I'd forgive the occasional one and yes I know I make them myself too but I'm not paid for this but it's not a good omen when Ronald Reagan is called Ronald Regan early on Does anyone involved in this book ever listen to the news But the best of the lot is where an attempt is made early on in the book to describe a 'public vote' for some football related event or other and it comes out as a 'pubic vote' Which goes to show that spellchecking is all very well but there's no substitute for having someone you know eyeball the end product Yellow card

  3. Gary Boland Gary Boland says:

    Thought provoking investigation on how regimes eg United Arab Emirates and individuals insert oligarch here use well known brands such as sports clubs to rehabilitate their image This pattern is so successful that it has brought the World Cup to a country with indentured slavery as a fact of life atar Very worthwhile and not a book containing any sport

  4. Brendan Crowley Brendan Crowley says:

    “The uestion is at what point do we accept some culpability for humanising those who have played a role in dismantling the freedoms we hold dear or even dismantling whole countries”The Billionaires’ Club is an investigation into the new class of super rich owners who have snapped up many of the world’s biggest football clubs Rather than being about the football business the book is about the business interests of those billionaires who have been using their vast resources to reshape global footballMontague digs deep into the business histories of a string of recognisable names uestioning their motives for buying into football and at times our own culpability as football fans for ignoring their character and misdeedsStarting with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea Montague examines the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs who have used investments in football to increase their visibility and profile largely as an insurance policy against the conseuences if they lose favour of their political allies back home Possibly troubling is the rising influence of Gazprom the Russian natural gas giant whose investments in football seem inextricably linked to the politics of the energy industryThe book also covers the influx of owners in European football from the US the Middle East and AsiaThe American owners are portrayed as arch capitalists who seek to make money and couldn’t care less about the fans or anyone else for that matter It says a lot that they appear less troubling than many of the other owners It was also interesting to see how much liked Liverpool’s current owners were than Hicks and Gillett at a time when they are starting to make and noises for a European orThe Middle Eastern owners appear troubling The phrase “reputation laundering” seems very apt to describe the intentions of much of the investment in European football Football clubs like Man City have become vehicles of foreign policy for members of Middle Eastern ruling families with uestionable human rights records Montague covers the abuses of migrant workers in some detail He highlights the personal stories of poor Bangladeshi’s and the horrific ordeals they face trying to earn enough money to send home to their familiesThe Asian owners covered appear like the Russians – buying major clubs to appease their own political masters and to increase their political visibility abroad The coverage of China’s changing relationship with football in the books really interesting – I had no idea the Chinese Premier’s passion for the game was directly responsible for the huge investment in the Chinese Super LeagueI’ve been a huge fan of James Montague’s since I read his 2014 book Thirty One Nil The Amazing Story of World Cup ualification It’s clear he is a very good writer with an intense curiosity about the world which informs is work The global nature of his writing makes him the ideal person to chronicle the global power shifts in football politics The Billionaires’ Club is a sobering examination of modern football and those who shape it but its a riveting insightful and brilliant readAll of my sports book reviews are available at

  5. Steve Bennett Steve Bennett says:

    The term ‘ultra’ is used for the most hard core sometimes violent fans of football clubs This book deals with the ‘ultras’ who are really perpetrating the damage on football James Montague excoriates the ‘ultra rich’ in this fine book These ‘ultras’ are a small but exclusive club of men who control the modern game arguably for motives other than the game itselfJames Montague’s book I found un put downable; I managed it in a few short days and while I still love the game at times it makes itself very unloveable and the roll call of men manipulating modern football are well exposed here including Kroenke Putin’s inner circle like Abramovich and Usmanov Xi Jinping and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan plus a cast of supporting ‘ultras’The EPL club finances for 201617 have just been published and they make staggering reading the two Manchester clubs alone have a combined player wage bill of £527000000 yep half a billion The combined wage bill of the three relegated clubs in summer 2017 was £253000000 This may well not be sustainable already some of the top spenders are wanting even and there are stirrings about a super league in Europe maybe without the ‘moral hazard’ of relegation? Match day fans suffer as they get priced out of the game particularly the bedrock of younger fans men and women now for whom top flight football is becoming so expensive I wonder if the EPL ‘bubble’ will burst? James Montague’s book hasn’t convinced me otherwiseThis book has made me think why is it that the ‘ultra rich’ feel the need to make just another billion or so or why they believe they can treat the fans in such a cruel way as exemplified in St Louis by Kroenke The contemptuous way in which the ‘ultras’ of the former Soviet Union and the UAE treat in turn Ukrainians and migrant workers from Bangladesh is described clearly and it is hard to see how any institution can now govern these modern day horrors I happen to support a lower league club that also has rather bizarrely a Jordanian owner who came out of nowhere a couple of seasons back but no real supporter involvement in the governance of the club or indeed millions injected into the club Yet? Am I troubled by this yes but it is a conflicted yes and James Montague mentions in the bookWell researched well written and a good summary of where the game currently is and yes you could argue that it is only a matter of scale in that it has always been ‘rich men’ who have owned football clubs but I share a fear for the game that others have expressed too More than that the horrors of warfare human exploitation and disregard for fundamental human rights are being masked behind the ‘soft power’ of the top flight football clubs

  6. Mario Mario says:

    35I was interested in this book because my football team is owned by one of these billionaires spoken about in the book Stan Kroenke The kind of man who you want nowhere near your sports team from an ambition stand point as all he cares about is profit Ask the residents of St Louis or those in Texas who became homeless when he bought out their land for his ranch and evicted them And he's not even the worst person from this list with people and nation's who commit human rights violations all over the place buying out football clubs all around the world to try and 'sports wash' their reputation

  7. Allan McCabe Allan McCabe says:

    Really enjoyed the themes explored in the book shining a light on some of the very shady owners of our beloved football teams and those involved in the game Most football fans know the super rich owners of their clubs aren't sueaky clean but when some of their practices are laid out in black in white they make for a pretty awful rap sheetA must read for fans of any of Europe's 'super clubs' who aren't aware of the murky backgrounds of their ownersThe book was poorly edited in places though There were a lot of instances where the author's long and tangential sentences should have been revised into something readable And it was littered with typos

  8. Matt Matt says:

    This is not strictly a book on soccerfootball Rather Montague looks at the money behind the sport the billionaires who have bought Premier League clubs Focusing on four regions Russia America China the Middle East he looks at the business dealings of these peoplegroups and how they almost all have acuired their money in shady terms and continue to work in uestionable ways Figures like Roman Abramovich the owner of Chelsea and a confident of Putin Stanley Kroenke of Arsenal and various teams in the US the Chinese billionaires aligned with the Communist Party and the Middle Eastern royal families behind Manchester City and some of the worst human rights abuses in the world are covered This is not a book that goes over key games and players but instead looks at things like migrant workers how these figures exploit taxpayers to build stadiums and how sports are a political tool in many regions

  9. John John says:

    I thought the Middle East section of this book was fascinating but most of the information from the Americas and Russia were things I’ve read about at least a little in the past Still it was an informative read and would be even so for someone not immersed in this subject on a regular basis

  10. Chris Chris says:

    Eye opening expose of the rise of overseas investment in the English Premier League and the murky backgounds of so many of the investors Particularly liked the detours in the book exposing the uestionable influence of some countries governments in these investments see China; UEA And also the chapter on atar

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The Billionaires Club ❰EPUB❯ ✵ The Billionaires Club Author 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 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 gameWhile almost cloaked in secrecy The Billionaires PDF \ 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 journalists and outsiders In The Billionaires Club James Montague delves deeper than anyone ever dared to tell this story for the first time He 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 The Billionaires Club 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 follows the ever shifting trail around the globe in an attempt to reveal the real force behind modern day footballAt 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.

  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • The Billionaires Club
  • James Montague
  • 02 June 2016
  • 9781472923127

About the Author: James Montague

James Montague is an award winning author and journalist from Chelmsford Essex He writes for the New York Times the Bleacher Report Delayed Gratification and The Blizzard amongst others and has reported from over different countries and unrecognised territories He is the author of three highly praised football books When Friday Comes Football War and Revolution in the Middle The Billionaires PDF \ East Th.